Very, very insightful. Best course that I participated in. I simply loved it. And if you (the reader of this review) have any sort of curiosity regarding reasons of existence, this course is for you.
I love everything about this. Plan to go back sometime later and explore more of the websites and links that are referenced. I especially enjoy material from the American Museum of Natural History.
von JEETENDRA K 1•
von T.J. E•
This course is at times thrilling and mind-expanding, at other times repetitive and dull. The topic, most of the readings, and about half the videos, are captivating and exciting and world-view changing. But the material (internal readings followed by video lectures followed by video interviews followed by video excerpts from a documentary followed by external readings, etc.) do not, in my opinion, compliment or add to each other so much as simply keep repeating the same thing in multiple medias. So, in this way, the course somehow achieved to be both thrilling and dull at the same time. However, the course is well worth it if you are interested in big ideas like deep history, human capacity for story-making, meaning-making, and mythology, and the human spirit. Despite the title, these are the big themes, while actual cosmology or astronomy are secondary (though important). I give a big thanks to the creators of the course for exposing me to Wendell Berry and this big idea of Cosmological storytelling.
von Al A•
I liked this course however it seemed to center on the film as the core content, sometimes feeling like an elaborate advertisement for the film/book. It would be great to have a course that went deeper into the scientific findings that are described, and didn't draw on only the film as the source material.
von Susan H•
Awesome documentary! Just sad that we can't do this course without having to subscribe. Is there any way to make it more accessible? Such as allowing the non-paying students to submit quizzes and assignments?
von Vedant A•
Great course for understanding history of universe.
von Aahan R•
Quite brilliant actually.
von Yashaswi s•
von Kenneth R•
I appreciate the great amount of thought and effort that the instructors put into this course, but to me, it fell flat. I did not learn a great deal that was new, and certainly nothing in any great depth. If you have been keeping up with popular accounts of science in newspapers, magazines, or on the web, you probably are familiar with all the scientific concepts that the course presents. And the framing of those concepts in the course simply bothered me. The instructors can't help mixing notions of purpose and intent into science, as if that is necessary to experience what they value so highly: wonder. In fact, you can understand, wonder at, and value life without bringing in teleology. Sometimes looking for purpose distracts you from beauty. I would advise potential students that their time would be better spent taking a more traditional natural science course. Have patience. Study deeply. You will find beauty there. As Darwin wrote, about the study of evolution, "There is grandeur in this view of life ...."
von Leslie G•
The material was amazing (thank you!), but for those who audit, being excluded from the discussions and the tests at the end of each unit made for a "less than" experience. Please don't call yourself a MOOC if the free content is so different from the paid version. I'd like for my Coursera listed courses to show this as complete (but without the badge or Yale specific recognition) but it shows that I didn't complete the course, didn't meet the deadlines because I can't do (although I can see) the needed assignments. For me, I don't need badges or certificates, but I do like being able to access and do everything within a course. This "less than" experience isn't how most Coursera courses work. If the content wasn't so amazing, I would have given even fewer stars.
von Juan M•
The basic ideas exposed during the course are interesting and good food for thought. However the course contents practically depend on the film and book by Swimme and Tucker; so at the beginning of the course one is shown the complete film, and over the ensuing weeks a particular book chapter and its corresponding fraction of the film is presented again; the quiz (which is very little demanding) at the end of the week is basically based on those contents. I paid for the certificate since the idea of a "specialization" appealed to me, but I am not sure it was worth.
von Curt H•
The content is really great....However, you can buy the book for $15 and get almost all of the same information — in sum, the class is essentially chapters from the book, the movie and a bunch of links to websites with relevant content.
von Yuhua Y•
It is not so academic as I thought. Thomas Berry is an extraordinary scholar undoubtedly, but the lectures put too much personal affection onto Thomas Berry, which makes me uncomfortable.
von Peter M•
If you like 5th to 6th grade level material presented in the spirit of an Allen Alda type on a PBS special then this is for you. I cant believe Yale would sponsor such dribble.
von Joy S•
The gobbledygook mooc. Worst bunch of talking a lot and saying nothing I ever encountered.