We are only a brief second in the long history of the universe; many things have preceded us to make us the most complex creatures that ever walked the Earth. We are a “new level of complexity” which makes us different from all other creatures that have come before us. Our species has only been around for 250,000 years, a short time compared to the formation of the Earth at 4.5 billion years ago and the creation of the Universe at 13.7 billion years ago, but the time we have had on this Earth has greatly affected the outcome of history. In an attempt to provide an overview of human history in his book This Fleeting World, David Christian introduces it in the context of the history of the universe and then systematically breaks it down into three distinct eras providing a logical framework that can be used in a more detailed study. His goal is to provide a “big picture” of world history and the interconnections that exist among the peoples of this world.
Christian introduces the book in the context of the history of the universe to put it into perspective. He also has you realize that we have not been around for a long time to have us understand what came before us and to better appreciate our time in history. He uses the Big Bang Theory, the scientific creation story, to explain the formation of the universe. He relates wildly accepted principals of chemistry and physics to explain how the stars and the Earth formed. He then applies Darwin’s Theory of Evolution to explain how life came to be and evolved. Finally, he ends it with talking about man’s earliest ancestors. In his prequel, Christian did a good job of setting up the first part of his book, the Era of the Foragers.
The Era of the Foragers is the time in history when humans were hunter-gathers. Christian summarizes 240,000 years easily and in an understandable fashion. Christian also explains that most of that era is from logic and reasoning because no written records exist from that time....
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