Structure is Beautiful

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As someone who spends her time studying science, I have come to truly value what the natural world has to offer.  Here at Marlboro, I have the luxury of spending my time looking at all different aspects of life on Earth.  For example, this past semester, I began taking Comparative Anatomy.  When I walked into the lab last week, a model of a human skeleton was staring me in the face.  Across the room stood the actual skeleton of a cat accompanied by a few bird skulls, a dog skull, and a hyena skull.  To anyone else these may be just bones.  But they aren’t simply bones.  They are a contributor to life and that’s magnificent.

I find that the beauty is in the life form entirely, but the root of this form is the skeleton.  These bones are the basis of our structure, some of our mobility, and our self-protection.  How can something so seemingly fragile be so important?  For example, the tailbone of a cat appears as though is could snap in an instant and, yet, without at least some of that tail, the cat lacks the strong sense of balance it requires for everyday life.  Similarly, that same cat relies on its ribcage to protect many of its vital organs.  However, with some impact, it’s possible that a few of the ribs could crack.  Without even thinking about it, living organisms put a lot of faith on these breakable forms to allow them to live their daily lives.

Further more, I find the commonality of structure just as beautiful.  It’s amazing to me that humans and cats have many of the same bones in their skeletons.  For example, our skulls are categorized into the same three sections as a cat skull.  By looking at these structures, we can see similarities between humans and many other organisms, which can provide a basis by which all organisms relate to each other.  Our bones are the same.  The pure foundations of our forms are what we all, as living beings, have in common.

While the skeleton of any organism is fascinating to study, the bones themselves are not necessarily what is so beautiful.  It’s how living things rely on them so heavily, how they provide us with the ability to exist in life as we know it, and how we are able to believe that something that appears so fragile will be strong enough to carry us and other organisms wherever we need to go.  Because of bones we are here and we have structure and that is what is so remarkably beautiful.

– Emma McCamant ’14


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