The California Science Center in Los Angeles is free and features exhibits on ecology, life, space, and communication.
There is an Imax showing three films in 3D at this time: "Flying Monsters", too scary for my toddlers, "Arabia", for older audiences, and "Born to Be Wild", about orphaned baby orangutans and elephants. We did see the last one, and it was acceptable. The 3D was well done because you felt like you were right there in the scene.
There was a special exhibit at the Center that went along with our school year called "Science in The Golden Age of Muslim Civilization" or something like that. I expected to see inventions and scientific discoveries from that time period (7th century on), and that was certainly present. However, the overtone was annoying. Before you can enter the exhibit, you must pass through a room which features a short film to re-educate you on what you thought you knew to be truth! We did not stay to watch it, but instead entered the second room with the exhibits.
Unfortunately, there was a lot of reading involved and not many hands-on opportunities; but the premise remained the same: "You thought you knew who invented the windmill, but it was really so-and-so from Iran." "You thought you knew who the first person to make a map of North America was, but it was really so-and-so from Istanbul." "You thought you knew where toothpaste was invented, but it was really a Muslim from China." (Don't quote me on these examples.) Did you know that it was a Muslim woman who opened the first university? Huh? I always thought it was Christian monks. Silly me!
There are words that we use today in English that come from the Muslim civilization, but there are a lot more words that we get from Latin and Greek! I am glad that one Muslim man attempted flying, and I don't even care that they claim he was "THE FIRST" to do it. How many other civilizations have someone who tried to fly? But what matters is: WHO WAS SUCCESSFUL?
Look! It is great to learn about how other civilizations survived, including the things they discovered and invented and did. But I am leery of how some are trying to influence my thinking and understanding of the world in order to cater to certain groups and tweak history. Certainly, there are enough in influential corners who are trying to erase Western Civilization from history, but I know that there is so much good that comes from Western Civilization, including Christianity, which plays an important role in shaping our world today.
Unfortunately, this is what I was left with after viewing the exhibit: "If the Muslim civilization (of long ago) was so advanced, what happened to them? Why are so many of their people still living like they are stuck in the 10th century?"
Let us not ignore the fact that Islam is an oppressive religion, culture, and ideology to men, women, and children in the Middle Eastern, African, and Asian world today. I am not speaking of Westernized Islam the way we see it when one watches the dreadfully predictable "All-American Muslim" on TLC on Thursday nights. I am referring to Islam in its purest, truest, and most historical form, which follows Sharia law, prohibits all other religious freedoms, and expects to convert unbelievers by the sword until all the world is under its submission. Maybe that is the answer.
Sadly, this exhibit is just another example of how the world is desperately trying to make amends with a dangerous ideology, culture, or religion by softening the image and ignoring the truth.
This foolishness will do us no good.