The beginning of the twenty-first century is a unique point in human history; for the first time we have a coherent picture of the history of our universe. Because of this a major change in teaching science is now possible.
With our current scientific knowledge it is now possible to teach science as the history of nature. The organizing concept behind this is the evolution of historical systems through time (see Essays on the Nature of Causality). Almost all of science is the study of the evolution of historical systems. Biology's central organizing principle is the evolution of living things, just as geology centers on the evolution of the planet Earth, and astronomy on the evolution of the universe. Understanding the central explanatory role of evolution in so many areas of science is the first step toward integrating science education.
The history of nature can be subdivided chronologically into the evolution of the universe or cosmological evolution, the origin and evolution of our solar system and the planet Earth, and the origin and evolution of life on Earth or biological evolution. One of the principal goals of this web site is to develop and make available to science educators the resources necessary to teach the history of nature using the concept of evolving historical systems. This page is devoted to cosmological evolution and takes advantage of the explosion of information about astronomy and astrophysics on the Internet as shown in the following web papers.
The Evolution of the Universe (3.3 MB pdf)
The Origin of the Elements (1.0 MB pdf)
The Life History of Stars (0.5 MB pdf)
Stellar Nursery in the Orion Nebula (1.6 MB pdf)
The Formation of Stars and Solar Systems (1.0 MB pdf)
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