This is the epic story of the universe and our place in it, from 13.8 billion years ago to the remote future.
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 possible scale. He traces how, during eight key thresholds, the right conditions have allowed new forms of complexity to arise, from stars to galaxies, Earth to homo sapiens, agriculture to fossil fuels. This last mega-innovation gave us an energy bonanza that brought huge benefits to mankind, yet also threatens to shake apart everything we have created.
This global origin story is one that we could only begin to tell recently, thanks to the underlying unity of modern knowledge. Panoramic in scope and thrillingly told, Origin Story reveals what we learn about human existence when we consider it from a universal scale.
About the Author
David Christian is a distinguished professor in history at Macquarie University in Australia and the co-founder, with Bill Gates, of The Big History Project, which has built a free online syllabus on the history of the universe and is taught in schools all over the world. He is also co-creator of Macquarie University Big History School, which provides online courses in big history for primary and high school students.
He received his Ph.D. from the University of Oxford. He has delivered keynotes at conferences around the world including at the Davos World Economic Forum, and his TED Talk on the history of the Universe has been viewed over 7 million times.
“ A journey through billions of years that nails home the point: Life is a miracle . . . A compelling history of everything ”
Eric Weiner, Washington Post
“ Rather like the Big Bang, the book is awe-inspiring . . . Superb ”
Gerard Degroot, The Times
“ Wonderful . . . This is a brief history of the universe, and an excellent one ”
David Wootton, Wall Street Journal
“ With fascinating ideas on every page and the page-turning energy of a good thriller, this is a landmark work ”
Sir Ken Robinson, author of The Element
“ I have long been a fan of David Christian. In Origin Story, he elegantly weaves evidence and insights from many scientific and historical disciplines into a single, accessible historical narrative ”