What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

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.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

Plants, Animals, Humans: We Are All of One Original Genome

January 5, 2014, 8:00 AM

I’ve been really impressed by the amount of knowledge that’s gleaned by simply sequencing the genome of one species – that of the human. 

The surprises we’ve gained from that are immense but think about how humans are embedded in the fabric of the planet.  We eat plants and animals.  We live with plants and animals.  We obtain diseases from plants and animals.  They obtain diseases from each other.  They eat each other. 

There’s a woven web of ecology that ties humans deeply to the rest of the living things on this planet.  If our genome is important then the genomes of all those other organisms must be important for understanding that fabric of life, the ecology of the planet. 

As we dig into this there is this pervasive realization that Darwin was right – that all living things are genetically related.  We are all of one original genome.  So the human genome is just the tip of this great bushy tree of life that started 3.8 billion years ago and today is manifest by millions of species living in all sorts of ecosystems – high in the sky and deep in the Earth that underpin and support the nature of life on the planet today. 

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.



Plants, Animals, Humans: We...

Newsletter: Share: