This Fleeting World Chapter Summary

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This Fleeting World: A Short History of Humanity By David Christian Summer Reading assignment: Prequel (pp. xx-xxviii); pp. 1-92 Reading Guide The first thing you’ll notice about This Fleeting World is that it moves fast! But don’t worry; it’s not meant to tell you everything you need to know about human history. Rather, this book provides broad brushstrokes, noting the most significant ”threshold moments” that changed the way we have lived on Earth. This Fleeting World is your launch pad for a year of historical exploration; these questions and suggestions will help to guide you. Feel free to meander through the book at your leisure, lingering on the “thought experiments” or following a tangent of an idea or link that interests you within…show more content…
2. 3. Prequel: Before the Beginning Einstein said he could never understand it all: Planets spinning through space, The smile upon your face, Welcome to the human race! Isn’t it a lovely ride? James Taylor, American songwriter Comprehension Questions: Jot down brief answers here to ensure that you are getting key information (2-4 sentences max, or bulleted points if you’d like). 1. How did planets form, and what was Earth like in its first 500 million years of existence? 2. Christian describes life as “a new form of complexity” (xxiv). How did oxygen and photosynthesis cause life to begin on Earth? 3. Eventually, multi-celled organisms emerged from water, to land, and eventually (about 7 million years ago) into human ancestors. What were some stages in the development to our species, homo sapiens? Linked definitions: These can help if you’re stuck on vocabulary. Cosmology The Big Bang Quarks Fusion Interstellar space DNA Natural selection Photosynthesis Homo sapiens “Lucy” For Further Exploration: American Museum of Natural History “Hall of Planet Earth”: American Museum of Natural History “Hall of Human Origins”:
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