Edited from original: I had some trouble with the formatting of my original post.
I found myself wanting to be able to answer the rather vague question, "Where did we come from?" satisfactorily, with a sense of events on a timeline. One of my nephews is getting to the age where he is beginning to ask very good questions, and I hold a warm place in my heart for the kind of dialogue Richard Feynman describes he and his father had about the nature of things. If you so desire, you can find an idea of this here: http://youtu.be/695Flhmjmg4
I did some poking around the web and arrived at this site: http://www.bigbangtowww.org/index.php/quick-walk-through-the-10-tim...
I've only gotten to "Event 7" of the first "Timescale", titled "Just Add Water - The Origins of Life", but so far I find it very stimulating and just what I was looking for.
I need a solid "Big Picture" conceptualization of nature that I can populate with more specific information as I become acquainted with it. The aforementioned site seems like it will help with this. Have any of you been to the site, have objections to it, have on hand suggestions for other material to this end, etc.?
(I've already seen 'Cosmos' and 'The Ascent of Man', and I think they're both great. ;)
Thanks for replying. It's great you remember that progression. I'll certainly try to stuff what I'm missing of it into my mind where it fits.
Have you heard of the Millenium Simulation Project? Looking at this animation really throws me into a state of wonderment: http://youtu.be/mxVAsnb9CE4
(Check out the video description. Interesting stuff--though I can't personally verify it all because it's far far over my head.)
I don't know much about the topic at all. I'm under the impression that science doesn't currently hold a very good understanding of what dark matter is, and I lack knowledge of the theories and the math that goes into them to find adequate footing. I'm okay with this for the time being. Does what you're referring to relate at all to any of the alternative theories found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter#Alternative_theories?