The history of our world in 18 minutes

Backed by stunning illustrations, David Christian narrates a complete history of the universe, from the Big Bang to the Internet, in a riveting 18 minutes. This is "Big History": an enlightening, wide-angle look at complexity, life, and humanity, set against our slim share of the cosmic timeline.

A fine clear-sighted summary. I personally think that multicellular organisms could have been given greater weight. For two billion years life was stuck at a unicellular level before, apparently, mitochondria fell inside of archaea and the resultant symbiosis prospered. I think it's important too to consider what he said about collective learning being out of our control. Notice how influential large institutions are largely now a law unto themselves? The freedom of large corporations and intense global competition ensures that we will have no control over new AI, biotechnology, nanotechnology or quantum computing. Humans may only be a conduit for the Earth being able to send its material to other worlds before the Sun expands. This century looks like it will get harder as it goes.

Born: 30 June 1946 (age 71), Brooklyn, New York City,
EducationUniversity of Oxford
FieldsBig HistoryHistory of Russia

David Christian is an American historian and scholar of Russian history, who is notable for teaching and promoting the emerging discipline of Big History.  He began teaching the first course in 1989 which examined history from the Big Bang to the present using a multidisciplinary approach with assistance from scholars in diverse specializations from the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. The course frames human history in terms of cosmic, geological, and biological history. He is credited with coining the term Big History and he serves as president of the International Big History Association. Christian's best-selling Teaching Company course entitled Big History caught the attention of philanthropist Bill Gates who is personally funding Christian's efforts to develop a program to bring the course to high school students worldwide.

Awards and honors

·         2005: World History Association Book PrizeMaps of Time
·         2014: Distinguished Professor, Macquarie University.


·         Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History, 2005, California press
·         Bread and Salt: A Social and Economic History of Food and Drink in Russia, 1984, co-written with REF Smith
·         A History of Russia, Central Asia, and Mongolia, volume 1, 1998
·         Big History: Between Nothing and Everything, 1st edition, 2014, McGraw-Hill Education (co-written by Cynthia Stokes Brown and Craig Benjamin)

Thanks to Wikipedia: David Christian

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