From Andrew Jaffe at Nature, reviewing Carlo Rovelli’s The Order of Time:
According to theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli, time is an illusion: our naive perception of its flow doesn’t correspond to physical reality. Indeed, as Rovelli argues in The Order of Time, much more is illusory, including Isaac Newton’s picture of a universally ticking clock. Even Albert Einstein’s relativistic space-time — an elastic manifold that contorts so that local times differ depending on one’s relative speed or proximity to a mass — is just an effective simplification.
Rovelli is one of the creators and champions of loop quantum gravity theory, one of several ongoing attempts to marry quantum mechanics with general relativity. In contrast to the better-known string theory, loop quantum gravity does not attempt to be a ‘theory of everything’ out of which we can generate all of particle physics and gravitation. Nevertheless, its agenda of joining up these two fundamentally differing laws is incredibly ambitious.
Alongside and inspired by his work in quantum gravity, Rovelli puts forward the idea of ‘physics without time’. … More.
If time is an illusion, is space an illusion too? Then what is not an illusion? What does “illusion” mean?
See also: Carlo Rovelli: Theories of everything ill-conceived but we can learn to understand quantum mechanics
21 Replies to “Does physics deconstruct our sense of time?”
Of related note: “The Now of the mind”, much to the consternation of Einstein, has now been shown to be very much a part of experimental physics, particularly quantum physics,,,
,,, and Einstein’s 4-dimensional space-time, though still very important for understanding the overall structure of reality, is relegated to pretty much a secondary role to quantum mechanics in so as far as understanding the primary basis of reality:
You don’t need nonsensical word salad like “quantum loop gravity” or whatever.
A literal gedankenexperiment proves that our internal representation of time is not synced to clock ticks. When an external noise like a door knock or a snapping mousetrap enters the ears during REM sleep, the dream-scripter constructs a scene that starts BEFORE the intrusive noise, so the noise comes after an event that is meant to “explain” it.
Time and space at the elemental level are different than time and space at the macro level that we experience it. This doesn’t mean that what we an experience is an illusion, I don’t think, any more than a table is an illusion even though a description of it in terms of elemental particles and forces is extremely different.
jdk, and exactly why should anyone trust an atheistic materialist and/or panpsychist (when the mood strikes him to invoke panpsychism) when both worldviews hold that ‘self’ is an illusion?
I hardly consider it a worthwhile endeavor to take advice, on what is real and on what is illusory, from anyone who is not even sure whether they themselves really exist as a real person.
It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science than Atheistic Materialism has turned out to be.
ba, your post has nothing to do with my comment, as far as I can tell. We dropped the other topics on the other threads.
I wonder what sort of pathology is involved in people who have an obsessive hatred of anyone who claims to be an atheist or a meterialist? It must be a sad existence to judge everyone’s worth based on their world view and belief system (or lack of).
Even without resorting to relativity, our own experiences suggest that there is an illusory aspect about time. When we are young, time seems to go much slower than it does as we get older. When our adrenaline is pumping, time appears to go slower. Our time sense in dreams is very different than it is when we are awake.
It’s all of the lying and BS that goes with it. What kind of person wouldn’t dislike those who go through life lying, BSing and trying to pass it all off as knowledge and indoctrinate kids with it?
Maybe there are some people who dislike you because you have these character flaws, but I don’t. Life is too short for that.
None that I know of. But I do know that applies to all evolutionists and materialists. And life is too short to let them get away with it- especially when lives are at stake.
Yet, you in fact made this comment:
And I merely responded that,,,
To put it as simply as I can for you jdk since you, sadly, suffer from the mental disease of atheism/panpsychism,,, if you can’t even figure out that you ARE NOT an illusion, then there is scant hope for you EVER discerning what else is real and what else is illusory in reality.
jdk again as to this claim you made,
Given Darwinism, even if you yourself were not a ‘neuronal illusion’, EVERYTHING you perceive would still be an illusion. ,,, “We assume the ‘predicates’ of perceptions — space, time, physical objects, shapes — are the right ones to describe physical reality. And this theorem says that [such] predicates are [the wrong ones] almost surely.”
In other words, evolution could care less if you perceive objective reality. It only wants you to have sex successfully.,,,
And again, I would hardly trust what a neuronal illusion, who is having illusory perceptions of reality, has to say about reality.
By definition, illusions misrepresent the true nature of reality and are not to be trusted.
This might explain BS77:
Let’s say, arguendo, that Allan Keith’s world view is correct and that consciousness is an illusion, then what is mental illness?
We only have a szchitsophrenic’s claim that an atheist’s consciousness is an illusion. In spite of evidence to the contrary. We all listen to the voice in our heads (our conscious self). But someone here is listening to multiple voices in his head.
Please, speak for yourself.
So, you listen (passively) to what a voice in your head is telling you. Is the voice sometimes angry and commanding? How long has this been going on?
Ask BA77. The voice in my head, and presumably yours, is our counscious “inner voice”. Or don’t you have one?
I’m just referring to the article that concludes that schizophrenia is a Christian illness. I don’t know if you are Christian, but with an avatar of Bornagain77, I can only assume that BA77 is. My only question of BA77 is, is this the 77th time that he was born again (full marks for persistence) or does it refer to the year that he accepted Christ and schizophrenia?
AK, historically atheists are notorious for trying to label Christians as delusional. Even Sigmund Freud himself, whose views of psychiatry are now widely derided as pseudoscience, claimed belief in God was delusional.
Richard Dawkins wrote a book whose title “The God Delusion” implied that he held all believers were mentally ill.
But the fact of the matter is that when we get into the details and look at the scientific evidence itself, and ask which group, believers or unbelievers, suffer more from mental and physical illnesses, it is found that atheists, hands down, suffer more than believers do:
Studies also now establish that the design inference is ‘knee jerk’ inference that is built into everyone, especially including atheists, and that atheists have to mentally work suppressing their design inference! (i.e. atheists are ‘living in denial’, i.e. those who refuse to face reality as it really is. And indeed “denialism” is a mental illness.
And again, none of this should be surprising, delusion and illusion are literally woven throughout the entire framework of Atheistic materialism
It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science, (and apparently antagonistic to mental and physical health also), than Atheistic Materialism has turned out to be
Hmm. So you justify demeaning all atheists because a few atheists demeaned Christians?
What would Christianity be if all women viewed the witch trials as indicative of all Christianity? Or if all muslims based their view of Christianity on the crusades. Or if all indigenous Canadians based their view of Christianity on the residential schools.
Thankfully, most of society is far more open minded than you.
AK @ 12,
You cite a very interesting paper there. Must have been a joy to read. Only a few issues with it:
1. Patently silly quote: “Christian duty now prescribed for all a rigorous self-examination ever deeper; one had to reject the compromised past, but in doing that one inevitably doubted one’s earlier perceptions and memory as having been suspect (though once tacit) and fundamentally misconceived or false.”
Nothing about Christianity says that we have to doubt our earlier perceptions and memory, just our understandings of some things. Those are not even close to the same thing.
2. Quote mining historical Christian writers at their most hyperbolic much? Do the authors of the paper not realize that most Christians do not live their lives with those sorts of thoughts ever-present? The theologians and preachers he quotes were trying to make points as strongly as they could. Most Christians are far more down-to-earth in how their thought lives are organized. But nice quote-mining job there.
3. Confusing correlation with causation: Could it not be possible that someone who feels their mind slipping away would be drawn to religion? After all, mankind hasn’t been able to help them.
4. I’m sure Wikipedia is totally off-base when it says, “The causes of schizophrenia include environmental and genetic factors. Possible environmental factors include being raised in a city, cannabis use during adolescence, certain infections, parental age and poor nutrition during pregnancy. Genetic factors include a variety of common and rare genetic variants… During diagnosis a person’s culture must also be taken into account. As of 2013 there is no objective test.”
The authors of the linked paper seem blissfully unaware of these basic, accepted facts about schizophrenia.
Fascinating melange of confused thinking. I shall have to read it again, and give it a good thrashing at my blog. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.
Most, if not all, atheists demean Christians, including you.
By your own sock puppet’s words you are just here to poke Christians and those who disagree with you. You are a sad case of humanity
Actually, I think that it is an absurd paper. I just posted it to juxtapose against BA77’s absurd claims that atheists are mentally ill and that their personhood is just an illusion. I figured that if it was rational and logical to claim that I am mentally ill because it was written in a paper, then it is equally rational and logical to claim that he is schizophrenic because it was written in a paper.