|PRESENTATION TO NEW DIMENSIONS GROUP
OF KINGWOOD UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
«»«» 11 MARCH 2007«»«»
by Terrell William "Terry" Proctor, J.D.
DANIEL, DIORAMAS, DINOSAURS
Thank you for inviting me to meet with you this morning.
My name is Terry Proctor. I am an attorney/mediator, former judge and for 18 years the Curator, Board Chairman and General Counsel of the PROCTOR MUSEUM of NATURAL SCIENCE in Houston. I am here to speak to you on Daniel, Dioramas, Dinosaurs and Destiny.
Daniel is a book of the Old Testament. The Prophet, Daniel whose name means "God is my Judge" was a statesman in the court of the heathen monarchs. He was taken captive as a youth to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar in 605 and he spent the rest of his long life there as a governmental official and as a prophet to the true God. There are questions about the book, as almost every book in the Bible, but I won't digress into that now.
The reason I have selected Daniel to open my presentation, as this book contains the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego who were tossed into the fiery furnace, bound and unable to move. Yet they were not consumed by the fire, and Nebuchadnezzar, the king of all the people, saw the three men and a fourth man, whom it was determined was a spirit, walking around, unbound, in the fiery furnace. Therefore, Nebuchadnezzar, went to the door of the furnace and called out "Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, come out out, you servants of the Most High God and come here. The three men came out of the furnace and the king said "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered his servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king's command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God. The king continued by announcing a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego shall be torn limb by limb and their houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch as there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.
Diorama...The current, popular understanding of the term “Diorama” denotes a partially three-dimensional, full-size replica or scale model of a landscape typically showing historical events, nature scenes, cityscapes, etc., for purposes of education or entertainment. Frank M. Chapman, a curator at the American Museum of Natural History during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, helped popularize the style commonly seen today. (per Wikipedia)
If you have visited a museum, you undoubtedly have seen a diorama. It is usually some present or ancient lifeform or archaeological site, recreated to give the appearance that you are there.
In fact, you are living in a diorama of sorts, i.e. you are living in a three-dimensional, full-size landscape of: historical events, nature scenes, cityscapes, educational events and hopefully (for sanity) some entertainment in life.
Looking back on my own life, I am amazed at the connections I have had, which as a youth, I would not have imagined. How life has touched me in ways that I treasure and still cannot always imagine having lived through and been part of. Just as a few examples: I am one of 3 people who ever ran against Barbara Jordan for office (and she beat all three of us) and yet we were friends before and after. My artwork has hung in the private office of the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court; in the office of an Associate Justice of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. I filed the 1,000,000th law suit in Harris County, many years ago. President George W. Bush at one time called me by first name.
Aren't all of us, at one time or another, in the right place, at the right time, to be part of history. Each of you can point to things in your life, where you touched history or it touched you, and you can treasure that contact for life.
But Dioramas do serve a purpose, in our museums. They give us a chance to touch ancient life or life in other parts of the World or other civilizations, and thereby extend our horizons beyond our own five senses of those things in our diorama of present life.
Dinosaurs are something which I have never found a living human that didn't have some interest... and kids, they are 100% crazy about them. In my life, I have been fortunate to have known some of the great modern paleontologists, who did dinosaurs.
These men include Dr. Robert Bakker, Ph.D; Dr. Paul Sereno, Ph.D.; Peter Larson; Dr. James I. Kirkland, Ph.D and many others, whose names may not be as well known. My first exciting contact was with Frank Buck, the great African animal collector from my youth.
If you have ever watched anything on T.V., and especially on PBS, you probably have seen Dr. Bakker. He has a full black beard and is usually wearing a floppy white western hat. He was a consultant on the movie Jurassic Park and is now the paleo curator at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. He lives in Colorado. I spent a week digging dinosaurs with him in 1994 in Wyoming. (see picture at the end of this paper.
Dr. Paul Sereno is a younger paleontologist, who is a professor at the Univ. of Chicago and has connections with National Geographic and the Smithsonian. He has found new species of dinosaurs on five continents. Dr. Sereno helped identify the foot bone of a Hadrosaurus which I and the President of our museum had brought back from Montana in August 2005. (see picture at the end of this paper).
Peter Larson is the paleontologist who found the wonderfully complete T-Rex dinosaur Sue which is now in the Field Museum in Chicago. He was the victim of an unfortunate prosecution by our government and did some time in prison, to protect his staff at the Black Hills Institute. He lost Sue and his huge investment as a result. The Houston Museum of Natural Science purchased his dinosaurs to provide him with defense funds, but our museum benefited by the wonderful dinosaur skeletons on display there today.
Dr. Kirkland was the chief paleontologist with Dinorama at Fruita, Colorado, where they had moving dinosaur dioramas. He is now a Research Associate of the Denver Museum of Natural History in the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in Denver, Colorado. He is also an official Utah State Paleontologist for the Utah Geological Survey.
I will get into dinosaurs and fossils shortly. Let us now consider:
Destiny.... What is your destiny. Do you bump along and let life bring it to you? or do you take your life in your own hands, and seek out the destiny you believe in and want.
Is carrying Christ to the World part of your Destiny? Was it your destiny to be born and if so, for what purpose? Regardless of what you have done with the rest of your life, I implore you to look at where you are, what you have access to, to use for the good of others and to promote the Kingdom of the One True God and his Son, Jesus Christ who gave his life that you might have eternal life.
You know, we all think about heaven and what it will be like. Let me tell you what I look forward to, and may very well have weird thoughts about. The idea of sitting on a fluffy cloud and listening to harps (I know they won't give me one to play, that's for sure) or walking on streets of gold or wearing a crown, have little or no appeal to me.
What I would like to ask God to do, is to give me the ability to go back to creation---and since eternity is a very long time--to allow me to have a replay of the creation of the universe and especially of Earth and all the life and events that have happened from the start to the present. Think about being able to watch life as God created it from dust to the present humans. Think about watching the various stages of primitive life forms as they slowing in God days evolved into higher and higher life forms, while some of the very lowest life forms have survived for millions or maybe billions of years, almost unchanging. Can you think how exciting it would be to watch a real battle between a T-Rex and a Triceratops dinosaur in Eastern Montana during the Cretaceous, some 65,000,000 years ago?
You see, I have been to Hell Creek formation near Wibaux, in Eastern Montana. I have dug up the bones of Hadrosaurus dinosaurs and have some of those here today.
Here is the metatarsal of a Hadrosaurus dinosaur. It is a small
foot bone, in a dinosaur which was 35 times
larger than the scale model which I have
sitting right here for you to see.
Here is vertebra and a chevron bone from a Hadrosaurus. You know that the vertebra is part of the backbone. You probably don't know what a chevron bone is. I didn't till I found one. It is a bone which is under, but not attached to the vertebra and helped support the large tail of the Hadrosaurus and some of the other dinosaurs. Your knee cap, i.e. patella, is a good example. Your patella isn't attached to your leg bone, but it covers the joint of your leg and thereby protects it from damage, being held in place by ligaments, and muscle tissue.
Here is a leg bone from a Titanothere, called
the thunder horse which lived during the
Oligocene in Nebraska. It stood eight feet
at the shoulder and weighted 2-1/2 tons (about
the size of a circus elephant). It was the
largest mammal to ever live on the North
American continent other than the Mammoths,
Columbian Mammoths, Mastodons and other ancient
Here is a skull of an oreodont, which was a goat like browser (not a grazer like sheep or cattle) also from the Nebraska Oligocene.
I have brought a number of other things with me which I will discuss with you if you want to look at them. Please do not pick up or touch things, as some are fragile and the oil from your fingers also soak into some of the items and over time change the color of them.
If you want to visit the website of the Proctor Museum of Natural Science it is http://www.proctormuseum.us.
Thank you for inviting me, and below are some graphics with explanations with each.
|An Oreodont skull
collected in August 1999 by
Dwayne Clark-PMNS with some
restoration by Terry Proctor
the largest mammal to
live in North America
during the Oligocene,
except for the elephants
|Femur from a Titanothere
collected in August 2005
by Terry Proctor
|Hadrosaurus in situ (location)
vertebrae and ribs
Hell Creek formation
|Replica of a Hadrosaurus dinosaur
type found in Hell Creek formation,
probably without the extension
over the head in this location
(foot bone) found in
Hell Creek formation,
near Wibaux, Montana
|Terry Proctor and Dr.
Robert "Bob" Bakker, PhD
in Wyoming, August, 1994
Digging dinosaur bones
at Como Bluff, Wyoming
|Terry Proctor and
in South Dakota, August 2005
in Pete's Black Hills Institute
in Hill City, South Dakota
|Terry Proctor, Dr. Paul
Sereno, PhD and Terry
Brawner, Pres. of PMNS
March, 2006 at Houston
Museum of Natural Science
with the Hadrosaurus metatarsal
For more information, contact: Terrell William "Terry" Proctor, J.D., T. W. Proctor & Associates, 630 Uvalde Road, Houston, Texas 77015-3766 Phone: (713) 453-8338 FAX (713) 453-3232 websites: http://www.proctormuseum.us; https://terryco.us; and http://www.terrylaw.us