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    Inhaltsangabe

    How is it possible for the disciplines of cosmology, geology, anthropology, biology, and history to fit together? These 48 lectures answer that question by weaving a single story from accounts of the past developed by a variety of scholarly disciplines. The result is a story stretching from the origins of the universe to the present day and beyond, in which human history is seen as part of the history of our Earth and biosphere, and the Earth's history, in turn, is seen as part of the history of the universe.

    Like traditional creation stories told by the world's great religions and mythologies, this lecture series provides a map of our place in space and time. But it does so using the insights and knowledge of modern science, as synthesized by a renowned historian. While you may have heard parts of this story before in courses on geology, history, anthropology, biology, cosmology, and other scholarly disciplines, Professor Christian provides more than just a recap of those disciplines. "Because of the scale on which we look at the past, you should not expect to find in it many of the familiar details, names, and personalities that you'll find in other types of historical teaching and writing," he explains. "For example, the French Revolution and the Renaissance will barely get a mention. They'll zoom past in a blur. You'll barely see them. Instead, what we're going to see are some less familiar aspects of the past. We'll be looking, above all, for the very large patterns, the shape of the past.

    "Prepare yourself for a journey through time and across space, from the first moments of existence to the distant reaches of the far future.

    PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

    ©2008 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2008 The Great Courses

    Das sagen andere Hörer zu Big History: The Big Bang, Life on Earth, and the Rise of Humanity

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    • Gesamt
      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars

    Interesting and complex

    Complex view of the history. Told really interesting and from a person with huge passion for history.

    1 Person fand das hilfreich

    • Gesamt
      3 out of 5 stars
    • Sprecher
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Geschichte
      3 out of 5 stars

    Promising concept but full of blunders

    A history starting with the big bang and not ending with the present: That promises a real intellectual adventure. And in this regard Professor Christian will not disappoint you. Additional to the usual synchrone narration he identifies several diachrone structures centered around the concepts of phase change, complexitity and energy flow. Unfortunately he blunders too often in the details. Just to give a couple of examples (I quote from the pdf) 1) Chapter 4) "Marie (1867–1934) and Pierre (1859–1906) Curie discovered radioactivity, and both eventually died of cancer caused by handling radioactive substances." Wrong: Radioactivity was discovered by Henri Becquerel and Piere Curie died in a traffic accident 2) Chapter 5) "Polish-born astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543) showed that some problems of the Ptolemaic system (including the “retrograde” motions of the planets...." Wrong: The epicycles of the Ptolemaic system could explain the retrograde motions and gave precise predictions for the positions of the planets. 3) Chapter 6) "Gravity appeared from the chaos, as did the “strong” and “electromagnetic” forces." Awfully inaccurate: Modern cosmology speaks of symmetry breaks and there is the weak force too. Speaking about dark matter: "Twenty-five percent may consist of matter in forms we cannot detect because they emit no radiation (such as cold, dead stars or planets) or because they are too small (such as the subatomic particles known as neutrinos)." Wrong and missing the point: Either dark matter consists of an until now unknown kind of stuff or Einsteins GTR must be modified. 4) Chapter 7) "Eventually, in a sudden phase change, the violence of these collisions overcame the positive electric charges between protons." Wrong wording: A phase change is a concise physical concept, the start of fusion in a star is not a phase change. 5) Chapter 14 About evolution and Darwin finches on the Galapagos islands: " For example, there seemed to be 14 distinct species of finches, each exquisitely adapted to one of the islands." Utter nonsense: The finches are adapted to their ecological niches, especially to their preferred food: Small or big, soft or hard semens, insects .... Only in the audio you find the claim that the earths magnetic field protects us from the suns ultraviolett radiation. So I wonder why there was no proof reading. I look forward to a second edition of this course.