In many branches of science, progress is being made by taking advantage of insights from other branches of science. Cosmology, the structure and evolution of the universe, is certainly an area that is currently beset by problems in understanding. We show here that the scientific insights from the studies of early childhood development, in particular, those of Piaget, give a new way of looking at the early universe. This new approach can not only be invaluable in undergraduate teaching, but can even be the basis of semi-quantitative predictions.

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Piaget, of course, wrote in French, but his terminology for the third stage of childhood cognitive development, “Le stade opérations concrètes,” fits the etymological argument equally well.

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