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Big History

An Effort to Creatively Represent Scale of Big History Using Various Scales of Current Visually Complex Systems on Earth and Equating them to Comparable Levels of Complexity Within Big History Events

Eric Snell

on 25 February 2015

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Transcript of Big History

Our Solar System Formation: 4.56 BYA
-Over time, dense regions of this matter were pulled together by gravity
Multi-Celled Organisms Develop:
600 Million Years Ago (MYA)
-Massive increase in species diversity
Cambrian Explosion: 540 MYA
Big Bang: 13.7 Billion Years Ago (BYA)
-Earliest known time of the Universe

-All present matter is in its most basic, non-complex state
Visualizing Big History
Rub' Al Khali Desert
Sahara Desert
-Rocky surface of Earth cools and solidifies. Water, chemicals, and other nutrients become available
Life Appears: 3.8 BYA
First Eukaryotes Develop: 2 BYA
Barents Sea
-Single cells organisms develop into eukaryotes

-Eukaryotes have a nucleus and other organelles permitting more complex growth
-Eukaryotes allow for me complex growth beyond a single cell

-Life becomes far more complex, but still is quite small in scale initially (typically microscopic)
Great Barrier Reef
Okavango Inland Delta
Life Leaves the Sea: 475 MYA
-Species begin to evolve to live on land
Isle of Man
Dinosaurs & Mammals Appear: 250 MYA
-Quite large dinosaur species dominated the Earth at this time

-Mammal species existed, but where rather small compared to their modern day counter-parts (and most dinosaurs)
Dinosaur Mass Extinction Event: 67 MYA
-Dinosaurs (non-avian), and numerous other species go extinct due to an asteroid impact with Earth
First Huminids Appear: 7 MYA
-In part due to the mass extinction event, mammals evolved extensively

-Some such evolutions were versions of our earliest ancestors
Agriculture Emerges: 12,000 YA
Early Humans Learn To Control Fire: 800,000 YA
Industrial Revolution: 200-100 YA
Homo Sapiens Emerge in Africa: 200,000 YA
-Early humans ancenstors (h. erectus) learned to control fire mostly for cooking uses

-In doing so, their diet changed such that food consumption became more efficient allowing for an increase in brain size over generations
Great Wall of China
Machu Picchu
Namib Desert
-Our most ancient of ancestors emerge Africa

-Though they possess large brains, they will remain relatively nomadic for years to come
Djebel Ressas
Homo Sapiens Migrate Out Of Africa: 60,000 YA
Toledo, Spain
-Humans first develop agricultural practices and largely cease being nomadic
-Agriculture allowed human settlements to be created and laid the foundation for many of our modern-day cities
-Land species first exist as early amphibians, terrestrial plants, and insects
-Resulting loss of roughly 3/4ths of Earth's species reduces overall complexity of life for a time
-Allows the development of simple single-celled organisms (have DNA, but no nucleus or organelles)
-At this time species are much larger in size, but still exist solely in the Earth's oceans
-Nomadic humans begin to migrate out of Africa into the surrounding world
-Land bridges allow humans to reach as far as North America during this time
-Mechanized production methods became the new standard allowing for previously unheard of levels of growth
-Though all the effects of this period on Earth were for both better and worse, it shaped significantly the world we exist in today
-Eventually these bodies formed together and made stars, galaxies, and solar systems (including ours)
Niobrara Valley Preserve
Full transcript