About this Course
4.7
362 ratings
97 reviews
The Origins course tracks the origin of all things – from the Big Bang to the origin of the Solar System and the Earth. The course follows the evolution of life on our planet through deep geological time to present life forms....
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Suggested: 5-7 hours/week

Approx. 27 hours to complete
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English

Subtitles: English
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Clock

Suggested: 5-7 hours/week

Approx. 27 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Origin of the Elements, the Solar System and the Planets

In the first module of Origins Jim Connelly and Henning Haack go through the evolution that resulted in the Solar System with the planets that we know today. Jim will tell you about how the elements of the periodic table were formed. Without these elements there would be no Solar System, no planets and no life at all. We have added a couple of more videos that we hope you will also find interesting. One gives you an introduction to Geological time. Videos 1.7-1.9 deals with some of our most interesting meteorites from the collections at the Natural History Museum of Denmark. Much of the evidence for the theories presented in Module 1 has been obtained from meteorites. ...
Reading
11 videos (Total 85 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video11 videos
Introduction to time lines – Henning Haack3m
1.1 Nucleosynthesis: the origin of elements in our Solar System - Part 1 – Jim Connelly11m
1.2 Nucleosynthesis: the origin of elements in our Solar System - Part 2 – Jim Connelly9m
1.3 Origin of the Elements, the Solar System and the Planets - Origin of the Solar System – Henning Haack9m
1.4 Origin of the Elements, the Solar System and the Planets - Meteorites – Henning Haack17m
1.5 Origin of the Elements, the Solar System and the Planets - Mars and the Moon – Henning Haack18m
1.6 Origin of the Elements, the Solar System and the Planets - Exoplanets – Henning Haack2m
1.7 The Worlds Largest Meteorite Slice – Henning Haack4m
1.8 Allende - A World Famous Meteorite – Henning Haack2m
1.9 Imilac - An Exceptionally Beautiful Meteorite Slice – Henning Haack1m
Reading2 readings
Lecturers10m
Recommended resources – Module 110m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Quiz 122m

2

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

The early Earth and origin of life

In this module we are going to have a look at our own planet, just after it formed. Emily Pope will introduce you to the most important geological principles and processes that characterize our Earth. This should make it easier for you to understand how we use geology to reconstruct the evolution of our planet and the life forms that inhabit it. With such tools in hand, Emily will take you on a tour back in deep geological time and tell you about the earliest evolution of our planet and the oldest evidence for life on Earth. We will also take you on a trip to Greenland where Minik Rosing will show the rocks in which he found the oldest evidence for life on Earth. ...
Reading
6 videos (Total 98 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video6 videos
2.2 The early Earth and origin of life - Geologic Time and the Origin of Earth - Emily Pope15m
2.3 The early Earth and origin of life - Finding Evidence for the Origin of Life - Emily Pope19m
2.4 The early Earth and origin of life - How to Make Life (or at Least a Best Guess) - Emily Pope 15m
2.5 The early Earth and origin of life - Geology of the Precambrian: The Mantle and Crust - Emily Pope15m
2.6 The early Earth and origin of life - Geology of the Precambrian: The Hydrosphere and Atmosphere - Emily Pope17m
Reading1 reading
Recommended resources – Module 210m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Quiz 220m

3

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Origin of the microbial world / The Cambrian Explosion and Exceptional Preservation

In this module Jan Audun Rasmussen and Danny Eibye-Jacobsen will show you how life evolved during the first 4 billion years since the creation of the Earth. As you will see, it is very challenging to study the oldest life forms of our planet. During this enormous time span – which covers about 80% of the Earth’s history – microbial life slowly evolved to form a crucial component of the biosphere. Toward the end of the period the deepest foundations of the different groups of animals evolved. All of the life forms surrounding us today can be traced back to this time. ...
Reading
8 videos (Total 100 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video8 videos
3.2 Origin of the microbial world: Part 2 - Jan Audun Rasmussen12m
3.3 Origin of the microbial world: Part 3 - Jan Audun Rasmussen13m
3.4 Origin of the microbial world: Part 4 - Jan Audun Rasmussen 9m
3.5 Origin of the Metazoans and evolution of life at small scale - Danny Eibye-Jacobsen15m
3.6 The Cambrian Explosion and exceptional preservation: Part 1 - Danny Eibye-Jacobsen12m
3.7 The Cambrian Explosion and exceptional preservation: Part 2 - Danny Eibye-Jacobsen12m
3.8 The Cambrian Explosion and exceptional preservation: Part 3 - Danny Eibye-Jacobsen6m
Reading1 reading
Recommended resources – Module 310m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Quiz 320m

4

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Transition from Microbial to Macrobial Life: Snowball Earth and the Ediacara Biota / Eukaryotic Evolution and the Phylogeny of All Life

In this module, we take a closer look at how the physical and biological conditions that made the Cambrian Explosion possible arose. In the first lectures Svend Stouge will tell you about the dramatic consequences of climate changes seen toward the end of the Precambrian. Geological evidence supports the idea that the Earth was completely covered in ice during periods that we, for obvious reasons, refer to as Snowball Earth. In the remaining lectures Martin Sørensen will tell you about one of the most significant building blocks of life on Earth – the cell – and how the early bacterial cells evolved and became capable of forming the huge variety of life that we see today. Martin Sørensen will also show how different evolutionary trends of cells resulted in six major organism groups, of which several gave rise to multicellular life. ...
Reading
7 videos (Total 73 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video7 videos
4.2 Transition from microbial to macrobial life: Snowball Earth and the Ediacara Biota - Part 2 - Svend Stouge13m
4.3 Eukaryotic Evolution and the Phylogeny of All Life - The Transition from the Prokaryotic to the Eukaryotic Cell and the Endosymbiont Theory - Martin V. Sørensen11m
4.4 Eukaryotic Evolution and the Phylogeny of All Life - The Eukaryotic Tree of Life and the Six Super Kingdoms: Archaeplastida - Martin V. Sørensen7m
4.5 Eukaryotic Evolution and the Phylogeny of All Life - The Six Super Kingdoms: Excavata and Rhizaria - Martin V. Sørensen7m
4.6 Eukaryotic Evolution and the Phylogeny of All Life - The Six Super Kingdoms: Chromalveolata - Martin V. Sørensen5m
4.7 Eukaryotic Evolution and the Phylogeny of All Life - The Six Super Kingdoms: Amoebozoa and Opisthokonta - Martin V. Sørensen 7m
Reading1 reading
Recommended resources – Module 410m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Quiz 420m
4.7
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33%

started a new career after completing these courses
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83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course
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got a pay increase or promotion

Top Reviews

By MNAug 29th 2018

The course help me discover answers to so many questions I had in mind and discover so many more. It made me realize how little I know about life itself and how precious life on earth is.

By DHSep 8th 2016

A well paced course which helpfully breaks down the different stages highlighting characteristics and progression of both geological and biological periods in Earth's history.

Instructors

Henning Haack

Associate Professor
Natural History Museum

James Connelly

Professor
Natural History Museum of Denmark

Vivi Vajda

Professor
Department of Geology, Lund University

Jon Fjeldså

Professor, Curator

Michael Houmark-Nielsen

Associate Professor
Natural History Museum of Denmark

Bent Erik Kramer Lindow

Curator
Natural History Museum of Denmark

Gilles Guy Roger Cuny

Associate Professor
Natural History Museum of Denmark

Ole Seberg

Associate Professor
Natural History Museum of Denmark

Gitte Petersen

Associate Professor
Natural History Museum of Denmark

Tais Wittchen Dahl

Assistant Professor of Geobiology

Arne Thorshøj Nielsen

Associate Professor
Natural History Museum of Copenhagen

Martin Vinther Sørensen

Associate Professor, Curator
Natural History Museum of Denmark

Svend Stouge

Associate Professor
Natural History Museum of Denmark

Danny Eibye Jacobsen

Associate Professor, Curator
Natural History Museum of Denmark

Jan Audun Rasmussen

Associate Professor
Natural History Museum of Denmark

Emily Catherine Pope

Assistant professor
Natural History Museum of Denmark

About University of Copenhagen

The University of Copenhagen is the oldest University in Denmark - founded in 1479, and with over 38,000 students and more than 9,000 employees. The purpose of the University is to conduct research and provide education to the highest academic level. Based in Denmark's capital city it is one of the top research institutions in Europe. ...

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