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Man and Life

"Man and Life" is the natural starting point of the story of Man the Explorer. Man's evolution from a single primitive cell is a process which has been going on for several billion years.

In the course of time primitive type of cell has multiplied, specialized and grouped into organs to make possible today's highly complex pattern.

Because the celle is the building block of the life of Man, a huge model of a type cell, characteristic and peculiar to mankind, dominates the Man and Life pavilion on Ile Sainte-Hélène.

The pavilion is pyramid shaped, like the other theme building in the striking Man the Exporer complex of Expo 67.

Entering by an escalator to the second floor, the visitor first walks into the model, representing a human cell magnified about million times. which may at first suggest an illuminated cave, occupying most of the second floor and extending above and below him.

There, while he observes the cell's many parts and their interplay, accented by selective lighting, the visitor hears an explanation of the fonctions of the nucleus, nucleolus, micro-tubules, etc.

As he mnoves on, through microscopes he can view a kaleidoscope of living cells, shown with the single-celled primitive animals of the unseen world. Ciné-films, still photographs and other graphics extend the story of other cells at work, feeding, multiplying and uniting into special tissues and organs.

Ascending the escalator to the third floor, the visitor is introduced to the special characteristics of the nerve cells and their work as a communications system.

A 25-foot model of several connecting neurons, the basic nerve cells, demonstrates the message network possessed by all the animals, especially human. Bees, fish and rats demonstrate their reflex responses, relatively automatic when compared with those of Man, to various sensations received.

Proceeding from reflex to reason, a very large illuminated model of man's brain, with ciné-film, shows the complex message center of the brain and the developing influence of reason.

Children, as well as grown-ups, will be able to test their own perception when they move on down to the ground floor to study the background of behavior, participating activaly in one of the most fascinating aspects of scientific research. Compared with more primitive mammals, the human required a longer learning process to understand his world. "The world of the child" and "The world of adult" are full of illusions which can lead to incorrect conclusions. Examples of these reactions in behavior and the need of primates, especially humans, for new sensory input form part of the demonstration.

Biological timings, the regulation and frequency of the heart beat - of breathing - of digestion - of creation of a new baby, are illustrated.

And in the final summing-up, the visitor gains some appreciation of the biological role of Man within the framework of the balance of nature.

( Document: Official Guide of l'Expo 67, Copyright 1967 by Maclean-Hunter Publishing Co. Ltd. )

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