I absolutely LOVED Big History! It's so interesting and insightful!! I highly recommend everyone to take this course, you will learn a lot about the world! Thank you Professor Christian and Baker!! :)
Finally! A creation myth based on evidence and multiple scientific disciplines for all humans is here! The time for stories based on speculation and superstition for the chosen group is finally over.
By James R B•
Excellent course design and teaching. Professor Christian and the YouTube adjuncts play a central role in the course, but many disciplines are represented. This cosmology/cosmogony course is filled with information. The paper, while it might seem to be a hassle, is actually a good exercise in pulling the course ideas together over the journey from 13.8bya to the future.
By Kerstin S•
Why is this course dangerous?
I took this course because first I liked the idea to have a history lesson spanning the age of the whole universe. Maybe it is also intriguing to explain everything just with one principle: the second law of thermodynamics. BUT as it turned out they don't have any clue what this second law of thermodynamics means. They always forget the second part of it: it is just valide in a closed system. I think everbody will agree, that the earth for example isn't a closed system.
In the beginning they tell you you should be critical about everything new you hear or get taught. But if you are critical and question things they teach you they will ignore you. One glance at the discussion forum shows: they are fast in answering good feedback and compliments by students, but critical questions (with scientific papers who show different facts) get ignored for weeks and months. They are cherry picking. They just see what encourages their view and their opinion and ignore everything that contradicts their course, opinion, believe and dogma. In this respect they are so dangerous. That is the same principle how cults work.
Maybe their goal, stopping polluting and changing the world in such a speed seems to be a good one. But also here you have to be careful. When they talk about climate change and the overuse of ressources they are exaggerating by a factor of 50! In my opinion you are damaging an important discussion if you are lying and exaggerating in such a shameless way. For sure it is not helpful! But again, the truth doesn't fit in their world view.
Furthermore they "teach" that cities get blown away by taifoons is caused by the "universe balancing entropy". This isn't just lack of understanding physics, or history, or flow mechanics, it is just insane.
In summary: this is not a history course, but the "teachings" of a lying, exaggerating, cherry picking cult with no knowledge in particle physics, cosmology, chemistry, biology or even history.
So please: if you take this course, be aware of this pitfalls and their intentions.
By Marina I•
From the very beginning of this course I was excited. For some time now I wanted to bring my fragmentary knowledges to order. So my hopes were high. And, oh boy, I wasn’t disappointed. Not only I filled in the blanks but I learned so many new things. I would recommend Big History to anyone regardless of their job or field of interest. It’s very well structured and it’s the most advanced course I ever took on Coursera in terms of design and preparation. Lecturers are really engaged. Topics are numerous and fascinating. I could go on and on but the major point is that I enjoyed these six week a lot and that was a time well spent.
By Naira B•
I consider myself lucky for, in my second year in college have met a tutor in literary theory who has a transdisciplinary view of subjects, so at some point in my academic journey I was in some contact with Big History - before that, I didn't even know such a thing existed. With this course, I could finally get in contact with the field as a whole, and I am really glad Macquarie University did this for me and for others. Thank you very much to all the contributors on this course. I am now really thinking about continuing this journey in a Big History Program for my PhD after I finish my Master's Degree. Thank you again!
By Niels M S•
Fantastic and trailblaizing course. Changes your perspective on so many things and educates you in state-of.the-art knowledge in many fields such as astrophysics, geology, palaeontology, biology, archelology, social sciences and history. Great focus on what science is as well and differences between natural sciences on the one side and social sciences and history on the other. Where possible they also let you see 'the data' for yourself.
By Marcos S•
Every history buff, enthusiast and ALL history teachers out there should take this course.
We've taken history and taught it from an ethnocentric point of view for far too long.
Big history will give you the framework to shift your thinking about history from just "history begins with writing" to "we are all connected from the beginning"
By Mark S•
A brilliant course. I am fascinated by David Christians central premise about a multidisciplinary study spanning the whole of creation. The course videos are well constructed, engaging and easy to understand. These are backed up by a wealth of glossary's, timelines and supplementary readings. A great course for lovers of learning.
By George I•
Fantastic course which should be required of every high school student in the world. The true scope of "history" is far too limited and thus not understood. This course lays out the proper meaning of history. We can know history because we have discovered a lot of the facts in the past fifty years.
By Zdenek K•
I find the week 6 of this course completely irrelevant. Also, I'm attending courses on Coursera to learn and quizzes are IMO an essential part of that process, but definitely not essays. For me personally, essays are just waste of time and there's nothing beneficial about them.
Another thing that bugs me is how questionably and often misleadingly are thermodynamical laws interpreted by the professors in this course.
It's been one of the best periods of my studying life taking this Big History course. I have learned so much and it has made me even hungrier to acquire further knowledge in this new field. I plan on doing the course again (unofficially) but this time I would like to be able to really go through all the Amazing resources that the course provides. I have already purchased a few books and plan to purchase more. Now I need to read them. I have discovered some wonderful lecturers, specialists in their fields and would like to thank each and every one of them for all their dedication and hard work. Everybody in the world should be invited to do this course. We should not be allowed to live on this planet without knowing what Big History teaches us. It is so important to understand where we come from, how fragile we all are and the challenges we face if we cannot start repecting our home, because we are talking about our home
By Dot H•
Excellent course! Profound interdisciplinary expedition from the beginnings of the Universe (since "the Big Bang" ) through the creation of galaxies, to our Sun, planets, beginnings of life on Earth, evolution of that life, major changes to earth resulting from activities of our unique species (humans), toward pondering what the near and distant future might hold. Using the concept of "Thresholds", the course aims to make sense of and connect major themes and trends as it traces the fingerprints of the unfolding of the cosmos - of which we as humans are an interconnected part.
By Fabian R H•
Excellent course, has left me with new ideas about how complex the world around us is and the importance of trying to connect different branches of science. And the learning resources, apart from the videos, are excellent, I found some very interesting as well as entertaining.
By Will S•
This course places you right in the midst of the whole universe without forgetting about your local environment.
By Tae S K•
There are too many dead links. The course needs to be reviewed and updated.
By Wimonwan L•
What an intensive course!
The Big History : Connecting Knowledge gives me a time traveling back to the beginning of the universe, the Big Bang, space, time, stars, planets, elements, solar system and the origin of organism. I enjoyed travelling through time all the way to the future. All of these stories had led to the basic introduction of several interesting fields which I never had opportunity to dig deeply while studying in schools and universities such as cosmology, astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology. biology, palaeontology, and anthropology.
The learning of ancient, medieval, early modern history, political science, economics, climatology, cosmology, physics and so on allows me to understand the connection of past and present. What shapes us today. Why the challenges on a global scales we have faced today arise from and how can we create impact to save our world to be exist for later generations.
Big thanks to all of the instructors and team for their great effort and dedication putting details of each science into one course. Love it!
By Monique U•
I found this course very interesting, although not coming from a science background the first three thresholds were a bit hard. The concepts are very well described and the videos entertainingI loved how the course brought everything together
By John T•
Wide ranging and thought-provoking - helps put things into perspective, (though occasionally the tone is a little bit preachy) - lot of follow-up reading to do, starting with books by David Christian. Highly recommended.
By Mohan S•
Very informative, cross and inter-disciplinary course. Lot of effort is put into formulating and developing the course. Thanks for all the people who have contributed to run the course successfully.
By S K M M a m•
This course is the best way to learn about our origin and our future.I recommend everyone to take this course.
By David H•
Brilliant and fascinating course. I will complete it one day.
Thanks, David, Christchurch, New Zealand
By Simon-Peter S•
Well the course is reasonably well organized the material is in great detail exceeding what I would've thought the overview concept of big history would be. Other big history courses I've taken do not go into specific date and time detail, period by period But function more in terms of how preceding events may be causative for future events (more like a butterfly effect analysis over long periods of time).
If you are looking for more detailed specific history than this course is useful. If you are looking for more of the big history overview concept this may not be the best course for you.
By Bill T•
With a grand title and grand introduction, I found the course very superficial and gained little additional insight form "Big History".
By Yap Y H A•
This is a fantastic and comprehensive course. If I had to nit-pick, it would be questioning the particular coverage placed upon China in the sub-topic of "How did Modernity evolve after the Industrial Revolution?" and the seemingly critical view taken towards its modernisation.
One point in particular was "We've achieved a war over nature. Where we've done it, there's a cost to ourselves, as the intensifying flooding in Shanghai often illustrates. Early in October 2013, Shanghai was hit by two typhoons which came together and saturated Shanghai with the heaviest rainfall ever recorded." I'm not a Chinese citizen, but it sounded to me like China received her due comeuppance, which I felt was a little uncalled for.
While China's trade opening may be significant in world trade, I'm not sure if the particular in-depth coverage on China in relevance to the question, is a stretch.
By Anna K•
This is definitely my favorite course on Coursera and anywhere else in internet! So glad I accidentally ran into it! Under a name that doesn't tell much about the content there is a real jewel - a multidisciplinary course that is truly able to connect many of the dots and make perfect sense of all these endless math and science, history and many other classes we all had to sit throughout our school years. I loved every minute of this course, all the experts zooming into subjects, all of additional materials (especially Crushcourse videos). Big History course is awesome for those always asking "but why?" questions. A very big thank you to The Big History course team for finding time and passion for making it available to everyone in the world!
By Deleted A•
Looks and sounds like a great course. Can't wait until the 28th March 2016 to start week 2. A bit annoyed with myself rushing quiz 1. I think one has to really pick all the meat off the bones of the information to get 100% (unless one is a Cosmologist - anyone got Stephen Hawking's phone number?)
Just finished week 2 and I am already giving this course five stars. A really-really-really top course, a sit up all night job. Still haven't found Stephen Hawking's phone number yet. He probably realises I'm looking for it, clever bloke and honorary Python that he is, and gone ex-directory. Can't say I blame him, I'd do the same if I found out I was looking for my number!