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UvA MOOC: Big History – From the Big Bang until Today

Notes for Big History – From the Big Bang until Today, from the University of Amsterdam on Coursera.

Duration: 4 weeks

  1. Introduction, Cosmic History
  2. The History of Earth and Life
  3. Human History
  4. Wrap up

Videos also available on ChronoZoom and BIG HISTORY web site.





Human history on cosmic scales: 13.8 billion years compressed into a single year:

  • Big bang on new years eve, first few months everything would be dark
  • In spring the first stars and galaxies emerge
  • On September 1st, our sun and solar system appear, including Earth
  • October, first bacteria (single-cellular) appear
  • Mid-December, complex (multi-cellular) organisms, like sponges, appear
  • By Christmas, the dinosaurs appear to be wiped out by December 30th.
  • December 30-31: evolution of the mammals
  • Last 6 minutes: modern human beings appear
  • Last 30 seconds: agriculture, written records
  • Last second: modern history (last 500 years)







Agricultural Societies – State Formation and Development (2500 BCE)

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