This New York Times bestseller "elegantly weaves evidence and insights . . . into a single, accessible historical narrative" (Bill Gates) and presents a captivating history of the universe -- from the Big Bang to dinosaurs to mass globalization and beyond. Most historians study the smallest slivers of time, emphasizing specific dates, individuals, and documents. But what would it look like to study the whole of history, from the big bang through the present day -- and even into the remote future? How would looking at the full span of time change the way we perceive the universe, the earth, and our very existence? These were the questions David Christian set out to answer when he created the field of "Big History," the most exciting new approach to understanding where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. In Origin Story, Christian takes readers on a wild ride through the entire 13.8 billion years we've come to know as "history." By focusing on defining events (thresholds), major trends, and profound questions about our origins, Christian exposes the hidden threads that tie everything together -- from the creation of the planet to the advent of agriculture, nuclear war, and beyond. With stunning insights into the origin of the universe, the beginning of life, the emergence of humans, and what the future might bring, Origin Story boldly reframes our place in the cosmos.
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big history and the future of humanity “This remains the best single attempt to theorize big history as a discipline that can link core concepts and paradigms across all historical disciplines, from cosmology to geology, from biology to human history. With additional and updated material, the Second Edition also offers a fine introduction to the history of big history and a superb introductory survey to the big history story. Essential reading for anyone interested in a rapidly evolving new field of scholarship that links the sciences and the humanities into a modern, science-based origin story.” David Christian, Macquarie University “Notable for its theoretic approach, this new Second Edition is both an indispensable contribution to the emerging big history narrative and a powerful university textbook. Spier defines words carefully and recognizes the limits of current knowledge, aspects of his own clear thinking.” Cynthia Brown, Emerita, Dominican University of California Reflecting the latest theories in the sciences and humanities, this new edition of Big History and the Future of Humanity presents an accessible and original overview of the entire sweep of history from the origins of the universe and life on Earth up to the present day. Placing the relatively brief period of human history within a much broader framework – one that considers everything from vast galaxy clusters to the tiniest sub-atomic particles – big history is an innovative theoretical approach that opens up entirely new multidisciplinary research agendas. Noted historian Fred Spier reveals how a thorough examination of patterns of complexity can offer richer insights into what the future may have in store for humanity. The second edition includes new learning features, such as highlighted scientific concepts, an illustrative timeline and comprehensive glossary. By exploring the cumulative history from the Big Bang to the modern day, Big History and the Future of Humanity, Second Edition, sheds important historical light on where we have been – and offers a tantalizing glimpse of what lies ahead.
Understand how and why we got where we are today with Big History. From the formation of our universe to the present day, countless major events have changed the course of life on Earth. Big History brings together an incredible range of perspectives, using multiple disciplines including physics and sociology to bring us the story of 13.8 billion years of remarkable history. With a foreword by TED speaker Professor David Christian, Big History is a truly unique look at the history of the world. Aligned with the online Big History Project, supported by Bill Gates, Big History puts a wide-angle lens on history, and uses stunning visual timelines and special CGI reconstructions to show you history's greatest events like never before. Look back to our origins in the stars, and explore everything from the birth of the sun to modern technology, and what the future holds for humans. The perfect gift for everyone interested in every aspect of history, Big History presents the history of the world as you've never seen it.
This urgent and eye-opening book makes the case that protecting humanity's future is the central challenge of our time. If all goes well, human history is just beginning. Our species could survive for billions of years - enough time to end disease, poverty, and injustice, and to flourish in ways unimaginable today. But this vast future is at risk. With the advent of nuclear weapons, humanity entered a new age, where we face existential catastrophes - those from which we could never come back. Since then, these dangers have only multiplied, from climate change to engineered pathogens and artificial intelligence. If we do not act fast to reach a place of safety, it will soon be too late. Drawing on over a decade of research, The Precipice explores the cutting-edge science behind the risks we face. It puts them in the context of the greater story of humanity: showing how ending these risks is among the most pressing moral issues of our time. And it points the way forward, to the actions and strategies that can safeguard humanity. An Oxford philosopher committed to putting ideas into action, Toby Ord has advised the US National Intelligence Council, the UK Prime Minister's Office, and the World Bank on the biggest questions facing humanity. In The Precipice, he offers a startling reassessment of human history, the future we are failing to protect, and the steps we must take to ensure that our generation is not the last. "A book that seems made for the present moment." —New Yorker
Big History is a new field on a grand scale: it tells the story of the universe over time through a diverse range of disciplines that spans cosmology, physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, and archaeology, thereby reconciling traditional human history with environmental geography and natural history. Weaving the myriad threads of evidence-based human knowledge into a master narrative that stretches from the beginning of the universe to the present, the Big History framework helps students make sense of their studies in all disciplines by illuminating the structures that underlie the universe and the connections among them. Teaching Big History is a powerful analytic and pedagogical resource, and serves as a comprehensive guide for teaching Big History, as well for sharing ideas about the subject and planning a curriculum around it. Readers are also given helpful advice about the administrative and organizational challenges of instituting a general education program constructed around Big History. The book includes teaching materials, examples, and detailed sample exercises. This book is also an engaging first-hand account of how a group of professors built an entire Big History general education curriculum for first-year students, demonstrating how this thoughtful integration of disciplines exemplifies liberal education at its best and illustrating how teaching and learning this incredible story can be transformative for professors and students alike.
Big History: Between Nothing and Everything surveys the past not just of humanity, or even of planet Earth, but of the entire universe. In reading this book instructors and students will retrace a voyage that began 13.7 billion years ago with the Big Bang and the appearance of the universe. Big history incorporates findings from cosmology, earth and life sciences, and human history, and assembles them into a single, universal historical narrative of our universe and of our place within it.ËË The first edition of Big History: Between Nothing and Everything, is written by the pioneers of the field, and presents a framework for learning about anything and everything. It encourages students to think critically about our cumulative history and the future of the world through a variety of lenses.
The Routledge Companion to Big History guides readers though the variety of themes and concepts that structure contemporary scholarship in the field of big history. The volume is divided into five parts, each representing current and evolving areas of interest to the community, including big history’s relationship to science, social science, the humanities, and the future, as well as teaching big history and ‘little big histories’. Considering an ever-expanding range of theoretical, pedagogical and research topics, the book addresses such questions as what is the relationship between big history and scientific research, how are big historians working with philosophers and religious thinkers to help construct ‘meaning’, how are leading theoreticians making sense of big history and its relationship to other creation narratives and paradigms, what is ‘little big history’, and how does big history impact on thinking about the future? The book highlights the place of big history in historiographical traditions and the ways in which it can be used in education and public discourse across disciplines and at all levels. A timely collection with contributions from leading proponents in the field, it is the ideal guide for those wanting to engage with the theories and concepts behind big history.
From the Big Bang to the future of our planet, The Little Book of Big History divides history into manageable but comprehensive time frames, encompassing the cosmos, the stars, life and everything in between. Big History is the attempt to understand and condense the entire story of the cosmos, from the Big Bang to the current day. Combining methods from history, astronomy, physics and biology to draw together the big story arcs of how the universe was created, why planets formed and how life developed, this creates a unique perspective from which to understand the place of mankind in the universe. Excited by the alternative 'framework for all knowledge' that is offered by this approach, Bill Gates is funding the Big History Project, which aims to bring the subject to a wider audience around the world. The Little Book of Big History breaks down the main themes of Big History into highly informative and accessible parts for all readers to enjoy. By giving a truly complete timeline of world events, this book shines a whole different light on history as we learned it and makes us think of our history - and our future - in a very different way.
BIG BOOK OF HISTORY Learning Just Became BIG FUN! Families, schools, and churches can unfold 15 feet of the most interesting history of the world. This easy to follow, color-coded, multi-stream timeline teaches six thousand years of world history to children ages seven through thirteen. These exciting facts and so much more wait inside: who were the first emperors of China and Rome what discovery unlocked the secrets of a forgotten language how modern robotics had its roots in the tea dolls of Japan where Christians faced death for the entertainment of thousands why the languages of Greek and Hebrew were used to write the Bible and how the Age of Discovery meant wealth some, and the destruction of civilization for others. Understanding how the past has shaped our future will inspire young learners to make history for themselves!