Big History

Big History is an emerging academic discipline which examines history from the Big Bang to the present. It examines long time frames using a multidisciplinary approach based on combining numerous disciplines from science and the humanities,[1][2][3][4][5] and explores human existence in the context of this bigger picture.[6] It integrates studies of the cosmos, Earth, life and humanity using empirical evidence to explore cause-and-effect relations... the 20-year-old discipline[13] appears to be poised for further growth, including an effort to make the discipline available worldwide via a project from philanthropist Bill Gates and David Christian called the Big HistoryProject.

The Big History Project is about adjusting the Big History course to be taught at scale (global, not just US) in High School.

Sept'2014 profile. “Big History” did not confine itself to any particular topic, or even to a single academic discipline. Instead, it put forward a synthesis of history, biology, chemistry, astronomy and other disparate fields, which Christian wove together into nothing less than a unifying narrative of life on earth. Standing inside a small “Mr. Rogers"-style set, flanked by an imitation ivy-covered brick wall, Christian explained to the camera that he was influenced by the Annales School, a group of early-20th-century French historians who insisted that history be explored on multiple scales of time and space. Christian had subsequently divided the history of the world into eight separate “thresholds” (Macro Timeline), beginning with the Big Bang, 13 billion years ago (Threshold 1), moving through to the origin of HomoSapiens (Threshold 6), the appearance of Agriculture (Threshold 7) and, finally, the forces that gave birth to our modern world (Threshold 8)... In the World View of “Big History,” a discussion about the formation of stars cannot help including Einstein and the hydrogen bomb; a lesson on the rise of life will find its way to Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey. “I hope by the end of this course, you will also have a much better sense of the underlying unity of modern knowledge,” Christian said at the close of the first lecture. “There is a unified account.” (Intertwingularity)


David Christian


See History of Histories

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