Throughout Professor Fleming’s critique of Big History, I was repeatedly reminded of  similar discussion we had in my AY248 class (Anthropological Perspectives on Science and Religion). One major idea we’ve been exploring in AY248 is the ways in which western culture takes scientific knowledge — especially that of the “hard sciences” — to be inherently unbiased and reliable. However, as scholar Sarah Franklin writes in her essay, Science as Culture, Cultures of Science, all knowledge, scientific of not, is framed by the culture we inhabit. Professor Fleming pointed out on Tuesday that the concept of Big History presumes that it is possible to compile unbiased information from the multiple disciplines (geology, anthropology, etc.) that constitute Big History. However, as we discussed in the 1pm ST297 class, our societal context impacts our ideas of what true knowledge is. For example, in the 1500s, a “big history” description of the world would likely look very much like the bible! Although we now know that there is a lot more to the origins of our Earth than what is described in Scripture, at the time, that text was taken as absolute truth and authority, because of the cultural context. A big history written before the discovery of the atom would be entirely lacking in ideas about what we now know to be fundamental building blocks of all life on earth. Likewise, it is entirely probable that in 500, or even 50, years, our current scientific knowledge will seem horribly ignorant and outdated — making today’s attempts at Big History seem foolish.