The first section focuses on our universe and where we fit in.
The first chapter details the Big Bang Theory, which suggests that the universewas formed in just a few brief moments, it talks about what is needed to starta universe and how infinitesimally small the stuff that makes our universe is.Two young astronomers, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, accidentally detectedvisible matter believed to be remnants of the Big Bang, when they experiencedstatic while trying to broadcast something, and thus inadvertently discovered whatcould be evidence of this now-popular theory. Although they shared a NobelPrize for their work, neither man realized the significance of their discoveryuntil they read about it in The NewYork Times. In section 2 the size, shape, weight and orbit of the Earth arethe main focus. In this part, Bryson gives and overview of important geologistssuch as Henry Cavendish, who, in 1797, measured, with accuracy, the weight ofthe Earth. These chapters also discus Marie Curie’s work with uranium, andexplain why it was a European, not an American, as it should have been if peoplenoticed what they had, who first described a dinosaur. The third section isabout the theory of relativity and quantum physics at as simple a level aspossible.
This section shows us the flexible fabric of spacetime and the insaneamount of energy trapped in each and every molecule. It also attacks the crazy,complex world of the sub-atomic, where for something to exist it must beobserved, electrons teleport, and the universe is comprised of mostly nothing. Thestartling truths in Part 4 show us the dangers the Earth faces each day. Theseinclude the super volcano in Yellowstone, they quite likely possibility of a meteorimpact, earthquakes not bound by tectonic plates, the possibility of anotherice age, and of course global warming.
The last section is about life on earth.Life is astonishingly abundant, and, for no reason we know of, lacking indiversity. Every single living organism has the same blueprint, which he usesto point to a common ancestor. He wraps it up by pointing out how lucky we areto by here.
More than 90 percent of all species that have lived on Earth sincethe beginning of time have gone extinct, some just through natural processesand others because of mankind’s messing with the planet.