“FROM THE BIG BANG TO THE WORLD WIDE WEB™”
|“FROM THE BIG BANG
WORLD WIDE WEB™:
The Origins of Everything”orThe top 100 events you need to know about
the universe, the earth, life, and the human species!Kathy Schick, Ph.D. and Nicholas Toth, Ph.D.Co-Directors,
STONE AGE INSTITUTE®
www.stoneageinstitute.organdProfessors, Anthropology Department
and Cognitive Science Program
Indiana University, Bloomington
Did you ever wonder where you came from, and why? Join us here on an adventure that explores your origins!
This web site, “From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web™: The Origins of Everything,” has been designed to introduce people to their ultimate origins and ancestry. This project explores the top 100 events in the evolution of the universe, the earth, life, and the human species. The term “Big History” is sometimes used to describe such an approach to our evolutionary origins.
We have organized the events over this vast period of time, 13.7 billion years, into ten nested Time Scales, each Scale diminishing by a power of ten. Thus, the first Time Scale covers from the Big Bang event 10+ billion years ago to 1 billion years ago, the second Time Scale from 1 billion to 100 million years ago, the third from 100 million to 10 million years ago, and so on. The tenth Time Scale deals with the last ten years. We have selected ten major events within each Time Scale, essentially creating ten “Top Ten Lists.”
The project considers such topics as the Big Bang and the origins of the universe, the origins of the solar system and the earth, the origins of life, the evolution of more complex life, the extinction of the dinosaurs and rise of mammals, human evolution, the rise of farming and urban communities, and more recent human technological and cultural developments through time.
We are scientists and university professors who study human origins and the evolution of human technology (see www.stoneageinstitute.org). We have spent several years developing this concept in consultation with specialists in the field of physics, astronomy, geology, biology, palaeontology, anthropology, and history, as well as experts in science education and museum studies. We have also developed and taught a course on this large evolutionary story at Indiana University, and have greatly benefited from the feedback of our students in the development of this project.
We appreciate your feedback and suggestions on how to make this an even better resource in the future. We plan to revise this web site on a regular basis as new discoveries change our understanding of the details of our evolutionary journey. We thank you for visiting our web site and for your feedback.
Cheers, and have a pleasant journey!
Kathy Schick, Ph.D. and Nicholas Toth, Ph.D.
TO HELP YOU EXPLORE FURTHER (THERE’S SO MUCH TO KNOW!):
BOOKS ON BIG HISTORY/BIG SCIENCE
Brown, Cynthia Stokes. Big History: From the Big Bang to the Present. New York: The New Press. 2007.
Bryson, Bill. A Short History of Nearly Everything. New York: Broadway Books. 2003.
Chaisson, Eric. Epic of Evolution: Seven Ages of the Cosmos. New York: Columbia University Press. 2005.
Christian, David. Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2004.
Lloyd, Christopher. What on Earth Happened? The Complete Story of the Planet, Life, and People from the Big Bang to the Present Day. London: Bloomsbury. 2008.
Morowitz, Harold J. The Emergence of Everything: How the World Became Complex. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2002.
Big History: The Big Bang, Life on Earth, and the Rise of Humanity. The Teaching Company: The Great Courses. (48 half-hour presentations by David Christian). 2008.
WEB SITE TO EXPLORE FURTHER THE CHRONOLOGY OF THE UNIVERSE
A “zoomable” timeline for Big History, which allows you to explore the chronology of entire span of time, starting with the Big Bang, through prehistoric and historic happenings, and up to the present. It has been developed as a collaborative project between the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, spearheaded by Dr. Walter Alvarez, and Microsoft Corporation.