Big History

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Big History is a fascinating holistic approach to understanding our place in the universe, from the Big Bang to the present. Big History goes beyond the conventional outlook of narrow specialists (experts trapped in their own cloistered academic niche) to provide a multifaceted matrix of the cosmos, and the complex web of interactive relationships which make up life on Earth and beyond.

Here are three excellent ways to discover more about this emerging interdisciplinary approach:  The H2 cable channel has a magnificent series, Big History, which presents intriguing explorations of these themes. Each episode is 22 minutes long and is available online here. The television series is tied into the Big History Project, a free online course of study designed for educators and students. Lastly, there is the comprehensive book, Big History: Between Nothing and Everything, by David Christian, Cynthia Stokes Brown, and Craig Benjamin, who are featured in the H2 series.

In many ways the Big History approach is reminiscent of the life’s work of two remarkable men, Murray N. Rothbard and James Burke. Rothbard spent his life constructing an integrated “science of liberty,” a grand synthesis combining insights and discoveries from Austrian economics, revisionist history, and natural rights political theory, into a systematic philosophy of freedom to liberate humanity. The British television broadcaster and producer, science historian, and celebrated author James Burke, is best known for his award-winning series, Connections I, II, and III, and The Day the Universe Changed, which explored the complex interconnectivity of the world around us.    

6:26 pm on December 27, 2013