Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Cosmology, from the Greek: κοσμολογία (cosmologia, κόσμος (cosmos) world + λογια (logia) discourse) is the study of the universe in its totality, and by extension, humanity's place in it. Though the word cosmology is recent (first used in 1730 in Christian Wolff's Cosmologia Generalis), the study of the universe has a long history involving science, philosophy, esotericism, and religion (see cosmological argument, kalam cosmological argument).

In recent times, physics and astrophysics have come to play a central role in shaping what is now known as physical cosmology, i.e. the understanding of the universe through scientific observation, experiments, and theorizing. This discipline, which focuses on the universe as it exists on the largest scales and at the earliest times, begins by arguing for the big bang, a sort of cosmic explosion from which the universe itself is said to have erupted ~13.7 ± 0.2 billion (109) years ago. After its violent beginnings and until its very end, scientists then propose that the entire history of the universe has been an orderly progression governed by physical laws. (see also: Kalam cosmological argument)

In between the doctrines of religion and science, stands the philosophical perspective of metaphysical cosmology. This ancient field of study seeks to draw logical conclusions about the nature of the universe, man, god and/or their connections based on the extension of some set of presumed facts borrowed from religion and/or observation.


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