What is Cosmology?

The term Cosmology refers to the study of the large scale properties of the Universe as a whole. Cosmology involves the development of theories or hypotheses regarding the Universe, ultimately making specific predictions for phenomena that can be tested with observations. Cosmologist's goal is to understand the origin of evolution of humans in the grand scale of things. Cosmologist use laws of physics to explain the Universes governing force, as a result of the Big Bang Theory. (1)
Nasa picture showing cosmology of the universe
Nasa picture showing cosmology of the universe

Cosmological DisciplinesCosmology has played a vital role in understanding the Universe as a whole. Although the modern discipline of cosmology focuses primarily on scientific analysis, the history of Cosmology has played a participating role in philosophy esterocism, metaphysics, and theology.

Physical Cosmologies
Physical Cosmology is the scientific approach to understanding the Universe. It is a branch of astrophysics that deals with the idea that the history of the Universe was governed solely through physical laws. Albert Einstein was one of the first to attempt an explanation of the physical Universe and he developed the general theory of relativity. This is used to describe how gravity is a property of time and space, and Einstein developed an equation to show the relationship. The theory implies the existence of Black Holes, when the theory was published in 1916 very little was known about them, but has increased heavily since then and is continually progressing. (3)

A large area of Cosmology deals with determining the shape of the Universe as a whole. Throughout history there have been a number of different views regarding the shape of the Universe. The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe(WMAP) along with the Lambda-Cold Dark Matter (LCDM) model show the Universe is flat and has expanded a tremendous amount since the Big Bang. (2) The WMAP was launched in 2001 and has produced groundbreaking scientific results. According to the LCDM model the Universe was incredibly hot for a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang, and has cooled severely since its inception.
A rendition of the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe in space
A rendition of the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe in space

Metaphysical Cosmology
Metaphysical Cosmology is a branch of the overall notion of Cosmology that pertains to the subject of philosophy. Metaphysic cosmology regards our place in the Universe and the nature of reality beyond the physical scientific senses. This includes understanding and explaining why everything came to be. Metaphysics seeks for reasons beyond measurable matter, energy, space, and time and analyzes the mysteries and meanings of all that exists. A pioneer in the metaphysical cosmology discipline was Roger Bacon, who proposed a universe not centering around Humans and God. This theory drew a distinct contrast between religion and science. Since the totality of space and time is not fully understood by scientists, metaphysics is to offer a theoretical approach to humanity's place within the cosmos. Metaphysics does not use principles of faith or belief, but rather the method of argument. Metaphysics question, "Why is the Universe necessary?" (3)(4)


Theological Cosmology

In every society people attempt to define creation. The theories designed are a subset of the cosmological discipline because they strive to describe the beginnings of the Universe and human life. Universally, much of these studies are rooted in theology or dogma. For instance, in the Christian faith followers believe that the Universe was created as a direct act by God, with an intent plan for humanity. Therefore, these beliefs refer to cosmology because it links with the creation of humanity. Other religious cosmologies also tell of the end of the Universe.(3)

Historical Cosmologies


Cosmological theories beginning with the Ancient Greeks that have evolved with the influence of many philosophers and astronomers over time, ending with what is considered "modern" cosmology. Cosmology has been around since the first person wondered "What is going on around me?" However written cosmology begins with the Ancient Greeks as they were the first people to record it. The earliest cosmological models are strongly based on human experience and largely influenced by culture, mythology and religion. Modern cosmology is much more scientifically centered. Historical Cosmologies allow us to see where modern cosmology emerges from and how cosmological views have been shaped by important events in history.