Thursday, February 08, 2007

Bodyworlds


We were lucky enough to check out the Bodyworlds 3 exhibit at the Arizona Science Center last night. For those of you who haven't heard of it, it's a traveling exhibition of real bodies that have been preserved through the process of Plastination. They are posed in creative and artistic poses and show various parts of the body. It's very cool and educational and despite how some newscasters portrayed it, it didn't gross me out at all. It prompted a lot of questions by Alex and I think it was a great learning experience for him.

Seeing real organs and muscles outside the confines of a flat textbook and seeing cross-sections of diseased organs allows a person to visualize much easier the effects of smoking and drinking.

Religious or not, what do you think about the sanctity of the human body after death? Is it desecration? The people whose bodies were preserved knowingly donated them for the very purpose. When I told my mom that we had went, I got a funny (odd) response. She's not religious at all and considers herself an agnostic/atheist but she said that she probably couldn't go to a show like that because she just gets an odd feeling around dead bodies. Almost like she senses an aura or force. She's probably just nutty (and I would know) but is there any truth to that? Could there be a presence unique to a person that isn't necessarily tied to religion? I don't think so, but what do I know?

"We all die. The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will." -- Chuck Palahniuk (author of Fight Club)

8 comments:

Laura said...

We saw Bodyworlds 1 a couple years ago here in Chicago, now II is here now and we're going to see that one soon too. Great to know there's a III!

I think it's great - it demystifies the human body. Like you, I kinda expected them to be, um... juicy looking, and they're not. It's a little creepy at first, but it's just so cool to be able to see all the detail.

All the specimens for bodyworlds are people who donated their bodies to this particular research project specifically. THerefore I think it is their valid choice and no one can say it's a desecration. I think the things we do to (and put in) our bodies on a daily basis counts as more desecration than this...

dbackdad said...

Laura said, "I think the things we do to (and put in) our bodies on a daily basis counts as more desecration than this..." -- How true.

james said...

Being a Buddhist I see the body as a shell and not anymore important or less important then anything else.

I don't believe in an inherent "self." I believe that we only exist because of other things. This is because of that. Thus, I believe that we "inter-are" with everything else.

You can not have a body without food. You can not have food without water and the sun, etc.

That's my two cents.

Scott said...

I think the way we treat our dead bodies is the oddest of all things. It's an inanimate object, the equivalent to a stapler, chair, or couch. Only those things are actually more valuable since they actually have utility value, where as we will just decompose and get kinda stinky.

I plan to be cremated. Before that I'd gladly submit myself for organ donation or what ever else someone might need my former self for as I will no longer need me.

But spend literally tens of thousands of dollars for a coffin, burial plot, or what have you? Goodness, oddness of all oddities.

dbackdad said...

Scott -- couldn't agree with you more.

greatwhitebear said...

I agree with Scott 100% also. I hope to be a medical cadaver before they finally roast me crispy.

Sadie Lou said...

What? I left a huge comment here too! Last night.
Grrrr....

james said...

I forgot to add that I too wish to donate my organs and tissue when I die and plan on cremation.

If someone can live from my death then how wonderful!! I can't think of a more positive development to one dying.