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Origin Story

A Big History of Everything
Lu par : Jamie Jackson
Durée : 12 h et 23 min
Catégories : Sciences exactes, Science
4,4 out of 5 stars (8 notations)

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Description

A captivating history of the universe - from before the dawn of time through the far reaches of the distant future. 

Most historians study the smallest slivers of time, emphasizing specific dates, individuals, and documents. But what would it look like to study the whole of history, from the big bang through the present day - and even into the remote future? How would looking at the full span of time change the way we perceive the universe, the earth, and our very existence? 

These were the questions David Christian set out to answer when he created the field of "Big History", the most exciting new approach to understanding where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. In Origin Story, Christian takes readers on a wild ride through the entire 13.8 billion years we've come to know as "history". By focusing on defining events (thresholds), major trends, and profound questions about our origins, Christian exposes the hidden threads that tie everything together - from the creation of the planet to the advent of agriculture, nuclear war, and beyond. With stunning insights into the origin of the universe, the beginning of life, the emergence of humans, and what the future might bring, Origin Story boldly reframes our place in the cosmos.

©2018 David Christian (P)2018 Recorded Books

Ce que les auditeurs disent de Origin Story

Notations
Global
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Interprétation
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Histoire
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  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars

Sadly Irritating!

In this substantial work, David Christian endeavours to present no less than the history of the Universe, from the Big Bang to the 21st century and to conclude with various scenarios for its close and distant future. The first two thirds of the book are unswervingly fascinating by smartly integrating scientific knowledge from a variety of disciplines that are generally kept apart: cosmology, physics, chemistry, biology, geology, etc. When the timeline reaches the industrial era, however, a strong negative bias is palpable and reasoning at times ceases to be coherent. The author insists for instance that the huge increase in population over the past centuries is the cause of the current technology race and of what he sees as an enormous energy drain on fossil fuels that accumulated over millennia. Of course, the increase in world population results from technological and medical improvements and not the reverse! Many other elements must be pointed out as irritating: • the author repeatedly states that there is no need for God in the Creation Story he presents but attempts no explanation for what he himself describes as the very highly improbable sequence of events that led to the flourishing of intelligent life on Earth; • the author appears obsessed with current climate change whereas it is clear from his own presentation that it has shifted tremendously over the past 4 billion years! • when discussing the future of mankind, no reference is made to artificial intelligence and the positive and negative impacts it may have; • the text could have been better edited to avoid the multiple repetition of formulaic expressions such as “Goldilocks’ conditions”. Consequently, it appears difficult to wholeheartedly recommend this work to anyone. In fact, a much more satisfying offer on basically the same topic is Robert Hazen’s “Story of Earth”.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Diana
  • 15/08/2018

A great introduction into big history

The book takes you through what we understand as the beginning of the universe up to the creation of modern civilization. I myself can start to lose attention when big numbers are thrown out, but I wasn't too put off by the way they described our early universe. The evolution of big life, then hominid species, is when I really found it to get interesting. So if you find the beginning to be a little slow, I would advise you to stick with it. It's really worth it.

39 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • N. Weston
  • 29/07/2018

Really interesting

I really enjoyed this book and it held my attention the whole way through (although I was a little surprised by that to be honest). It is factual, apolitical and ended with some very thought provoking ideas. The narrator was excellent with just the right amount of energy and inflection for the book.

72 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 11104
  • 05/09/2018

A brilliant achievement, must read/listen

This is the best and perhaps most important book I have read or listened to in a long time. We humans have a very poor sense of our place in the universe and this planet, of what a speck we are on the ocean of time. Origin Story places us in the context of, quite literally, the history of everything: the Big Bang, formation of galaxies, our star and our planet; the chemical, geological and biological development of the Earth; and where our species has come from, how it has transformed in an instant; and how our hurtling acceleration of technology and energy consumption may destroy us and our home. However, it also discusses how we can change our direction, possibly leading us to a brilliant future. One of the main characters in this book is entropy, and entropy always wins in the end. Christian states that it will lead to the heat death of the universe, which he explains well. (I have read, however, that some scientists think that the ever faster expansion of the universe may lead to a Big Rip, in which the fabric of spacetime is literally shredded.) The book is written with exceptional clarity and organization. There is limited scientific jargon and when technical terms are used, they are well explained. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in something more than the myopic vision of ourselves that is so prevalent.

91 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Joe Klepacki
  • 07/08/2018

A Little Bit of Everything

After reading A Short History of Nearly Everything, I was worried this book may be a little repetitive. However, I was pleasantly surprised that this only built-on any prior tid bits and only made the reading more enjoyable.

22 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jefferson
  • 05/04/2020

Bracing Micro and Macro Views from a Mountain Top

After reading Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant (1885), which focuses mostly on Grant’s experience and understanding of the Civil War, I decided to try a different kind of history, one that casts a wider and more objective view than the history of an individual or a war or a country or an era or a world: David Christian’s Origin Story: A Big History of Everything (2018). Christian teaches history via a series of “thresholds,” critical turning points in the “Big History of Everything,” starting with the Big Bang (13.8 billion years ago), the first stars (13.2 billion years ago), new elements (13.2 billion years ago), and our sun (4.5 billion years ago); working forwards through life on earth (3.8 billion years ago), the first large organisms (600 million years ago), the mass extinction of the dinosaurs (65 million years ago), Homo erectus (2 million years ago), Homo sapiens (200,000 years ago), the first farming (10,000 years ago), the first agrarian civilizations and cities (5,000 years ago), and the Fossil-fuels revolution (200 years ago); and concluding with a look at the future, the death of the sun (4.5 billion years from now) and the darkening of the universe (gazillions of years from now). The last part, speculating on what is likely to happen if we continue our current trend of unsustainable growth, overuse of energy resources, and global warming and the chances of our being able to adopt a more stable and cooperative approach to growth, energy, and the biosphere, etc., is necessary reading. The book as a whole is bracing in its micro and macro visions, for it reminds us of how miraculous life is (dependent on a set of “Goldilocks conditions” or rare perfect chances), how similar and related all organisms are (no matter how different they may superficially seem), and how tiny we and our earth and sun and galaxy are in the larger scheme of things. Throughout, Christian explains complicated concepts simply and engagingly. We learn about how atoms are made, how molecules bond, how prokaryotes and eukaryotes differ, how photosynthesis made an oxygen boom later reined in by respiration, the role played by the molten core of the earth in plate tectonics and the surface temperature of the world, why foraging humans turned to farming and how the biosphere and humanity changed as a result, how erosion cycles carbon back into the earth, what will happen if (when?) the ice of the poles melts, how the fossil fuel revolution came about and how it has changed human civilizations, how stars are born and live and die, how black holes are formed and behave, and more and more and more. The book relates what scientists currently know about such things and how and when they came to know it and who first came to know it, and so on. Sometimes Christian’s view “from a mountaintop instead of from the ground” can almost seem almost too detached when relating things like slavery and the exploitation of indigenous people, but overall it really makes you appreciate the miracle of living on our earth in the universe. Jamie Jackson’s reading of the audiobook is fine.

4 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • ALW
  • 27/02/2019

Fine until the last few chapters

The book was fine with the excepion of the last few chapters which left Scince behind for pure opinion and speculation.

4 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • William F. McCann
  • 09/08/2018

Interesting but boring

is that an oxymoron? This book is a great introduction to the current thinking regarding creation of the universe and evolution of man. that said, it's pretty dry and a bit boring to listen to.

30 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rebecca Sokol
  • 03/08/2018

Interesting-Fascinating-Scary

An enjoyable book to remind us who we are and where we are going. All ages will profit from the lessons in this book. I did not agree with some of the conclusions reached, such as why hominids control the earth. I think the author falls short in his assessments of the other species with whom we share this planet.

12 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Wayne
  • 29/07/2019

Excellent except for the pessimistic finish

If ORIGIN STORY had been terminated at 10.5 hours it would have earned 5 stars. But the final two hours are grossly excessively pessimistic as the author becomes preacher for socialistic causes. Audible classifies this book as about astronomy. It isn't.

10 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lori
  • 10/07/2018

Amazing!

Lots of data but that's what made it so interesting. I highly recommend it for all who are curious and who struggle to find their place in the universe.

10 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Martin Zehetner
  • 03/09/2018

Sehr guter Überblick

Ich finde man bekommt in diesem Buch einen idealen Überblick über die Historie der Erde & Menschheit. Es bleibt wie ich finde spannend, auch wenn es nicht die leichteste Lektüre ist. Man sollte demnach Aufmerksamkeit für das Hören reservieren. Fazit: Unbedingt reinhören