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It’s what’s inside that matters

Went to Philadelphia this past weekend, and took in the Bodyworlds exhibit at the Franklin Institute. It was extremely fascinating. Seeing real human internal anatomy in person was well worth the admission price, especially since one’s only other option would be going to med school (the only other legal option, anyway).

In addition to seeing things I’ve never seen, I learned stuff I hadn’t known. For example, that the 2 ventricles of the heart pump blood to different areas.

Favorite items:

  • exact “castings” of vascular systems
  • brain slices
  • smokers’ lungs compared to clean ones
  • whimsical poses

Unfortunate part: we didn’t allow ourselves enough time. If you go, you may want to spend more than 2.5 hours. 🙂

Posted by seaking on 02-08-2006 at 09:02 am
Posted in Links, Science

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  1. Here are a list of other schools and places you can go to learn more about the human body legally.

    -nursing school
    -pharmacy school
    -physician’s assistant school
    -occupational and physical therapy school
    -funeral director training/school
    -veternarian school (yup they do human body stuff too)
    -Dietician school

    some other health/living/death related places to learn more are

    -education/teacher school (yup, you got it)
    -war zones
    -raves with a sex-tacsy component.
    -turkish baths
    -european nude beaches (also shows why sunscreen is important)
    -the movie “Inside Hermans’s Head”

    Disclaimer: This is not an exhaustive list, but you an learn about the human body anywhere, type body anatomy in google and sift through the sex sites until yo find something useful, or even go to the websites that happen to show more parts of the human body.

    PS. The heart is a complex organ, well it should be it keeps you alive. It has evolved from two chambers to our present four chambers and each step in that evolution has resulted in a more efficent and smoother operating organ. Also, the complexity of the heart keeps cardiologists in better neighborhood than you or I live in. They cant be bothered with living with the bourgeoise. Now aren’t you glad you saw the exhibit?

    Comment by Christian — February 16, 2006 @ 14:23
  2. Good points. There are several places besides med school to see inside real bodies. Many might cost almost as much to attend, but there are a few with less cost (like war zones, though those have a different kind of cost).
    However, some of the stuff on your second list, though it might help learn about anatomy, one wouldn’t get to see internal anatomy in person (nor can one see it in person in the internet, unless you’ve discovered new net technology that I’m not familiar with).

    And to answer your question, I’m hella glad that I saw the exhibit. It’s funny you should mention the heart evolving, though. There was a book at the end for visitor comments, and a few people had written wondering how anyone could look at the exhibit and “still think that humans evolved.” Not kidding.
    Others seemed to have been convinced to become pro-life by displays of dead fetuses there (presumably because they look so cute they must have souls, or something).

    Comment by seaking — February 19, 2006 @ 19:13
  3. Reminds me of being a high school student when our educational enrichment program took us on a field trip to the Allegheny County Morgue in Pittsburgh. We got the lung comparisons and the brain slices (the latter permanently cured my taste for head cheese), but not the whimsical poses. Made me wish I’d read the permission slip more carefully before taking it home for a signature.

    A friend of mine in Cincinnati attended one or more human autopsies as part of her massage therapist schooling. It was, according to her, the high point of her education. Gives new meaning to the phrase “happy ending.”

    Is it just me, or are we losing the abortion rights debate because (again) we’re letting the religious right define the context?

    My point: picking the point at which a human life starts is like trying to identify the beginning of a circle. We observe the death of the body, and because it seems so obvious that a life has ended, we assume one life must have a finite beginning too.

    But death is not life. Death is the point beyond which there is no life.

    Life is a bit more complex.

    Some would have us believe it’s just death in reverse: first there is no life, and then suddenly, Shazam! — a human suddenly is.

    If you accept the Shazam model, then you must also accept that there is a specific point in time when a human begins.

    This is where the model falls apart.

    Some Native Americans used to name their children when they reached the age of 7 years: so does life begin at 7? Well, if we look closer, we see that a child under the age of 7 is alive. So is a fetus in the womb. So is an embryo. So is a fertile egg.

    Can we look at the purposefulness and potential embodied in just one sperm cell and deny that it is a living, sacred form of life?


    Life may end at death, but it doesn’t begin at birth. Nor at conception. At each of these points, it merely transcends from one condition to another.

    To win the struggle for abortion rights, we need to acknowledge life for what it is and grieve the fact that, for many valid reasons, sometimes we must allow one to end before it achieves consciousness.

    When a woman intentionally ends the life of a fetus, embryo or even one lonely sperm cell inside her body, it may be tragic, but it is not murder.

    Comment by Prónius — March 5, 2006 @ 09:22

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