These are exciting times for cosmologists. The “standard cosmological model” that purports to describe the evolution of the universe is being tested at both ends by spectacular astronomical observations. On the one hand are the recently discovered “Great Wall” and “Great Attractor,” enormous agglomerations of galaxies that attest to coherent structures stretching over half a billion light years in the present epoch. On the other hand are the new measurements of the uniformity of the cosmic microwave background, which tell us that the universe was amazingly smooth when it first became transparent—some 300 000 years after the Big Bang. The question at issue is: How did the cosmos evolve from these almost wrinkle‐free beginnings to a present‐day structure of such manifest inhomogeneity?

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