Monday, March 16, 2009

The Voyage of the Beagle in Second Life

So much science in Second Life and so little time. But today I took a little side trip following Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle. This is a wonderful build and very appropriate for the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of Origin of Species.

The basic idea is to put the clues together to release Darwin's Muse, a Galapagos mocking bird, Mimus trifasciatus . I hesitate reporting too much so as to not spoil the fun. I did the voyage by myself but this is an ideal resource for collaborative learning. There is, for instance, a fun puzzle which took me wayy to long to solve. Don't feel handicapped by not knowing much about the real voyage of the Beagle. You still have to find the clues even if you are like a biology geek like me who read the Voyage in grade school.

If you go, dress appropriately, my normal dress in SL is much too fancy and just to be safe I removed my Geisha hair attachment and skin and donned my Science Friday shirt.

There is lots of wildlife some of which are clues for the game and plenty of poisonous snakes which of course I think are cool. Here is a cobra. I don't recall Darwin mentioning cobras in Voyage, but I ought to check that. Needless to say good thing the SL health option was not on, else I would have died several times over from snake bites.

Of course there are the Galapagos tortoises, pretty much in scale. Here's one with Opuntia cactuses. The focus of the build goes beyond evolution and natural selection to include Darwin's hypotheses about coral reef formation and if you want you can even go diving.

You also get some nice details about the wildlife Darwin encountered and a bit about how Darwin was influenced by the then new geology of Charles Lyell.

Here is what every well dressed avatar
needs in her wardrobe:

By the way the interface includes a supply pack that provides you with a compass and journal. Both are lots of fun.

And if you get four keys and release Darwin's muse, you get the Darwin Prize which includes several goodies such as the Beagle in a bottle which now takes a place of pride in my lab, Second Life lab that is.

I suppose, now the creationists will follow suite and probably put up a Second Life Creation Museum. I wonder how they will show the intelligent designer. Oh I forget, you're not allowed to infer anything about the nature of said designer.

If you have A Second Life viewer installed you can visit The Voyage of the Beagle sim at:

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