The origins of Earth, life, and the universe … Evolution … The first humans … Civilizations, wealth and power … The legacy of imperialism … A global village with no one in charge (or is there?) It’s easy to catch snippets (both true and false) of these fascinating and seminal topics. Maybe you are interested in something a little deeper: to understand the most important events that have ever happened, to clarify today’s scientific consensus and questions, and especially to weave the strands of history together into one whole-picture narrative leading up to the world as we know it today.
That’s exactly what this book has done. The Evolution of Human … presents a decade of free-time research by an inquisitive student of life. New writer Scot Fagerland has combined his talents for academic research (honed as a grad. student and attorney) and plain-English explanations (developed as a career educator) to clarify the whole picture for himself. Now it is available for all curious souls.
The Evolution of Human … is the first history book to explicitly adopt a logarithmic structure, meaning that each chapter represents a power of ten years. This format allows TEoH to follow a continuous narrative from the big bang to big data in just ten chapters. There is no need to skip millions or billions of years as most history books do. The first five chapters closely follow our animal and pre-animal ancestors as they evolve the bodies and behavior at the base of human nature. Midway through the book, the human spark is lit with language and higher learning. The latter five chapters track human culture, civilizations, and belief systems as people struggle to understand the world and each other.
The factual sequence of events is accompanied by philosophical commentary. The result is a complete telling of what happened, when, and why it matters.
Whether your primary interest is science, history, sociology, economics, philosophy, or current events, this book will address issues that matter to you. In fact, it is the whole picture that ties them all together — all in one easily readable volume.
A few more words from the writer
Hi, my name is Scot, and I researched and wrote this book through the 2010’s. In 2020, I am incorporating feedback from lay- and expert-readers, and I may spend some time looking for an agent, editor, or publisher. For all those reasons, I have chosen to post the manuscript to this website for free until there is a published-for-profit form. I’d like to use this page to discuss this website / manuscript form.
TEoH was guided by a number of objectives that make it unique among history books:
- Present current, well-vetted academic research to a general audience.
- Address imbalances among time scales that have been under-represented or over-represented in popular awareness.
- Suggest the topics that every educated person should know in passing.
- Focus on the path to “human”, emphasizing Earth and proto-human ancestors more than black holes, dinosaurs, and other gee-whiz side stories.
- Discuss the interplay between objective reality and subjective human beliefs.
- Escape the “good guys vs. bad guys” slant on history.
- Provide perspective to interpret and question today’s institutions, from individual privacy to globalization.
- Try to help religious and scientific people understand each other.
- Take history right up to the present.
Citing sources is one of my main concerns. However, I don’t like reading a book when citations keep getting in the way. My solution is to make them discreetly. When you see a faint superscript number, 2 clicking it will take you to an “endnote” at the bottom of the page, with a reference to my source. When you see a big bold number, 1 hover over it to make a “footnote” appear, an interesting side comment. Hovering over a lightly highlighted word will open up a glossary entry. To search for any word throughout the site, return to this “Welcome” page and enter it in the search bar at lower left.
A “Chapter 0” would cover just the last few years. Since that is less than the life cycle of a book, I will maintain Chapter 0 as a blog-only chapter, an ongoing series of essays about current events. Essays about older chapters may also be relevant as our understanding of history shifts. “Margin Notes” for each chapter will be devoted to current discoveries about past events and connections from the past to the present. Over the course of my lifetime, I hope to expand each chapter into its own book.
I hope that I can use this site to connect with people of similar interests and have some great discussions. If you enjoy what you see here, I would be grateful if you contacted me and referred your friends. You may leave comments on any page / post. Note the like / share buttons at the bottom of each page. There are also social network buttons at the bottom of this page to follow or stay in touch with me. Please consider joining the AWESOME thought Facebook group.
Enough about me! Scroll back up to the menu bar to get started. I’d recommend reading the Front Matter page first. This website is mobile-friendly, but for the best presentation of all the images, I would recommend viewing it on a tablet or full-sized monitor.
Background image: Stockli, Simmons, et al, public domain, attributions here.
- Hourglass image: Pixabay License, free for commercial use, no attribution required, https://pixabay.com/illustrations/hourglass-medieval-4578285/ (accessed and archived 3/08/20). ↩
- Like this, usually with a link to an outside reference . ↩
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