Big bang to www painting

"From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web™"
Painting by artist John Agnew, commissioned by The Stone Age Institute.
Copyright 2011, The Stone Age Institute®. All rights reserved.

Take a Journey Through Time
From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web

As a part of a long-range and multifaceted project to promote science education and large-scale evolutionary thinking, Stone Age Institute co-directors Nicholas Toth and Kathy Schick developed the website project From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web. The website was designed to introduce people to their ultimate origins and ancestry. On the site visitors explore the top 100 events in the evolution of the universe, the earth, life, and the human species. The term “Big History” is sometimes used to describe such an approach to our evolutionary origins.

The project considers such topics as the Big Bang and the origins of the universe, the origins of the solar system and the earth, the origins of life, the evolution of more complex life, the extinction of the dinosaurs and rise of mammals, human evolution, the rise of farming and urban communities, and more recent human technological and cultural developments through time.

The website organizes the events over this vast period of time, 13.7 billion years, into ten nested Time Scales, each Scale diminishing by a power of ten. Thus, the first Time Scale covers from the Big Bang event 10+ billion years ago to 1 billion years ago, the second Time Scale from 1 billion to 100 million years ago, the third from 100 million to 10 million years ago, and so on. The tenth Time Scale deals with the last ten years. We have selected ten major events within each Time Scale, essentially creating ten “Top Ten Lists.” See the table below which briefly outlines the ten time scales.

Along with the interactive web site the project included a book, a pocket brochure, original music, and a museum exhibit at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures at Indiana University, Bloomington.

To celebrate the project, an original song was written by co-Directors Nicholas Toth and Kathy Schick, titled "From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web". The song recording features singer/songwriter and national recording artist Carrie Newcomer, and the Stone Age Institute Band. Check out the video slide show of the original song below.

From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web from Stone Age Institute on Vimeo.

The ten nested time scales:

Time Scale One

10+ billion
to one billion years ago

“From Nothing to Everything: The Origins of the Universe, the Solar System, Earth, and Life”

Time Scale Two

One billion to 100 million years ago

“All Creatures Great and Small: The Cambrian Explosion of Animal Life and Its Aftershocks”

Time Scale Three

100 million to 10 million years ago

“One Extraterrestrial Impact Can Ruin Your Whole Day: The Dinosaur Extinction and the Rise of Mammals”

Time Scale Four

10 million to one million years ago

“Upstanding Apes: The Rise of Hominins, the Role of Rock, and Food for Thought”

Time Scale Five

One million
to 100,000
years ago

“Becoming Human (or Just About): The Rise of Homo sapiens and our Neandertal cousins”

Time Scale Six

100,000 to 10,000 years ago

“The Creative Explosion: The Rise of Language, Symbolism, Religion, Art, and Music”

Time Scale Seven

to 1,000 years ago

“From Farm to City: The Neolithic and Urban Revolutions and Their Consequences”

Time Scale Eight

1,000 to 100 years ago

“Ages of Enlightenment: From the Dark Ages of Superstition to the Scientific Revolution”

Time Scale Nine

100 to 10 years ago

“Modern Times: The Last Century, Laying the Foundations to the World We Live In”

Time Scale Ten

The last ten years

“The Age of Connections: The Past Decade of Innovations and Their Implications”


The future

“Brave New Worlds: Predictions for the Future”