Big History is a study of history from the very beginning that allows us to see the “big picture”
Big history uses many forms of science to bring to light the many different elements that play a role in history including: astronomy, biology, & geology. This gives us a macro view of the events that have taken place and allows us to see which elements played which part.
Big History starts from the “Big Bang” when scientists believe our earth was created to today.
The Journey of Man
Scientists believe that man spore from a single man approximately 60,000 years ago that lived in Africa. This conclusion was drawn from DNA studies. Spencer Wells, a geneticist, traveled the world looking for Y chromosomes.
Chromosomes mutate over time leaving clues about the history of man’s origination and migration patterns.
Wells also studied the pattern of migration amongst early humans which led to a better understanding of humans today. Why they live certain places and even the reason for their skin color.
The Journey Of Man Cont’d
The study of DNA samples collected shows that humans migrated from Africa through India and Australia.
Europe was not populated with human life till after the migration from Africa to India and Australia. It took humans another 10,000 years.
Although humans migrated from Africa, Wells explains that our skin became lighter and lighter because of migration into the Northern Hemisphere.
Studies show that humans migrated through Eurasia during the Ice Age.
Amongst genetic proof of migration, there is also geologic evidence to support these migration patters.
The Day The Universe Changed
James Burke presents a philosophical idea that the universe only exists the way you perceive it suggesting that different knowledge could change the world as you know it.
He visits the rationality of the Greeks throughout history. He explains how each person defended their version of truth and protected it with ritualism.
Egyptians discover geometry which led to painting architecture and mapping.
Burke suggests that throughout history new knowledge sparks questions that leads to advanced knowledge.
A documentary produced by journalist: David Keys
Catastrophes are events that change the course our lives
Keys studied environmental catastrophes with many other scientists such as: historians, climatologist, physicists, astronomers, and more.
Keys studied many different varieties of environmental catastrophes to understand how it shaped our world geographically as well as the roles that the catastrophes played amongst cultures.
Keys states that the melting of the ice caps can create climate changes, volcanic eruptions, and other disasters that would change the world as we know it.
Studies of tree rings suggest periods with no summers and long winters.
Guns, Germs & Steel
Written by Professor of Geography and Physiology
The Professor’s goal was to discover why there is so much inequality in the world and what caused it.
The Professor suggests that geology has a lot to do with the advance in societies versus other societies.
He studied the ability of humans to store food, livestock and weapons.
The Professor highlights the fact that societies unable to travel and isolated typically weren’t as advanced as other societies that could.
Guns, Germs & Steel Cont’d
Foreign travelers brought technology, disease and war which sometimes wiped out an entire community.
Animal domestication started around 9,000 years ago which helped people with farming, hunting and other crucial tasks of survival.
Farmers were more successful with the use of animals and new technology that assisted the with farming.
The World & Trade
Traveling introduced societies to new technology
Traveling led societies to trade – some items for trade were as currency. EX: Spices & Caffeine.