Big History

"Big history" aims to knit our knowledge about the universe and life on Earth into an orderly context. It blends the social, natural and physical sciences, and looks for cause-and-effect relationships between evolutionary events. Big History, produced in association with the Big History Institute at Macquarie University in Australia, collects these ideas into a big book.

It identifies eight "thresholds" in the development of life as we know it, beginning with the Big Bang and moving through nearly 14 billion years to our modern industrial age. Each threshold is marked by its "Goldilocks conditions"--the particular, just-right combination of circumstances that set up the next evolutionary leap--as Big History explores it in words, maps, diagrams and photographs. The book features a 60-page "Timelines of World History" section in addition to topic-specific timelines on nearly every page. Although the material it covers becomes more specific and specialized as it moves closer to the current era, Big History is, quite literally, about the big picture. --Florinda Pendley Vasquez, blogger at The 3 R's Blog: Reading, 'Riting, and Randomness

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