Theoretical prejudice and inflationary models of the very early universe strongly favor the flat, Einstein-de Sitter model of the universe. At present the observational data conflict with this prejudice. This conflict can be resolved by considering flat models of the universe which posses a smooth component of energy density. The kinematics of such models, where the smooth component is relativistic particles, a cosmological term, a network of light strings, or fast-moving, light strings is studied in detail. The observational tests which can be used to discriminate between these models are also discussed. These tests include the magnitude-redshift, lookback time-redshift, angular size-redshift, and comoving volume-redshift diagrams and the growth of density fluctuations.