Journey of the Universe: The Unfolding of Life

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Description

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About this course: Journey of the Universe weaves together the discoveries of the evolutionary sciences together with humanities such as history, philosophy, art, and religion. The course draws on the Emmy-award winning film, Journey of the Universe, and the book from Yale University Press. Journey explores cosmic evolution as a creative process based on connection, interdependence, and emergence. It examines a range of dynamic interactions in the unfolding of galaxies, Earth, life, and human communities. It investigates ways in which we understand evolutionary processes and the implications for humans and our ecological future. The Journey course, thus, is based on a new integration th…

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: Journey of the Universe weaves together the discoveries of the evolutionary sciences together with humanities such as history, philosophy, art, and religion. The course draws on the Emmy-award winning film, Journey of the Universe, and the book from Yale University Press. Journey explores cosmic evolution as a creative process based on connection, interdependence, and emergence. It examines a range of dynamic interactions in the unfolding of galaxies, Earth, life, and human communities. It investigates ways in which we understand evolutionary processes and the implications for humans and our ecological future. The Journey course, thus, is based on a new integration that is emerging from the dialogue of the sciences and humanities. Journey tells the story of evolution as an epic narrative, rather than as a series of facts separated by scientific disciplines. This changes our perception so that we begin to see ourselves as an integral part of this narrative. By situating ourselves within this story we can better appreciate the complexity and beauty of processes such as self-organizing dynamics, natural selection, emergence, symbiosis, and co-evolution. As we discover these intricate processes of evolution, we awaken to the beauty and complexity of our natural environment at this critical juncture in our planetary history. Upcoming sessions May 8, 2017 - June 26, 2017 June 5, 2017 - July 24, 2017 July 3, 2017 - August 21, 2017 July 31, 2017 - September 18, 2017 August 28, 2017 - October 16, 2017 September 25, 2017 - November 13, 2017

Who is this class for: This course is introductory and aimed at an educated public, ranging from those with college education to those without. No prerequisite knowledge is needed - just an openness to learn about the complex development of the universe, Earth, and life. Within this epic story we will explore the role of humans given our present social and ecological challenges.

Created by:  Yale University
  • Taught by:  Mary Evelyn Tucker , Senior Lecturer and Senior Research Scholar

    Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
  • Taught by:  John Grim, Senior Lecturer and Senior Research Scholar

    Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Basic Info Course 1 of 4 in the Journey of the Universe: A Story for Our Times Specialization Commitment 2 hours of viewing lectures/week and 2 hours of reading books and articles/week Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.6 stars Average User Rating 4.6See what learners said Coursework

Each course is like an interactive textbook, featuring pre-recorded videos, quizzes and projects.

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Yale University For more than 300 years, Yale University has inspired the minds that inspire the world. Based in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale brings people and ideas together for positive impact around the globe. A research university that focuses on students and encourages learning as an essential way of life, Yale is a place for connection, creativity, and innovation among cultures and across disciplines.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Welcome to Journey of the Universe: The Unfolding Life
Learn what this course is about, who's teaching it, and other ways you can explore this topic. Meet and greet your peers as well!


1 video, 4 readings expand


  1. Reading: Course Description
  2. Video: Tucker and Grim, “Cultural Cosmology and Scientific Cosmology”
  3. Reading: Meet Your Instructional Team
  4. Discussion Prompt: Introduce yourself!
  5. Reading: Recommended Texts
  6. Reading: Web Resources


Introduction - Beginning of the Universe
In module two, we explore how humans are part of the larger universe story.


5 videos, 5 readings, 1 practice quiz expand


  1. Video: Tucker, “Living Within a Universe Story”
  2. Video: Tucker, “Ethics in an Age of Extinction”
  3. Reading: Journey of the Universe Book: Chapter 1: Beginning of the Universe
  4. Reading: "The New Story," by Thomas Berry
  5. Reading: Scientific Summary, by Matthew Riley and Brian Thomas Swimme: Beginning of the Universe
  6. Practice Quiz: Living Within a Universe Story
  7. Reading: Familiarize yourself with the Journey website
  8. Video: Meet Brian Swimme
  9. Video: Journey of the Universe (full film)
  10. Reading: “Space Ripples Reveal Big Bang’s Smoking Gun”, by Dennis Overbye
  11. Video: The new cosmology — sketched out via Einstein — as a fundamental Copernican-type turning point
  12. Discussion Prompt: The first moments of the universe are a great blossoming of astounding creativity.

Graded: Introduction - Beginning of the Universe

WEEK 2


The Formation of Galaxies and Stars
This module explores many of the world's greatest stories and how they begin with a journey, a quest to answer life's most intimate questions like where do we come from and why are we here?


5 videos, 6 readings, 2 practice quizzes expand


  1. Video: Journey of the Universe Film: Scene 1: Introduction
  2. Reading: Journey of the Universe Book: Chapter 2: Galaxies Forming
  3. Video: Journey of the Universe Film: Scene 2: Beginning of the Universe
  4. Reading: American Museum of Natural History, NYC - Cosmology
  5. Video: Journey of the Universe Film: Scene 3a: Galaxies Forming
  6. Reading: Scientific Summary, by Matthew Riley and Brian Thomas Swimme: The Formation of Galaxies
  7. Practice Quiz: Galaxies Forming
  8. Reading: Journey of the Universe Book: Chapter 3: The Emanating Brilliance of Stars
  9. Video: Journey of the Universe Film: Scene 3b: The Emanating Brilliance of Stars.
  10. Reading: Short film, “Powers of Ten,” by Eames Office
  11. Reading: Scientific Summary, by Matthew Riley and Brian Thomas Swimme: The Emanating Brialliance of Stars
  12. Practice Quiz: The Emanating Brilliance of Stars
  13. Video: The Omnicentric Nature of Cosmic Expansion
  14. Discussion Prompt: Our constantly expanding universe

Graded: The Formation of Galaxies and Stars

WEEK 3


Our Solar System and Life’s Emergence
Here we look at several major milestones in scientific discovery that expanded our knowledge of the solar system


3 videos, 5 readings, 2 practice quizzes expand


  1. Reading: Journey of the Universe Book: Chapter 4: Birth of the Solar System
  2. Video: Journey of the Universe Film: Scene 4: Birth of the Solar System
  3. Reading: Scientific Summary, by Matthew Riley and Brian Thomas Swimme: Our Solar System
  4. Reading: Scales of the Universe, American Museum of Natural History, NYC
  5. Practice Quiz: Our Solar System
  6. Reading: Journey of the Universe Book: Chapter 5: Life’s Emergence
  7. Video: Journey of the Universe Film: Scene 5: Life’s Emergence
  8. Reading: Scientific Summary, by Matthew Riley and Brian Thomas Swimme: Life’s Emergence
  9. Practice Quiz: Life's Emergence
  10. Video: Plate Tectonics as Balanced Turbulence in Mars and Jupiter
  11. Discussion Prompt: Trace the formation of the human back through Earth processes.

Graded: Our Solar System and Life’s Emergence

WEEK 4


Living and Dying and the Passion of Animals
Now we invite you to think about the coevolution of the human with other species within this broad time scale. Completing this module may change the way that you understand what it means to be human!


3 videos, 6 readings, 2 practice quizzes expand


  1. Reading: Journey of the Universe Book: Chapter 6: Living and Dying
  2. Video: Journey of the Universe Film: Scene 6: Learning, Living, and Dying
  3. Reading: Field Museum, Chicago, Illinois – Evolving Planet
  4. Reading: Scientific Summary, by Matthew Riley and Brian Thomas Swimme: Living and Dying
  5. Practice Quiz: Learning, Living, and Dying
  6. Reading: Journey of the Universe Book: Chapter 7: The Passion of Animals
  7. Video: Journey of the Universe Film: Scene 7: The Passion of Animals
  8. Reading: Hall of Biodiversity, American Museum of Natural History, NYC
  9. Reading: Scientific Summary, by Matthew Riley and Brian Thomas Swimme: the Passion of Animals
  10. Practice Quiz: The Passion of Animals
  11. Video: Demonstrating the Co-evolution Taking Place in Natural Selection
  12. Discussion Prompt: Recall a particular scene or quote from the Journey of the Universe film

Graded: Living and Dying and the Passion of Animals

WEEK 5


From the Origin of the Human to Becoming a Planetary Presence
In this module, we hope you come to understand the human species to be “planetary” in a way that other species are not.


3 videos, 7 readings, 2 practice quizzes expand


  1. Reading: Journey of the Universe Book: Chapter 8: The Origin of the Human
  2. Video: Journey of the Universe Film: Scene 8: The Origin of the Human
  3. Reading: Anne and Bernard Spitzer Hall of Human Origins
  4. Reading: “Being Human,” by Rick Potts, Smithsonian Institution
  5. Practice Quiz: The Origin of the Human
  6. Reading: Scientific Summary, by Matthew Riley and Brian Thomas Swimme: The Origin of the Human
  7. Reading: Journey of the Universe Book: Chapter 9: Becoming a Planetary Presence
  8. Video: Journey of the Universe Film: Scene 9: Becoming a Planetary Presence
  9. Reading: The Age of Humans: Evolutionary Perspectives on the Anthropocene
  10. Reading: Scientific Summary, by Matthew Riley and Brian Thomas Swimme: Becoming a Planetary Presence
  11. Practice Quiz: Becoming a Planetary Presence
  12. Video: The Neotenic Nature of Flowers and Humans
  13. Discussion Prompt: How do you understand humans as a “planetary species”?

Graded: From the Origin of the Human to Becoming a Planetary Presence

WEEK 6


Rethinking Matter and Time within the Emerging Earth Community



What does it mean to you to live in cosmological time? How is thinking like this different than your previous understanding of time? What implications does it have for your understanding of yourself and your sense of your relation to the world around you? This module explores answers to these questions.


5 videos, 4 readings expand


  1. Reading: Journey of the Universe Book: Chapter 10: Rethinking Matter and Time
  2. Video: Journey of the Universe Film: Scene 10: Emerging Earth Community
  3. Reading: Journey of the Universe Book: Chapter 11: Emerging Earth Community
  4. Reading: Scientific Summary, by Matthew Riley and Brian Thomas Swimme: Rethinking Matter and Time within the Emerging Earth Community
  5. Reading: California Academy of Sciences
  6. Video: Tucker and Grim with Brian Ackerman at Jacob Burns Center (1 of 3)
  7. Video: Tucker and Grim with Brian Ackerman at Jacob Burns Center (2 of 3)
  8. Video: Tucker and Grim with Brian Ackerman at Jacob Burns Center (3 of 3)
  9. Video: Time As Now Measured in Terms of Cosmological Creativity
  10. Discussion Prompt: "Wonder will guide us"

Graded: Rethinking Matter and Time within the Emerging Earth Community
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