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Is Time an Illusion?

04/05/2013 5:30 PM

The ancient Greek Plato asserted that time was created along with the universe, and had an independent existence. His pupil Aristotle, the greatest philosopher of all time, disagreed. He asserted that time is all about change and movement. He thought that if everything would freeze, then time would stop too.

Three or four generations before Aristotle, Parmenides had asserted that time and motion were not real, but merely illusions. His pupil Zeno of Elea had some famous "paradoxes". One was "Achilles and the Tortoise". It goes like this: Achilles gives the tortoise a start of a few metres. It takes a certain amount of time to get to where the tortoise started (P1). By that time the tortoise has moved to P2. Achilles will take a little more time to get to P2, but by then the tortoise has reached P3. No matter how fast Achilles runs, he will never catch the tortoise. An experiment would have proved how ridiculous Zeno's assertion was. Anybody who has raced has performed a similar one. Zeno's arrow paradox convinced Aristotle, who came to the conclusion that time is movement, and flows like a river.

Sir Isaac Newton went out of his way to define time: "Absolute, true, and mathematical time, of itself, and from its own nature, flows equably without relation to anything external..." We know from relativity that time is variable, not absolute, but he may have meant that it comes from the laws of the universe, and not from mankind (not an illusion). Gottfried Leibniz argued that God is rational, and needed a specific reason to create the universe at one particular time. Newton said ever moment was identical to every other, so God would have had no reason to create the universe. Leibniz reasoned Newton must be wrong and suggested that everything existed as a sort of thread with each segment joined in time to the segments before and after. He believed that the entire existence of a thing is an actual object in space-time. He agreed with Aristotle, Newton agreed with Plato.

A friend of Newtons (Samuel Clarke) argued that space and time are real and fixed. Spin a bucket of water, he said, and the water will climb up the sides of the bucket. This could not happen unless the bucket was spinning in a fixed frame of reference; if the rest of the universe was spinning, the water would not climb. Leibniz disagreed sharply. He said an empty space would be a substance with no properties. Is there any way to prove the outcome of this disagreement?

In The unreality of Time (1908) the English philosopher J M E McTaggart suggests there are two kinds of time relationships, A series and B series. The A is direct "tomorrow", "Last month", etc. The B series is indirect "one day later", "30 days earlier", etc. He says time cannot exist without the A series, but it's contradictory, since every term must possess the properties of every other term. "Tomorrow will become a section of "the week after next" and was at one point part of "last month". But no time, he says, can be both past and future, therefore time is unreal. Are present day scientists still influenced by flawed thinking like this?

Richard Feynman seemed to agree with Plato when he said "Time is what happens when nothing else does." Albert Einstein was quoted as saying that time is an illusion. Do any of you know why, and whether he was serious? He also said that time is the fourth dimension, and referred to space-time frequently. These are not consistent beliefs. It seems that much of scientists beliefs come from people before them.

The confusion over time may be because of the way the human brain works. If your brain registers several events in a short amount of time, it may make up a scenario to account for them that does not correspond with what actually happened.

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#1

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/05/2013 7:34 PM

WHAT IS TIME? What it is precisely I don't known, but I recognise it as some thing relative to myself , and I put it in the same category as size. It's like watching a film in slow or fast motion, if the action is slower than I could perform the same action, then it's perceived as being in slow motion, if the action is faster than I could perform the same action, then it's perceived as being in fast motion. So that makes the awareness of the passage time a bit more than just the relative changing of things around us, it includes an innate sense of the rate ones own relative movement. It's also a bit like size, relatively constant? Does the rate of passing time remain constant? Consider size, like watching a film that was made of two expanding balloons while the camera was receding back so that they remained relatively the same size on film. Viewing the film if the balloons where stationary then they would appear to move together like relative gravity, but if they where moving apart while expanding then they would appear to be of constant size and in a constant position. So if all mass is slowly expanding like the universe then time like size would be relative, but could be changing?

Regards JD.

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#2

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/05/2013 9:42 PM

It's all relative...what is time without motion? It's almost like they are one and the same.

I have a hard time with motion being an illusion...considering my car accident...that was 9 hard weeks of "non-motion related" recovery. It sure felt like motion to me! Of course, time slowed down during the accident...is that what Zeno meant?

We know that time can stretch...or have the appearance of being stretched...again...relative. But, even if one is travelling at the speed of light there is a passage of time...isn't there? I have read up on black holes where there is infinite gravity and light is stopped dead in its tracks. Time has stopped for all who enter...but how can that be if the light is still travelling to the singularity

The mass of the black hole still occupies more space than is contained in a singularity...we can measure the diameter of a black hole, or are we just measuring the effect of the singularity? If one could exist in a singularity (without being crushed!), what would exist of time? How could thought exist?

Its really almost like the tree in the forest (which I detest) making a sound if nobody is there to hear it. You know the tree exists, and you know it fell...there it is, lying there...but...did it really even fall? Ridiculous, you say! Of course it fell...there it is, lying there! But nobody saw it fall, right? How can time pass if nobody is there to experience it?

I think we put human consciousness on too high of a plane. Things happen, they exist, and time passes. It will continue long after we are gone...and nobody will be there to witness it.

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#3
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Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/06/2013 12:16 AM

I think space, time and gravity are all a function of entropy....I wonder if as you approach the speed of light that gravity also approaches zero.....?

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#10
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Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/06/2013 8:50 AM

Entropy is proof of time ....

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#49
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Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/08/2013 5:13 AM

Thermodynamics says that every system goes from a high order state to a lower order state irreversibly. E.g. Let's suppose that you have a box divided in half by a diaphragm and the one half cantains a few gas particles, while the other half is empty (high order state). If you remove the diaphragm the particles will spread all over the box (low order state) and they will never be gathered again in the half of the box. But is "never" true??? Thermodynamics says that the possibility for a system to be in a high order state is extremely lower -but not zero- than the possibility for being in a low order state. (In other words, a system will be moved spontaneously from a higher order state to a lower order state, or it needs to receive external energy in order to go back to a higher order state.) However, as the possibility is not zero, some scientists claim that there is a chance for a system to go back to a higher order state, after a really long time. I.e. the gas particles, eventually, will be gathered in the half of the box, in the very diastant future. You must just have plenty of time to wait to see that happen. And when you put the diaphragm back in place you can get the initial high order state, without the need of external energy (compression) in order to get that.

Moreover, imagine that you have a few gas particles in a box (initial state). Again, in the very distant future, there is a chance to see the state of each particle (i.e. its position and velocity) to be exactly the same as it was in the initial state. In this case, someone could claim that no time has passed during the intial and final states of the gas (as no change has happened).

However, this could only happen with small, isolated systems (e.g. a few particles). For larger and more complicated systems the chances for such a situation is almost absolutely zero. Moreover, there is no absolutely isolated system (every system interacts with other systems -at least via gravity-). And now, consider the whole Universe as a system. The chance for such a situation to happen is absolutely zero.

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#108
In reply to #49

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/15/2013 7:36 PM

imagine that you have a few gas particles in a box (initial state). Again, in the very distant future, there is a chance to see the state of each particle (i.e. its position and velocity)...

According to Heisenberg, you can not know both of these things with certainty. I think you knew that already.

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#114
In reply to #108

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/16/2013 4:53 AM

Hi StandardsGuy.

The uncertainty principle says that (e.g.) if we measure the momentum (i.e. velocity) of an electron accurately, afterwards we measure its position accurately and, finally, we measure again its momentum accurately, then -in this final measurement- we will not get the result that should be expected. In other words, we cannot predict accurately the result of the final measurement of momentum (we can only estimate this result in a fuzzy, statistical way). And this is so, because the measurement of position has been preceded, giving an "uncertainty" to the momentum value. Heisenberg claimed that -after the measurement of the position- the momentum is not "real" and the Copenhagen interpretetion was very close to his opinion (i.e. the measurement itself yields a specific value and an "actual meaning" to the momentum of the electron).

My personal and humble opinion is that, in a deeper level of reality, the position and momentum of the electron are both absolutely real and predictable. However, I think that the "information" itself is "quantized", so it is impossible for us to get the whole information (i.e. to know precisely both the position and momentum). And that's why the behavior of particles seems to be non-deterministic and statistical. Anyway, this is another concept and it should be discussed in another forum (maybe in a physics forum).

Anyway, let's suppose that we have a few gas particles (as mentioned in my previous post) that are left alone, i.e. no measurement-observation-interaction takes place. So, there is a possibility that a future state of each particle can be exactly the same as its initial state. We will not be able to know that, as any observation will affect their state, but the particles still can have a determined value for both position and momentum.

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#116
In reply to #114

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/16/2013 11:24 AM

So, there is a possibility that a future state of each particle can be exactly the same as its initial state. We will not be able to know that, as any observation will affect their state, but the particles still can have a determined value for both position and momentum.

Agreed, but even if seen in the same state as before, that would not convince me that no time had elapsed for a small sample, but for a large one it probably would. Either way, I don't see this relating to whether time is an illusion.

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#23
In reply to #3

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/07/2013 12:14 AM

'...I wonder if as you approach the speed of light that gravity also approaches zero...'

.

Seem like if it did, gravitational lensing wouldn't occur.

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#7
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Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/06/2013 8:21 AM

You wrote, "we can measure the diameter of a black hole, or are we just measuring the effect of the singularity?"

As far as I know, no, we can not measure the size of a black hole. Everything beyond the event horizon is unknown to us.

We can measure, with reasonable certainty, the size of the event horizon.

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#9
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Re: Is Time an Illu

04/06/2013 8:39 AM

Re: tree falling and making a sound. Ask yourself this, when Mt Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, did it make a sound? Everyone who was alive then has been dead for almost 2 millennia, so we can't ask them. Seems to me the answer is, if the falling tree disturbed the air it made a sound. But if there was no one there to hear it, it didn't make a noise. The people in Pompeii no doubt heard the noise, which was the sound of Mt Vesuvius erupting. Ie, sound is the objective effect when air is disturbed; noise is the subjective perception of that sound. As for time, consider the case of a person who awakes from an extended coma, and discovers they have aged many years 'overnight'. Off hand I can't think of a pair of words like sound/noise that are the equivalent for the objective passage of time and the subjective experience of time.

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#26
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Re: Is Time an Illu

04/07/2013 12:45 AM

'Everyone who was alive then has been dead for almost 2 millennia, so we can't ask them.'

We don't need to ask, they described the scene.

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#12
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Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/06/2013 11:34 AM

what is time without motion?

I would say that motion is a demonstration of time (i.e. 20m/sec).

even if one is travelling at the speed of light there is a passage of time...isn't there?

According to SR theory, time stops at the speed of light relative to a stationary observer, but there is no privileged reference frame. Hermann Bondi, in his book Relativity and Common Sense describes light in this way: "Light is ageless. There is no passage of time for light."

If one could exist in a singularity (without being crushed!), what would exist of time?

Stephen Hawking, in his book The Universe in a Nutshell said that he and Roger Penrose were able to show that Einstein's general theory of relativity implied that the universe and time itself must have had a beginning in a tremendous explosion.

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#82
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Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/11/2013 10:56 AM

Nothing is consumed by a black hole if time is brought to a standstill.

If nothing ages beyond the event horizon, then the effect of time on objects stops. No death, no destruction, no nothing.

No reactions taking place from the "consumption" of matter...crushing to the singularity...therefore, no energy released...no light made, only trapped.

If entropy exists at the point of the singularity, then why does the gravity persist? Is the core of the singularity all energy and pure light which is contained beyond the event horizon? Like Dave Bowman stated...is it really full of stars?

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#84
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Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/11/2013 11:49 AM

Cuba Pete,

The conclusions you come to rely on our common belief that our perception of time is in fact a good approximation of the workings of the universe.

.

There are other possibilities.

.

If the movie projector stops, all the individual pictures in the film reel still exist, right?

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#4

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/06/2013 2:18 AM

Yeah, everything happens all at once; but time fools us into thinking that events are spread out.

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#5

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/06/2013 2:58 AM

Time flys like an arrow.
Del

(fruitflies like a banana)

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#6
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Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/06/2013 7:27 AM

Is your real name Julian?

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#14
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Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/06/2013 2:04 PM

But does the arrow fly?

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#8

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/06/2013 8:29 AM

Time is the universe's way to prevent everything from happening all at once.

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#15
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Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/06/2013 2:05 PM

I like it!

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#11

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/06/2013 10:00 AM

Time is most certainly not an illusion. Far too many other attributes rely on the existence of time for it to be a false attribute. Now it can be debated that time is an allusion. There might be other hidden mechanisms that manifest themselves as time. I believe that this is one of the constructs of the yet to be proven useful "string theory". I suspect that time is one of the fundamental constructs of the universe for a few fundamental reasons.

First, the lack of any other viable constructs to replace the attribute of time. Now the lack of a suitable construct does not preclude one actually existing. However, the long history of philosophers contemplating this attribute and not coming up with a viable alternative does show that any proposed alternative must reach a very high level to supplant the concept of time.

Second, as my previous paragraph demonstrates it is impossible to discuss time without invoking another meaning of it. Nothing but time can fill it's niche. Time is fundamental. Now we can fabricate simulations to display time as another fundamental dimension. We often do this with a time dependent plot or graph with time as the X axis of a Cartesian coordinate graph to show another attribute changing over time.

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#13
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Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/06/2013 12:49 PM

You wrote, "Time is most certainly not an illusion."

The certainty of that may not be an absolute.

There is evidence that everything is an illusion. However, I feel the evidence is too weak to say that everything is an illusion with certainty. Conversely, I would be hesitant to say that time is not an illusion for that very same reason.

We certainly do not understand time, nor can we measure it. That alone tends to discount any claims of certainty, at least in an absolute sense.

For instance, there is no evidence seen that time can run backward (the arrow of time). However, every mathematical equation of motion in physics is just as content with time moving forward as it is backward. The second law of thermodynamics may be the key as to why there is an arrow of time thanks to entropy.

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#16
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Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/06/2013 3:34 PM

There is a certainty that time is not an illusion but might be an allusion if one applies the definition I cited to these descriptions.

Ignoring the meaning of a definition quickly leads to just gibberish.

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#21
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Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/06/2013 9:30 PM

Again, I beg to differ. So much hinges on perception.

Let's consider what is happening right "now". I am in my office typing on a computer, my dog is lying down, my girlfriend is watching the second part of a movie. The Sun is setting and my beer glass is nearly empty.

For you it may be dinner is on the table. Our Sun may be launching a solar flare, somewhere in our galaxy a black hole is consuming a chunk of matter. In a distant galaxy a star explodes.

We think we all can agree on what is happening right now as if it was a giant frame of a film that represents a slice of space-time, but we would be wrong.

Einstein showed us that time is relative. Depending on your inertial frame of reference, the passage of time is different for you and someone else. Motion and gravity impact the rate of time passage and there is no uniform cosmic clock that all things can agree on.

The example of this is simple. Imagine you and I are separated by a very large distance, say a billion lightyears. If both of us are not moving relative to each other, we could agree that any moment in time that we both declare as "now" would coincide with each other's "now".

However, what happens when I get into my car and start driving away from you. Einstein tells us that movement through space changes the passage of time. While the speed I recede from you is small, the distance between us is large. For me, my slice of "now" is different than yours. Because of the massive distance between us what is happening for me "now" is coincident with what happened many hundreds of years ago for you - your distant past.

If I make a U turn and start traveling toward you at the same speed I was in recession, my slice of "now" would again change and be coincident with your future many hundreds of years to come.

In both examples my "now" time covers a spectrum of time for you that reaches far into your past as well as your future. It all depends on my motion vector relative to you.

This means that everything that has happened and everything that is to come is of equal validity. While we perceptually exist in "now" time and may reflect on our pasts or anticipate our future, we are trained to believe that "now" is the only reality that exists, but as I demonstrated in the previous paragraphs, past, present, and future all have equal status. I understand if anyone is having difficulty grasping this point, but I don't know of a simpler way of putting it.

Einstein said himself that the past, present, and the future are only an illusion, no matter how persistent.

Einstein invited us to think of time in the same way we think of space. That is, everything exists in a region of space, then so does every thing that has happened, is happening, and will happen exists in a region of time. It all exists with equal validity just like different objects exist in different regions of space - it is all there.

If everything past, present, and future all exists, then why is it we "perceive" things as unfolding like a film, moment to moment in our own personal space-time?

Reality may be just like a film. A film contains every moment of time from some point to another. All frames are there and they all exist with equal validity. We use a projector to orderly promenade through those frames to create a story.

It could be that in reality all things past, present, and future already exist, like the film. However, our brains or consciousness are acting like the projector taking an orderly walk through the story, moment-by-moment, thus, time is simply an illusion we create to provide order to the story of our lives. This seems to be a better way to experience things as it adds additional dimensions to the experience of life that we would not get living the whole story all at once.

So, I am not going to get into an argument about semantics of the word illusion. Rather, I would prefer to address the question of whether our perception of time is really true. There is valid physical evidence that time is not uniform through the universe. There is no single cosmic clock, Everyone exists in their own personal time and depending on their relative motions, distance, and gravity itself their individual "now" time can change relative to someone else's slice of "now" time; exposing past present, or future. This tells us that all moments of time are of equal validity because there is no universal "now" time, it all equally exists.

Reality is indeed nothing more than perception or illusion, if you will.

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#22
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Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/06/2013 10:13 PM

"Reality is indeed nothing more than perception or illusion, if you will."

Reality is another human invention. We need walls and boxes.

Like fingerprints, there as many different realities as there are people. None of them accurate.

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#32
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Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/07/2013 9:07 AM

I am stunned that you can repeatedly demonstrate the variety of ways that people have considered time to be an allusion yet you still call it an illusion. Maybe instead of making linked references to the difference between these two similar sounding words that have have a critical nuance difference in meaning. From my second link...

Allusion
An allusion is an indirect reference. This means that it is not explicit and some inference or surmise on the part of the hearer or reader is required in order to comprehend that is being referenced. Here is an example:
The name Yogi Bear is an allusion to the Yankee baseball star and manager, Yogi Berra, and Jellystone Park, of course, is an allusion to Yellowstone Park.
Allusion also refers to an instance of using the technique, as in this sentence:
Using an allusion in your public speaking can help involve your audience by setting them a little puzzle to solve as they listen.
Illusion
An illusion is a false or erroneous perception or conception. People can have an illusion, as well as create an illusion, in which case, they may either be creating art or attempting to deceive others. Here are some examples:
The Hallowe'en production tried to create the illusion of a spooky, abandoned castle, haunted by restless spirits.
Unfortunately, Ralph is under the illusion that he is actually a competent volleyball player. . . .
Rhonda hoped that well-chosen clothing and a heavy accent would create the illusion that she had recently arrived from Eastern Europe.

As my earlier comment states, it can be argued that time is an allusion to some yet to be codified mechanism. Time is not a fantasy or false impression that would make it an illusion. Time is real. Time is fleeting. To deliberately misuse these two words of allusion and illusion is a delusion.

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#34
In reply to #32

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/07/2013 9:47 AM

I realize you are intent on your definition of time and I understand what you are alluding to. :)

However, I think that you are not understanding what I am saying (or maybe you are). Illusion is what I mean. Time is a pretense because our perception of it is not correct.

In this regard the wording is correct. We believe that time is fleeting. The past is gone. The future does not yet exist. There is only now. However, Einstein showed us that perception of time is simply not correct, therefore a false perception.

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#36
In reply to #34

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/07/2013 10:32 AM

For time to be an illusion it must be false to the point that it does not actually exist. A false perception does not make a false existence. Time appears in every scientific, engineering, social, academic, celestial, cosmological, business, or any other activity one wishes to choose. Each activity has a different perspective or interpretation of time. When one misapplies the perception of time from one to another discipline, one does get a false understanding of the second discipline. Time still exists no matter how it is misunderstood.

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#37
In reply to #36

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/07/2013 11:01 AM

You wrote, "For time to be an illusion it must be false to the point that it does not actually exist."

Not necessarily. When a magician performs a disappearing act or better yet, a card trick, the illusion is something happened that did not actually happen. The person that disappeared is still very real. The cards are all real. Illusion does not obviate the actors or the principles upon which they appear to act, but that something is perceived to have happened that did not.

We have had many findings in science that have appeared to be true, but when further exploration is done, found that they are not so. Even Newton's Law of Gravity is not really true, simply a very good approximation.

Nevertheless, this whole line of argumentation is really just a diversion from the original post., which was much less a question of semantics than a question of what time really is. To that I charge that time is not what it appears. How you want to label that is not as important as the nut of the original post. At least in my mind.

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#35
In reply to #32

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/07/2013 9:58 AM

Would it help if I restated it as the perception of time is an illusion?

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#38
In reply to #35

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/07/2013 11:10 AM

YES! Now you are grasping my point. An incorrect perception of time will often produce illusions that are not really there. Time itself is not the illusion. We have many different perceptions of time that work extremely well in the discipline that these perceptions come from. Einstein's concept of spacetime is but one perspective that includes time. Since each perspective of time differs, this alludes to the idea that time itself is more complicated than each of these perceptions grasps alone.

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#42
In reply to #38

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/07/2013 12:41 PM

Agreed!

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#39
In reply to #21

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/07/2013 11:42 AM

Thanks for the good post, although I don't necessarily agree with it.

Einstein showed us that time is relative.

If it is relative, then it must be real?

Because of the massive distance between us what is happening for me "now" is coincident with what happened many hundreds of years ago for you - your distant past. If I make a U turn and start traveling toward you at the same speed I was in recession, my slice of "now" would again change and be coincident with your future many hundreds of years to come.

I don't buy into that explanation even though Jorrie would.

past, present, and future all have equal status

I agree

Einstein said himself that the past, present, and the future are only an illusion, no matter how persistent

What in Einstein's past caused him to make this assertion? Do you agree with my statement that calling time the fourth dimension is a different belief?

Reality is indeed nothing more than perception or illusion, if you will.

There is a theory that the universe is a hologram. Many scientists believe that our whole existence is an illusion. I am not convinced.

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#81
In reply to #21

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/11/2013 10:51 AM

This must be why I feel older than I am.

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#129
In reply to #21

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

09/06/2013 12:42 AM

All that seems evident is Einstein showed us that [our existence] is relative. Depending on your inertial frame of reference

really it appears - Time does not exist, only you do.

Positions and inertial and initial or post-references of one's existence has yet to prove time is an "is" . -Neither yet proven to have some "barrier" to be broken.

If time exists, what is the measure of it? Seems really only that seconds are your existence within your calibration, not a 'time-existing' as a thing-calibrated.

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#25
In reply to #11

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/07/2013 12:30 AM

Redfred:

I too am dubious of your claim of certainty that time is not an illusion.

While I can see a number of constructions that would allow 'time' to be an allusio, 'A brief, usually indirect reference to a person, place, or event--real or fictional', that isn't the same topic.

.

So let's get on the same page about what is meant by 'an illusion':

1. Do you consider what occurs in your dreams to be 'an illusion'?

2. Do optical illusions exist and are any of these an example of 'an illusion'?

3. Can 'an illusion' be a description of a mistaken understanding of the way something works?

.

.

One additional question:

Do you agree with the statement, 'All models are wrong, some are useful.'?

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#33
In reply to #25

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/07/2013 9:23 AM

Yes, there are illusions. We all experience illusions. Illusions are false, untrue impressions. The illusory impression itself does not exist. The image of Yogi the Bear on your television is an illusion of a creature that does not exist. The name Yogi the Bear is an allusion that viewer must conclude refers to the retired catcher for the Yankees.

Time clearly does exist. Now trying to understand an indirect meaning to time is finding an allusion for time.

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#63
In reply to #33

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/09/2013 6:29 PM

I find your distinctions between what does exit and what doesn't to be very strange.

.

You seem to be suggesting that things only exits if people do not willfully use symbolism or abstraction to relate a thing in one classification to a thing in some other classification.

.

How does a persons understanding (or misapprehension) of something affect its existence?

Let me give you an example:

Why would you decide that the idea and persona created as Yogi the Bear, or for that matter the particular pattern of wavelengths of light that make your brain recognize the image you know as Yogi the Bear, somehow 'does not exit', merely because people are voluntary recipients of communication that contains symbolism and abstraction?

Even if they had a gross misunderstanding of the images on the screen and believed Yogi was a special type of flesh and blood bear, how would that make what Yogi the Bear is, any less real?

.

Wouldn't that type of logic mean there is a risk that if everybody gets really stupid, complex things (things people might easily misunderstand) are at risk of popping out of existence?

.

.

'The illusory impression itself does not exist.'

.

...of course it does.

It seems as if you are trying to make the case that only obviously tangible things exist.....but if that is your premise, it presents a large problem for your other assertion, namely that 'Time clearly does exist'.

.

Time isn't obviously tangible.

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#66
In reply to #63

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/09/2013 7:11 PM

I choose the character of Yogi the Bear purely because it allowed for a convenient turning of a phrase between identifying an illusion and an allusion. Yogi the Bear is a fictitious cartoon character fabricated by the writers at Hanna Barbera. Yogi the Bear only exists in the mind. A talking bear is a misleading impression of reality. This is very definition of an illusion.

You do not have to agree with me or anyone else in this thread. You should agree with the definition of a word or communication is impossible.

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#67
In reply to #66

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/09/2013 7:44 PM

Yogi the Bear is not a fictitious cartoon character.

Yogi the Bear is an actual cartoon character.

.

'Yogi the Bear only exists in the mind'

That would only be true to the extent that so many other named things only exists in the mind.

To be consistent, you would have to include things like 'The Second Law of Thermodynamics', 'Washington DC', 'rainbows', 'detante'', 'a big rock', and 'aurora borealis'; as only existing in the mind.

.

You can use 'illusion' however you choose, but just because you link to the definition does not guarantee you are using the word as it is defined.

Your use of 'illusion' diverges significantly from the definition in the link you provided, in that you repeatedly associate it with a state of 'not existing'.

There is nothing in the definition that even hints as non-existence... 'Illusion' is about a difference in perception, not about conditional existence.

You can continue to use it in your own special way, and I'll understand what you mean, but I don't see any need to pretend that the use you have tailored to support your assertions in this thread is of any value elsewhere.

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#70
In reply to #67

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/09/2013 8:01 PM

You've gone from annoying to troll.

I see that you enjoy playing with yourself. Please continue.

<unsubcribe>

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#75
In reply to #70

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/09/2013 10:22 PM

So if you tell me that I have erred and that I should agree to use the dictionary definition, you are merely being helpful?

.

But, when in response to your not quite formidable attempt at pedantry kind (even if misplaced) attempt at correction, I return the favor you attempted, by noting your own misuse of the very word you intended to offer correction; my response in kind is so annoying to you that you decide your best option is to cry foul, resort to name-calling, and drop a not so subtle hint about voyeuristic fantasies you harbor...?

Weird.

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#17

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/06/2013 4:36 PM

But are we watching the movie run backwards?

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#18
In reply to #17

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/06/2013 6:44 PM

I doubt that. However, since we are in the movie and can only perceive time as moving forward that doesn't preclude others outside of our movie watching us going backwards.

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#19

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/06/2013 7:25 PM

It might just be my perception of it but,

Time is a precocious commodity, always doing what we don't want.

It flies when we're having fun.

Drags when we aren't enjoying ourselves.

Runs out too quickly when a Job is near completion.

Stands still when we're waiting for someone.

Takes forever when we're young. Flashes past as we get older..

Is time an illusion? Well lunchtime doubly so...

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#20

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/06/2013 9:03 PM

Yes.

Time is a human invention.

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#24

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/07/2013 12:28 AM

Beg to defer the meter is the measure of Napoleon, and certainly was never considered by the great minds of Classical Greece, in the depths of their philosophy.

The minds of today are beginning to put substance to the thoughts of the men of Classical Greece.

They may use Napoleon's, measure and this will always add confusion and delay the solving of the issue.

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#27

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/07/2013 12:55 AM

'...Albert Einstein was quoted as saying that time is an illusion. ...He also said that time is the fourth dimension, and referred to space-time frequently. These are not consistent beliefs...'

.

What is inconsistent about these beliefs?

.

Can I not believe the 5th Beatle is imaginary and still believe that the other four Beatles were actual living flesh people?

.

Beyond that, perhaps he also thought the first three dimensions (the space of space-time) were also imaginary.

.

Perhaps, coming from Einstein, calling something imaginary isn't the downgrade you think. After all he is known to have claimed,

'Imagination is more important than knowledge'.

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#40
In reply to #27

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/07/2013 11:53 AM

What is inconsistent about these beliefs?

If time is an illusion, then it doesn't exist. For anything that doesn't exist, he would not have created formulas to describe the things in nature.

Can I not believe the 5th Beatle is imaginary and still believe that the other four Beatles were actual living flesh people?

No, and the last line is irrelevant.

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#64
In reply to #40

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/09/2013 6:59 PM

'If time is an illusion, then it doesn't exist.'

.

Care to provide any support for this wild assertion?

.

Being 'an illusion' is not the same as 'non-existence'.

.

A good example might be found by considering the appearance of fictitious forces, in rotating frames of reference.

It is fair to label fictitious forces, like Coriolis force and centrifugal force, as illusions because these 'forces' are only an effect of the rotating frame of reference unlike other usual forces.

.

Even though perception is deceived by a rotating frame of reference, the created illusions are not somehow unimportant. There have even been formulas created to describe the effect of these illusions in nature.

.

Just because you fail to see the relevance of the last (or any other lines) does not mean relevance does not exits. When you cover your eyes, we out here do not disappear until such a time as you decide to look again.

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#101
In reply to #64

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/14/2013 11:51 PM

Being 'an illusion' is not the same as 'non-existence'. A good example might be found by considering the appearance of fictitious forces, in rotating frames of reference.

It is fair to label fictitious forces, like Coriolis force and centrifugal force, as illusions because these 'forces' are only an effect of the rotating frame of reference unlike other usual forces.

Interesting response, and you make a good point about the mathematics. So I take it that Einstein (Minkowski) could have developed mathematics to describe the effect of time even if he thought it was an illusion. He made no reference to that effect in his book Relativity though. Minkowski may have been thinking about 4 physical dimensions (not time).

I don't like the term "fictitious force" and prefer "Inertial force". It is a real force, though different than other forces as explained by this link. Thanks for bringing this up. I learned something here.

So, if I had asked "Does Time Exist?" you would have said "Yes", right?

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#104
In reply to #101

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/15/2013 1:12 AM

Nice link on fictitious forces. I usually write or say 'fictitious forces' when I am trying to make a distinction of how those 'forces' differ from traditional forces, or other times as an example or when I am baiting someone or trying to spin them up.

I normally say 'effect' as in 'Coriolis effect.

.

If you asked 'Does Time Exit?'.

I would probably respond, 'When?'

.

In your post previous to the one to which I am currently responding, your stated being unfamiliar with 'spooky action at a distance'.

This video has a good explanation of the experiment demonstrating the phenomena but also a great proposal for explaining the phenomena. It is an hour long and well worth watching. By the way, the title is tongue in cheek.

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#106
In reply to #104

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/15/2013 1:54 PM

If you asked 'Does Time Exit?', I would probably respond, 'When?'

Well after the big bang, of coarse.

your stated being unfamiliar with 'spooky action at a distance'.

I never stated that. I have known for many years. Thanks for the link (for the second time).

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#110
In reply to #106

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/15/2013 9:21 PM

Wow, I must have been sleepy when I replied. I'm not sure where I pulled that bit about you saying not familiar with SAAAD. Sorry for the confusion.

I guess occasionally my dream time might bleed a bit into my supposedly awake time.

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#113
In reply to #110

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/15/2013 10:06 PM

I see now where it came from:

When you wrote that you were unfamiliar with the paradox related to spooky action at a distance, I took it to mean that you were unfamiliar with the experiments related to such.

The paradox is likely the reason behind describing the action as 'spooky'.

The fact that a sensor indicates the presence or absence of an interference pattern prior to a sensor possibly detecting through which slit a photon passed (which is seen as causing the destruction of the interference pattern), would qualify as a paradox in light of our ideas about causality.

.

If you are willing, if you see this in a way that has no inherent paradox, a description of such would be interesting.

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#115
In reply to #113

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/16/2013 10:55 AM

OK, I see what you mean. It's been some time since I read through it. I guess I have put it down as a mystery, not necessarily as a paradox, maybe so I can sleep at night. Certainly if time is involved it fits the definition of a paradox. Would you say that this is evidence that time does not exist?

The PhysicsForums have changed, and I did not find the discussion I was in, but here is one that may be of interest. There are other similar links at the bottom of the page. I remember the first poster having 7 explanations, most (if not all) I considered popycock. Another possible explanation can be found here.

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#28

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/07/2013 6:29 AM

Not having read any of the previous 27 comments yet i would like to jump in to this discussion..Time is a variable that proves useful in solving problems,predicting outcomes(rates of chemical reactions etc.)..It is in and of itself (ie time) a useful construct of the human mind..You can't touch time,smell time,feel time,taste time or see time..It (time) is not part of the electromagnetic spectrum but we(humans) have inserted a variable called time into our observation of that EM spectrum using time as a factor measuring frequence of waves passing a fixed point with an imaginary number called time..So time is a man made construct used to help our senses make sense of what is....er more or less.

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#41
In reply to #28

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/07/2013 12:00 PM

You can't touch time,smell time,feel time,taste time or see time.

That may explain things. To a scientist, if he can't prove the existence of something, then he doesn't believe in it. Without time, however, physics would not exist, as there wouldn't be any formulas to explain anything.

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#128
In reply to #28

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/28/2013 1:35 AM

'..You can't touch time,smell time,feel time,taste time or see time..It (time) is not part of the electromagnetic spectrum but we(humans) have inserted a variable called time into our observation of that EM spectrum using time as a factor measuring frequence of waves passing a fixed point with an imaginary number called time...'

.

There are a couple problems with the argument above.

.

Senses were listed and it is proposed that the inability to sense time through the listed senses is evidence of the lack existence of time other than as a construct of man....

.

...but the list it not exhaustive. The sense of hearing was omitted....and with good reason. Closely considered, it isn't just that 'time can be heard'. Closer to the truth is that 'every time we hear, we hear time'.

.

Understanding that frequency, periodicity, velocity, duration, coincidence, and synchronicity are all 'time descriptors' the qualities of hearing noted in the previous sentence can be his can be extended to all senses of wave-like phenomena.

.

The most obvious is seeing. As many perceived qualities of light are related to wave-like behavior, it is pretty easy to defend the an assertion that when we see, we always see time.

.

.

If for some reason that doesn't convince you, consider the following:

.

Do you believe it has been established that there are species of animals alive today that were around before humans came into existence?

Do you further believe it has been well established that some of those animals can distinguish between different colors?

Do you additionally believe that causes come before results and not after?

If you believe those three things, how can you reconcile that with the idea that time is a 'man made construct'?

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#29

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/07/2013 7:09 AM

Space-time is the reality but in terms of human perception it is an abstraction. Because we categorize in order to organize perception into meaning, we break down the abstraction of space-time into the separate categories of time and space in order to organize them in a meaningful way in terms of what we are able to quantify through direct perception. Hence, time as a separate phenomenon is illusory, as is space, but these are necessary in terms of how we discreetly organize our world in terms of what is initially apparent as we develop through childhood. It is not until later in life that we are able to grasp such levels of abstraction as is the reality of space-time though by then we are thoroughly indoctrinated to the illusion of separateness.

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#30

Time is an Illusion !

04/07/2013 7:10 AM

Answer a simple question .

How fast is a single thought ?

Then you understand that Time has become an illusion.

The concept of Linear Time is a dogma.

There is a .....Core of Time... yes.

Albert Einstein didn't have a clue about a digital dimension.

His DOGMA's have to be overhauled or at least modified.

Albert

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#45
In reply to #30

Re: Time is an Illusion !

04/07/2013 4:08 PM

How fast is a single thought ?

Experimental psychologists have shown the "present moment" to be about 3 seconds long, and that is the natural length of a line of verse or a segment of speech. It varies with the circumstances and your culture. Sugmund Freud asserted that in dreams long sequences of events can happen in seconds, but are dreams reality, memories, or invention? The perception of time is up to your consciousness, and very little is known about it.

Your blog is crap.

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#47
In reply to #45

Re: Time is an Illusion !

04/07/2013 4:32 PM

But that's the beauty of a topic like this: A bunch of rum-drenched fruitcakes will show up to disgust discuss it.

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#31

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/07/2013 8:19 AM

"Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in."

Thoreau's Walden

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#43

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/07/2013 12:58 PM

Time is a man-made derivation of the seasons, the earth's rotation, and does require adjustments to even the best atomic clocks.

The 5,000 year calendar of the Mayans, which (I believe) no one has been able to read for thousands of years, ...will anyone be able to read our scratchings in 1,000 years ?

Thus time is not an illusion, when the sub-set example of time is small, in other words the time for the Indy 500 can be exact relative to that location and date. If the historian refers to the Mayan or other ancient calendar and tries to correlate it with soil core samples there could be a variance.

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#46
In reply to #43

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/07/2013 4:29 PM

Time [keeping] is a man-made derivation of the seasons, the earth's rotation
Agreed. The oldest method of keeping time was probably a simple sundial. Then water clocks were made, then mechanical clocks.

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#44

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/07/2013 1:48 PM

Humans are the only life form with enough "intelligence" to waste their existence worrying about something they ALL USE, every day to regulate their lives, and yet, as is evident here, have no clue what it is. Or, if it's even real.

I'd be willing to bet that every one of us wears a watch to get to work "on time" every day.

I don't know the answer and I don't care.

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#48

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/08/2013 12:19 AM

Thanks everybody for your input. I will be traveling out of state tomorrow morning, and don't expect to have internet until Saturday. Feel, free to continue discussing in my absence.

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#50

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/08/2013 8:22 AM

This is a very interesting dissertation, but I am struggling to ascertain what is your question? It seems that Einstein, Newton and others were struggling with the question of what exactly defines time. Now I don't profess to be a genius like these esteemed men, but I would think that they could find a suitable definition for time, that would be acceptable as well as definitive.

When I was younger, a niece of mine who was in high school was dating a young man who enjoyed a mental challenge from time to time. It is interesting that this topic came up here on CR4 because that is exactly what this young man asked me - "What is the definition of 'time'?" I asked him what was HIS definition of Time. He then produced his "New Dictionary of the American Language" which had at least three quarters of a page dealing with Time. He pointed to several pertinent one-word definitions listed such as "duration" and "continuance" and followed with some statements such as "...indefinite, unlimited duration in which things are considered as happening in the past, present or future; every moment there has ever been or ever will be."

I pointed out to him that all these "definitions" are dependent on words that are themselves described using the word "time", and, as such, can not be reliable definitions of the word "time" itself.

That comment, as you might expect, ellicited the expected question "Then, what is YOUR definition of 'time'?" Frankly, I had not pondered that question before this meeting, so I was taken aback at first, but, having thought on it a few seconds I returned with "The definition of time, is 'A framework for events'." What could be more specific and decisive?

I don't know if this satisfied his curiosity, but it satisfied mine. And, I would submit that when Mr. Newton went out of his way to define time as: "Absolute, true, and mathematical time, of itself, and from its own nature, flows equally without relation to anything external..." he did well describing what time does, but not what time is.

I don't know if this has any bearing on what you were asking, if, indeed, you were asking a question, but I felt compelled to try to provide some kind of reply to your post. Bear with me, I ramble sometimes.

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#97
In reply to #50

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/14/2013 5:02 PM

This is a very interesting dissertation, but I am struggling to ascertain what is your question?

I posted this as a discussion for fun, but somebody always learns something in these. There were some specific questions in my OP (the sentences with question marks at the end ), that would be nice to get answers to. I like your definition of time.

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#99
In reply to #97

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/14/2013 6:08 PM

'...There were some specific questions in my OP (the sentences with question marks at the end

), that would be nice to get answers to....'

.

Okay.

.

1. '....Is there any way to prove the outcome of this disagreement?...'

.

There are at least two problems with the question asked.

First, the question is vague. 'Prove' to whom or to what standard?

Second, the question implies a false premise; namely that there has been only one outcome of the disagreement.

You didn't ask for criticism of your questions, just answers. So I'll work with what was provided to come up with an answer:

.

Yes, there is at least one way to prove to the satisfaction of at least one standard, the outcome of the disagreement.

.

.

2. '....Are present day scientists still influenced by flawed thinking like this?....'

.

Yes. Some present day scientists even study flawed thinking, so it is safe to say that some present day scientists are influenced by flawed thinking. Other cases can be similar to this example in that being influenced by flawed thinking need not be counter productive.

Also given that scientists are not perfect and may be mislead, flawed thinking is certain to influence some portion of present day scientists.

.

.

3. '.....Albert Einstein was quoted as saying that time is an illusion. Do any of you know why, and whether he was serious?.....'

.

Do any of us know with certainty 'why and whether he was serious'? No.

There is a reason I have answered 'No' and I am being serious. You (and any of the rest of you) cannot know with certainty why or whether I am serious.

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#109
In reply to #99

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/15/2013 7:44 PM

Whether you are serious or not, you have broken a record; for questions 1 and 3, they are the absolute worst answers I have ever seen. I am being serious.

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#112
In reply to #109

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/15/2013 9:45 PM

'...you have broken a record; for questions 1 and 3, they are the absolute worst answers I have ever seen....'

.

I completely agree. Also, #2 has very little going for it.

All those answers are terrible, which is part of the reason those specific answers are so very appropriate for the questions asked. A great question can only be meaningfully answered if a great question is asked.

.

Want better answers? Ask better questions.

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#51

Past, Present, & Future

04/08/2013 10:58 AM

First, I want to thank StandardsGuy for not only an excellent subject, but an elegant introduction to the subject that gives all of us something to reflect upon. If there was an analogous Good Answer vote such as a Good Post vote, I am sure it would have racked up a very, very high score by now.

Second, I wanted to expand on what I wrote on an earlier post so as to make it easier to grasp what I was trying to write on the subject of time.

Most people think of time as a series of photographic snapshots that happen one after another. This is a typical view of time as it progresses from past to future with your present existence in this moment what I will call the "Now Frame". Frames that are your past are behind your Now Frame and the future to come is in front as I illustrate in the first drawing below in a stacked array.

Imagine that each frame is also a 2-D representation of 3-D space in our cosmos; the whole universe over time, if you will. Now imagine that you and I are separated far apart, billions of lightyears away, and we have synchronized clocks so that we can both agree on what is a Now Frame for each of us.

Under these conditions we both exist at the same time and you would expect that to be true for all things in the universe. That is, any Now Frame is the same for all objects and people in the universe just like the green frame in the drawing below.

The problem with that is that view of the universe and time is wrong. Einstein stated that there are no privileged reference points or positions in the universe. That also holds true for time. Each of us has our own personal time position and it need not coincide with anyone else's as I will demonstrate.

We are all familiar with the Twin Paradox where time dilates when relative motion is taken into effect. Let's consider how motion and distance impact the Now Frame and we will see a very startling fact that may change your perception of time as being simply a fleeting and momentary moment of "now".

In the first illustration you and I were stationary relative to each other, but very far apart. What happens if I get into my car and drive away from you?

First, the delta velocity is very low, so the time dilation effect that Einstein predicted is also essentially nil, but my clock will tick just a tiny bit slower than yours. However, the distance between us is so great (billions of lightyears) the effect is essentially magnified over distance.

Again, let's look at each other's Now Frame and compare the results. Your Now Frame is the green frame, mine is the blue.

My frame is no longer in alignment with your frame and is actually tilted back into your past. From your Now Frame perspective nothing has changed except I am driving away from you. My Now Frame perspective has changed radically!

From my perspective my Now Frame extends hundreds of years into your past. What is the present now time for me include events that happened centuries ago for you.

This shift in the Now Frame is a byproduct of my relative motion compared to you and the vast distances between us.

Now, imagine that I suddenly realized I forgot my wallet and I turned my car around. As I come to a stop our Now Frames once again co-align and we are on the same time. However, as I accelerate home and my velocity increases my Now Frame (orange) tilts once again, but this time in the opposite direction - far into your future.

Our recognition of time is really relegated to the current moment that we exist. Events prior to that are our past - untouchable, but contained only in memory. Our future is simply a concept of hope and expectation. It does not yet exist, so it is unreal.

We can think of time as a film where each frame advances at a continuos rate and our conscious existence lies only on one frame, the Now Frame. Past is no longer a valid construct, but recorded history.

However, the examples I cited above disturbs that concept of what is now and real. Einstein has shown us that time is not universal nor coordinated across the cosmos and can dynamically change. This causes discontinuity between our clocks and changes our relative Now Frames.

What is past for one observer my be the present for another, which blurs the neat little lines between past, present, and future, which may be nothing more than simple constructs of our own minds. In this view all times, past, present, and future may be equally valid and real as they all coexist "now" (depending on your inertial reference plane).

As I type this I get a personal sense that time flows, moment-to-moment, in a logical progression with each keystroke (albeit mine is slower than most competent typists). I get an intuitive sense that my Now Frame flows forward in time. However, Einstein's discoveries provide evidence that time does not really flow at all. That is, the Now Frames I schematically illustrated in the drawings above are only a perception of our minds and as Einstein stated, all time frames, past, present, and future are all equally valid and our Now Frames a product of illusion. I know RedFred is rolling his eyes right now. :)

We don't see this effect in our day to day lives because the delta's of our velocities and the distances are so tiny as to render the deviation in our Now Frames nil. Any given instant for me coincides with your experience of that same instant, so none of this is something we perceive. It is only when we examine the larger picture that we see cracks in our common understanding of time.

The impact is like a set of two lines that have a very tiny divergent angle between them. Near their origin the displacement is not measurable, but extend the two lines a very long distance and the spread becomes very significant.

As the relative velocity increases, so does the delta in Now Frames. For instance, if my journey in my car was to go to an airport and catch a jet plane and if the direction of my plane was toward you at 500 mph, then my Now Frame would be tilted such that it would coincide thousands of years into your future! What I consider to be happening now would be far in future time from what you would be considering is your now. The moment I land our Now Frames would once again co-align.

What this says is that the entire spectrum of time from the Big Bang until the end of the universe (at Milliways Restaurant, of course) is all equally valid and exists "now" as one. It is just our personal perception that transverses this "loaf" of time that extends from the Big Bang to the end of the universe in a unending series of Now Frames, but all Now Frames exist and are equally valid.

Our understanding of time is highly internalized. That is, it is something that we, as humans, readily grasp. We feel time flow as we compare our Now Frame with moments passed in our memories. Because we live in a world that is separated by relatively short distances on a cosmic scale and we are relegated to small speed differentials, we simply do not perceive any discrepancies with anyone else's Now Frames. My Now Frame of events is exactly the same as your Now Frame of events. While physics has done a wonderful job grasping the underpinnings of the universe, it seems hopelessly stuck in the ditch with unraveling the "experience" of time-flow as humans do.

Physics can unlock the nuts and bolts of the universe, but does not help us understand the illusionary perception of time that is innately within us.

Now, I know what all of you are thinking. If past, present, and future are equally valid and exists, what does this mean for free will? Are our destinies already written?

Perhaps free will is also an illusion. However, there is another possibility. Scientists have been proposing the idea that there may be more than one "universe" - a multiverse, if you will. I will keep this short as a whole book can easily be written on the subject.

However, If true, then perhaps every possibility is already played out in a near-infinite number of universes. Every decision you make is simply another fork in the path among the multitude of universes. Your Now Frame simply promenades through the endless possibilities as you choose. Of course this is just theoretical conjecture and any evidence of such is still too weak to make a compelling case in my book.

Nevertheless, I will leave you here with what I hope is enough to spark your own imaginations on the subject of time and our universe.

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#52
In reply to #51

Re: Past, Present, & Future

04/08/2013 12:13 PM

OK. Let's look again at the question "Is time and illusion?" The post states "He (Plato) asserted that time is all about change and movement. He thought that if everything would freeze, then time would stop too." That is impossible. Time can not stop. "Tempus fugit". Time (as I stated in my post #50 above) is a "Framework for events". All that has been discussed here-to-for has dealt with the effects of time, the various happenings that time has measured or the relativity of one period (framework) of time to another. An inch is a measurement of length. If everything that exists ceased to have any physical dimension, then there would be nothing to measure as far as length, width, depth nor any other physical characteristic. Therefore, the inch would fail to exist as a way of measuring those properties since those properties would not exist to be measured, so a method of measuring them would not be relavent. Time is a measurement of events. The measurement of time is the framework that envelopes those events; the duration, if you will, of the event being considered. While we can discuss and re-hash the relativity and the effects of time, we are not defining time by those theories that describe time and it's effects on the dynamics of our lives, our habitats, our experiences, our beliefs nor anything else that is extraneous to the definition of time. And time can not fail to exist because as long as anything exists, even thought, there will be required a unit of measure to define that event and to frame that event in a suitable measurement. It is not required that time have any relativity to any other activity. If nothing else in the universe or anywhere else existed, time would still exist to record (and frame) the nothingness that would be in effect, even if the framework held nothing - zero - the record would show that; nothing happened, the framework is empty. But, of course that would imply the total non-existence of ANYTHING. But the framework is still there because it does not depend on anything real, tangible, visible or any other manifestation of existence to be measured. Any happening would trigger time - even nothingness. Nor is it required to be measured against any other event or happening. It simply measures the event. Man, out of necessity, has devised various systems and nomenclatures to name and record those events for his use. He uses these to compare to other events and to contrast events against each another, but the original concept of time is a measurement only whatever it is called in practical use. So, "Is time an illusion?. I think not. It is as real as anything can be, and may possibly the only thing that is truly real, because in the event that nothing exists (including illusions) time wil still exist. It would be there -waiting to be utilized.

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#53
In reply to #52

Re: Past, Present, & Future

04/08/2013 12:50 PM

You wrote, "Time is a measurement of events."

You might want to look at it that way, but I think your statement that time is a framework is more accurate. Bear in mind that we do not and can not measure time. It is that intangible. We mark the passage of time, but we can not actually measure time.

In Einstein's theories all events, past, present, and future are all equally valid or already exist, if you will. In this regard, time is really a framework just like a DVD is a framework that contains all of the bits (ones and zeros) that make up a movie. All bits are valid and contained within the framework of the DVD disk.

Of course the movie is "played" by sequencing the data on the DVD in some ordered way, but the DVD is not the mechanism by which the movie unfolds. The DVD player does that.

Perhaps it is better to think of time as a dimension, not unlike length, width, and height are all dimensions. However, it does seem the perception of time is indeed illusionary.

I am not sure that your point that time exists even in absolute nothingness. As you pointed out the idea that history will record that implies that something is recording, which violates the premiss of absolute nothingness. Regardless, in a universe of absolute nothingness (including consciousness) time really has no meaning.

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#54
In reply to #53

Re: Past, Present, & Future

04/08/2013 1:16 PM

Thank you, Anonymous Hero. you have corrected me admirably. Touché. It is this type af banter that makes this site so magnetic. Indeed, I mis-spoke when I said that time is a measurement. I contradicted my own theory that it is a framework for events. And, you have made a strong case that if nothing existed, neither would time. Perhaps I could have more correctly stated that if something began to exist, time would certainly be the very first thing because the framework would be created at the very moment something else began to exist. That being said, if there is some one, some thing that can "create", be it God or any other supreme being, then something does, indeedl, exist and would require a framework to define (not measure) these events. Kind of hard to define these extraneous thoughts, but we continue to try.

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#55
In reply to #54

Re: Past, Present, & Future

04/08/2013 1:47 PM

Well, now you are digging deep into subjective realms when you bring in a creator. Indeed, a paradox would seems to exist because something would have moved into action to start what we understand to be Big Bang.

Unfortunately we are transcending the realms of science we you do that, but that does not mean that the subject should not be at least explored, we just need to recognize when we are crossing scientific boundaries.

I find some evidence in quantum mechanics that points to consciousness as an underpinning to the universe. That opens the door for some radical thinking which is hard if not impossible to scientifically back up as you are entering the gates of Faith.

Then again, many, if not most, scientists would tag String Theory as a form of Faith. :)

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#56
In reply to #55

Re: Past, Present, & Future

04/08/2013 2:05 PM

I think this is where I came in. I'll leave it alone from here. Again, thanks for the mental exercise.

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#65
In reply to #55

Re: Past, Present, & Future

04/09/2013 7:08 PM

'I find some evidence in quantum mechanics that points to consciousness as an underpinning to the universe.'

.

Could you expound on this some? I'd be very interested in hearing about what you are looking at in this respect.

.

I'm genuinely interested.

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#68
In reply to #65

Re: Past, Present, & Future

04/09/2013 7:49 PM

This is from one of my posts last year. The double slit experiment basically performs different;y depending on whether there is an observer present or not. There are a number of variations to this experiment and the one cited below is interesting.

To be fair there are other proposed explanations to this phenomena that do not include consciousness, but I still find this compelling.

---------

Even string theory tends to reside in that same domain (at least for now), but consciousness is little understood and much speculated about.

The closest I know of with mixing consciousness with science is in quantum physics with the double slit experiment and it derivatives where particles exhibit both wave and particle attributes.

Most fascinating is the act of observing a single photon changes the results of the experiment in a time-retro way.

One experiment uses a beam splitter (50%) and a laser to emit a single photon. One path is of the splitter is longer than the other. If the only detector employed is at the target we see an interference pattern, which tells us the single photon appears to travel through both slits, not as a particle, but a wave.

However, when you place detectors just before the slits the same experiment yields no interference patter, just a single photon goes through only one of the two slits.

It gets even screwier. The next experiment imparts a spin on the photon just before the two slits (after it has already passed through the beam splitter). The left slit device imparts a spin in one direction and the other slit imparts the spin in the opposite direction. This way we can tell which slit the photon takes by virtue of detecting its spin.

The only detector is at the target screen. What do we get? No interference pattern. only photons with a spin that represents which slit it passed through.

Now the real twist. If another device is placed on the target side of the slits (just before the target) that undoes the spin on one slit so that it matches the spin of the other slit and we turn that device on, we get an interference pattern again!

In the final experiment we have tagged each photon with a unique spin depending on which slit it enters and after it passes through the slits we then scramble that tagging so that it is impossible to determine the particle path, undoing what we did before the slits.

The question is how does a change in the photon's spin after it has passed through the slits affect the results on the target (presence of an interference pattern or not).

The spooky action here is that even though we have changed the photon spin behavior after history was already written (either a particle enters through one of the slits or a wave passes through both slits) we seem to have rewritten history.

Remember that all of these changes to the photon also take place after it has already passed through the beam splitter. If the photon passed through the beam splitter as a wave, then that wave exits in both directions. If it passes as a photon (particle), then it can only take one path, as proven by its spin.

The photon can not "know" which behavior to take on (wave or particle) when it enters the beam splitter because the tagging has not yet been performed and the scrambling of the tagging has not been done or even if it will be performed.

It is as if there is some temporal link between past and present that creates a paradox.

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#69
In reply to #68

Re: Past, Present, & Future

04/09/2013 7:59 PM

thank you.

I have been intrigued by this phenomena.

Have you seen this video or perhaps the explanation therein? (you can probably skip to around minute 29 since you are familiar with the experiment)

The title of the talk is a little tongue in cheek.... I had not heard the explanation of the quantum eraser experiment suggested in this talk before (or since) and it is one of the best I have heard.

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#73
In reply to #69

Re: Past, Present, & Future

04/09/2013 9:10 PM

Thanks for the link.

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#100
In reply to #68

Re: Past, Present, & Future

04/14/2013 11:05 PM

The spooky action here is that even though we have changed the photon spin behavior after history was already written (either a particle enters through one of the slits or a wave passes through both slits) we seem to have rewritten history...The photon can not "know" which behavior to take on (wave or particle) when it enters the beam splitter because the tagging has not yet been performed and the scrambling of the tagging has not been done or even if it will be performed. It is as if there is some temporal link between past and present that creates a paradox.

I'm not sure what paradox you are referring to. I discussed this topic in the PhysicsForums a while back. Some of the people there were emphatic that time was not involved and had other explanations, but I was not convinced. There was a similar example where consciousness was "blamed" for the outcome. These are hard things to get your head around.

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#103
In reply to #100

Re: Past, Present, & Future

04/15/2013 12:59 AM

look up 'quantum eraser double split experiment'.

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#71
In reply to #65

Re: Past, Present, & Future

04/09/2013 8:20 PM

In a nutshell, I find that consciousness may be the underpinning to the universe. That is, it is the one thing that is real and what we see and perceive as individuals is nothing more than a stage set by consciousness or maybe you might want to call it God.

To further confuse and torment you, I think that if we were to look at each other in the eyes that we would be both looking at the same being. That is, we are both an extension of that master consciousness, but our egos differentiate each other. Sort of like your fingers are extensions of you.

This line of thinking rubs a lot of people the wrong way, but I am thinking that as we continue to unlock more of the mysteries of the universe and quantum physics in particular, there seems to be more and more supporting evidence that we are more than simple observers in the universe, but its creators as well.

Then again, this could all be just total hogwash and as we continue to peel away the layers of the onion of this universe and discover new things, something completely different may be revealed. Either way it will be amazing.

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#72
In reply to #71

Re: Past, Present, & Future

04/09/2013 8:50 PM

Your explanation doesn't rub me the wrong way.

It gives me warm chills. I have explained my perception of consciousness in an eerily similar fashion, to the point of suggesting kindred spirits are like fingers on the hand; innately familiar, finding it easy to work productively together, and empathetic to a degree that can be startling if the underlying connection is not realized.

.

Thank you for sharing your perspective.

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#74
In reply to #72

Re: Past, Present, & Future

04/09/2013 9:11 PM

Thank you for your insights, too.

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#98
In reply to #55

Re: Past, Present, & Future

04/14/2013 5:31 PM

I find some evidence in quantum mechanics that points to consciousness as an underpinning to the universe.

Niels Bohr said that an atom doesn't exist unless its observed. Einstein had a problem with that and said to somebody something like "Does the moon cease to exist when we don't look at it?" Since atoms are too small to observe, I have a problem with it too. Think of a basketball. Even if you could see atoms, you wouldn't be able to see the ones on the far side, but if they didn't exist, the ball would lose its air pressure.

Nevertheless, your comment about consciousness may be valid. In that case, it is MY consciousness that matters. The rest of you could be figments of my imagination.

many, if not most, scientists would tag String Theory as a form of Faith.

An interesting view. I have felt for some time that atheism is a religion as much as Christianity. Everybody has biases and has faith in something.

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#102
In reply to #98

Re: Past, Present, & Future

04/15/2013 12:56 AM

'...I have felt for some time that atheism is a religion as much as Christianity.....'

.

The labeling, of those who are unwilling to go along with any of the unfalsifiable (and equally unverifiable) stories about invisible voyeurs in the sky, as 'atheists' was an incredibly clever bit of marketing.

By labeling those unwilling to join the groups (of those claiming absolute belief in the reality of whatever particular story they have been told but for which most will admit proof doe not exits) as 'atheists', the theists have framed the problem in an amazing way.

They have framed is as everyone having faith, everyone having religion. With that framing, having 'faith', is the most normal thing in the world, because everyone without fail has a religion in that special frame of reference.

....Atheist, Buhddist Christian, Din-i-llahi, Eckankar, Falun Gong, Gohar Shahi, Hanbali, Invisible Pink Unicorn, Jeung San Do, Khalsa, Lingayatism, Meivazhi,Naturalistic Pantheism, Orphism, Pransangika, Quadiriyyah, Ravidassia, Swaminarayan, Tenrikyo, Unitarian, Vodou, Wahabi, Xidaotang, Yazidi, and Zoroastianism....

They hardly stand out at all now that we have a convenient 'what myth team do you support' label to call them.

.

.

When you think about it, it is pretty twisted way to make sure the topic never deviates from religion.

It is such an arbitrary descriptor in the context of the actual person (and not the story someone else is promoting).

The things a person doesn't believe in is limitless. Most of the things a person doesn't believe, they aren't even aware of and haven't spent a moment in their life considering. It is ridiculous to label someone for a belief they do not hold.

Oh! He is an 'a-cindy-crawford-could-fit-more-than-a-pint-of-brunswick-stew-in-her-navel-ist', you know what they say about those people.

Watch out for her, she is an 'a-when-the-checkout-person-circles-an-amount-on-the-receipt-an-says-you-saved-that-amount-you-really-saved-money-by-spending-it-ist'

.

Personally, among a number of other things, I am an 'a-all-ideas-deserve-respect-ist'. Ideas do not have guaranteed universal equality or even a minimum level of quality, and it is vital to discriminate good ideas from bad ideas.

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#107
In reply to #102

Re: Past, Present, & Future

04/15/2013 1:59 PM

I didn't mean to strike a nerve or mutate this into a religious discussion. My apologies.

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#111
In reply to #107

Re: Past, Present, & Future

04/15/2013 9:40 PM

You didn't strike a nerve. I certainly don't think you are responsible for framing the issue in this manner.

.

I think that having the issue framed in this odd manner is one of those things that has significant implications and yet goes mostly unnoticed.

Most people give no consideration to the idea that they are using a title for someone that is very unusual in its formulation compared with most other titles, or what effects that might have.

.

Some people think discussions of religion have no place in an engineering or science based blog. I think an important aspect of engineering and other science dependent endeavors is learning to evaluate the reliability and utility of information from various sources. A small part of that is learning to identify and discriminate against utilizing any models that are not falsifiable. Religions provide rich and pervasive example of information derived from such models.

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#96
In reply to #51

Re: Past, Present, & Future

04/14/2013 12:16 AM

Thanks for the compliment and a great post. I give you a GA vote (not that you need another one).

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#57

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/08/2013 2:49 PM

Should I or shouldn't I? Is it Ella or Memorex? And, as often happens, discussions like this happen on weekends when I don't get on CR4. So I'm late much of the time and the discussion has petered out. Anyway, here goes. I'll apologize ahead of time for the length of the post. Some things just can't be covered in a few sentences properly. Even then, only the essence can be mentioned.

There is another subject related to time that people don't usually bring up. I don't think I saw it in any comments yet. That would be the subject of precognition and/or prophecy. ()

Perception, as AH has mentioned, is how the human brain experiences time. We use "events" as markers. I feel pretty sure that everyone has had the experience of time either "dragging on" or "flying by." If time is linear, how can that be? The key characteristic of this perception is change. IF there were absolutely no motion in the universe and yet we could see, the very motion of our eyes changing position to marvel at that state would create the illusion of motion of our surroundings. But then without motion, no light could strike our retina to see. We compare our perception of time to some constant (?) motion around us; i.e., hands on clock moving at a fixed rate. The perceived passage is a function of our "attention" and its focus. And our attention is mostly given to the sensory experiences of sight and hearing. Watching television or a movie can distort our sense of time passage depending on how "involved" or focused we are on the material we are seeing and hearing. Being in "deep thought," such as focusing on solving a problem can also be the same. That can lead to a "detaching" of our "attention" from the senses of sight and hearing. Consciousness and attention are equivalent in that regard. Or reading a book. I think we've all had the experience of being absorbed in some activity and lost awareness of our surroundings.

Precognition is relevant to a time discussion. It was implied by Tornado's statement, "everything has already happened," but we experience events in a forward fashion. We speak of events happening in time. Most religious histories include the idea of prophecy. If there is any evidence that the brain can "see" or "know" what is going to happen ahead of time then there is a good case to be made that, at least, some events have not necessarily already happened, but that they will happen because of an inertia of events that will cause an outcome. (In Eastern thought, the concept of Karma.) One familiar such case is predicting eclipses. Motion is certainly involved in that case. Science has led us to understand and control some of the forces of Nature. Another driving force behind science is its ability to predict what will happen. So the desire to know the future seems innate in us.

Prophecy is a pastime humans are quite devoted to. We like to predict which team is going to win a sports event. We like to predict who will be the winner of a dance contest, etc. Educated guesses in most instances. But also "leaps" of intuition. And we are willing to bet on those guesses. There are accounts of people who can know the future on a world scale, but also as detailed as someone's past or their future. (An example of the past part, would be the anecdote of Jesus knowing the past of the Samaritan woman he met at a well.) Because the world is full of prognosticators who are just making educated guesses, it makes any of us skeptical that there is anybody who can reliably know that any event will take place. But history is full of anecdotes that such abilities exist. (Any number of books about prophecy and prophets are available.) If so, it would mean that time is illusory to the degree that predetermination is equivalent to having already happened -- or must happen because of an inertia of other events.

So the question to ask is, what evidence is there for humans to have this ability? And if so, what does that mean in our understanding of "time?" Aside from religious figures, there is Leonardo da Vinci, whose sketches of "machines" eerily portend machines that came to be. But as a devil's advocate, I would say maybe the human brain conceptualizes in fixed ways and he just happened to apply his imagination to inventions that others around him weren't wondering about. When later generations of humans applied their efforts to the same problems in greater numbers, they visualized solutions similarly. That could lead to a side discussion of archetypes.

I have suggested before that the best investigation of the nature of the universe is to investigate one's own consciousness. To me, consciousness is the highest phenomena of Nature. One way of investigating it is mysticism, vs. logical argument. Paranormal experiences outside of physical senses. And these are often accompanied by prediction or prophecy. We would have a hard time listing all the personalities in history that have been tied to such paranormal experiences, but they do come under the heading of mysticism. Many books have been written about the subject. In Eastern cultures, such as India, "holy men" are a commonplace occurrence. And reading the biographies of some of the more well known ones includes prophetic abilities. Such personalities do not occur so much in the West, but there are some notable ones, for study, such as Meister Eckhart, Jacob Boehme, and others. A seminal book about the subject is by Evelyn Underhill, entitled, "Mysticism." In modern times there is the controversial Edgar Cayce, about whom many books have been written.

One theme of mystical experience is reportedly "visiting" realms of higher consciousness, where the consciousness of the life at that level is quite overt -- flowers, even water (as in "Living Water") being perceived as conscious by the "visitor." Time is also experienced there, but reportedly much slower/longer as the case may be. A day in the physical world might be experienced as 1,000 years in another state of consciousness. One example of such a personality who reported this type of experience was Emanuel Swedenborg, as well as many others. There are those who would equivocate such experiences with NDEs.

When I took a philosophy course in college there was a section of the textbook on Mysticism. When we got to it, the professor of the course said, "You can't argue with a mystic because you can't prove or disprove his/her experience." Frustrating to those who want to disagree. Also, pretty futile on the "mystic" part to "convince" anyone.

If there is a non-physical reality that can be accessed by our "attention," since we are constructed the same, it means any of us should be able to do it. From that perspective it gives a scientific "repeatability" to the "experiment" or investigation. If 2 people report similar experiences, I would submit that an open and inquiring mind would seek to understand that phenomena. A survey of experiences, in history and in current times, seems to point to such a reality. That is for each of us to study or not and decide or not.

Time, in and of itself, has importance only within our consciousness. Consciousness is the crucial subject to study. Almost all seeking of knowledge can be reduced to "Who are WE?" Or I?

We are very much a "herd" species. We tend to be engaged in the same activities. For the majority of us, these are "outward" activities. Investigating consciousness is an "inward" activity. Relatively few embark upon the subject in that way. Reading about it is one thing, doing another.

One thing about the idea of consciousness, time... all philosophical musings, as to whether they be non-physically based or not, or how much our "perception" has to do with their existence, etc. all of us posting here will know the answer to some of these key questions within 100 years or less. We can make some attempt to investigate the subject before death or wait for that event to find out.

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#58

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/08/2013 3:00 PM

Could it be that Einstein was describing a paradox (or God) because the human mind is physical, not just thinks itself to be physical but our understanding does not suffer the same limitation. Our ability to process is linear and proceeds logically from a to b to c etc. and is limited by the speed at which electrical charges can jump from one neuron to the next. The problem comes in that we can not process all things simultaneously and here was Einstein postulating that all things existed simulaneously and that time did not exist but was merely percieved by us in order to explain the universe. Simply put, we created time to assist in our understanding. A similar argument has been made for the creation of god too for that matter.

The upshot of this was that time was not an illusion, but also that it did not exist and was simply a "frame of reference" not an actual limiting factor. Thus speeds in excess of light were in fact possible but also non existant because in the absence of time all travel is instantaneous. Beats the hell out of me......

What is the perfect speed for a seagull Jonathan?

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#59

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/08/2013 4:35 PM

Such a philosophical discussion..I am amazed at the depth some have presented..What was the original question again...Does time exist ? I take it we all ponder on this a lot of the time..

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#60

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/08/2013 4:56 PM

The perception of time is an abstract division created and modified to serially position the passage of events. (jt.) Seasons to seconds, events create the "when," for without an event, time is absent. Nothing is not measured by time. (jt)

I admire Anonymous Hero and have difficulty in following someone so knowledgeable. His descriptions are excellent. (thank you AH.)

True, the light speed limitation creates the travel delay of the received "view" but, this does not affect the time "now" for either party. It is just an old(er) view of the other party, and does not produce a future one for the receiving party.

In regard to the large distance, the real "now" is (actual) for both parties. The hundreds of years perceived "difference" is simply an image displacement by the speed limitation of the light. If the view (light) was instantaneous neither would see any "past" (time shift) from the other. i.e. this perceived past/future is not at all relevant (true) to the "now" for either of them. It is like looking at an old photograph, which has no bearing on the concurrent now.

Likewise for the "future" it would not be coincident with a future many hundreds of years to come for the other party, it would just be a delay to the pictures from the past. (IMO)

I think it is best to see "now" as universal; however we delay, distort, or reference it from the light source. "Now" needs to be accepted as universal, unless we wish to "trip" into the various mind puzzles by Einstein and others.

Should not have side tracked here.. (and now probably boring everyone!) so I'll say bye. bye. (I am fascinated by time.)

jt.

The time now, by my non-existent ever-right wrist watch is...... now.

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#61
In reply to #60

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/08/2013 5:27 PM

You wrote, "The hundreds of years perceived "difference" is simply an image displacement by the speed limitation of the light."

No, the actual Now Frame is the same for both observers when their positions are relative to each other (i.e., no motion between them).

The view back into time by observing photons or other energy emissions is not what I am describing. The scenario I am describing has to do with Relativity and the rate different clocks tick from the perspective of different frames of references.

When considering the Now Frame from your perspective you may be sipping a cup of tea and at the very same instant a star 500 lightyears away in the universe is just going supernova. However, while that is taking place right Now, the light and radiation from that supernova will not reach us for 500 years from Now due to the propagation delay of the speed of light.

The Now Frame is an abstraction that describes everything that is happening right Now in the universe whether you observe it or not and is independent of the speed of light. It represents a frozen moment from your inertial reference point in space-time of everything around you.

As an example of this, consider the Moon landing of Apollo 11, which was at 3:17 p.m. EST on July 20th, 1969. At exactly 3:17 PM you may have been watching it on TV, but due to the propagation time for light (and radio waves), you were not aware of it until a 1.3 seconds later. It still happened at that time and that was the Now Frame.

The crux of the biscuit of what I was trying to illustrate before is that your Now Frame does not have to co-align with someone else's Now Frame if there is enough distance between the two of you and that other person has a velocity vector either toward you or away from you. However, both Now Frames are equally valid even if they do not match or co-align.

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#77
In reply to #61

Re: Is Time an Illusion?

04/10/2013 7:41 PM

I believe the "now" is absolute, universal, for everyone. You confirm this with: "The Now Frame is an abstraction that describes everything that is happening right Now in the universe whether you observe it or not and is independent of the speed of light. It represents a frozen moment from *your inertial reference point in space-time of everything around you." I would add: this now is universal, for not only * "your" but everyone. i.e. martians etc, :) (joke) All the rest is smoke and mirrors. Interesting, fasinating, intriguing, but misleading. e.g. you state: "When considering the Now Frame from your perspective you may be sipping a cup of tea and at the very same instant a star 500 lightyears away in the universe is just going supernova. However, while that is taking place right Now, the light and radiation from that supernova will not reach us for 500 years from Now, due to the propagation delay of the speed of light." This is true, and agrees with what I said. My argument is, that delay is simply that, a delay. when we see it, it will be a 500 year old picture to us that is long past. (yes?)

Their now, of 500 years ago, was as valid then, as it was (concurrent) for us, our Now at the same time. That their's will not be seen by us (due to the time delay) i.e be in our "now" for another 500 years, is exactly and only that, a time delay, and is not a view into our (or anyones) past or future, nor into a different frame of reference.

If I bake a cake today, and you only see it tomorrow, it does not change our concurrent now's for neither today nor tomorrow. (IMO) i.e. to suggest it is seeing into the past or future is misleading, because while you may be surprised by the cake tomorrow, the day that I baked it, and the day that you seen it, would have been valid "Now's" for us both. The time may be elongated to make it so appear to be in a past or future time, however (imo) all Now's are concurrent for all parties, and to see things from an earlier or later period cannot change the universal Now.

To put it another way, your time now is the same as mine, where ever you are. Even if you traveled at the speed of light away from me and "changed the clocks" etc... now is now, for both of us, where ever we are, or doing.

How can, to quote: "both Now Frames are equally valid even if they do not match or co-align" i.e. be the same, and yet different? (I can only see this working if Now is for 1 and, Now is for 2. i.e there are 2 Now's, one for each other, but.. at different times - which completely defeats the description of now? "I had my now yesterday, and you have your now today." We have both had valid Now's, but out of sync., so what's the point of calling it Now, when its not THE Now, for others? Unless you can convince me otherwise of course! (always willing to listen.)

I think creating a sink holes of theories can undermine reaching an acceptable explanation of time. Yes, thinking outside the box etc is good for developing new ideas, but I also think it is nice (fine) to build on "self-evident" truths, and only discard them if proven to be wrong. (maybe Einstein did just that, and I don't know about, or understand it.... a little knowledge is... etc.) So for now (pun) I simply believe that "Now" (to be a valid concept) is concurrent for everyone, everything, everywhere, at that instant. (in my life time! Only I do not see it all, at the same time.)

jt.

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