Origin Story
Thursday, July 5, 2018 at 9:00AM
Dads on the Air in 2018, Depression, International Perspectives, Mental Health, Mentoring

With special guest:

It doesn’t get any bigger than this!

In his new book Origin Story: A Big History of Everything our guest David Christian traces human history arising from the Big Bang and going through to the first stars, our solar system, life on Earth, dinosaurs, homo sapiens, agriculture, an ice age, empires, fossil fuels, a moon landing and mass globalisation. And all this is done in the context of what it means to us and our families.

This origin story is one of numerous such stories. Examples might include the Christian story of creation and the Aboriginal Dreamtime. Dr Christian’s story is based on the latest scientific findings and theories but it is told in a way that it can be related around a campfire or start discussions around the dinner table. What we hear is that story telling going back to the beginning is important to all of us.

At a time when families are fragmented and stories are not being told, the mental health of many of our young people is spiralling down into anxiety and depression. Story telling puts our lives in context. We can see where we are today as a species and we can think about a future that at times looks uncertain.

Some might feel that this big history makes us feel insignificant in the scheme of things but David tells us that we are at a very important time in history. The next two hundred years are going to be vital to our future as a species. Humans now have the power to change our environment, even to blow the planet up.

But there are positive signs in recent worldwide agreements such as the Paris Accord on Climate Change. David Christian does not believe that we should be pessimistic, in fact he sees the current conditions as being a “Goldilocks” time. This is the message that David passes on to his own children and grandchildren and it is what we focus on in this fascinating voyage of discovery.

Bill Gates loves hearing what David Christian has to say and you will too.

Dr David Christian

David Christian is a distinguished Professor in History at Macquarie University in Sydney and the co-founder, with Bill Gates, of The Big History Project, which has built a free online syllabus on the history of the universe and is taught in schools all over the world. He is also co-creator of Macquarie University Big History school which provides online courses in Big History for primary and high school students. He received his PhD from the University of Oxford. David has delivered keynote addresses at conferences around the world including at the Davos World Economic Forum and his TED talk on the history of the Universe has been viewed over 7 million times.

Song selection by our guest: And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda by Eric Bogle

Article originally appeared on Dads on the Air (http://www.dadsontheair.com.au/).
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