Big History The Big Bang Life on Earth and the Rise of

Big History The Big Bang Life on Earth and the Rise of

Big History The Big Bang Life on Earth and the Rise of Humanity ➾ [Download] ➻ Big History The Big Bang Life on Earth and the Rise of Humanity By David Christian ➷ – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Crash Course Big History Why Star Stuff Matters Crash Course Big History Why Cosmic Evolution Matters Crash Course Big History The Deep Future Crash Course Big History The Anthropocene and the Near Fu Crash Course Big History Why Star Stuff The Big ePUB ↠ Matters Crash Course Big History Why Cosmic Evolution Matters Crash Course Big History The Deep Future Crash Course Big History The Anthropocene and the Near Future Crash Course Big History The Modern Revolution Crash Course Big History Migrations and Intensification Crash Course Big History Human Evolution Crash Course Big History The Big History PDF/EPUB ² Big history Une nouvelle histoire de l'Humanit du lundi Big history Une nouvelle histoire de l'Humanit du lundi aot Documentaire Big History Articles edpsycinteractiveorg Big History AudioVideo Materials Compiled by W Huitt Last Revised March Return to | Index | Science Bah' Index | I Introduction Big History Project Introduction; David Christian TED Big History Conference Presentation minutes Nancy History The Big PDF ↠ Abrams and Joel Primack TEDx Changing the World Through a Shared Cosmology Conference Presentation minutes II Big History First Major thresholds Home Big History currently has a total of ten thresholds the first threshold being The Big Bang and the tenth threshold being The Future About the Author Marc Domingo is a tenth grade student at Sato Academy of History The Big Bang Life PDF/EPUB or Math and Science He is interested in following an engineering based pathway in order to become a chemical or electrical engineer Marc discovered Big History when it was provided as an Big History – Anthropocene – Medium read writing about Big History in Anthropocene Un blog de recherche de l’Ecole Urbaine de Lyon pour rflchir sur la dimension urbaine de l’Anthropocne A Lyon Urban School’s About Big History | Big History Big History Learning About History The Big Bang Life PDF/EPUB or the Past Skip to content Home; About Big History; About Big History Share this Twitter; Facebook; Like this Like Loading Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in Email reuired Address never made public Name reuired Website You are commenting using your WordPresscom account Log Big history Home Big history has several organized sections which are the thresholds The Thresholds are sections that summarize a time of the Universe Big History explains everthing starting with Big Bang until nowadays About My name is Bence Kiraly I'm th grader at Sato Academy of Math and Science I'm interested in History because it gives us knowlegde about our Universe and anything about the past Big Bang big history Scientists now call this “Redshift” Some might argue that the Big Bang never happened and that our universe was created by an external and powerful being This may be true however it is much likely that the Big Bang did happen because we have evidence of this theory such as the Redshift of the stars’ light waves and the CBR Big Ben | History Renovation Facts | Britannica Big Ben tower clock famous for its accuracy and for its massive bellStrictly speaking the name refers to only the great hour bell which weighs tons metric tons but it is commonly associated with the whole clock tower at the northern end of the Houses of Parliament in the London borough of WestminsterThe tower itself was formally known as St Stephen’s Tower until Bing Search History This will clear your Bing search history on this device You can't undo it.


10 thoughts on “Big History The Big Bang Life on Earth and the Rise of Humanity

  1. TS Chan TS Chan says:

    I knew about Prof David Christian and his Big History course through an article on recommended books by Bill Gates and it turned out to be a fascinating journey on a much larger magnitude than usual history courses From physics to chemistry to geology biology and human history within which there are also paleontology archaeology anthropology all these disciplines have one thing in common They are all based on evidence and proof which make them all scientific disciplines Big history is structured into 8 thresholds as follows Threshold 1 The Universe CosmologyThreshold 2 The First Stars AstronomyThreshold 3 The Chemical Elements ChemistryThreshold 4 The Earth and the Solar System GeologyThreshold 5 Life BiologyThreshold 6 The Paleolithic Era Human History Threshold 7 The Agrarian Era Human HistoryThreshold 8 The Modern Era Human HistoryWhat the above shows is the sheer scale particularly on a temporal basis on what big history aims to cover It is a remarkable effort in pulling together all these various specialised disciplines into a single narrative a unifying theme on the idea of increasing complexity This Great Course on Big History was published 10yrs ago but I do not think that it matters given the time scale we are dealing with A recent book was published titled Origin Story A Big History of Everything which will most likely take less time to read this Great Course is over 24hrs to listen to with each lecture clocking in around 30min From David Christian's Big History to Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything and Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens there is one common theme that resonated like a clarion throughout the long history of humankind And that is the devastating impact of human beings on the environment and the biosphere I can spend hours talking about this but instead I will just recommend that you read at least one of the books I've mentioned above


  2. Charlene Charlene says:

    This was an strange and interesting lecture series The professor stated up front that he would only deal with the basic aspects of the evolution of the cosmos and was true to his word because this series reuires no prereuisite knowledge; and yet he highlighted Eric Chaisson's work which is not at all basic That made me laugh a bit He certainly packaged Chaisson's arguments into very simple digestible terms it took me a while to get through Chaisson's books and articles it was just curious that he used Chaisson's work at all Some highlights The formation of stars and their galaxies will surely impart the lesson of structure is function Stars are huge and can therefore produce a lot of heat because they have gravity to help pull elements in and smash those elements together creating heat The earth is not as big as the sun and so therefore could never have nuclear fusion occurring in its core because as hot as our core is it can never be as hot as the core of the massive sun Jupiter on the other hand is much larger and could have a much hotter core I cannot remember if he talked about Brown Dwarfs at that point If not you should look that up because they are my favorite They are too little to be a a star and too big to be a planet Solar system formation depended on the original nebula that made our sun He detailed the standard theory of how the sun blew our the elements that made all the planets If you want a better explanation of this I suggest reading Exoplanets by Michael Summers and James Trefil who provide the most up to date evidence for solar system and planetary formation Really beautiful explanation of not only the origins of life but how single cells cooperate but are not multi celled organisms some sponges look like multi celled organisms but they are actually a bunch of single celled organisms who group together as well as the evolution of eukaryotic cells and complex life He is very passionate about all of this and makes the lectures that much enjoyable Even better was his discussion of energy capture how organisms capture energy from the sun I was a little put off by some points made in the energy discussion He fell prey to the humans are special argument that I think many people take too far but it was not really a strong argument so it was tolerable Energy capture naturally led to a discussion of agriculture and takes you on a really nice journey of the very first societies and follows societies of humans as they became and complex I listened to this section than once and learned a lot He thoughtfully tried to understand how gender disparities arose in these societies But even enjoyable was his discussion of how humans were forced into small areas because of how wet or dry the soil around them might have been and if the local village or town had set up a water irrigation system this was a fantastic discussion probably my favorite in the series because I had the least amount of knowledge in this area He included a really nice and basic primer on Adam Smith and specialization and the spread of competitive markets I recommend this even for people who already know all of this It was a great experience to think about the development of 138 billion years as a fluid motion


  3. Gary Beauregard Bottomley Gary Beauregard Bottomley says:

    This is the perfect reference guide for the transcendental non material Artificial Intelligent machines of the future who want an apple pie since as Carl Sagan said If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch you must first invent the universe All the steps necessary for making an apple pie are included in this lectureThis lecture is a really profitable way of looking at history He uses certain themes to tie all of history together Most of our way of thinking about our place in the universe has started with thinking that the way things are today is the way things have always been Even Einstein accepted the static universe at one time the originator of the continental drift was laughed at up till the 1960s evolution today is denied by a large significant number of people and so onAll of history can be tied together by many themes there's a Recursive nature to processes once an algorithm has been developed it can act on itself and give complexity and create things such as stars solar systems and mufti cellular life From complexity we can get Emergent properties characteristics that are part of the whole but could not be predicted from the parts Think of the neurons in our brain They give us consciousness So one can say the sum of the parts is greater than the whole since consciousness transcends individual neurons The other theme is Entropy useful energy only arises when there are differences within a system When everything is the same no exploitation is possible This is true in the universe as the whole and true in the development of civilization or in capitalism The Networking of complex systems make for better galaxies and better civilization Our true strength as the most complex entities in the universe is our ability to Network and our advancements are based on developing ever better ways of communicating from the invention of symbolic communication talking through farming living in cities and the development of the internet for sharing pictures of our cats The lecture does a marvelous job at tying all the pieces of making an apple pie or properly developing a great service like Audible into a coherent whole The lecture listens like a book than a series of independent lectures since the lecturer never forgets his central narrativesMost of the audible books and Great Courses I listen to have covered the same topics as this lecture but did so in much depth So therefore most of this lecture seemed to be a review for me I didn't mind that because I need to hear the same thing presented in three different ways before I can fully understand it and with that warning that this course could be mostly review for most people I can still highly recommend this course since he has such a good way of tying all the pieces together


  4. John John says:

    Highly recommendedBig History is a photographic mosaic of everything We typically study physics geology anthropology history and economics separately; however Dr David Christian takes a giant step back so we can see the larger details Dr Christian is a charming lecturer and it is a pleasure to follow him on the fascinating inspiring and often horrifying journey that is Big History Leading up to my graduation as a history student I felt disappointed I felt the need for something to tie history together some sort of message or understanding or anything to connect the many histories together Dr Christian's Big History fulfilled my desire and opened a new door to historical and scientific understanding From the beginning to the present isn't that what history really is? The typical American historical education teaches a tribal like history and the false notion that over time everything improves People war people suffer innovation happens things get better war again and so forth Meanwhile Big History highlights huge facts our institutions missed the 2 billion years it took for single cells to transition to multi celled organisms the high standard of living in pre agrarian societies the peasant lifestyle that 90% of humans endured for thousands of years until the modern revolution the monopolization of violence by States and plenty Often times dense I found myself reviewing lectures freuently It is also disappointing at first when some topics are skipped dinosaurs global wars et cetera This is however justified; there's just so much to cover especially in the beginning There is a huge sense of reward in the newly granted perspective you will find in the Big Bang life on Earth and so forthI could go on forever about the merits of Dr Christian's Big History Do yourself a favor and get started


  5. Bob Nichols Bob Nichols says:

    Big History Christian says starts with the beginning of cosmic time Christian breaks this history into eight thresholds from the creation of the universe to the formation of complex objects such as stars and planets to the creation of life and our species to the advent of agriculture and the modern era Big History ties these threshold periods together Each lays the foundation for the next At its core the cosmos is driven by differentials of energy Our Big Bang cosmic origin high energy state still dissipates energy today as the cosmos continues to expand Yet pockets of complexity exist within dissipated space forming galaxies stars and planetary bodies through gravitational collections of matter Galaxies and stars form and collapse seeding the universe with chemicals that form the stuff of life Live evolves on earth Hominids and then humans appear Because of their brains humans are able to corral cosmic energy and use it for their purposes In this way humans emerge as exceptions to the universal tendency to move from a high energy state to lower energy states Human history is a progressive concentration of energy as humans move from hunter gathers to agriculture and from agriculture to the modern era In the modern era post 1700 what Christian calls the four world zones Africa Eurasia Australasia Pacific Islands and the Americas that were isolated from each other for most of our history become part of a global wide network It is here that what Christian calls collective learning takes off The modern era is a sea change in terms of scale and speed of technological development and transformation of our environmentIn these lengthy lectures Christian mentions a few points that warrant highlighting We shy away from Big History because we have evolved for biological scales We are not designed for the large scales of cosmic space and time Christian perhaps does not stress enough the role of emergent properties in Big History where features are not present in the components but appear only when assembled in specific ways eg hydrogen and oxygen combine to make water He says that energy and matter are different forms of the same underlying stuff This interestingly suggests that something underlies energy and matter While it might be tempting to see a pre ordained trend to this history that is not part of Christian's thesis The earth's orbit is just the right distance from our sun to support the development of an atmosphere and life Had the asteroid that eliminated the dinosaurs 65 70 million years ago passed the earth a few minutes earlier mammals may have remained stuck in their burrows or on tree limbs and with that human evolution may not have occurred Chance events made us who we are today and human history makes sense only when set within the larger context of Big History Seen from the human perspective our evolution has followed a path toward greater complexity the concentration and control over the earth's energy This is Christan's focus as he traces the evolution of collective learning that places humans in their special place in this corner of the universe As he traces this development his lectures become increasingly a conventional history particularly regarding the advent of the modern era post 1700 except that he does discuss our history within the broader ecological context population cycles and ecological overreach While Christian discusses how humans have transformed themselves and their environment he does not indicate those features that have remained constant throughout the development of life Collective learning serves the species and life urge to survive and the use of power control over energy to achieve those objectives Collective learning is not random or arbitrary but rests on this biological core While Christian seems hopeful whether our minds have the power to check these fundamental biological urges for the good of humankind is a uestion In any event we know that our exception to the general cosmic tendency toward the dissipation of energy comes to an end individually through death and collectively as with all life when the sun our star dies A interesting uestion that Christian does not address is whether there is a tie between energy differentials seen in the cosmos and the power differentials seen in human relationships and thus our essential continuity rather than our exception with all of Big History These lectures are rated highly because of the concept of Big History and how it forces us to look at human history from a much broader context that has direct relevance to who we are Christian is also author of Maps of Time An Introduction to Big History


  6. David Readmont-Walker David Readmont-Walker says:

    Strongly recommended Outstanding overview ofeverything


  7. Anthony Meaney Anthony Meaney says:

    Everyone should listen to this course There's a reason Bill Gates raves about it and is trying to get it taught in schools everywhere It's that good Trust me


  8. Kristi Richardson Kristi Richardson says:

    To understand ourselves says Professor Christian we need to know the very large story the largest story of all48 lectures | 30 minutes each1 What Is Big History?2 Moving across Multiple Scales3 Simplicity and Complexity4 Evidence and the Nature of Science5 Threshold 1—Origins of Big Bang Cosmology6 How Did Everything Begin?7 Threshold 2—The First Stars and Galaxies8 Threshold 3—Making Chemical Elements9 Threshold 4—The Earth and the Solar System10 The Early Earth—A Short History11 Plate Tectonics and the Earth's Geography12 Threshold 5—Life13 Darwin and Natural Selection14 The Evidence for Natural Selection15 The Origins of Life16 Life on Earth—Single celled Organisms17 Life on Earth—Multi celled Organisms18 Hominines19 Evidence on Hominine Evolution20 Threshold 6—What Makes Humans Different?21 Homo sapiens—The First Humans22 Paleolithic Lifeways23 Change in the Paleolithic Era24 Threshold 7—Agriculture25 The Origins of Agriculture26 The First Agrarian Societies27 Power and Its Origins28 Early Power Structures29 From Villages to Cities30 Sumer—The First Agrarian Civilization31 Agrarian Civilizations in Other Regions32 The World That Agrarian Civilizations Made33 Long Trends—Expansion and State Power34 Long Trends—Rates of Innovation35 Long Trends—Disease and Malthusian Cycles36 Comparing the World Zones37 The Americas in the Later Agrarian Era38 Threshold 8—The Modern Revolution39 The Medieval Malthusian Cycle 500–135040 The Early Modern Cycle 1350–170041 Breakthrough—The Industrial Revolution42 Spread of the Industrial Revolution to 190043 The 20th Century44 The World That the Modern Revolution Made45 Human History and the Biosphere46 The Next 100 Years47 The Next Millennium and the Remote Future48 Big History—Humans in the CosmosThis was such an all compassing history of the world combining history science physics biology and statistics into a huge epic of how we got to where we are now and where are we going from here Professor Christian taught at San Diego State University and now in Sydney Australia He is clear and concise on his explanations and there is so much to cover in this course that I know I will have to listen to it repeatedly I thoroughly enjoyed the big picture of the science of the creation of the universe and the beginnings of man in such a short time There were many uestions that were answered and many uestions that we need to study We have so much to learn about where we came from and where we are going I highly recommend this lecture series I certainly learned from it


  9. Nilesh Nilesh says:

    I wish we give this subject big history a different moniker and make it compulsory for any undergrads of any disciplineDr Christian's approach to understanding where how and why we are today is comprehensive thorough and uniue Most studies on various aspects of our astronomical physical chemical biological archeological sociological geographic or politicaleconomic life tend to miss the big philosophical and historical perspective by being too narrow in their subject focus The author traverses 137bn years of the universal existence until today from the humanity's viewpoint It is a journey through all the above subject matters in a continuous fashion without ever losing the big existential thread Effectively the author builds the causalhistoric chain of thingsprincipleshistoric developments that otherwise we would learn in different fields without a holistic connection or relevance to where we are nowWhat is ventured is highly ambitious and the execution is simply superb Over the next few decades this subject will likely evolve rapidly As Dr Christian himself points out what will be told in Big History will change not only with new facts and studies but also due to the differing interpretations of its exponents For example Dr Yuval Noah Harari of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem offers a course on Coursera on the same subject without calling it Big History His history of mankind is far lighter on the Big Bang up to the solar system evolution and focuses on the last 250million years His reading of the big trends are vastly different from the ones in this book However each such course or book when presented well and with good insights should prove as one of the best learning experiences for any readerThe only real surprise is why the Big History lectures are far bigger success than they are The lectures are amazingly lucid and told in a highly engaging manner The style is like that of a popular non fiction book than academic The tales are relevant and interesting And there is enough humour The author never drags Perhaps the packaging is too non commercial and this is an injustice to anyone who misses out on such an important book as a result


  10. Ljjr Ljjr says:

    This is a wonderful book Really if I could put 6 stars I definitely wouldThe only criticism I would make is that it came out around 2007 so some of the most recent science discoveries are not included but that's a really minor thing that doesn't impact the vast majority of the bookI'd recommend this book to anyone reallyNow I need to find a similar one updated with recent discoveries I can definitely see myself reading a book on Big History every year


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

10 thoughts on “Big History The Big Bang Life on Earth and the Rise of Humanity

  1. TS Chan TS Chan says:

    I knew about Prof David Christian and his Big History course through an article on recommended books by Bill Gates and it turned out to be a fascinating journey on a much larger magnitude than usual history courses From physics to chemistry to geology biology and human history within which there are also paleontology archaeology anthropology all these disciplines have one thing in common They are all based on evidence and proof which make them all scientific disciplines Big history is structured into 8 thresholds as follows Threshold 1 The Universe CosmologyThreshold 2 The First Stars AstronomyThreshold 3 The Chemical Elements ChemistryThreshold 4 The Earth and the Solar System GeologyThreshold 5 Life BiologyThreshold 6 The Paleolithic Era Human History Threshold 7 The Agrarian Era Human HistoryThreshold 8 The Modern Era Human HistoryWhat the above shows is the sheer scale particularly on a temporal basis on what big history aims to cover It is a remarkable effort in pulling together all these various specialised disciplines into a single narrative a unifying theme on the idea of increasing complexity This Great Course on Big History was published 10yrs ago but I do not think that it matters given the time scale we are dealing with A recent book was published titled Origin Story A Big History of Everything which will most likely take less time to read this Great Course is over 24hrs to listen to with each lecture clocking in around 30min From David Christian's Big History to Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything and Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens there is one common theme that resonated like a clarion throughout the long history of humankind And that is the devastating impact of human beings on the environment and the biosphere I can spend hours talking about this but instead I will just recommend that you read at least one of the books I've mentioned above

  2. Charlene Charlene says:

    This was an strange and interesting lecture series The professor stated up front that he would only deal with the basic aspects of the evolution of the cosmos and was true to his word because this series reuires no prereuisite knowledge; and yet he highlighted Eric Chaisson's work which is not at all basic That made me laugh a bit He certainly packaged Chaisson's arguments into very simple digestible terms it took me a while to get through Chaisson's books and articles it was just curious that he used Chaisson's work at all Some highlights The formation of stars and their galaxies will surely impart the lesson of structure is function Stars are huge and can therefore produce a lot of heat because they have gravity to help pull elements in and smash those elements together creating heat The earth is not as big as the sun and so therefore could never have nuclear fusion occurring in its core because as hot as our core is it can never be as hot as the core of the massive sun Jupiter on the other hand is much larger and could have a much hotter core I cannot remember if he talked about Brown Dwarfs at that point If not you should look that up because they are my favorite They are too little to be a a star and too big to be a planet Solar system formation depended on the original nebula that made our sun He detailed the standard theory of how the sun blew our the elements that made all the planets If you want a better explanation of this I suggest reading Exoplanets by Michael Summers and James Trefil who provide the most up to date evidence for solar system and planetary formation Really beautiful explanation of not only the origins of life but how single cells cooperate but are not multi celled organisms some sponges look like multi celled organisms but they are actually a bunch of single celled organisms who group together as well as the evolution of eukaryotic cells and complex life He is very passionate about all of this and makes the lectures that much enjoyable Even better was his discussion of energy capture how organisms capture energy from the sun I was a little put off by some points made in the energy discussion He fell prey to the humans are special argument that I think many people take too far but it was not really a strong argument so it was tolerable Energy capture naturally led to a discussion of agriculture and takes you on a really nice journey of the very first societies and follows societies of humans as they became and complex I listened to this section than once and learned a lot He thoughtfully tried to understand how gender disparities arose in these societies But even enjoyable was his discussion of how humans were forced into small areas because of how wet or dry the soil around them might have been and if the local village or town had set up a water irrigation system this was a fantastic discussion probably my favorite in the series because I had the least amount of knowledge in this area He included a really nice and basic primer on Adam Smith and specialization and the spread of competitive markets I recommend this even for people who already know all of this It was a great experience to think about the development of 138 billion years as a fluid motion

  3. Gary Beauregard Bottomley Gary Beauregard Bottomley says:

    This is the perfect reference guide for the transcendental non material Artificial Intelligent machines of the future who want an apple pie since as Carl Sagan said If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch you must first invent the universe All the steps necessary for making an apple pie are included in this lectureThis lecture is a really profitable way of looking at history He uses certain themes to tie all of history together Most of our way of thinking about our place in the universe has started with thinking that the way things are today is the way things have always been Even Einstein accepted the static universe at one time the originator of the continental drift was laughed at up till the 1960s evolution today is denied by a large significant number of people and so onAll of history can be tied together by many themes there's a Recursive nature to processes once an algorithm has been developed it can act on itself and give complexity and create things such as stars solar systems and mufti cellular life From complexity we can get Emergent properties characteristics that are part of the whole but could not be predicted from the parts Think of the neurons in our brain They give us consciousness So one can say the sum of the parts is greater than the whole since consciousness transcends individual neurons The other theme is Entropy useful energy only arises when there are differences within a system When everything is the same no exploitation is possible This is true in the universe as the whole and true in the development of civilization or in capitalism The Networking of complex systems make for better galaxies and better civilization Our true strength as the most complex entities in the universe is our ability to Network and our advancements are based on developing ever better ways of communicating from the invention of symbolic communication talking through farming living in cities and the development of the internet for sharing pictures of our cats The lecture does a marvelous job at tying all the pieces of making an apple pie or properly developing a great service like Audible into a coherent whole The lecture listens like a book than a series of independent lectures since the lecturer never forgets his central narrativesMost of the audible books and Great Courses I listen to have covered the same topics as this lecture but did so in much depth So therefore most of this lecture seemed to be a review for me I didn't mind that because I need to hear the same thing presented in three different ways before I can fully understand it and with that warning that this course could be mostly review for most people I can still highly recommend this course since he has such a good way of tying all the pieces together

  4. John John says:

    Highly recommendedBig History is a photographic mosaic of everything We typically study physics geology anthropology history and economics separately; however Dr David Christian takes a giant step back so we can see the larger details Dr Christian is a charming lecturer and it is a pleasure to follow him on the fascinating inspiring and often horrifying journey that is Big History Leading up to my graduation as a history student I felt disappointed I felt the need for something to tie history together some sort of message or understanding or anything to connect the many histories together Dr Christian's Big History fulfilled my desire and opened a new door to historical and scientific understanding From the beginning to the present isn't that what history really is? The typical American historical education teaches a tribal like history and the false notion that over time everything improves People war people suffer innovation happens things get better war again and so forth Meanwhile Big History highlights huge facts our institutions missed the 2 billion years it took for single cells to transition to multi celled organisms the high standard of living in pre agrarian societies the peasant lifestyle that 90% of humans endured for thousands of years until the modern revolution the monopolization of violence by States and plenty Often times dense I found myself reviewing lectures freuently It is also disappointing at first when some topics are skipped dinosaurs global wars et cetera This is however justified; there's just so much to cover especially in the beginning There is a huge sense of reward in the newly granted perspective you will find in the Big Bang life on Earth and so forthI could go on forever about the merits of Dr Christian's Big History Do yourself a favor and get started

  5. Bob Nichols Bob Nichols says:

    Big History Christian says starts with the beginning of cosmic time Christian breaks this history into eight thresholds from the creation of the universe to the formation of complex objects such as stars and planets to the creation of life and our species to the advent of agriculture and the modern era Big History ties these threshold periods together Each lays the foundation for the next At its core the cosmos is driven by differentials of energy Our Big Bang cosmic origin high energy state still dissipates energy today as the cosmos continues to expand Yet pockets of complexity exist within dissipated space forming galaxies stars and planetary bodies through gravitational collections of matter Galaxies and stars form and collapse seeding the universe with chemicals that form the stuff of life Live evolves on earth Hominids and then humans appear Because of their brains humans are able to corral cosmic energy and use it for their purposes In this way humans emerge as exceptions to the universal tendency to move from a high energy state to lower energy states Human history is a progressive concentration of energy as humans move from hunter gathers to agriculture and from agriculture to the modern era In the modern era post 1700 what Christian calls the four world zones Africa Eurasia Australasia Pacific Islands and the Americas that were isolated from each other for most of our history become part of a global wide network It is here that what Christian calls collective learning takes off The modern era is a sea change in terms of scale and speed of technological development and transformation of our environmentIn these lengthy lectures Christian mentions a few points that warrant highlighting We shy away from Big History because we have evolved for biological scales We are not designed for the large scales of cosmic space and time Christian perhaps does not stress enough the role of emergent properties in Big History where features are not present in the components but appear only when assembled in specific ways eg hydrogen and oxygen combine to make water He says that energy and matter are different forms of the same underlying stuff This interestingly suggests that something underlies energy and matter While it might be tempting to see a pre ordained trend to this history that is not part of Christian's thesis The earth's orbit is just the right distance from our sun to support the development of an atmosphere and life Had the asteroid that eliminated the dinosaurs 65 70 million years ago passed the earth a few minutes earlier mammals may have remained stuck in their burrows or on tree limbs and with that human evolution may not have occurred Chance events made us who we are today and human history makes sense only when set within the larger context of Big History Seen from the human perspective our evolution has followed a path toward greater complexity the concentration and control over the earth's energy This is Christan's focus as he traces the evolution of collective learning that places humans in their special place in this corner of the universe As he traces this development his lectures become increasingly a conventional history particularly regarding the advent of the modern era post 1700 except that he does discuss our history within the broader ecological context population cycles and ecological overreach While Christian discusses how humans have transformed themselves and their environment he does not indicate those features that have remained constant throughout the development of life Collective learning serves the species and life urge to survive and the use of power control over energy to achieve those objectives Collective learning is not random or arbitrary but rests on this biological core While Christian seems hopeful whether our minds have the power to check these fundamental biological urges for the good of humankind is a uestion In any event we know that our exception to the general cosmic tendency toward the dissipation of energy comes to an end individually through death and collectively as with all life when the sun our star dies A interesting uestion that Christian does not address is whether there is a tie between energy differentials seen in the cosmos and the power differentials seen in human relationships and thus our essential continuity rather than our exception with all of Big History These lectures are rated highly because of the concept of Big History and how it forces us to look at human history from a much broader context that has direct relevance to who we are Christian is also author of Maps of Time An Introduction to Big History

  6. David Readmont-Walker David Readmont-Walker says:

    Strongly recommended Outstanding overview ofeverything

  7. Anthony Meaney Anthony Meaney says:

    Everyone should listen to this course There's a reason Bill Gates raves about it and is trying to get it taught in schools everywhere It's that good Trust me

  8. Kristi Richardson Kristi Richardson says:

    To understand ourselves says Professor Christian we need to know the very large story the largest story of all48 lectures | 30 minutes each1 What Is Big History?2 Moving across Multiple Scales3 Simplicity and Complexity4 Evidence and the Nature of Science5 Threshold 1—Origins of Big Bang Cosmology6 How Did Everything Begin?7 Threshold 2—The First Stars and Galaxies8 Threshold 3—Making Chemical Elements9 Threshold 4—The Earth and the Solar System10 The Early Earth—A Short History11 Plate Tectonics and the Earth's Geography12 Threshold 5—Life13 Darwin and Natural Selection14 The Evidence for Natural Selection15 The Origins of Life16 Life on Earth—Single celled Organisms17 Life on Earth—Multi celled Organisms18 Hominines19 Evidence on Hominine Evolution20 Threshold 6—What Makes Humans Different?21 Homo sapiens—The First Humans22 Paleolithic Lifeways23 Change in the Paleolithic Era24 Threshold 7—Agriculture25 The Origins of Agriculture26 The First Agrarian Societies27 Power and Its Origins28 Early Power Structures29 From Villages to Cities30 Sumer—The First Agrarian Civilization31 Agrarian Civilizations in Other Regions32 The World That Agrarian Civilizations Made33 Long Trends—Expansion and State Power34 Long Trends—Rates of Innovation35 Long Trends—Disease and Malthusian Cycles36 Comparing the World Zones37 The Americas in the Later Agrarian Era38 Threshold 8—The Modern Revolution39 The Medieval Malthusian Cycle 500–135040 The Early Modern Cycle 1350–170041 Breakthrough—The Industrial Revolution42 Spread of the Industrial Revolution to 190043 The 20th Century44 The World That the Modern Revolution Made45 Human History and the Biosphere46 The Next 100 Years47 The Next Millennium and the Remote Future48 Big History—Humans in the CosmosThis was such an all compassing history of the world combining history science physics biology and statistics into a huge epic of how we got to where we are now and where are we going from here Professor Christian taught at San Diego State University and now in Sydney Australia He is clear and concise on his explanations and there is so much to cover in this course that I know I will have to listen to it repeatedly I thoroughly enjoyed the big picture of the science of the creation of the universe and the beginnings of man in such a short time There were many uestions that were answered and many uestions that we need to study We have so much to learn about where we came from and where we are going I highly recommend this lecture series I certainly learned from it

  9. Nilesh Nilesh says:

    I wish we give this subject big history a different moniker and make it compulsory for any undergrads of any disciplineDr Christian's approach to understanding where how and why we are today is comprehensive thorough and uniue Most studies on various aspects of our astronomical physical chemical biological archeological sociological geographic or politicaleconomic life tend to miss the big philosophical and historical perspective by being too narrow in their subject focus The author traverses 137bn years of the universal existence until today from the humanity's viewpoint It is a journey through all the above subject matters in a continuous fashion without ever losing the big existential thread Effectively the author builds the causalhistoric chain of thingsprincipleshistoric developments that otherwise we would learn in different fields without a holistic connection or relevance to where we are nowWhat is ventured is highly ambitious and the execution is simply superb Over the next few decades this subject will likely evolve rapidly As Dr Christian himself points out what will be told in Big History will change not only with new facts and studies but also due to the differing interpretations of its exponents For example Dr Yuval Noah Harari of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem offers a course on Coursera on the same subject without calling it Big History His history of mankind is far lighter on the Big Bang up to the solar system evolution and focuses on the last 250million years His reading of the big trends are vastly different from the ones in this book However each such course or book when presented well and with good insights should prove as one of the best learning experiences for any readerThe only real surprise is why the Big History lectures are far bigger success than they are The lectures are amazingly lucid and told in a highly engaging manner The style is like that of a popular non fiction book than academic The tales are relevant and interesting And there is enough humour The author never drags Perhaps the packaging is too non commercial and this is an injustice to anyone who misses out on such an important book as a result

  10. Ljjr Ljjr says:

    This is a wonderful book Really if I could put 6 stars I definitely wouldThe only criticism I would make is that it came out around 2007 so some of the most recent science discoveries are not included but that's a really minor thing that doesn't impact the vast majority of the bookI'd recommend this book to anyone reallyNow I need to find a similar one updated with recent discoveries I can definitely see myself reading a book on Big History every year

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *