Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Big History ~ The Secret Power of Salt

Today on Far Future Horizons we will be presenting a new documentary series that presents History on a grand epic scale.

Big History” is an American television documentary series narrated by Bryan Cranston, which originally aired on the History Channel in 2013. Each episode covers a single topic from history and shows connections between that topic and various fields of science and social science. Sixteen half-hour episodes aired in the first season, followed by a two-hour finale drawing connections between the sixteen topics.

The series has been criticized for its factual inaccuracies but, despite these mistakes and shortcomings the series brings to the attention of the general public an emerging academic discipline known as “Big History".

Big History explores history on an epic scale “from the Big Bang to the present.

It examines long time frames using a multidisciplinary approach based on combining numerous disciplines from science and the humanities and explores human existence in the context of this bigger picture.

Big History integrates studies of the cosmos, Earth, life and humanity using empirical evidence to explore cause-and-effect relations, and is taught at universities and secondary schools often using web-based interactive presentations.”

This multidisciplinary academic movement was spearheaded by historian David Christian of Australia's Macquarie University, who coined the term Big History.

While some academic historians are skeptical about its value or originality, this twenty year old discipline appears to be poised for further growth.

An effort to make the discipline available worldwide is being funded by philanthropist Bill Gates. David Christian has named this effort the Big History Project.

David Christian’s entire course “Big History: The Big Bang, Life on Earth, and the Rise of Humanity” is available for purchase from “The Great Courses”.

This is a series of lectures I can wholeheartedly recommend for anyone interest in studying history on an epic scale.

Big History follows  a prestigious pedigree following in the wake of  H.G. Wells’ "The Outline of History: Being a Plain History of Life and Mankind" and the “Encyclopédie” by Denis Diderot.

The first instalment of Big History is titled “The Superpower of Salt”.

We all know that mankind can't live without air, food and water...the same is true of salt. The salt on your table is a key to unlocking the story of our planet and the cosmos. Big History reveals how this simple molecule underpins our civilization, launched wars, built monuments like the Great Wall of China, sparked revolutions from India to France...and it's even the substance that makes up our thoughts.

This episode is available from Amazon’s instant video.

Big History Episode 1 ~ The Secretpower of Salt

Big.History.S01E01-The.Superpower.of.Salt. by costello74
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