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The Pumpkin Spice Panda

The Panda's History of the World Through Cinema: Prologue is Up!

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Get ready to embark on an epic adventure through the history of the world!

 

Im creating a list of quality films that I think by going through and watching you'll be able to gain a better understanding of the world's history and cultures.

 

Im excluding documentaries from this, and I really want it to be a way where you can watch quality cinema that also has truthful insights on history.  I am also not limiting this to only Biopics and non-fiction movies, the movies also don't need to be about any historical events specifically, I may choose a film because I think it offers a keen insight about a specific period of a country.

 

Not every culture, period, civilization or world event is necessarily going to be covered.  It's also important to note I'm doing this to also further my own understanding of World History, so you aren't getting this from a true historian.  I should start sometime soon, I just wanted to get the thread up.

 

My goal is for each write up to talk a bit about the specific movie, mention what it gets right or wrong, and also talk a bit about the history the film is covering.  Hopefully this should be fun and different from our typical rankings lists!

 

The Timeline

 

Pre-Human History

The Big Bang, Formation of the Universe and Origins of Life: Prologue: In The Beginning There Was a Big Bang

Movie(s) Used: Noah

Edited by The Panda
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By the way, this will be the most text-based installment, as there aren't many non-documentary movies to pull from that covers pre-human history.  But I figured this needs to be covered when talking about the history of the world.

Prologue: In The Beginning There Was a Big Bang

 

noah.jpg

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFCXHr8aKDk

 

Period Covered: Pre-Human History

What Happened: While there are various details that are still obviously highly debated today, however the idea of the Big Bang is pretty much universally agreed upon.  We don't really know much about the Big Bang itself, only that it happened and we know what happens after it.  Also, again excuse my very simple explanations of some of these concepts (especially the scientific ones), if you want some more detailed explanations I'll provide a few references to read as well.

 

Within The First Second of Existence and Very Early Universe

The universe began by slowly expanding, space was growing and there was nothing surrounding space (putting this in a very dumbed down form so I can understand it).  During this time you had energy and quarks that would pop in and out of existence, so there wasn't really any matter as matter was practically the exact same thing as energy.  You can think of this period being a time where anti-matter balanced out matter, and so there was no dominant force.  Eventually, the matter particles start overpowering the anti-matter, and the Universe then begins to expand more rapidly (and is still expanding to this day).  Now, Quarks eventually are able to form and not be converted back to energy, these Quarks are now able to start forming Hedrons and Leptons.  Also, realize the Universe when it was completely energy was incredibly hot, making it impossible for Protons and Neutrons to really form and create elements as we know them today.

 

The Early Universe

Within the next few minutes of the Universe's existence, the Universe begins cooling down rapidly, allowing for the formation of Protons and Hadrons, which bond to form highly ionized atoms, which eventually become neutralized as the atoms capture electrons.  Also at this point, there are not stars and thus there are no light.  It's also interesting to note that there are far-away Galaxies that we can still observe in this phase in time, giving us a good understanding of this time.  It's also interesting to note that there was a period of time during the Dark Age era of the universe that the formation of liquid water was possible, making primitive forms of life possible as well.

 

Stars

Eventually, the Universe has expanded enough that Hydrogen and Helium are not only able to form, but acclaimed science-fiction film Gravity collapses them together and you get gaseous clumps and clouds.  As the universe continues to expand, you'll have denser clouds of this gas that are more and more spread apart, and eventually these clouds of gas build more and more pressure into the center until they begin to burn, thus forming stars.  You could think of these stars as massive hydrogen bombs going off in one dense location.  These stars fuse and create elements all the way up to Iron, the rest of the periodic table is then created by Supernovas, when massive stars collapse on themselves and explode.  These vast clouds of stars form galaxies and the Universe continues to infinitely expand to this day, with our galaxy being pretty much a blip on the radar, the majority of it being a vast amount of empty space.  All of this may sound irrelevant when talking about history, but realize that we are made and formed from the elements created by the stars.

 

The Formation of the Sun and Solar System

The formation of our Sun is well into the existence of the Universe, where the Laws of Physics were known to exist, and it was formed from the collapse of other Stars, meaning it's made out of stuff that isn't just Hydrogen and Helium, and has heavier elements (vital to the creation of the Earth).  It was originally something called a Solar Nebula, a large cloud, that eventually condensed, pulling much of the matter into it, until it flares out into our Sun.  This formation happened around 4.567 billion years ago.  The planets are then formed from all of the matter/dust that is left over from the Solar Nebula.  These components of dust slowly begin to stick together and form bigger and bigger objects than then begin to forcefully collide.  Eventually, we'll have a few large proto-planets that suck up many of the smaller celestial bodies with their gravitational pulls. This continues until we have the 8 planets and asteroid belt we're familiar with today.

 

Hell on Earth: Formation of Our Planet

So, at this point in time the Earth did not look anything like it did today, instead it was incredibly hot and formed from molten lava.  Due to how Density works, your heavier/denser elements begin sinking to the center of the Earth and your lighter elements float up to the surface of the Earth.  The lighter silicate minerals and elements, that had floated to the top, then begin to cool and form the Earth's crust.  The gasses come out from the center of the Earth through volcanoes and other escapes, thus forming an earlier atmosphere for the Earth.  At this point the sky of the Earth is red due to immense amounts of CO2, and the planet literally looked like the textbook definition of Hell, so I guess you could say it was Hell on Earth.  However, this nasty looking Earth allowed for all sorts of different minerals to form at a rapid pace, which helps to give the Earth its diversity we see today.  At some point, there is a large collision into the Earth, separating a large chunk of it into space and forming the moon.  Eventually, there were mass amounts of downpours of rain that happened from a build up of water vapor, these continued over millions of years forming our oceans (this was around 3.8 to 4 billion years ago).  It's also important to point out that now the Earth is separated into various moving plates (so Plate Tectonics) which allow for many integral aspects of human and living history to occur.

 

The Origin of Life

Another important thing to point out, is so much of what had happened leading up to the origin of life had to have happened over very specific conditions.  It's what makes life so unique, because many very specific aspects had to occur in order to even have the right conditions for life to occur.  Around 3.8 billion years ago or so, the first single celled organisms, called Prokaryotes, emerged at the deep bottom part of the sea and unstable Earth, they ate chemicals and take up the majority of the history of life.  Eventually some of these prokaryotes float to the top of the sea and gain a cool little ability called Photosynthesis, allowing them to make their own food and turn the vast amount of C02 in the Earth's atmosphere into O2.  Photosynthesis, and Oxygen in the sky, is why the sky is blue instead of a hellish red.  After some mass extinctions due to high O2 levels, Eukaryotes evolve, which are more complex and the ancestors of us, this was also where Sex originated from.  Because of sexual reproduction, this will allow for much more rapid Evolution to follow due to the exchanges in DNA.

 

Evolution: Single Cells to People

The idea of natural selection can be summed down to the idea that forms of life will have genetic mutations and changes from randomly scrambling their DNA when the procreate, and the changes that are beneficial will help the species survive so it will usually live on, while the changes that are not beneficial will often (but not always) lead to that branch of the species dying out.  You can actually watch evolution take place today, despite what some of the hillbillies may try to tell you, it is an actual thing and you wouldn't be alive without it (and it also doesn't disprove or prove religion).  So back to the Eukaryotes, these Eukaryotes become symbiotic and begin working together so much that they end up forming multi-cellular life.  This evolutionary chain continued, where we start getting fish-like animals, then amphibians that can run on land and lay eggs in the water, then reptiles, and eventually a shrew like mammal. Well, there are also many mass extinctions and various other forms of life, and it's all very interesting, but to much to explain in a little text bubble.  So eventually, the meteor does hit the Earth, and The Good Dinosaur faces its death like it did in the Box Office 2 years ago.  So we enter the Cenozoic era of evolution, and eventually we hit the Quaternary period and Pleistocene, where that shrew evolved into a mammal which eventually evolved into a primitive form of homo-sapiens.

 

Chosen Movie: Noah, or the 5 Minute "Creation" Scene from Noah

History the Movie Depicts: The Creation Scene from Noah gives the story of Creation being told by Noah, but the visual showcase being shown during the story closely resembles the pre-human history aspect of the formation of the Universe.  I'd recommend watching the entire movie of Noah, because it's a rather good movie (with some silly Rock Giants), but I mainly chose it for this particular scene.  What I like about it, is it is telling that history as a creation account, so in a way it encompasses a scientific point of view of the visuals (where you have the Big Bang, then Solar Nebula, then Formation of Earth, etc.) while the story being told is a religious one.  This gives you an idea of two hotly debated "origin stories" for humanity, but it also displays how the Religious can accept the scientific point of view while still holding their belief in a God.

Historical Accuracies and Inaccuracies With this Account: Due the symbolic nature of the five minute clip, and how it's blending a Religious account with a scientific one in a manner, it's not necessarily a scientific textbook on the origin of life.  However, the sequence is a neat and vivid one that shows all of that text that I wrote above in a short little nutshell, with a touch of religion at the end.  The big inaccuracy with this sequence is actually that it doesn't necessarily represent the Biblical/Cultural aspect of it all that accurately, however that's against the point.

References to Delve Deeper in These Topics: Stephen Hawking on the Origin of the UniverseNASA on the Big BangNASA on StarsStephen Hawking Explains How Our Solar System is FormedKhan Academy on Formation of Earth and Origins of LifeScience Magazine on the Origins of LifePBS Evolution LibraryBerkeley: Understanding EvolutionSmithsonian: Introduction to Human Evolution

 

noah-movie-creation-slice.jpg

 

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Just now, baumer said:

Interesting idea Panda.

 

I'll pin this.

 

I'll be pretty slow with this one, I'm just making posts when I have time, as these write-ups are a little more intensive than a typical write-up.

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Your write up for this one is way over my head.  Really well structured.  I look forward to the rest.  And take your time......I'm still working on the THABOS as well.....and I should have been much deeper into it by now...but it takes about 90 minutes per write up...so I understand where you are coming from.

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27 minutes ago, baumer said:

Your write up for this one is way over my head.  Really well structured.  I look forward to the rest.  And take your time......I'm still working on the THABOS as well.....and I should have been much deeper into it by now...but it takes about 90 minutes per write up...so I understand where you are coming from.

 

Yeah, the rest of the write-ups should be more straight history.  The Big History stuff about the history of the Universe and such are pretty high concept and difficult to wrap your brain around.

Edited by The Panda

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8 hours ago, Tele Came Back said:

Any interest in working some of TREE OF LIFE into this prologue, @The Panda? Or are you not taking submissions/suggestions?

 

Thats a good suggestion actually.

 

Im currently trying to figure out if I want to combine the Paleolithic and Neolithic posts.  I have a good movie for the Paleolithic time period, but nothing for Neolithic 

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aabattery    18,087

Dissapointed/mad that there is no mention of Jurassic Park in the human pre-history part.

 

:ph34r:

 

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Water Bottle    20,481
2 hours ago, The Panda said:

 

Thats a good suggestion actually.

 

Im currently trying to figure out if I want to combine the Paleolithic and Neolithic posts.  I have a good movie for the Paleolithic time period, but nothing for Neolithic 

 

960.jpg

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