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The Origin and Evolution of Earth: From the Big Bang to the Future of Human Existence

Explore the frontiers of science with this revolutionary course that rewrites the history of our planet as a single, compelling story involving the coevolution of rocks and life.

Watch First Lecture

48 Lectures

1
Image of Mineralogy and a New View of Earth
Mineralogy and a New View of Earth
0 of 38 min
2
Image of Origin and Evolution of the Early Universe
Origin and Evolution of the Early Universe
0 of 31 min
3
Image of Origins of the Elements—Nucleosynthesis
Origins of the Elements—Nucleosynthesis
0 of 33 min
4
Image of Ur-Minerals, First Crystals in the Cosmos
Ur-Minerals, First Crystals in the Cosmos
0 of 32 min
5
Image of Presolar Dust Grains—Chemistry Begins
Presolar Dust Grains—Chemistry Begins
0 of 32 min
6
Image of Coming to Grips with Deep Time
Coming to Grips with Deep Time
0 of 29 min
7
Image of The Birth of the Solar System
The Birth of the Solar System
0 of 30 min
8
Image of The Early Solar System—Terrestrial Planets
The Early Solar System—Terrestrial Planets
0 of 29 min
9
Image of Hints from the Gas Giants and Their Moons
Hints from the Gas Giants and Their Moons
0 of 30 min
10
Image of Meteorites—The Oldest Objects You Can Hold
Meteorites—The Oldest Objects You Can Hold
0 of 29 min
11
Image of Mineral Evolution, Go! Chondrite Meteorites
Mineral Evolution, Go! Chondrite Meteorites
0 of 32 min
12
Image of Meteorite Types and Planetesimals
Meteorite Types and Planetesimals
0 of 33 min
13
Image of Achondrites and Geochemical Affinities
Achondrites and Geochemical Affinities
0 of 32 min
14
Image of The Accretion and Differentiation of Earth
The Accretion and Differentiation of Earth
0 of 34 min
15
Image of How Did the Moon Form?
How Did the Moon Form?
0 of 29 min
16
Image of The Big Thwack!
The Big Thwack!
0 of 31 min
17
Image of The “Big Six” Elements of Early Earth
The “Big Six” Elements of Early Earth
0 of 33 min
18
Image of The Black Earth—Peridotite to Basalt
The Black Earth—Peridotite to Basalt
0 of 34 min
19
Image of Origins of the Oceans
Origins of the Oceans
0 of 31 min
20
Image of Blue Earth and the Water Cycle
Blue Earth and the Water Cycle
0 of 32 min
21
Image of Earth and Mars versus Mercury and the Moon
Earth and Mars versus Mercury and the Moon
0 of 31 min
22
Image of Gray Earth—Clays and the Rise of Granite
Gray Earth—Clays and the Rise of Granite
0 of 32 min
23
Image of Earth’s Mineralogy Takes Off—Pegmatites
Earth’s Mineralogy Takes Off—Pegmatites
0 of 30 min
24
Image of Moving Continents and the Rock Cycle
Moving Continents and the Rock Cycle
0 of 29 min
25
Image of Plate Tectonics Changes Everything
Plate Tectonics Changes Everything
0 of 31 min
26
Image of Geochemistry to Biochemistry—Raw Materials
Geochemistry to Biochemistry—Raw Materials
0 of 31 min
27
Image of Biomolecules—Select, Concentrate, Assemble
Biomolecules—Select, Concentrate, Assemble
0 of 30 min
28
Image of Why Reproduction? World Enough and Time
Why Reproduction? World Enough and Time
0 of 31 min
29
Image of Eons, Eras, and Strategies of Early Life
Eons, Eras, and Strategies of Early Life
0 of 30 min
30
Image of Red Earth—The Great Oxidation Event
Red Earth—The Great Oxidation Event
0 of 30 min
31
Image of Earliest Microbial and Molecular Fossils?
Earliest Microbial and Molecular Fossils?
0 of 30 min
32
Image of Microbial Mats and Which Minerals Can Form
Microbial Mats and Which Minerals Can Form
0 of 31 min
33
Image of Earth's Greatest Mineral Explosion
Earth's Greatest Mineral Explosion
0 of 31 min
34
Image of The Boring Billion? Cratons and Continents
The Boring Billion? Cratons and Continents
0 of 31 min
35
Image of The Supercontinent Cycle
The Supercontinent Cycle
0 of 30 min
36
Image of Feedback Loops and Tipping Points
Feedback Loops and Tipping Points
0 of 29 min
37
Image of Snowball Earth and Hothouse Earth
Snowball Earth and Hothouse Earth
0 of 30 min
38
Image of The Second Great Oxidation Event
The Second Great Oxidation Event
0 of 30 min
39
Image of Deep Carbon—Deep Life, Fuels, and Methane
Deep Carbon—Deep Life, Fuels, and Methane
0 of 30 min
40
Image of Biominerals and Early Animals
Biominerals and Early Animals
0 of 31 min
41
Image of Between Rodinia and Pangaea—Plants on Land
Between Rodinia and Pangaea—Plants on Land
0 of 30 min
42
Image of Life Speeds Up—Oxygen and Climate Swings
Life Speeds Up—Oxygen and Climate Swings
0 of 30 min
43
Image of From the “Great Dying
From the “Great Dying" to Dinosaurs
0 of 31 min
44
Image of Impact! From Dinosaurs to Mammals
Impact! From Dinosaurs to Mammals
0 of 32 min
45
Image of Humans and the Anthropocene Epoch
Humans and the Anthropocene Epoch
0 of 32 min
46
Image of The Next 5 Billion Years
The Next 5 Billion Years
0 of 31 min
47
Image of The Nearer Future
The Nearer Future
0 of 31 min
48
Image of Coevolution of Geosphere and Biosphere
Coevolution of Geosphere and Biosphere
0 of 40 min

Reviews

k********m
April 2, 2018

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b********m
February 3, 2018
I have had a lifelong interest in physical geography and geology, though mainly as an amateur. I have watched the other GC Geology courses, which are excellent (I learned a great deal from Dr. Renton's course in particular) and i had seen a few of Dr. Hazen's science lectures from a comprehensive overview of science course (60 lectures I think) he did back in the early 2000s. But nothing really prepared me for this course which I binge watched when if first came around 4 years ago. This was because I felt like I was hearing the announcement of a significant new discovery of science, getting to hear it for the first time along with other non professional but interested amateurs . Yes, our generation has (mostly) grown up in a post Darwin world, with the notion that plants and animals evolve through long periods of time as settled as that the earth is a sphere. The shock (or scandal) of those Darwin related discoveries were for prior generations to experience and sift through, and though we were still sifting, the larger parameters of the "theory" were more or less accepted and old news. But it had never even occurred to me that rocks and minerals might have evolved just the same, and even in response to plant and animal evolution, all contributing to the development of earth's atmosphere. Though rocks were interesting, I guess I just thought that rocks were rocks, and the ones we had now were the same or recycled versions of the same ones with the same materials that had always been on earth. Therefore to think that rocks and minerals had evolved chemically, mineral-wise over time struck me as most important new thing to understand about earth science since plate tectonics was first proposed and (at last) accepted. There is a lot of information to review and absorb here. It isn't too long--maybe not long enough to understand all the science that underlies all of this--and throughout the course I wished I had known far more chemistry or mineralogy. But I have watched the course a couple of times, and parts of it multiple times (I love the story of how we got our moon in particular) and though a lot remains above my head and maybe always will, I think I'm seeing the larger picture and how valuable the research of the last 30 years has been to get us to this new level. I believe this is therefore one of the best of the best 5 star Great Courses, and certainly one of the most consequential in the science area produced to date, with information far ahead of what many of us in the non academic world likely have in print.

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c********m
October 25, 2017

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