This is "a really really really short history of nearly everything", in four amazing facts that reveal important and fundamental things about the world and our lives within it.
The first is that we exist, under the circumstances of inestimable chance within the history of the universe, the three others follow with telling consequences about how we should think about our lives on this planet.
This a part of Bill Bryson's Gresham College lecture marking the 350th anniversary of the birth of The Royal Society: 'An Even Shorter History of Nearly Everything'.
In the talk he spoke about the history of science and of the Royal Society, founded 350 years ago by Gresham College Professors (such as Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke) within Gresham College.
The lecture was given to 800 people within the Guildhall on the 30th of September 2010. The event was hosted in conjunction with the City of London Corporation and the Royal Society.
Bill Bryson's full lecture is available to download (like all of our lectures) in its complete form from the Gresham College website, in video, audio or text formats:
Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download.