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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Fish Feat

January 7, 2010, 4:55 AM
Fossilised footprints dating back 395m years have shed new light on the “evolutionary milestone” of the transition of aquatic fish into terrestrial animals. “The fossilised tracks of one of the first four-legged creatures to walk on land have been discovered in a disused quarry in southern Poland. The footprints date back 395 million years and are about 18 million years older than the oldest known ‘tetrapod’ fossil…The researchers have found several kinds of tracks made by animals of different sizes as they walked across the muddy floor of a marine lagoon, as well as individual footprints, some as large as 26cm wide, indicating a four-legged creature about 2.5m long. According to a report in the journal Nature, the tracks have distinctive ‘hand’ and ‘foot’ prints and are arranged in a diagonal sequence with no evidence of the body being dragged along the ground, showing that the animal walked by flexing its raised body much like a modern-day lizard.”
 

Fish Feat

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