Why would big history be important?

Big history can be seen as important for the following reasons:
- If one wants to understand our current position in time and space, an overview of the entire past is required. Big history offers the story of how everything has become the way it is now, thus explaining, and connecting us to, all aspects of reality.
- Because traces of big history can be found in everything studied by academics today, from the most exquisite artistic expressions to the most distant celestial objects, viewing one's subject from a big history perspective will enrich its understanding.
- Big history provides a coherent time line to which all existing knowledge can be attached in an orderly fashion.
- Studying big history shows why a basic knowledge of all the sciences, from particle physics and astronomy all the way down to every aspect of human history, is important for understanding our common past and present, and that all this knowledge can be explained in simple, yet accurate, ways.
- Big history provides an overview of all major established academic paradigms: big bang cosmology, plate tectonics, and the theory of biological evolution. In other words, by studying big history students become scientifically literate.
- Because big history integrates all our knowledge in a systematic fashion, having acquired a big history mindset helps to analyze and understand a great many situations from different angles.
Big History and the Future of Humanity offers a simple original model that explains major underlying principles of big history, including human history. This model has not been challenged so far, and is increasingly adopted by other scholars.
- By trying to look at the whole picture, gaps in our knowledge become more clear than in any other approach to reality.
- By offering an integrated view of the entire past, big history offers the best possible vantage point for contemplating what the future may bring.
For the author's personal motivation to engage in big history, the reader may want to take a look at the answer to the question of "Does big history have a meaning?" on this page.
International Big History Association
Un. of Amsterdam big history
Cosmic Evolution
Big History Project
Book: Teaching Big History
Bill Bryson: Short History of Nearly Everything
Other useful stuff on the web
Other big history
How to use the book
Course models
Learning goals and objectives
Teaching tools
Assignments (little big histories)
Answers to FAQs by students
Questions by students and teachers that go beyond the book
Examination models
Teaching big history