Prof. Steve Steve posted Entry 3306 on September 6, 2007 11:59 PM.
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With great pleasure I hooked up via teh internet with those crazy cats at the AtBC (After the Bar Closes) disscussion forum last month, to visit the Darwin Exhibition at the Field Museum in Chicago! (I love people who diss creationism.)

Before I describe our adventure, I want to remind you that you can join my Facebook group, or friend me on MySpace. The Facebook group also serves as the fan group for PT. I also have a gallery of pictures from my adventures that you can look through. I working on collecting all my pictures there.

Also don’t forget to submit your best science blogging posts to the 2007 Science Blogging Anthology and join us at the 2008 Science Blogging Conference.

Now to our adventure in Chicago. Have you ever been carried around by a woman through a museum exhibition? I was. Try it sometime. I met Nomad, J-Dog, and J-Dog’s wife and daughter in the museum coffee shop for some refreshments beforehand.

We were joined by that dashing Rich Hughes and the surprisingly girl-next-door Kristine Harley (Amused Muse). Kristine took me through the exhibition and made sure that I could get a good view of everything. You know, I actually think my mom would like her….

At any rate, it was exciting to see Darwin’s (reproduced) manuscripts, artifacts, and personal items. The exhibition was not as large as I’d imagined but it was comprehensive in tracing Darwin’s entire voyage, not just his trip to the Galápagos Islands.

Especially poignant were the items that had belonged to Anna, Darwin’s favorite child, who died too young. Live animals were a part of the exhibition; we saw a huge South American green iguana and Argentinean horned frogs, as well as fossils and mounted specimens. We were told that photography was forbidden but I confess, I talked Nomad into snapping a few.

Most exciting was the iconic notebook bearing the first-ever sketch of the tree of life showing relationships between species made by Darwin. We were all startled to see how small it was—like a 1940s reporter’s steno notebook.

Charles Darwin also wrote up some pros and cons regarding marriage as he was considering his choice of a wife, and we all found that quite amusing. We also enjoyed the cartoon of a young Charles Darwin riding a giant beetle, drawn by Albert Way, a fellow collector of beetles. (“An inordinate fondness for beetles….”)

The museum staff was curious about me and came to greet me; they were all quite enthusiastic, but unfortunately I could not find one t-shirt in the gift shop that would fit. Kristine thinks that she could make me one—well, custom outfits are the story of my life.

However, as I was complaining about this I became quick buds with one of the Darwin dolls who was hanging out with his brothers in the gift shop, so he came along with us to dinner afterward.

We all gathered at Grace O’Malley’s for some drinks and good Irish food—and the Darwin doll, ever the gentleman, bought me a drink.

An aside: it’s interesting to be in a mixed group and to see who of which gender orders dessert, and who puts away more beer—I would have switched the two! Don’t ever generalize about men and women….

All around, it was a great trip—and no, J-Dog, I didn’t only want to eat bamboo shoots—I also am partial to—people don’t know this about me—braised sirloin tips, preferably in a whiskey sauce, but you did the best you could, so thank you.

The Darwin Exhibition is at the Field Museum in Chicago through January 1, 2008. Don’t miss it!

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Comment #204841

Posted by J-Dog on September 7, 2007 9:57 AM (e)

What a Great Time!

However, lost in the translation, was Steve-Steve’s commnetary about hangin’ wit the cool Tsavo cats in Chicago and also meeting some long-lost relatives.

Comment #204859

Posted by E on September 7, 2007 11:06 AM (e)

It looks like you were decapitated by your relatives.

Comment #204891

Posted by Ken Shaw on September 7, 2007 12:52 PM (e)

What! Steve Steve went to the Field and didn’t get a picture with Sue? What is the world coming to. Next thing you know some creationist will open up an evolution informatics lab.

Comment #204892

Posted by Edwin Hensley on September 7, 2007 12:53 PM (e)

I went to the exhibit in June and loved it. I bought the Darwin t-shirt and proudly wear it around Louisville. It is my favorite t-shirt.

Professor Steve, I requested to be your friend in myspace a few weeks ago, but you never replied. I am friends with Charles Darwin, PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins and others. Please add me to your list of friends.

Comment #204900

Posted by Martin R on September 7, 2007 1:38 PM (e)

The professor’s exploits in Norway chronicled.…

Comment #204926

Posted by Kristine on September 7, 2007 3:30 PM (e)

Professor Steve Steve made people smile!

Comment #204955

Posted by fnxtr on September 7, 2007 5:46 PM (e)

Is it just me or do the Darwin dolls look like they belong on Sesame Street, with a voice somewhere between Oscar and Guy Smiley?

Comment #204958

Posted by J-Dog on September 7, 2007 6:16 PM (e)

Well, the Darwin doll we hung with swore like a sailor, and chatted up women like a construction worker. I said Good Times, not Church time!

Comment #204963

Posted by slang on September 7, 2007 6:51 PM (e)

Mmmm… facebook…

Comment #204986

Posted by secret on September 7, 2007 8:19 PM (e)

Man oh man. New to the comment section, but longtime reader. Here’s a fun little story, I just for the first time had a little chat with Salvador Cordova on George Mason University’s student forum at…. At first I thought he was a student, but he was parroting the ID lines a bit too well. A few Google searches and I realized that a “top-notch” (and I use the term loosely) ID proponent was lurking on a student forum. Panda’s Thumb visitors might enjoy the exchange. So here it is again…

Go to page to 2.

Comment #205260

Posted by Karen on September 8, 2007 3:39 PM (e)

This must be the exhibition that started at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC. That was a great exhibition. It was very well-attended, too. In addition to the other live animals, we even had live Galapagos tortoises, complete with a web cam!

Comment #206352

Posted by frank on September 11, 2007 5:15 PM (e)

Does anyone know where I can get a T-shirt with the “I think” and tree of life on it? The narration aptly called that page of the notebook the “e = mc squared of biology”…