The Creation of the Four Elements as published by Holland in 1589 from Ovid's book: Metamorphoses

Cosmogony is any model concerning the origin of the cosmos or the universe.[1][2][3]


Scientific theories

The Big Bang theory, which explains the Evolution of the Universe from a hot and dense state, is widely accepted by physicists.

In astronomy, cosmogony refers to the study of the origin of particular astrophysical objects or systems, and is most commonly used in reference to the origin of the universe, the Solar System, or the Earth–Moon system.[1][2] The prevalent cosmological model of the early development of the universe is the Big Bang theory.[4]

Sean M. Carroll, who specializes in theoretical cosmology and field theory, explains two competing explanations for the origins of the singularity, which is the center of a space in which a characteristic is limitless[5] (one example is the singularity of a black hole, where gravity is the characteristic that becomes limitless — infinite).

It is generally thought that the universe began at a point of singularity, but among Modern Cosmologists and Physicists, a singularity usually represents a lack of understanding, and in the case of Cosmology/Cosmogony, requires a theory of quantum gravity to understand. When the universe started to expand, what is colloquially known as the Big Bang occurred, which evidently began the universe. The other explanation, held by proponents such as Stephen Hawking, asserts that time did not exist when it emerged along with the universe. This assertion implies that the universe does not have a beginning, as time did not exist "prior" to the universe. Hence, it is unclear whether properties such as space or time emerged with the singularity and the known universe.[5][6][clarification needed]

Despite the research, there is currently no theoretical model that explains the earliest moments of the universe's existence (during the Planck epoch) due to a lack of a testable theory of quantum gravity. Nevertheless, researchers of string theory, its extensions (such as M-theory), and of loop quantum cosmology, like Barton Zwiebach and Washington Taylor, have proposed solutions to assist in the explanation of the universe's earliest moments.[7] Cosmogonists have only tentative theories for the early stages of the universe and its beginning. The proposed theoretical scenarios include string theory, M-theory, the Hartle–Hawking initial state, emergent Universe, string landscape, cosmic inflation, the Big Bang, and the ekpyrotic universe. Some of these proposed scenarios, like the string theory, are compatible, whereas others are not.[8]


Main article: Creation myth

The Sumerian tablet containing parts of the Eridu Genesis

In mythology, creation or cosmogonic myths are narratives describing the beginning of the universe or cosmos.

Some methods of the creation of the universe in mythology include:

Creation myths may be etiological, attempting to provide explanations for the origin of the universe. For instance, Eridu Genesis, the oldest known creation myth, contains an account of the creation of the world in which the universe was created out of a primeval sea (Abzu).[10][11] Creation myths vary, but they may share similar deities or symbols. For instance, the ruler of the gods in Greek mythology, Zeus, is similar to the ruler of the gods in Roman mythology, Jupiter.[12] Another example is the ruler of the gods in Tagalog mythology, Bathala, who is similar to various rulers of certain pantheons within Philippine mythology such as the Bisaya's Kaptan.[13][14]

The representation of the Universe as rooted in Serer religion and Cosmogony

Compared with cosmology

In the humanities, the distinction between cosmogony and cosmology is blurred. For example, in theology, the cosmological argument for the existence of God (pre-cosmic cosmogonic bearer of personhood) is an appeal to ideas concerning the origin of the universe and is thus cosmogonical.[15] Some religious cosmogonies have an impersonal first cause (for example Taoism).[16]

However, in astronomy, cosmogony can be distinguished from cosmology, which studies the universe and its existence, but does not necessarily inquire into its origins. There is therefore a scientific distinction between cosmological and cosmogonical ideas. Physical cosmology is the science that attempts to explain all observations relevant to the development and characteristics of the universe on its largest scale. Some questions regarding the behaviour of the universe have been described by some physicists and cosmologists as being extra-scientific or metaphysical. Attempted solutions to such questions may include the extrapolation of scientific theories to untested regimes (such as the Planck epoch), or the inclusion of philosophical or religious ideas.[6][15][4]

See also


  1. ^ a b Ridpath, Ian (2012). A Dictionary of Astronomy. Oxford University Press.
  2. ^ a b Woolfson, Michael Mark (1979). "Cosmogony Today". Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society. 20 (2): 97–114. Bibcode:1979QJRAS..20...97W.
  3. ^ Staff. "γίγνομαι – come into a new state of being". Tufts University. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  4. ^ a b Wollack, Edward J. (10 December 2010). "Cosmology: The Study of the Universe". Universe 101: Big Bang Theory. NASA. Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2011.
  5. ^ a b Carroll, Sean (28 April 2012). "A Universe from Nothing?". Science for the Curious. Archived from the original on 10 May 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  6. ^ a b Carroll, Sean; Carroll, Sean M. (2003). Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity. Pearson.
  7. ^ "String Theory/Holography/Gravity". Center for Theoretical Physics. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  8. ^ Becker, Katrin; Becker, Melanie; Schwartz, John (2007). String Theory and M-Theory. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  9. ^ Long, Charles. "Creation Myth". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  10. ^ "Eridu Genesis Mesopotamia Epic". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. 20 July 1998. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  11. ^ Morris, Charles (1897). "The Primeval Ocean". Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 49: 12–17. JSTOR 4062253.
  12. ^ Thury, Eva; Devinney, Margaret (2017). Introduction to Mythology Contemporary Approaches to Classical and World Myths, 4th ed. Madison Avenue, New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 4, 187.
  13. ^ Garverza, J. K. (2014). The Myths of the Philippines. University of the Philippines.
  14. ^ Jocano, F. L. (1969). Philippine Mythology. Quezon City: Capitol Publishing House Inc.
  15. ^ a b Smeenk, Christopher; Ellis, George (Winter 2017). "Philosophy of Cosmology". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  16. ^ "BBC - Religions - Taoism: Gods and spirits". BBC.