Origin Story: A Big History of Everything
How did we get from the Big Bang to today's staggering complexity, in which seven billion humans are connected into networks powerful enough to transform the planet? And why, in comparison, are our closest primate relatives reduced to near-extinction?
Big History creator David Christian gives the answers in a mind-expanding cosmological detective story told on the grandest...more
Short history: This book focused a lot more on evolution of modern science and had some great stories about major inventions and…moreFrom my perspective:
Short history: This book focused a lot more on evolution of modern science and had some great stories about major inventions and discoveries over the last 250 years in great detail. I felt like the early cosmology aspects were given short shrift. Bryson can be engaging but also a bit tedious.
Sapiens: Focuses a lot more on the "why" of critical moments in humanity's evolution rather than just an overall narrative. Also, very heavy anthropological basis. Harari is brilliant and his analytical genius shines in this book and the ones thereafter
Origin: Does the best job of unifying various aspects of knowledge from cosmology to modern science to anthropology. I enjoyed the analysis of "threshold moments", right from the big bang, creation of stars, galaxies, planets, evolution of life, the breakneck evolution over the past 200 years and a little peek into potential futures. Christian's writing style is not the most interesting but boy, does his content make up for it!
Other books in the same category that I enjoyed were "Our Mathematical Universe" by Max Tegmark (takes a more numerical and data-analysis based approach, with precision cosmology) and "What a wonderful world" by Marcus Chown (very accessible to young adults as well + a wonderfully witty writing style) (less)
But what if all of humanity shared an origin story? What would that ...more
Excellent writing, about the only topic there is, really.
• Big (and some very small) science,
• Big history.
David Christian takes his big approach to life, the universe and everything to provide a very readable and interesting book.
Origin story will take the reader from billions of years ago up to the information age. He does this in two ways: the first using thresholds to define leaps and...well thresholds in space and evolution; second by accessible and engaging prose.
For me the big bang, and how that developed along with its universes, ...more
The first half of the book is a poor cousin of "Cosmos" or "A Short history of Nearly Everything". It deals with the origin of the universe to the origin of human beings. The book has more information than insights and ...more
Bacterias, baboons, rocks, oceans, auroras, meteors, planets, moons, stars, quarks, photons, supernovas, black holes, slugs, cell phones... — they are all part of the Enigmatic Whole — the infinite parts of Infinity, interacting and making History in a Cosmic Web where “a butterfly flaps its wings in Chicago and a tornado occurs in Tokyo.”
Everything is connected. Every tiny, atomic event has an implication in the Mysterious, Unified Whole
“I have written this ...more
Felt more of a concoction of already familiar works of some of the famous historians, scientists, biologists and anthropologists.
Was hoping for something more insightful...
First of all, I really enjoyed the dry humor and interesting observations of the author. He uses the term Goldilocks to refer to the just right evolutionary conditions planet Earth possessed which allowed life to develop. The following passage is typical of his engaging style, in which he ...more
I don't normally get as engaged with non-fiction books, ...more
This is science that everyone needs to understand. If you follow creationist theories, just skip over the bits on evolution. There is still some good information in here that won't go against your beliefs.
Now, in the early 21st century, we know far more about the origin of the universe, our sun, our planet, and life on Earth. We live in a society of unparalleled complexity, and in the last two hundred ...more
Through this story we come to terms with our chance existence, despite the law of entropy which predicts that disorder of a closed system should only increase. Each threshold – where something new emerges – requires more energy and ...more
The one star down is for a bit repetitive covering of industrial era.
Otherwise this should be a history book in school to understand the history of our planet.
Basically, this an in depth exploration of life from the big bang to current humans. At times, it took some careful re-reading of the physics portions of this book but really this book is immensely readable and I found so much of it incredibly fascinating. I think the most important idea to take away from this book is that it really is a miracle that we are here, living the life that we do, because it took a lot of extremely ideal conditions for us to get to this point. I received a ...more
Historians typically trace the beginning of human history to the time some 5,000 years ago when people started committing language to writing. After all, history as practiced in academia is the study of primary and secondary sources, nearly all of them written. And without a written record there is presumably no history. But doesn't it seem shortsighted to limit ourselves to a mere 5,000 ...more
The book narrates big ...more