One in a million doesn’t even come close. Not when we’re talking about the odds that you would happen to be alive today, on this particular planet, hurtling through space. Almost 14 billion years of cosmic history, more than 4 billion years of Earth history, and a couple million years of human history, has led to you. This panoramic viewpoint has captured the imagination of historians and scientists alike, and together they’ve created a new field—big history—that studies the entire known past of our universe to give context to our very existence. Famed geologist Alvarez is best known for the impact theory explaining dinosaur extinction. His unique expertise and infectious curiosity gives us a new appreciation for the incredible occurrences—from the Big Bang and beyond—that have led to our improbable place in the universe.