Herodotus: The Histories


I’ve started reading Herodotus, it’s part of my plan to better educate myself education doesn’t necessarily require schools, teachers, exams we can, if we choose, just go purchase a big pile of books and teach ourselves via reading and then Internet research.

I’m fascinated with the history of everything of civilisation, of us, where we came from, why we spread out across the world how the different physical characteristics developed separating us from each other and causing prejudice and hate.

I’d like, if it’s at all possible, to collect volumes of works that chart the birth of our world and the beginnings of life being an atheist I naturally don’t share religious people’s view that a supernatural entity magicked life into being. Sure Christians, Jews and Muslims could argue that their view point is right but there have been many, many religions during our journey from hunter/gatherers to civilised peoples living in a technological age most of those religions are now considered myth but they weren’t to the people who believed they believed just as much and just as hard as any Christian, Jew or Muslim.

Creation myths have come and gone along with the gods and goddesses responsible for them it’s arrogant for any Christian, Jew or Muslim to believe their religion is anyway more truthful than all the dead religions they scoff at as primitive belief.

I prefer being an Atheist to being a believer in a magick guy living in the sky I like the idea life is but an accident and that the Universe is harsh and cruel and doesn’t give a damn about me, or any of us as individuals and collectively as humans.

With my mind made up about discovering the origins of Earth and all life upon it I put my plan into action and Googled a question, ‘books on Earth’s beginnings?’, on io9, a website I regularly enjoy reading I found an article dealing with ten such books, two of them were specific to the North American continent so I excluded them from my Amazon wish list learning about the early beginnings of Earth I want my teachings to encompass the entire planet not merely one geographical region.

Books to be made purchase of are:

Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Microbial Evolution.

Life On A Young Planet: The First Three Billion Years of Evolution on Earth.

When Life Nearly Died: The Greatest Mass Extinctions of All Time.

The Medea Hypothesis: Is Life On Earth Ultimately Self-Destructive?

Eating The Sun: How Plants Power The Planet.

Oxygen: The Molecule That Made The World.

The Planet in a Pebble: A Journey Into Earth’s Deep History.

Written In Stone: The Hidden Secrets of Fossils and the Story of Life on Earth.

All books sound very interesting and it’s going to be a pleasure to delve into our world’s history making awesome discoveries and being, figuratively not literally, blown out of my pants with amazement and excitement. Naturally once these books are greedily consumed I’m going to move onto books dealing specifically with each geological time period given to our world for example from the Precambrian to the Pleistocene.

What began with my interest in reading The Histories by Herodotus as exploded into this discovery of life’s mysterious beginnings and a journey will begin, for me, tracing the movements of our early ancestors as they struggled and triumphed over a very harsh environment.

I could make purchase of TV shows covering similar topics but I wouldn’t get as much out of TV shows I find I learn more and retain information better if I read it and make notes as I go along. It’s an interesting project I’ve added to the others that I’ve burdened myself with this year to try and figure out our origins and that of our world should, you’d think, be a major concern for us all considering the fact we’re supposed to be an intelligent questioning species.



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