What kind of science is cosmology?



In recent years, by theory and observation cosmology has advanced substantially. Parameters of the concordance or ΛCDM cosmological model are given with unprecedented precision (“precision cosmology”). On the other hand, 95% of the matter content of the universe are of an unknown nature. This awkward situation motivates the present attempt to find cosmology's place among the (exact) natural sciences. Due to its epistemic and methodical particularities, e.g., as a mathematized historical science, cosmology occupies a very special place. After going through some of the highlights of cosmological modeling, the conclusion is reached that knowledge provided by cosmological modeling cannot be as explicative and secure as knowledge gained by laboratory physics.