Does time exist?

Discussion in 'Pseudoscience' started by Asexperia, Sep 28, 2015.

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  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    I'm with Sean Carroll on this. From the wiki page you linked:

    "The problem is not that I disagree with the timelessness crowd, it’s that I don’t see the point. I am not motivated to make the effort to carefully read what they are writing, because I am very unclear about what is to be gained by doing so. If anyone could spell out straightforwardly what I might be able to understand by thinking of the world in the language of timelessness, I’d be very happy to re-orient my attitude and take these works seriously."​

    So tell me, Michael. What do I stand to gain if I buy into your idea that time doesn't exist? What will it help me to understand better? Why is it preferable to think about time that way rather than as something real, the view I currently hold?

    Specifically, as it relates to what you've posted, I want to know what is to be gained from the "age is real, time is not" hypothesis.
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  3. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

    Depends on how many physics calculations you perform involving a time aspect

    While I concede your calling TIME does not exist "your idea" it has become my idea from much reading on the subject from people far more into the subject than myself

    Not exactly a appeal to authority but the lack of posting a reasonable definition in a different thread and not being able to list any property of TIME says a lot

    The non properties of TIME are

    Visual - none
    Audio - none
    Frequency - none
    Mass - none
    Position on the periodic table - none
    Position in the electromagnetic spectrum - none
    Detectability - none
    All those properties I have missed - none of those either

    Please cut and paste the above list in a reply. At the end of each property please detail any correction you feel may be needed and insert, or tack on at the end, any properties of TIME I have missed

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  5. Asexperia Valued Senior Member

    Historians use tools to help them do their job. Some of these tools are primary sources. A primary source is something written or created by a person who saw a historical event. Letters, diaries, speeches, and photographs are examples of primary sources (evidences).

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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    I've already gone through all that stuff about "properties" with you. I have nothing to add in that regard to what I wrote earlier in the thread.
  8. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

    Which if I recall was something to the effect akin to Jan's pronouncement, don't need evidence I know god (insert in your case TIME) exist

    Of course posting a property of TIME is not restricted to yourself

    Also all posters are free to give a definition of TIME in the other thread

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  9. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    You continue to get the burden of proof wrong.

    Time exists. It's what stops everything from happening at once. It's why your posts contains legible words, instead of all letters being typed simultaneously.

    The onus is on you to prove otherwise.

    Since we have been over this and over this, and you just say the same old crap, this is a trollish waste of everybody's time.
  10. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

    Was NOT NOT NOT shifting the burden of proof

    More I was asking for information from you which would show me the error of my stupid ways

    Time exists. It's what stops everything from happening at once

    Really? It must have some impressive properties to accomplish such a feat

    Wonder what they are?

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  11. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Well, one obvious property is the property of being able to stop everything from happening at once. Duh.
  12. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

    Fascinating. And the mathematical model for this property (if it has one)?

    And what is the name of the "stop everything happening at once" detection equipment?

    Would I be able to buy the parts and build one myself?

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  13. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    The mathematical property is known as the real number system. Time is often indicated by real-valued numbers, or a coordinate if you prefer. Different events can have different time coordinates. If they do, then they don't happen at the same time.

    There are far too many examples of such detection equipment to list individually. You yourself are one piece of suitable detection equipment, for instance. Everything does not happen at once for you, as you may have noticed from time to time.

    There's really no need. Get yourself a rock. They are readily available and won't be a drain on your bank balance. Try letting it drop out of your hand to the ground. You will quickly discover that the rock leaving your hand and the rock hitting the ground do not occur simultaneously. You can therefore validly conclude that something stopped those two events from happening at once. This mysterious thing is what people call "time". I'm really surprised you haven't noticed it before now.
  14. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

    This physicist’s ideas of time will blow your mind
    By Ephrat LivniMay 17, 2018
    Time feels real to people. But it doesn’t even exist, according to quantum physics. “There is no time variable in the fundamental equations that describe the world,” theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli tells Quartz.
    If you met him socially, Rovelli wouldn’t assault you with abstractions and math to prove this point. He’d “rather not ruin a party with physics,” he says. We don’t have to understand the mechanics of the universe to go about our daily lives. But it’s good to take a step back every once in a while.
    “Time is a fascinating topic because it touches our deepest emotions. Time opens up life and takes everything away. Wondering about time is wondering about the very sense of our life. This is [why] I have spent my life studying time,” Rovelli explains.
    Rovelli’s new book, The Order of Time, published in April, is about our experience of time’s passage as humans, and the fact of its absence at minuscule and vast scales. He makes a compelling argument that chronology and continuity are just a story we tell ourselves in order to make sense of our existence.
    Time as illusion
    Time, Rovelli contends, is merely a perspective, rather than a universal truth. It’s a point of view that humans share as a result of our biology and evolution, our place on Earth, and the planet’s place in the universe.
    “From our perspective, the perspective of creatures who make up a small part of the world—we see that world flowing in time,” the physicist writes. At the quantum level, however, durations are so short that they can’t be divided and there is no such thing as time.
    In fact, Rovelli explains, there are actually no things at all. Instead, the universe is made up of countless events. Even what might seem like a thing—a stone, say—is really an event taking place at a rate we can’t register. The stone is in a continual state of transformation, and on a long enough timeline, even it is fleeting, destined to take on some other form.
    In the “elementary grammar of the world, there is neither space nor time—only processes that transform physical quantities from one to another, from which it is possible to calculate possibilities and relations,” the scientist writes.
    Rovelli argues that time only seems to pass in an ordered fashion because we happen to be on Earth, which has a certain, unique entropic relationship to the rest of the universe. Essentially, the way our planet moves creates a sensation of order for us that’s not necessarily the case everywhere in the universe. Just as orchids grow in Florida swamps and not in California’s deserts, so is time a product of the planet we are on and its relation to the surroundings; a fluke, not inherent to the universe.
    The world seems ordered, going from past to present, linking cause and effect, because of our perspective. We superimpose order upon it, fixing events into a particular, linear series. We link events to outcomes, and this give us a sense of time.
    But the universe is much more complex and chaotic than we can allow for, according to Rovelli. Humans rely on approximate descriptions that actually ignore most of the other events, relations, and possibilities. Our limitations create a false, or incomplete, sense of order that doesn’t tell the whole story.
    The physicist argues that, in fact, we “blur” the world to focus on it, blind ourselves to see. For that reason, Rovelli writes, “Time is ignorance.”
    Wait, what?
    If all this sounds terribly abstract, that’s because it is. But there’s some relatively simple proof to support the notion time is a fluid, human concept—an experience, rather than inherent to the universe.
    Imagine, for example, that you are on Earth, viewing a far-off planet, called Proxima b, through a telescope. Rovelli explains that “now” doesn’t describe the same present on Earth and that planet. The light you on Earth see when looking at Proxima b is old news, conveying what was on that planet four years ago. “There is no special moment of Proxima b that corresponds to the present here and now,” Rovelli writes.
    This might sound strange, until you consider something as mundane as making an international call. You’re in New York, talking to friends in London. When their words reach your ears, milliseconds have passed, and “now” is no longer the same “now” as it was when the person on the line replied, “I can hear you now.”
    Consider, too, that we don’t share the same time in different places. Someone in London is always experiencing a different point in their day than someone in New York. Your New York morning is their afternoon. Your evening is their midnight. You only share the same time with people in a limited place, and even that is a relatively new invention.
    It was not until the 19th century, when train travel demanded uniformity, that “noon” came at the same time in New York and Boston, say. Before we needed to agree on time precisely, every place—even relatively close villages—operated on slightly different times. “Noon” was when the sun was highest in the sky and, in Europe, church bells signaled when this time arrived—ringing at different times in every place. By the 20th century, we had agreed upon time zones. But it was a business decision, not a fact of the universe.
    Time even passes at different rates from place to place, Rovelli notes. On a mountaintop, time passes fasterthan at sea level. Similarly, the hands of a clock on the floor will move slightly slower than the hands of a clock on a tabletop.
    Likewise, time will seem to pass slower or faster depending on what you’re doing. The minutes in a quantum physics class might crawl by, seeming interminable, while the hours of a party fly.
    All these differences are evidence that “times are legion,” according to the physicist. And none of these are exactly true, describing time in its entirety.
    “Time is a multilayered, complex concept with multiple, distinct properties deriving from various different approximations,” Rovelli writes. “The temporal structure of the world is different from the naïve image that we have of it.” The simple sense of time that we share works, more or less, in our lives. But it just isn’t accurate when describing the universe “in its minute folds or its vastness.”
    Time is a story we’re always telling ourselves
    Though physics gives us insights into the mystery of time, ultimately, the scientist argues, that too is unsatisfactory to us as humans. The simple feeling we have that time passes by, or flows—borne of a fluke, naiveté, and limitations—is precisely what time is for us.
    Rovelli argues that what we experience as time’s passage is a mental process happening in the space between memory and anticipation. “Time is the form in which we beings whose brains are made up essentially of memory and foresight interact with our world: it is the source of our identity,” he writes.
    Basically, he believes, time is a story we’re always telling ourselves in the present tense, individually and together. It’s a collective act of introspection and narrative, record-keeping and expectation, that’s based on our relationship to prior events and the sense that happenings are impending. It is this tale that gives us our sense of self as well, a feeling that many neuroscientists, mystics, and the physicist argue is a mass delusion.
    Without a record—or memory—and expectations of continuation, we would not experience time’s passage or even know who we are, Rovelli contends. Time, then, is an emotional and psychological experience. “It’s loosely connected with external reality,” he says, “but it is mostly something that happens now in our head.”.
    A bit of light reading

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  15. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    It should be noted at the start that this is not the view "according to quantum physics". This is specific theory that is Carlo Rovelli's. In other words, he is discussing his own ideas about time. What follows in the article is a bit muddled. I'm not sure whether the confusion is Rovelli's or the interviewer's; I suspect the latter.

    I think it would probably be better to read Rovelli's book on time to get a clearer picture of his ideas and theories. Based on this article alone, though, I have some points of disagreement with him. Clearly, though, his ideas cannot simply be waved away without considering them. He is well qualified and obviously knowledgeable in his field.

    The main problem in the article is that several different notions of time are sort of smooshed together. It should be noted, though, that Rovelli does not claim that time doesn't exist. If it didn't exist, he wouldn't be talking about it and he wouldn't have written a book about it.

    We should not confuse our subjective impression of the passage of time with the more rigid kind of time used by physicists and engineers. Unfortunately, the article doesn't clearly distinguish one from the other. I trust that Rovelli did better in his book.

    Our perception of a "flow" of time may well be an illusion. The existence of time itself is another matter.

    That sentence makes no sense. It isn't a quote from Rovelli, so I suppose this is the writer's interpretation of something Rovelli said.

    In the same sentence, we see mention of "durations" and "no such thing as time". If there was no such thing as time, the idea of a duration would make no sense. Possibly this sentence is referring to ideas about time being quantised, but it's impossible to tell.

    This is just an obscure way of saying that things change over time, as far as I can tell.

    The idea of a transformation makes no sense when divorced from any notion of time. It's possible that Rovelli defines what he means by a timeless transformation in his book or somewhere else, but in the context of this article his meaning is obscure.

    Earlier in the article there was an implied reference to what Stephen Hawking called the "psychological arrow of time". And here we see another kind of time, the "entropic arrow of time". Again, it's very likely that Rovelli discussed entropy in more detail in his book.

    Again, not a direct quote from Rovelli. I can understand that the regular increase in entropy might not absolutely apply in every corner of the universe, but that says nothing about the existence of time. It might say something about the so-called entropic arrow.

    A fancy way of saying that human perception is limited. We're back to talking about psychology again.
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    I disagree. There is a precisely definable moment on Proxima b that corresponds to any specified moment in the reference frame of the Earth, including "now". The time taken for light to travel from Proxima b to Earth is irrelevant, not involved in the definition of "now" in relativity. Revelli can't possibly be unaware of that.

    The article's author is still getting himself confused by imagining that signalling delays have an effect on time itself. They do not.

    The idea of a "time zone" is a convenience only. In theory, we could impose a uniform time zone on the world. If we were to do that, it would only mean that in some countries the sun might be at its highest point in the sky at 3 am or at 10 pm or whatever, according to the "world time" standard. As it is, we synchronise all our clocks to a single standard (Greenwich Mean Time); for convenience we just add or subtract up to 12 hours from that value in different places to give various local times.

    Correct. The discussion of time zones is irrelevant to the discussion of the nature of time itself. I wonder why the author included this in the article.

    That's relativity. Relativity recognises the existence of time, of course. If it did not, notions like "time dilation" would not exist in the theory.

    And we're back to the psychological arrow of time again.

    It makes for a confusing article when the author flips from talking about one facet of time to another and back again.

    I take no issue with any of that. It's all standard physics.

    Again, I have no real issues with that. Clearly, Rovelli is talking about human psychology there, not about anything specific to the physics of time.

    It seems that Rovelli's views - at least the ones in this article - do nothing to challenge the idea that time is real. In fact, the idea that time is real is implicit everywhere in the interview.
  17. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

    Thanks for your time in reading and not waving away

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    Cleaning up my files I came across this. Not sure if already posted,and to lazy to check

    Think you will like the last section, from the University here in Darwin where I live

    The first thing required to answer is to define what time is

    Definition by itself does not warrant a real existence but it is a good start
    Do vectors exist? Yes, but only in your mind

    Have made bold the above because it might explain your TIME exist and my TIME does not exist

    If you consider ideas and concepts in the mind exist you are correct

    If, from my perspective, ideas and concepts do not exist because they lack both physicality and detectability, I would be correct

    Each correct ya?


    Are they useful? Definitely
    There is so many meanings of the word time in common language that it needs a little book do describe them all in detail
    I am simply assuming you asking of that what is meant by t in physical equations
    I will quote my answer to a similar question so save the effort of searching in other threads

    There is many aspect and flavours of time but that one used in physics is for me a glorious nonexistent entity

    Human knowledge stops at a few questions such as why things exist, why they change and how is it possible to perceive changes if everything changes

    For the physical time if you ignore the physical poetry associated with relativity, time is nothing but an abstract concept over the state of a reference device called a clock

    Because we can put clocks anywhere within the reach and the world looks more or less the same wherever you look, you can rightly derive a concept of time which applies everywhere

    You cannot do everywhere, but you can build clocks in a few places and get them synchronised at distant locations and project that idea of properly synchronised clocks in the entire universe

    That is basically all without going into really complex details of the clock implementations, their variable rates depending on speed or gravitational field etc, and more intriguing details of their possible synchronisations

    So some people think time exist as an independent entity but cannot provide any reliable definition other that they take clock indications and create an additional extension in ordinary vector in 3D space to make the appearance we live in 4D space which is just a pure mathematical abstraction

    So overall the idea of time abstraction in physics is really simple, but it is rooted in the deep mystery of existence because we do not know why things change and how is it possible to move from past to the future and observing the change

    Obtained from  Google  Does time exist;usg=AOvVaw2RjmY5pS1CgAGIR3DpJu_G&ampcf=1

    If it is measurable it exists
    "There is no device you can prove it measures time, which not precisely defined

    Looking at Wikipedia definitions:
    1/ Time is the indefinite continued progression of existence and events that occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future
    How your measure "indefinite continued progression" other than recording new events which are changes of state of something?
    2/ Time is often referred to as the fourth dimension, along with the three spatial dimensions
    How do you measure the fourth dimension?
    2/ Time is a component quantity of various measurements used to sequence events, to compare the duration of events or the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change of quantities in material reality or in the conscious experience
    Time - a component? Of measurement?
    component:: part or element of a larger whole
    1/ Mesurement: the action of measuring something
    2/ Amount of something, as established by measuring
    1/ Time is the action of measuring time or
    2/ Time is the amount of time as established by measuring of time
    A simple answer is the obvious one given by Einstein in his 1905 paper:
    The “time” of an event is that which is given simultaneously with the event by a stationary clock located at the place of the event, this clock being synchronous, and indeed synchronous for all time determinations, with a specified stationary clock
    Nothing more or less, just the state of the clock
    IN such case I can agree that one exists, and can be measured and always is measured
    Kiran Sreedhar Ram Charles Darwin University Time is a phenomenon that prevents everything from happening simultaneosly

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  18. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

    Sorry this is more paste from

    The Invention of The Invention of Time and Space by Patrice F. Dassonville


    Time and space are concepts, not phenomena, because they have no
    physical properties. Their physical non-existence throws their traditional representations and their usual applications into disarray.


    Time is not:

    • A heavenly occult force; a mysterious Uranian flow.
    • Something discovered in Nature or in the Universe.
    • The cause of events, including aging.
    • An active phenomenon provided with physical properties.
    • A physical component and property of the Universe.
    • A category of thought.

    Time is:

    • A mental interpretation of alternations.
    • An invention of thought.
    • An intermediate parameter for assessing changes.
    • A scientific and sociocultural archetype.

    Back to planning next holiday

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  19. Asexperia Valued Senior Member


    The properties of matter are classified in general and specific. The general properties are: mass, weight, volume, inertia, impenetrability and time. The specific properties are classified in: organoleptic, physical, chemical and biological. The organoleptic properties are smell, taste, color, etc. The physical properties are: fragmentation, elasticity, states, solubility, viscosity, hardness, malleability, ductility, density, etc.

    The chemical properties are: combustion, fermentation, oxidation, photosynthesis, etc. In chemical properties, materials alter their nature.

    In Biology we can mention the properties of: growth, development, digestion, reproduction, aging, etc.

    Time is not a physical property because it is not observable, either by the senses or by any device. Time is a magnitive or philochron property because we observe changes and from them we abstract time.

    P. S.
    Michael 345 does not know or does not want to understand that time is an objective-abstract property. It is the step that he has to take.
  20. BdS Registered Senior Member

    Doesn't space have dimension as a physical property? you can measure distance, volume, area, etc... in space?
  21. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

    Distance - concept
    Volume - concept

    Care to join the dots?

    Create a concept in your mind

    Construct other concepts from the first concepts

    Way to go

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  22. Asexperia Valued Senior Member


    Duration is the continuous occurrence of phenomena between a start and an end. Duration can be regular and irregular. The regular duration or time is periodic and can be divided into equal intervals. For example: clocks.

    The irregular duration cannot be divided into equal intervals. For example: the life of organisms. The irregular duration refers to time for its measurement. Hence the importance of clocks and calendars.
  23. Asexperia Valued Senior Member


    The parallelochron is the parallelism between the irregular duration and the regular duration (time) or between two times.

    Duration is the continuous and irreversible occurrence of phenomena that goes from the past to the future. Time divides duration into equal intervals.

    ......... no time
    A: ---------------------------------> irregular duration
    ......... time
    B: ----- I ----- I ----- I ----- I ----> regular duration

    Cases of parallelochron:
    1- The microwave
    A: heating
    B: timer

    2- The Earth
    B1: rotation movement
    B2: clocks

    3- Life
    A: development and aging
    B: age
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