A MOST IMPROBABLE JOURNEY A BIG HISTORY OF OUR PLANET AND OURSELVES

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A Most Improbable Journey

Author : Walter Alvarez
ISBN : 039329269X
Genre : Civilization
File Size : 54.76 MB
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"Famed geologist Walter Alvarez expands our view of human history by revealing the cosmic, geologic, and evolutionary forces that have shaped us. Big History, the field that studies the entire known past of our universe to give context to human existence, has so far been the domain of historians. In The Little Book of Big History, geologist Walter Alvarez--best known for his 'Impact Theory' explaining dinosaur extinction--makes a compelling case for a new, science-first approach to Big History. He brings a scientist's view to the human story, from the creation of our universe and our planet, the rise of life, the movement of our continents and its effect on human migration, to humanity's ascendance due to our mastery of Earth's natural resources"--Provided by publisher.
Category: Civilization

A Most Improbable Journey

Author : Walter Alvarez
ISBN : 0393355195
Genre : History
File Size : 81.38 MB
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One in a million doesn't even come close. Not when we're talking about the odds that you would happen to be alive today, on this particular planet, hurtling through space. Almost fourteen billion years of cosmic history, over four billion years of Earth history, a couple million years of human history, the rise and fall of nations, the unbroken string of generations necessary to lead to you--it's staggering to consider. Yet behind everything in our world, from the phone in your pocket to even the force of gravity itself, lies a similarly grand procession of highly improbable events. This panoramic viewpoint has captured the imagination of historians and scientists alike, and together they've created a new field--Big History--that integrates traditional historical scholarship with scientific insights to study the full sweep of our universe and its past. Walter Alvarez brings his unique expertise and infectious curiosity to give us a new appreciation for the incredible occurrences--from the Big Bang to the formation of supercontinents, the dawn of the Bronze Age, and beyond--that have led to our improbable place in the universe. 35 illustrations
Category: History

A Most Improbable Journey A Big History Of Our Planet And Ourselves

Author : Walter Alvarez
ISBN : 9780393292701
Genre : Science
File Size : 24.69 MB
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“A thrilling synthesis from a brilliant scientist who discovered one of the most important chapters in our history.” —Sean B. Carroll Big History, the field that integrates traditional historical scholarship with scientific insights to study the full sweep of our universe, has so far been the domain of historians. Famed geologist Walter Alvarez—best known for the “Impact Theory” explaining dinosaur extinction—has instead championed a science-first approach to Big History. Here he wields his unique expertise to give us a new appreciation for the incredible occurrences—from the Big Bang to the formation of supercontinents, the dawn of the Bronze Age, and beyond—that have led to our improbable place in the universe.
Category: Science

T Rex And The Crater Of Doom

Author : Walter Alvarez
ISBN : 9781400847402
Genre : Science
File Size : 64.77 MB
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Sixty-five million years ago, a comet or asteroid larger than Mount Everest slammed into the Earth, inducing an explosion equivalent to the detonation of a hundred million hydrogen bombs. Vaporized detritus blasted through the atmosphere upon impact, falling back to Earth around the globe. Disastrous environmental consequences ensued: a giant tsunami, continent-scale wildfires, darkness, and cold, followed by sweltering greenhouse heat. When conditions returned to normal, half the plant and animal genera on Earth had perished. This horrific chain of events is now widely accepted as the solution to a great scientific mystery: what caused the extinction of the dinosaurs? Walter Alvarez, one of the Berkeley scientists who discovered evidence of the impact, tells the story behind the development of the initially controversial theory. It is a saga of high adventure in remote locations, of arduous data collection and intellectual struggle, of long periods of frustration ended by sudden breakthroughs, of friendships made and lost, and of the exhilaration of discovery that forever altered our understanding of Earth's geological history.
Category: Science

The Little Book Of Big History

Author : Ian Crofton
ISBN : 9781782434306
Genre : History
File Size : 84.80 MB
Format : PDF
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From the Big Bang to the future of our planet, The Little Book of Big History divides history into manageable but comprehensive time frames, encompassing the cosmos, the stars, life and everything in between. Big History is the attempt to understand and condense the entire story of the cosmos, from the Big Bang to the current day. Combining methods from history, astronomy, physics and biology to draw together the big story arcs of how the universe was created, why planets formed and how life developed, this creates a unique perspective from which to understand the place of mankind in the universe. Excited by the alternative 'framework for all knowledge' that is offered by this approach, Bill Gates is funding the Big History Project, which aims to bring the subject to a wider audience around the world. The Little Book of Big History breaks down the main themes of Big History into highly informative and accessible parts for all readers to enjoy. By giving a truly complete timeline of world events, this book shines a whole different light on history as we learned it and makes us think of our history - and our future - in a very different way.
Category: History

Maps Of Time

Author : David Christian
ISBN : 9780520950672
Genre : History
File Size : 41.83 MB
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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. 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. Cosmology, geology, archeology, and population and environmental studies—all figure in David Christian's account, which is an ambitious overview of the emerging field of "Big History." Maps of Time opens with the origins of the universe, the stars and the galaxies, the sun and the solar system, including the earth, and conducts readers through the evolution of the planet before human habitation. It surveys the development of human society from the Paleolithic era through the transition to agriculture, the emergence of cities and states, and the birth of the modern, industrial period right up to intimations of possible futures. Sweeping in scope, finely focused in its minute detail, this riveting account of the known world, from the inception of space-time to the prospects of global warming, lays the groundwork for world history—and Big History—true as never before to its name.
Category: History

Into The Archive

Author : Kathryn Burns
ISBN : 9780822393450
Genre : History
File Size : 76.41 MB
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Writing has long been linked to power. For early modern people on both sides of the Atlantic, writing was also the province of notaries, men trained to cast other people’s words in official forms and make them legally true. Thus the first thing Columbus did on American shores in October 1492 was have a notary record his claim of territorial possession. It was the written, notarial word—backed by all the power of Castilian enforcement—that first constituted Spanish American empire. Even so, the Spaniards who invaded America in 1492 were not fond of their notaries, who had a dismal reputation for falsehood and greed. Yet Spaniards could not do without these men. Contemporary scholars also rely on the vast paper trail left by notaries to make sense of the Latin American past. How then to approach the question of notarial truth? Kathryn Burns argues that the archive itself must be historicized. Using the case of colonial Cuzco, she examines the practices that shaped document-making. Notaries were businessmen, selling clients a product that conformed to local “custom” as well as Spanish templates. Clients, for their part, were knowledgeable consumers, with strategies of their own for getting what they wanted. In this inside story of the early modern archive, Burns offers a wealth of possibilities for seeing sources in fresh perspective.
Category: History

Visualizing Earth History

Author : Loren E. Babcock
ISBN : 9780471724902
Genre : Science
File Size : 88.30 MB
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Presenting a new vision in the field, this compelling book explores Earth's history as a series of interrelated processes that continue to have significant outcomes for humans and other living things. It captures the excitement of historical geology by utilizing active, visually rich learning methods. Readers will gain a strong understanding of the fundamental concepts used in the interpretation of Earth's physical, chemical, and biological evolution over the last 4.5 billion years. They'll also discover how to interpret the interaction of living creatures with their environments through time by following the book's innovative framework.
Category: Science