When and how did our solar system form? Why is the universe fine-tuned for life? What do scientists know about the origin of life? Scientists have learned a ton about the universe and the Earth. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson covers the major discoveries and theories and points out what we still don’t know. Keep reading for an overview of this accessible guide to science and natural history, from the big bang to the arrival of hominids on Earth.
What’s the theoretical basis for the big bang? What’s a supernova? Why is Earth’s moon important? Consider the matter, energy, stars, and planets that make up our universe. At some point, they came into existence. Scientists have developed certain understandings about the big bang, the life cycle of stars, and the formation of the solar system. Continue reading for a brief history of the cosmos.
What was Prince Harry and his mother Diana’s relationship like? How did Harry cope with her unexpected death in 1997? In Spare, Harry describes his relationship with his mother as loving, but her unfortunate death in a car crash left him in pain. It wasn’t until years later in therapy that he finally confronted the trauma he endured after her death. Read below to learn more about Prince Harry and Diana’s relationship.
What causes ice ages? How much of the Earth has been covered by ice? Are we in an ice age now? The geological history of the Earth indicates that ice covers much of the planet at times and, at other times, it doesn’t. Author Bill Bryson looks into the ice age cycle to understand what scientists know and how. Keep reading for a brief overview of the ice age cycle.
How old is the Earth? What’s below the Earth’s surface? What’s plate tectonics? In A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson provides an accessible overview of the natural sciences. In his discussion of geology, he explains the age of the Earth, the Earth’s interior structure, plate tectonics, and ice ages. Keep reading for a brief introduction to these geology basics from Bryson.
What is the origin of life on Earth? What can lab experiments tell us about it? The origin of life is one of the great mysteries of science. Scientists can synthesize amino acids, but not with chemicals available on the early Earth. Furthermore, no one knows how amino acids formed proteins; random chance can’t account for it. Continue reading to learn more about origin-of-life research and its findings.
What was the motive of the Osage murders? Was justice ultimately done? How did the case shape the future of law enforcement? David Grann’s book Killers of the Flower Moon explores the Osage Reign of Terror. This was a series of organized killings of members of the Osage Indian tribe that took place in Osage County, Oklahoma, during the 1920s. Continue reading for an overview of this sad but important book.
How did Darwinian theory come to the fore? How is Intelligent Design different from creationism? In A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson offers up an accessible guide to our cosmological, geological, and biological history. He discusses the theory that Charles Darwin honed and popularized, which is best understood in the context of the competing hypothesis of Intelligent Design. Keep reading for a brief discussion of Darwinian evolution vs. Intelligent Design.
When have major extinction events occurred? What causes mass extinctions? Are there ever human-caused extinctions? A Short History of Nearly Everything is an accessible overview of the natural sciences that discusses major scientific discoveries, mysteries, and controversies. It’s in this context that author Bill Bryson addresses the serious matter of extinction and its causes. Keep reading for an introduction to this sobering reality of our history and probably our future.
How did human ancestors evolve from being ape-like to being human-like? Have scientists found fossils of a common ancestor of humans and apes? Most scientists believe that the history of hominids includes Homo Erectus (first appearing about two million years ago) and Homo Sapiens (first appearing about 100,000 years ago). Bill Bryson explores this history in A Short History of Nearly Everything. Keep reading for an overview of the history of hominids from Homo Erectus to Homo Sapiens.