Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

One theory on the origin of time: It’s all in our heads

File:Wooden hourglass 3.jpg
passage of time, imaged/S. Sepp

FromDaily Galaxy, a revisit of cosmologist Sean Carroll’s From Eternity to Here:
The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time (2010):

The relativity of time depended upon a new theory, and if we stand back, we discover that all views of time are human constructs. If time seems linear, that’s because we humans have modeled it that way in accord with our nervous system. It is just as viable to construct other models of time. For example, your body obeys natural rhythms in accord with the planetary, lunar, and solar cycles. The very notion of “time passing” fits with the firing of neurons in the brain, which have a beginning, middle, and end.

From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time

If you drop every model, something surprising happens. They are not needed. For example, you can view your daily life as occurring entirely in the present moment. The present moment is not a clock phenomenon. Clocks measure intervals–seconds, minutes, hours–while the present moment has no interval. It’s always here, endlessly renewing itself, unmeasurable, and fleeting. Because the instant you try to capture it, it’s gone. This implies that the “now” is actually outside time. It can be defined either as instantaneous or eternal. Both are valid as verbal descriptions but in the end invalid, since the vocabulary of time doesn’t apply to the timeless.

The same is true of the big bang or the potential end of the universe. Time doesn’t begin or end in an absolute way. It is a convenient way of using words. Time is simply a concept that fits various physical models. But its origin is as much in metaphysics as in physics.More.

Of course, if time is metaphysics, a physics study thereof would be pointless. Good to know.

See also: Physicist: “T violation” could be origin of time

Did time’s arrow originate in a quantum source?

Space and time originate in a computer game.


Evolution bred a sense of reality out of us

Follow UD News at Twitter!

OT: Pinwheel of Infinity - Mandelbrot Zoom https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9EU1TcF1u4 14 amazing fractals found in nature http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/blogs/14-amazing-fractals-found-in-nature bornagain77
The entropies being dealt with between the two different 'eternities', associated with special relativity and general relativity respectfully, are radically different as well
(Entropic Concerns) The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Dead is the correct solution for the "Theory of Everything" – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqv4wVP_Fkc&index=2&list=PLtAP1KN7ahia8hmDlCYEKifQ8n65oNpQ5
Moreover, although mathematicians may be at a dead end in their quest for a 'theory of everything', if we rightly let the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into the picture of modern physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned, (Newton, Maxwell, Faraday, and Planck, among others), then an empirically backed reconciliation between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity readily pops out for us in Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Specifically, we have evidence that both Gravity and Quantum Mechanics were dealt with in Christ’s resurrection from the dead:
THE EVENT HORIZON (Space-Time Singularity) OF THE SHROUD OF TURIN. – Isabel Piczek – Particle Physicist Excerpt: We have stated before that the images on the Shroud firmly indicate the total absence of Gravity. Yet they also firmly indicate the presence of the Event Horizon. These two seemingly contradict each other and they necessitate the past presence of something more powerful than Gravity that had the capacity to solve the above paradox. http://shroud3d.com/findings/isabel-piczek-image-formation The absorbed energy in the Shroud body image formation appears as contributed by discrete (quantum) values – Giovanni Fazio, Giuseppe Mandaglio – 2008 Excerpt: This result means that the optical density distribution,, can not be attributed at the absorbed energy described in the framework of the classical physics model. It is, in fact, necessary to hypothesize a absorption by discrete values of the energy where the ‘quantum’ is equal to the one necessary to yellow one fibril. http://cab.unime.it/journals/index.php/AAPP/article/view/C1A0802004/271 Astonishing discovery at Christ's tomb supports Turin Shroud - NOV 26TH 2016 Excerpt: The first attempts made to reproduce the face on the Shroud by radiation, used a CO2 laser which produced an image on a linen fabric that is similar at a macroscopic level. However, microscopic analysis showed a coloring that is too deep and many charred linen threads, features that are incompatible with the Shroud image. Instead, the results of ENEA “show that a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation can color a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin, including shades of color, the surface color of the fibrils of the outer linen fabric, and the absence of fluorescence”. 'However, Enea scientists warn, "it should be noted that the total power of VUV radiations required to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height, body surface area equal to = 2000 MW/cm2 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion watts makes it impractical today to reproduce the entire Shroud image using a single laser excimer, since this power cannot be produced by any VUV light source built to date (the most powerful available on the market come to several billion watts )”. Comment The ENEA study of the Holy Shroud of Turin concluded that it would take 34 Thousand Billion Watts of VUV radiations to make the image on the shroud. This output of electromagnetic energy remains beyond human technology. https://www.ewtn.co.uk/news/latest/astonishing-discovery-at-christ-s-tomb-supports-turin-shroud
Colossians 1:15-20 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Supplemental note:
Albert Einstein vs. "The Now" of Philosophers and of Quantum Mechanics – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwyHUxoKWNM
As to 'timeless quantum mechanics' and 'the now of the mind', it is also interesting to note that quantum mechanics has an irreducible subjective element built into it:
On The Comparison Of Quantum and Relativity Theories – Sachs – 1986 Excerpt: quantum theory entails an irreducible subjective element in its conceptual basis. In contrast, the theory of relativity when fully exploited, is based on a totally objective view. http://books.google.com/books?id=8qaYGFuXvMkC&pg=PA11#v=onepage&q&f=false The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics - Steven Weinberg - JANUARY 19, 2017 Excerpt: In the instrumentalist approach,,, humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level. According to Eugene Wigner, a pioneer of quantum mechanics, “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.”11 Thus the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else. It is not that we object to thinking about humans. Rather, we want to understand the relation of humans to nature, not just assuming the character of this relation by incorporating it in what we suppose are nature’s fundamental laws, but rather by deduction from laws that make no explicit reference to humans. We may in the end have to give up this goal,,, Some physicists who adopt an instrumentalist approach argue that the probabilities we infer from the wave function are objective probabilities, independent of whether humans are making a measurement. I don’t find this tenable. In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,” http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2017/01/19/trouble-with-quantum-mechanics/ Does Quantum Physics Make it Easier to Believe in God? Stephen M. Barr - July 10, 2012 Excerpt: Couldn’t an inanimate physical device (say, a Geiger counter) carry out a “measurement” (minus the 'observer' in quantum mechanics)? That would run into the very problem pointed out by von Neumann: If the “observer” were just a purely physical entity, such as a Geiger counter, one could in principle write down a bigger wavefunction that described not only the thing being measured but also the observer. And, when calculated with the Schrödinger equation, that bigger wave function would not jump! Again: as long as only purely physical entities are involved, they are governed by an equation that says that the probabilities don’t jump. That’s why, when Peierls was asked whether a machine could be an “observer,” he said no, explaining that “the quantum mechanical description is in terms of knowledge, and knowledge requires somebody who knows.” Not a purely physical thing, but a mind. https://www.bigquestionsonline.com/content/does-quantum-physics-make-it-easier-believe-god
As well, as to this conundrum presented to us between the space-time of relativity and the 'timelessness' of Quantum theory, it is also interesting to note that special relativity, by ‘brushing infinity under the rug’, has been successfully unified with quantum theory to produce Quantum Electrodynamics,,,
Theories of the Universe: Quantum Mechanics vs. General Relativity Excerpt: The first attempt at unifying relativity and quantum mechanics took place when special relativity was merged with electromagnetism. This created the theory of quantum electrodynamics, or QED. It is an example of what has come to be known as relativistic quantum field theory, or just quantum field theory. QED is considered by most physicists to be the most precise theory of natural phenomena ever developed. In the 1960s and ’70s, the success of QED prompted other physicists to try an analogous approach to unifying the weak, the strong, and the gravitational forces. Out of these discoveries came another set of theories that merged the strong and weak forces called quantum chromodynamics, or QCD, and quantum electroweak theory, or simply the electroweak theory, which you’ve already been introduced to. If you examine the forces and particles that have been combined in the theories we just covered, you’ll notice that the obvious force missing is that of gravity (i.e. General Relativity). http://www.infoplease.com/cig/theories-universe/quantum-mechanics-vs-general-relativity.html THE INFINITY PUZZLE: Quantum Field Theory and the Hunt for an Orderly Universe Excerpt: In quantum electrodynamics, which applies quantum mechanics to the electromagnetic field and its interactions with matter, the equations led to infinite results for the self-energy or mass of the electron. After nearly two decades of effort, this problem was solved after World War II by a procedure called renormalization, in which the infinities are rolled up into the electron’s observed mass and charge, and are thereafter conveniently ignored. Richard Feynman, who shared the 1965 Nobel Prize with Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga for this breakthrough, referred to this sleight of hand as “brushing infinity under the rug.” http://www.americanscientist.org/bookshelf/pub/tackling-infinity Double Slit, Quantum-Electrodynamics, and Christian Theism – video https://www.facebook.com/philip.cunningham.73/videos/vb.100000088262100/1127450170601248/?type=2&theater
And where special relativity, by ‘brushing infinity under the rug’, has been successfully unified with quantum theory to produce Quantum Electrodynamics, no such mathematical ‘sleight of hand’ exists for general relativity. General relativity simply refuses to be mathematically unified with quantum mechanics. String theory is one, of several, attempts to, by hook or by crook, mathematically unify the two theories,
Unified field theory Excerpt: Gravity has yet to be successfully included in a theory of everything. Simply trying to combine the graviton with the strong and electroweak interactions runs into fundamental difficulties since the resulting theory is not renormalizable. Theoretical physicists have not yet formulated a widely accepted, consistent theory that combines general relativity and quantum mechanics. The incompatibility of the two theories remains an outstanding problem in the field of physics. Some theoretical physicists currently believe that a quantum theory of general relativity may require frameworks other than field theory itself, such as string theory or loop quantum gravity. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_field_theory#Current_status
Some leading theoretical physicists have remarked that this failure to mathematically unify Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity into a 'theory of everything' is ‘the collapse of physics as we know it’
Quantum Mechanics & Relativity – Michio Kaku – The Collapse Of Physics As We Know It? – video https://www.facebook.com/philip.cunningham.73/videos/vb.100000088262100/1190432337636364/?type=2&theater
I hold that one of the primary reasons why general relativity cannot be mathematically unified with quantum mechanics and special relativity into the 'theory of everything' is because we are dealing with two very different eternities:
Special and General Relativity compared to Heavenly and Hellish Near Death Experiences – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbKELVHcvSI&index=1&list=PLtAP1KN7ahia8hmDlCYEKifQ8n65oNpQ5
As to:
If you drop every model (of time), something surprising happens. They are not needed. For example, you can view your daily life as occurring entirely in the present moment. The present moment is not a clock phenomenon. Clocks measure intervals–seconds, minutes, hours–while the present moment has no interval. It’s always here, endlessly renewing itself, unmeasurable, and fleeting. Because the instant you try to capture it, it’s gone. This implies that the “now” is actually outside time. It can be defined either as instantaneous or eternal. Both are valid as verbal descriptions but in the end invalid, since the vocabulary of time doesn’t apply to the timeless.
This sounds very similar to Einstein's encounter with Henri Bergson, who was a famous philosopher. Soon after Einstein had gained notoriety, Einstein had an encounter with a very well respected philosopher, Henri Bergson, over the proper definition of time. In fact, that encounter with Bergson over the proper definition of time, and the heated disagreement that ensued between the two men over that proper definition, was one of the primary reasons that Einstein failed to receive a Nobel prize for relativity:
Einstein, Bergson, and the Experiment that Failed: Intellectual Cooperation at the League of Nations! – Jimena Canales page 1177 Excerpt: Bergson temporarily had the last word during their meeting at Société française de philosophie. His intervention negatively affected Einstein’s Nobel Prize, which was given “for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect” and not for relativity. The reasons behind this decision, as stated in the prize’s presentation speech, were related to Bergson’s intervention: “Most discussion [of Einstein’s work] centers on his Theory of Relativity. This pertains to epistemology and has therefore been the subject of lively debate in philosophical circles. It will be no secret that the famous philosopher Bergson in Paris has challenged this theory, while other philosophers have acclaimed it wholeheartedly.”51 For a moment, their debate dragged matters of time out of the solid terrain of “matters of fact” and into the shaky ground of “matters of concern.”52 https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/3210598/canales-Einstein,%20Bergson%20and%20the%20Experiment%20that%20Failed%282%29.pdf?sequence=2 Einstein vs Bergson, science vs philosophy and the meaning of time – Wednesday 24 June 2015 Excerpt: The meeting of April 6 was supposed to be a cordial affair, though it ended up being anything but. ‘I have to say that day exploded and it was referenced over and over again in the 20th century,’ says Canales. ‘The key sentence was something that Einstein said: “The time of the philosophers did not exist.”’ It’s hard to know whether Bergson was expecting such a sharp jab. In just one sentence, Bergson’s notion of duration—a major part of his thesis on time—was dealt a mortal blow. As Canales reads it, the line was carefully crafted for maximum impact. ‘What he meant was that philosophers frequently based their stories on a psychological approach and [new] physical knowledge showed that these philosophical approaches were nothing more than errors of the mind.’ The night would only get worse. ‘This was extremely scandalous,’ says Canales. ‘Einstein had been invited by philosophers to speak at their society, and you had this physicist say very clearly that their time did not exist.’ Bergson was outraged, but the philosopher did not take it lying down. A few months later Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the law of photoelectric effect, an area of science that Canales noted, ‘hardly jolted the public’s imagination’. In truth, Einstein coveted recognition for his work on relativity. Bergson inflicted some return humiliation of his own. By casting doubt on Einstein’s theoretical trajectory, Bergson dissuaded the committee from awarding the prize for relativity. In 1922, the jury was still out on the correct interpretation of time. So began a dispute that festered for years and played into the larger rift between physics and philosophy, science and the humanities. Bergson was fond of saying that time was the experience of waiting for a lump of sugar to dissolve in a glass of water. It was a declaration that one could not talk about time without reference to human consciousness and human perception. Einstein would say that time is what clocks measure. Bergson would no doubt ask why we build clocks in the first place. ‘He argued that if we didn’t have a prior sense of time we wouldn’t have been led to build clocks and we wouldn’t even use them … unless we wanted to go places and to events that mattered,’ says Canales. ‘You can see that their points of view were very different.’ In a theoretical nutshell this expressed perfectly the division between lived time and spacetime: subjective experience versus objective reality.,,, Just when Einstein thought he had it worked out, along came the discovery of quantum theory and with it the possibility of a Bergsonian universe of indeterminacy and change. God did, it seems, play dice with the universe, contra to Einstein’s famous aphorism. Some supporters went as far as to say that Bergson’s earlier work anticipated the quantum revolution of Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg by four decades or more. Canales quotes the literary critic Andre Rousseaux, writing at the time of Bergson’s death. ‘The Bergson revolution will be doubled by a scientific revolution that, on its own, would have demanded the philosophical revolution that Bergson led, even if he had not done it.’ Was Bergson right after all? Time will tell. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/philosopherszone/science-vs-philosophy-and-the-meaning-of-time/6539568
Years after Einstein's run in with Henri Bergson, Einstein had another encounter with another respected philosopher. His name was Rudolf Carnap. During that meeting, Einstein was asked by Rudolf Carnap:
“Can physics demonstrate the existence of ‘the now’ in order to make the notion of ‘now’ into a scientifically valid term?”
Einstein’s answer was categorical, he said:
“The experience of ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement, it can never be a part of physics.”
Quote was taken from the last few minutes of this following video.
Stanley L. Jaki: “The Mind and Its Now” https://vimeo.com/10588094
And here is a bit more detail of the encounter:
The Mind and Its Now – May 22, 2008 – By Stanley L. Jaki Excerpt: ,,, Rudolf Carnap, and the only one among them who was bothered with the mind’s experience of its now. His concern for this is noteworthy because he went about it in the wrong way. He thought that physics was the only sound way to know and to know anything. It was therefore only logical on his part that he should approach, we are around 1935, Albert Einstein, the greatest physicist of the day, with the question whether it was possible to turn the experience of the now into a scientific knowledge. Such knowledge must of course be verified with measurement. We do not have the exact record of Carnap’s conversation with Einstein whom he went to visit in Princeton, at eighteen hours by train at that time from Chicago. But from Einstein’s reply which Carnap jotted down later, it is safe to assume that Carnap reasoned with him as outlined above. Einstein’s answer was categorical: The experience of the now cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement. It can never be part of physics. http://metanexus.net/essay/mind-and-its-now
A fuller meaning of exactly what Carnap meant in his question to Einstein of ‘the Now’ can be also read in a fuller context in the preceding article:
The Mind and Its Now – Stanley L. Jaki, May 2008 Excerpts: There can be no active mind without its sensing its existence in the moment called now.,,, Three quarters of a century ago Charles Sherrington, the greatest modern student of the brain, spoke memorably on the mind’s baffling independence of the brain. The mind lives in a self-continued now or rather in the now continued in the self. This life involves the entire brain, some parts of which overlap, others do not. ,,,There is no physical parallel to the mind’s ability to extend from its position in the momentary present to its past moments, or in its ability to imagine its future. The mind remains identical with itself while it lives through its momentary nows. ,,, the now is immensely richer an experience than any marvelous set of numbers, even if science could give an account of the set of numbers, in terms of energy levels. The now is not a number. It is rather a word, the most decisive of all words. It is through experiencing that word that the mind comes alive and registers all existence around and well beyond. ,,, All our moments, all our nows, flow into a personal continuum, of which the supreme form is the NOW which is uncreated, because it simply IS.
The statement Einstein made to Carnap on the train, '‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement’, was an interesting statement for Einstein to make to the philosopher since ‘the now of the mind’ has, from many recent experiments in quantum mechanics, established itself as central to quantum theory. Wheeler's Classic Delayed Choice Experiment is particularly good for getting this point across:
Wheeler's Classic Delayed Choice Experiment: Excerpt: Now, for many billions of years the photon is in transit in region 3. Yet we can choose (many billions of years later) which experimental set up to employ – the single wide-focus, or the two narrowly focused instruments. We have chosen whether to know which side of the galaxy the photon passed by (by choosing whether to use the two-telescope set up or not, which are the instruments that would give us the information about which side of the galaxy the photon passed). We have delayed this choice until a time long after the particles "have passed by one side of the galaxy, or the other side of the galaxy, or both sides of the galaxy," so to speak. Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory. http://www.bottomlayer.com/bottom/basic_delayed_choice.htm
And here is a recent variation of the 'Wheeler delayed choice' experiment that drove the point home even further:
New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015 Excerpt: The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts. “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,, “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said. Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer. http://themindunleashed.org/2015/06/new-mind-blowing-experiment-confirms-that-reality-doesnt-exist-if-you-are-not-looking-at-it.html
Here are a few notable quotes
“We have become participators in the existence of the universe. We have no right to say that the past exists independent of the act of observation.” – John Wheeler “Reality is in the observations, not in the electron.” – Paul Davies
Quantum Theory simply does not take space-time into consideration. Moreover, trying to say that quantum mechanics only applies on the very small scales also does not pan out since quantum entanglement is now shown to span arbitrarily large distances:
Quantum Weirdness Now a Matter of Time - 2016 Bizarre quantum bonds connect distinct moments in time, suggesting that quantum links — not space-time — constitute the fundamental structure of the universe. Excerpt: “If you have space-time, you have a well-defined causal order,” said ?aslav Brukner, a physicist at the University of Vienna who studies quantum information. But “if you don’t have a well-defined causal order,” he said — as is the case in experiments he has proposed — then “you don’t have space-time.”,,, Quantum correlations come first, space-time later. Exactly how does space-time emerge out of the quantum world? Bruner said he is still unsure. https://www.quantamagazine.org/20160119-time-entanglement/ LIVING IN A QUANTUM WORLD - Vlatko Vedral - 2011 Excerpt: Thus, the fact that quantum mechanics applies on all scales forces us to confront the theory’s deepest mysteries. We cannot simply write them off as mere details that matter only on the very smallest scales. For instance, space and time are two of the most fundamental classical concepts, but according to quantum mechanics they are secondary. The entanglements are primary. They interconnect quantum systems without reference to space and time. If there were a dividing line between the quantum and the classical worlds, we could use the space and time of the classical world to provide a framework for describing quantum processes. But without such a dividing line—and, indeed, with­out a truly classical world—we lose this framework. We must explain space and time (4D space-time) as somehow emerging from fundamentally spaceless and timeless physics. http://phy.ntnu.edu.tw/~chchang/Notes10b/0611038.pdf “Beyond Einstein: Non-local physics” by Brian Fraser (2015): “You have no doubt heard people say things like “according to Einstein, nothing can travel faster than light”. But the existence of aberration-free forces which appear to have instantaneous effects (“faster than light”) even over large distances, was simply not recognized in 1905 when Special Relativity was introduced. Einstein himself noticed some problems in this regard in a 1935 paper which is now referred to as the EPR paradox. In the following decades more and more experiments revealed more and more problems. But these “faster than light” problems are simply outside the scope of SR and GR; a “local” theory cannot treat truly non-local phenomena in a satisfactory manner.” http://scripturalphysics.org/4v4a/BeyondEinstein.html
I can imagine my life without time, but I can't imagine it without Motion. Directed motion that began with Creation. Our years, months, days and seconds are all human constructs - based on Motion. The motion of the Earth. Translation of our time to some ET's time will be dependent on a yardstick based on motion. How else could it be done? ppolish

Leave a Reply