Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History (California World History Library)


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Table of Contents

Apart from that, they made films. It is essentially a series of pictures of two picnickers in a park, with the area of each frame one-tenth the size of the one before.

Taking a extremely broad perspective, both in time and in space, is in itself not a novelty in our discipline. Fernand Braudel was famous for it, and so is Emmanuel Wallerstein. How big can history get?

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It does not only cover the whole history of our planet, but the history of the universe is also included. It does not only cover the whole history of the universe, but also its future, until its unavoidable collapse.

Maps of Time

When you also include his story on the future of the universe until it is definitely extinct, it amounts to 10 to the 76th power years, supposing that I did my powers of ten correctly. Given the truly gigantic time span, one would expect that the book, despite its respectable size, cannot be more than extremely sketchy and superficial.

Surprisingly, this is not the case. While the subject matter dictates that this book has to transcend the boundaries of history proper, it is rich in detail, and a pleasure to read.

The author deserves our admiration, as he seems equally well read in such diverse disciplines as cosmology and chemistry Part 1, from the Big Bang until the formation of the planet Earth , evolutionary biology Part 2 and 3, the history of life on earth until the dawning of human civilization , prehistory and economic history Part 4 and 5, from the origins of agriculture until our modern world , futurology and again cosmology Part 6, perspectives on the future.

The book opens with quotes from Braudel, von Ranke, and … Omar Khayy? With this, the author creates immediately a serious problem of composition for himself, because how to tell a coherent story about Creation when the familiar main character, God, is conspicuous by His absence? In an oversimplified way, that does absolutely no justice to this remarkable book. Maps of Time tells the reader: A hydrogen molecule is a less complex structure than an amoeba, which, in its turn, is less complex than a human being.

ISBN 13: 9780520244764

Hydrogen molecules were already there, when there were no amoebae, and human beings came even later into existence than amoebae, while you would expect, according to the second law of thermodynamics, that the order of appearance should be exactly the other way round. Is the written historical record enough to explain the history of civilization? David Christian would argue that it isn't, Maps of Time is a condensed, single volume argument based on his introductory David Christian , William H. An introduction to a new way of looking at history, from a perspective that stretches from the beginning of time to the present day, Maps of Time is world history on an unprecedented scale.


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Beginning with the Big Bang, David Christian views the interaction of the natural world with the more recent arrivals in flora and fauna, including human beings.

Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History (California World History Library) Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History (California World History Library)
Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History (California World History Library) Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History (California World History Library)
Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History (California World History Library) Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History (California World History Library)
Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History (California World History Library) Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History (California World History Library)
Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History (California World History Library) Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History (California World History Library)
Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History (California World History Library) Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History (California World History Library)
Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History (California World History Library) Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History (California World History Library)
Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History (California World History Library) Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History (California World History Library)

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