As Gates was working his way through the series, he stumbled upon a set of DVDs titled “Big History” — an unusual college course taught by a jovial, gesticulating professor from Australia named David Christian. Unlike the previous DVDs, “Big History” did not confine itself to any particular topic, or even to a single academic discipline. Instead, it put forward a synthesis of history, biology, chemistry, astronomy and other disparate fields, which Christian wove together into nothing less than a unifying narrative of life on earth. Standing inside a small “Mr. Rogers"-style set, flanked by an imitation ivy-covered brick wall, Christian explained to the camera that he was influenced by the Annales School, a group of early-20th-century French historians who insisted that history be explored on multiple scales of time and space. Christian had subsequently divided the history of the world into eight separate “thresholds,” beginning with the Big Bang, 13 billion years ago (Threshold 1), moving through to the origin of Homo sapiens (Threshold 6), the appearance of agriculture (Threshold 7) and, finally, the forces that gave birth to our modern world (Threshold 8).I listened to the first 2 minutes about the Big Bang, leading up to this:
Why is this so important? Because nothing had turned into something. And that something contained everything needed to build an interesting universe. One that could eventually include you and me.
No, we really don't know that "nothing had turned into something", and we certainly don't know that there is anything important about that.
We could say that the universe is expanding as if the observable portion of it were once in a much smaller volume. The early expansion may or may not have been accelerated by inflation.
L. Krauss wrote a book on how nothing turns into something, but of course he really explains that a vacuum quantum field theory can shift from one state to another.
It also says:
After the big bang there was space, which was rapidly expanding, and there was time.I don't see how it makes any sense to say that time existed after something else.
This sort of grand synthesis course may be worthwhile, but it seems that the people who make these courses cannot resist injecting ideological biases of various sorts.