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LINK to Draft Chapter 1

           How Energy Works    ---->   The Big Bang to Green


These instructionally illustrated pages visually and textually trace humankind's relationship to energy flow from the sub-atomic particle structures of the Big Bang and formation of the galaxies and our solar system, to the molecular energy innovations of early life on earth, to the natural, sustainable and green revolution of the present day.

Cold, hard science is utilized with atomic and biological bewonderment as the universe/nature/humankind figures out the most efficient ways to utilize the vast energies that power this universe. What we don't know is intriguing too--awesomely and scientifically in 2011  4% of energy/mass is accounted for and 96% is unknown, so called "dark energy/mass" because it can't be detected with our eyes, measuring or observation equipment.

For the first time in human history it has became absolutely feasible to construct a scientifically rigorous history extending back 13.73 billion years, approximately the moment of the Big Bang. Since the early1950's absolute dates for events before written history have been accurately predicted based on measurements utilizing the great regularity of the breakdown of carbon atoms. The unstable carbon molecule 14C (just a fraction of the overall carbon molecules) declines at a fixed exponential rate after it's biological or chemical creation due to the radioactive decay of 14C. In this way the age of anything with carbon atoms has a creation date. In addition, since 2001 the ongoing Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) has collected spectacular and precise microwave data from space-- extremely scientifically accurate "birth dates" for events that took place billions of years ago in space.

To comprehend the vast expanses of time this story is told with timelines accompanying the illustrations and text. Each page has three horizontal divisions organized thus:
The top 1/3 of the pages show time of occurrence and scale factors: The scale of billions of years (cosmology, astronomy, chemistry), the scale of millions of years (chemistry, geology, biology) to the more familiar scales of thousands and hundreds of years of humankind (archeology, paleontology and traditional history).
The middle 1/3 of the page are 3d illustrations of the energy developments of the timeline in sequence.
The bottom 1/3 is a text narrative of the sequence of times and illustrations as well as concept definitions and other supporting information.

 Interesting enough, following the historical energy flow from the very simple beginning to the evolving complexity of today goes across all the academic disciplines in 10 energy flow thresholds:
1-Big Bang particle/radiation energy (physics)
2-gallactic energy (physics, cosmology, astronomy)
3-chemical energy (physics, cosmology, astronomy, chemistry)
4-solar system energy (physics, cosmology, astronomy, chemistry, geology)
5- life arises energy (physics, biology)
6-hominoids arise energy (paleontology, archeology)
7-agriculture energy (paleontology, archeology, written history))
8-industrial energy (written history)
9-information energy -the feedback era- (written history)
A 10th threshold could be the conceptual energy epoch as suggested by Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind, as humankind puts together all their very accessible information into helpful and meaningful forms.

The above energy flow specific and illustrated "Big History" stands on the shoulders of giants. The phrase "Big History" was coined by David Christian in 1991. Teaching history spanning humankind's whole known timetable started in the 1980's with John Mears from Southern Methodist University in Texas and afore mentioned Professor David Christian, presently a professor at San Diego State University. Fred Spier, a University of Amsterdam World History professor, wrote the first book on Big History in 1996. Since the 1990's this way of structuring knowledge as a whole has been originally added to by Scientist Eric J. Chaisson, Research Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Director of the Wright Center for Science Education at Tufts University, Professor Cynthia Stokes Brown of the Dominican University of California and other innovative teachers and writers.

Bill Gates anointed one of David Christian's books: This Fleeting World, A Short History of Humanity:

I first became an avid student of David Christian by watching his course, Big History, on DVD, so I am very happy to see his enlightening presentation of the world's history captured in these essays. I hope it will introduce a wider audience to this gifted scientist and teacher.

Here is an inchoate bibliography (favorite authors are linked):

Part I : Energy Flow of the Early Universe

Bryson, Bill.(2003, 2005) A Short History of Nearly Everything, Special Illustrated Edition. NY: Random House.

Brown , Cynthia Stokes.(2007) Big History, From the Big Bang to the Present . NY: The New Press.

Chaisson , Eric J..
Cosmic Evolution, The Rise of Complexity in Nature. (2001) Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Epic of Evolution, Seven Ages of the Cosmos. (2005) NY: Columbia University Press.

Christian , David.
Maps of Time, An Introduction to Big History. (2007) Berkeley: University of California Press.
This Fleeting World, A Short History of Humanity. (2008) MA: Berkshire Publishing Group.

Gray, Theodore. ( 2009) The Elements, A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe. NY: Black Dog & Leenthal Publishers.

Greene, Brian . (2000) The Elegant Universe, NY: First Vintage Books.

Hawking, Stephen. (1996) A Brief History of Time. NY: Banton Books.

Hawking, Stephen and Roger Penrose. (2000) The Nature of Time and Space. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Heisenburg, Wiener. (2007) Physics and Philosophy, The Revolution in Modern Science. NY: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, HarperCollins Publishers; (1962 ; 1958) Harper Torch Books.

Kullander, Sven and Borje Larsson. (1994) Out of Sight, From Quarks To Living Cells. Cambridge: University Press.

Liebes, Sindney and Elizabeth Sahtouris and Brian Swimme. (1998) A Walk Through Time, From Stardust to Us. NY: John Wiley and Sons.

Lloyd, Seth. (2007) Programming the Universe-A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes on the Cosmos. NY: Vintage Books.

Sagan, Carl.(2006) The Varieties of Scientific Experience, A Personal View of the Search for God.NY: Penguin Press.

Segre, Gino.(2002) A Matter of Degrees, What temperature Reveals About the Past and Future of Our Society . NY: Viking.

Potter, Christopher.(2009) You Are Here A Portable History of the Universe. NY: HarperCollins Publishers.

Weinberg, Steven. (1977, 1988, 1993) The First Three Minutes, A Modern View of The Origin of the Universe. NY: Basic Books.

Part II : Energy Flow of Life

Kaufman, Stuart.
(2008) Reinventing the Sacred, A New View of Science, Reason and Religion. NY: Basic Books.
(1995) At Home in the Universe, The Search for the Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lane, Nick.
(2009) Life Ascending, The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution. NY: W.W. Norton and Company Inc.
(2009) Oxygen, The Molecule that made the World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
(2005) Power, Sex, Suicide, Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Macaulay, David.(2008) The Way We Work, Getting To Know the Amazing Human Body. NY:

Mitchell, Melanie.(2009) Complexity A Guided Tour. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Thomas , Lewis. (1972) The Lives of a Cell, Notes of a Biology Watcher. NY :
Viking Press.

Schrodinger, Erwin.(1944) What is Life?. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Smil, Vaclav.(2006) Energy .Oxford, England .

Part III : Energy Flow of Consciousness (human thought)

Benyus, Janine.(1997) Biomimicry, Innovation Inspired by Nature. NY: HarperCollins.

Boyle , Godfrey.(2004) Renewable Energy, Power for a Sustainable Future. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Brown, Peter G. and Geoffrey Garver.(2009) Right Relationship, Building a Whole Earth Economy. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc..

Changizi, Mark. (2010) The Vision Revolution, How the Latest Research Overturns Everything We Thought We Knew About Human Vision. Dallas: BenBella Books, Inc.

Chiras, Dan and Dave Wann. (2006) Superbia! 31 Ways To Create Sustainable Neighborhoods. Canada: New Society Publishers.

Diamond, Jared.
(2005) Collapse,
How Societies Choose To Fail or Succeed. NY: Penguin Books.
(1999) Guns, Germs and Steel . NY : WW Norton & Company.
(1992) The Third Chimpanzee, The Evolution and Future of The Human Animal . NY: HarperCollins Publishers.

Dunham-Jones, Ellen. ( 2009) Retrofitting Suburbia, Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs. Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons.

Farr, Douglas. (2008) Sustainable Urbanism, Urban Design with Nature. Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons.

Friedman, Thomas L. (2008) Hot, Flat and Crowded –Why We Need a Green Revolution and How It Can Renew America. NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Hagerty, Barbara Bradley . (2009) Fingerprints of God, The Search for the Science of Spirituality. NY: Riverhead Books.

Hansen, James. (2009) Storms of My Grandchildren. The Truth about the Coming Climate Change and Out Last Chance To Save Humanity. NY: Bloombury.

Hayden, Dolores. (1995) The Power of Place, Urban Landscapes as Public History. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Kellert, Stephan R. and Judith Heerwagen and Martin L. Mandor. ( 2008) Biophilic Design, The Theory, Science and Practice of Bringing Buildings To Life. Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons.

Kostof, Spiro. (1991) The City Shaped, Urban Patterns and Meanings Through History. NY: Bulfinch Press.

Lawrence, Henry W.(2006) City Trees, A Historical Geography from the Renaissance through the Nineteenth Century. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.

McDonough William and Micheal Braungart.(2002) Cradle To Cradle, Remaking the Way We Make Things. NY: North Point Press.

McKibben, Bill.(2010) Eaarth, Making Life on a Tough New Planet. NY: Times Books.

McNeill, J.R. and William H. McNeill.(2003) The Human Web, A Bird's Eye View of World History. NY: W.W. Norton and Company.

Olson, Steve. (2002) Mapping Human History, Genes, Race and our Common Origins . NY :

Parolek, David G. and Karen Parolek and Paul C. Crawford.(2008) Form Based Codes, A Guide for Planners, Urban Designers, Municipalities and Developers. Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons.

Pink, Daniel.(2006) A Whole New Mind, Why Right Brainers Will Rule The Future. NY: Riverhead Books.

Register, Richard.(2006) Ecocities, Rebuilding Cities in Balance with Nature. Canada: New Society Publishers.