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The Ancona Penrose Conference of October 2007 dealt with the current state of understanding of the late Eocene and the Eocene-Oligocene boundary, ~34 million years ago, a critical but very brief interval in Earth history. In this paper, we place that brief interval and the lessons from the conference in the broadest possible context by viewing them in the light of “Big History.” This new intellectual concept maintains that there may be value in considering the entire past, from the big bang until today, as a single unit of study. At this very early stage in the study of Big...

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