Brian VillmoareApr 3, 2023
The Evolution of Everything
The Patterns and Causes of Big History
Cambridge University Press 2023
Big History seeks to retell the human story in light of scientific advances by such methods as radiocarbon dating and genetic analysis. Brian Villmoare's book The Evolution of Everything: The Patterns and Causes of Big History (Cambridge UP, 2023) provides a deep, causal view of the forces that have shaped the universe, the earth, and humanity. Starting with the Big Bang and the formation of the earth, it traces the evolutionary history of the world, focusing on humanity's origins. It also explores the many natural forces shaping humanity, especially the evolution of the brain and behaviour. Moving through time, the causes of such important transformations as agriculture, complex societies, the industrial revolution, the enlightenment, and modernity are placed in the context of underlying changes in demography, learning, and social organization. Humans are biological creatures, operating with instincts evolved millions of years ago, but in the context of a rapidly changing world, and as we try to adapt to new circumstances, we must regularly reckon with our deep past.
Galina Limorenko is a doctoral candidate in Neuroscience with a focus on biochemistry and molecular biology of neurodegenerative diseases at EPFL in Switzerland.