A Critical Look at the Standard Cosmological Picture
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The discovery that the Universe is accelerating in its expansion has brought the basic concept of cosmic expansion into question. An analysis of the evolution of this concept suggests that the paradigm that was finally settled into prior to that discovery was not the best option, as the observed acceleration lends empirical support to an alternative which could incidentally explain expansion in general. I suggest, then, that incomplete reasoning regarding the nature of cosmic time in the derivation of the standard model is the reason why the theory cannot coincide with this alternative concept. Therefore, through an investigation of the theoretical and empirical facts surrounding the nature of cosmic time, I argue that an enduring three-dimensional cosmic present must necessarily be assumed in relativistic cosmology---and in a stricter sense than it has been. Finally, I point to a related result which could offer a better explanation of the empirically constrained expansion rate.