The universe, it turns out, expands, and Einstein considered the cosmological constant his “biggest blunder.”
But observations today suggest that, indeed, the cosmological constant is necessary.
They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
Between stars--on stars where no human race is.
I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places.
[Robert Frost, from "Desert Places," 1936]
A system of beliefs that seeks to describe or explain the origin and structure of the universe. A cosmology attempts to establish an ordered, harmonious framework that integrates time, space, the planets, stars, and other celestial phenomena. In so-called primitive societies, cosmologies help explain the relationship of human beings to the rest of the universe and are therefore closely tied to religious beliefs and practices. In modern industrial societies, cosmologies seek to explain the universe through astronomy and mathematics. Metaphysics also plays a part in the formation of cosmologies. (See also under “Physical Sciences and Mathematics.”)