From Big Bang to Galactic Civilizations: A Big History Anthology

From Big Bang to Galactic Civilizations: A Big History Anthology

Edited by Barry Rodrigue, Leonid Grinin and Andrey Korotayev
2015, xii + 358pp, Hb
ISBN: 978-93-84082-45-1


Big History is a new field that has been developing rapidly around the world. What is Big History? According to its professional definition: Big History seeks to understand the integrated history of the Cosmos, Earth, Life and Humanity by using the best empirical evidence and scholarly methods. Big History deals with the universes grand narrative of 13.8 billion years and provides a connection between our past, present and future. It encompasses all forms of existence and all time scales. The present collection is divided into three volumes and is the first international and comprehensive anthology of Big History. In volume one Our Place in the Universe: An Introduction to Big History our existence is regarded from different points of view: as a history of the universe, as a philosophy, and as a factor in the life of people. This edition will challenge and excite your vision of your own life and the new discoveries going on around us. Together with the authors, who come from all the inhabited continents of our planet, readers will engage in a fascinating trip into the depths of time and space, and we hope they will join us in coming to an understanding of our origins and our future.


Preface: The Sphere of Big History

Introduction: From Big Bang to Galactic Civilizations
Barry Rodrigue, Leonid Grinin and Andrey Korotayev

Part I: Big History as a History of the Universe

1. The Shadow of Night . . . and No Boundaries
Roberta Bondar

2. A Brief Account of the Science of Big History
G. Siegfried Kutter

3.Ex Libro Lapidum Historia Mundi: Reading History Written in Rocks
Walter Alvarez, Alessandro Montanari and David Shimabukuro

4. History and Time
David Christian

5. Origins: A Question of Cosmic History
Hubert Reeves

6. Emergence of Complexity and Causality: Physics Transcended
George Ellis

Part II: Big History as Philosophy and Methodology

7. Evolutionary Mega-Paradigms: Potential, Problems, Perspectives
Leonid Grinin, Andrey Korotayev, Robert Carneiro and Fred Spier

8. The Cosmos and the Logos: A Realist Theory of Life’s Emergence, Evolution and Future
Graeme Snooks

9. Mega-Evolution and Big History
Akop Nazaretyan

10. Is there a Limit to the System?: Philosophical Presuppositions in Systematic Ontology, Epistemology and Criticism
Robert King

Part III: Big History as an Active Life Position

11. Antonio Vélez: A Champion of Big History
Carlos Londoño Sulkin, with Antonio Vélez

12. A New Design for Living
Barry Rodrigue

13. The Real End of History
Alexander Mirkovic

14. Social Theory and Asian Dialogues: Cultivating Planetary Conversations
Ananta Kumar Giri

15. The Change We Can Believe In: Ten Facts about the Evolution of the Earth-Life System and Their Relevance to Current Global Environmental Change
Nigel Hughes

Part IV: Big History and the Life of People

16. The Tao of ‘Big History’ in China: Chinese Traditions
Sun Yue

17. A Little Big History of Jericho
Craig Benjamin

18. A Little Big History of Tiananmen
Esther Quaedackers

19. Big Politics
Lowell Qustafson

20. The Evolution of Information Systems: From the Big Bang to the Era of Globalization
David Hookes


Notes on Editors and Contributors