This is counter to all expectations. It appears that the universe may not only be filled with dark matter, but with dark energy. Scientists sometimes also call it vacuum energy or, more exotically, quintessence. Whatever it is, it seems to be driving an expansion that no one can altogether account for. The theory is that empty space isn't so empty at all—that there are particles of matter and antimatter popping into existence and popping out again—and that these are pushing the universe outward at an accelerating rate. Improbably enough, the one thing that resolves all this is Einstein's cosmological constant—the little piece of math he dropped into the general theory of relativity to stop the universe's presumed expansion, and called "the biggest blunder of my life." It now appears that he may have gotten things right after all.
The upshot of all this is that we live in a universe whose age we can't quite compute, surrounded by stars whose distances we don't altogether know, filled with matter we can't identify, operating in conformance with physical laws whose properties we don't truly understand.
And on that rather unsettling note, let's return to Planet Earth and consider something that we do understand—though by now you perhaps won't be surprised to hear that we don't understand it completely and what we do understand we haven't understood for long.