Big History and the Future of Humanity

ISBN-10: 1444339435

ISBN-13: 9781444339437

Edition: 2010

Authors: Fred Spier

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Description:

Big History and the Future of Humanity presents an original theoretical approach that makes "big history" - the placing of the human past within the history of life, the Earth, and the Universe -- accessible to general readers while revealing insights into what the future may hold for humanity.Provides an accessible and original overview of the entire sweep of history that places human history within the history of life, the Earth, and the Universe Features an original theory of "big history" which explains all of history and opens up an entirely new interdisciplinary research agenda Offers new insights into the future of humanity by better understanding the past Presents a new approach to complexity studies, which takes into account the greatest galaxy clusters as well as the tiniest sub-atomic particles
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Book details

List price: $22.99
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Limited
Publication date: 12/17/2010
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.792
Language: English

List of Figures
Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction to Big History
Introduction
Studying the Past
A Very Short History of Academic History
A Short History of Big History
A Historical Theory of Everything?
General Approach
Introduction
Matter and Energy
Complexity
Energy Flows and the Emergence of Complexity
The Goldilocks Principle
Cosmic Evolution: The Emergence of Simple Forms of Complexity
Introduction
The Big Bang: No Complexity
Recent Issues Concerning the Big Bang Scenario
The Radiation Era: The Emergence of Complexity at the Smallest Scales
The Matter Era: The Emergence of Complexity at Atomic and Molecular Scales
Galaxy Formation: The Emergence of Complexity at Larger Scales
The Emergence of Stars
Stars as Nuclear Forges
Our Cosmic Neighborhood: The Emergence of Greater Complexity
Introduction
The Galactic Habitable Zone
The Emergence of Our Cosmic Neighborhood
The Solar System Habitable Zone
Major Characteristics of Earth
Early Inner Planetary History
Early Earth History
Life Is Very Special
The Emergence of Life
Life on Earth: The Widening Range of Complexity
Life, Energy and Complexity
Planetary Energy Flows and Life
The Gaia Hypothesis
The Emergence of Energy Harvesting from Outside
The Emergence of the Biological Food Web
The Emergence of Multicellular Organisms
The Emergence of Brains and Consciousness
The Increase and Expansion of Biological Complexity
Conquest of the Land
Further Increasing Complexity
Early Human History: The Emergence of the Greatest Known Complexity
Introduction
What Makes Humans Different
Energy and Complexity
The Emergence of Early Humans
Improving Social Coordination
Tool Making and Brain Growth
Brains and Intestines
Fire Control
Migration
The Rise of Modern Humans
Early Religion
Recent Human History: The Development of the Greatest Known Complexity
Introduction
The Agrarian Revolution
The Developing Agrarian Regime
Social Effects of the Agrarian Revolution
The Emergence of Agrarian Religions
Increasing Agricultural Complexity and Declining Untamed Complexity
Early State Formation
The Emergence of Big States
The Emergence of Moral Religions
Energy and Complexity in State Societies
The First Wave of Globalization
Industrialization: The Second Wave of Globalization
Informatization: The Third Wave of Globalization
Energy, Complexity and Goldilocks Circumstances
Facing the Future
Introduction
A Very Short Overview of the Long Future of the Universe
The Future of Earth and Life
The Future of Humanity
The Availability of Matter and Energy
Exhaustion of Critical Resources and Growing Entropy
Will Humans Migrate to Other Planets?
Final Words
Appendix: A Short Time Line of Big History
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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