BHP Lesson 44: The Deep Future

Why do we need the past in order to make informed decisions about the future? Today we’ll take a look at what historical evidence can do for us today and even into the deep future, trillions of years from now!

Driving Question: How can we use historical evidence to make more accurate predictions of the future?

  • We’ve spent this entire course learning about the past. But the past is important, because the more we understand about it, the better equipped we are to deal with our future. The best way to unpack the past is to use the claim testers: authority, evidence, intuition, and logic. Those claim testers help us make a fair assessment of the past. They help us decide what to believe. And today, we’re going to examine how we can use them to make more accurate predictions of the future. 

Word of the Day: Historical Evidence

  • Definition: Beliefs or interpretations of past events or people that can be verified to a reasonable standard of certainty. 
  • Historians go through a process when collecting and analyzing evidence from the past. Like a scientist, they formulate a hypothesis about what they think happened, and then use evidence to test that theory out. This is where the claim testers come in! Historians are often spurred on by their intuition but check their gut instincts with primary and secondary sources. They rely on authorities to frame up the stories they tell of the past and use their logic when the evidence doesn’t provide all the answers. 


  • Go to Khan Academy and watch the Crash Course video The Deep Future.
  • In this video, John and Hank Green are going to present several predictions for the future. You’re going to eventually look trillions of years into the future! As you watch, think about the way that the Green brothers present their arguments about the future. Do you think their assessment is fair? Use your claim testers! Are their predictions based on good evidence? Does their logic make sense?

Historian’s Journal Prompt

  • How do you think the current pandemic situation will change our future?
  • You’re living through what is sure to be an event that will occupy important pages in the history books of the future. Based on what you’ve seen so far, how do you think this pandemic will change our future?