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Wubbo Ockels [First Dutch Astronaut]: Time is created by Human Beings

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posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 07:13 AM

Wubbo Ockels on Time and Gravity

Link to TedxAmsterdam

Prof. dr. Wubbo J. Ockels is a Dutch physicist, and also the Netherlands' original astronaut. He is a Professor of Aerospace Sustainable Engineering and Technology at the University of Delft, and tries to stimulate a mentality change among Dutch citizens.

In his mind-bending TEDxAmsterdam talk, Ockels explains how ‘time’ is created by human beings, as a way our brains can make sense of gravity. The speed of light is constant, because it is made by us: it’s the clock by which we have calibrated our existence. Based on this premise, Ockels proposes a new way to explore life in our galaxy.

Reports on this talk

“The original Dutch astronaut, Professor Wubbo J. Ockels, sliced through the atmosphere of self-congratulation to give a mind-bending talk, based on his experiences in space. He started by berating the audience for pretending to understand the universe and mysteriously declaring, “I know what it is that you don’t know yet and it will change your life”. What we didn’t know, and were told, was that time is a creation of life, since it’s the only way our brains can make sense of gravity. This can be pithily put in the very post-Cartesian phrase: “I live, therefore time passes”. Such a view isn’t a new notion philosophically (Heidegger suggested being and time determine each other reciprocally), nor physiologically (which acknowledges time is a construct of the central nervous system) but it was not treated with seriousness in physics.”

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 07:16 AM
I posted this video because it is truly worth seeing, and I haven't seen it posted by anyone yet. Wubbo Ockels might not be well known to most of the world, but he is famous in The Netherlands for being the first Dutch Astronaut in space.
He has a broad audience, and his message is very intruiging. Makes you think about time and space in a different way.

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 08:29 AM
Great video , thank You for posting it. Even thou the notion that time is just a human construct is nothing new, this video helps to explain it in simple terms
I hope alot of people will see this and maybe somebody will find the need to work with this concept

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 09:11 AM
Wow! That was engrossing. Thank you so much for sharing. I was thinking about this Time concept just the other day as well as the possibility that there may be no such thing as direction; or that direction may not be as simplified as we currently understand and apply it. The Universe doesn't know N,S,E, and W. We use those concepts to orient ourselves. S&F

[edit on 14-12-2009 by gazerstar]

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 09:16 AM
reply to post by Mythtified

mind-bending TEDxAmsterdam talk

This is so bad I don't even know where to begin.

Now, before you suggest that it's all "over my head" keep in mind that I came into this video expecting a phsyics dissertation on exactly what he claims: "that time is an artificial construct created by the perception of humans in response to the experience of gravity."

But that's not what he's saying.

However "physics-like" he tries to make himself sound, throughout the video he's mostly just spouting gibberish. Oh, sure...he occassionaly says things that make sense. For example, living here on earth has had an effect on our development. Sure. But an observation like that does not automatically lead to the conclusion that time wouldn't exist if we weren't on earth.

For example, watch his "experiment" at 6:08-6:30. A man is spinning in space while blindfolded and asked point to the ceiling. He can't. The conclusion Ockels comes to is that he can't because without exposure to gravity he can't keep track of time.


No, he can't point to the ceiling because he has no reference point. On earth we can feel the effect of gravity, and can use it to know where the earth is even while blindfolfed. Without that reference, there's no way for him to know. Ockels seems to be suggesting that the rotating man should be able to "measure time" to track how many rotations he's had so as to always know where the ceiling is. That's simply not realistic. Oh could be done on paper, but translating a "push" into an accurate awareness of speed of rotation...that's not something that's reasonable to expect someone to be able to do without at least a whole lot of practice. It's not the means by which we're accustomed to tracking up/down directions. Gravity is. But none of this has anything to do with time. If you really wanted to measure ability to track time under a reduced gravitional influence, a much better test would be to blindfold the man and ask him to count off seconds, much like the watch test from Blue Thunder.

Much of the mans logic is utterly flawed. For another example, watch from 14:10 to 15:01. In particular, focus on his statements from 14:38 to 15:00.

Translation: "If we assume that my theory is correct, then the time is ours. Therefore you see the proof that time is ours."

The whole video is full of bizarre assertions like this. For him to write the equation on the board and say "if my theory is correct, then my theory is correct. Huzzah!" is simply smoke and mirrors. There's no substance here but he's trying to dress it up to look like there is.

I'm willing to allow for the possibility that his conclusion might ultimately be correct: time might not have any findamental basis outside of perception. But his reasons for coming to his conlusions are downright silly.

[edit on 14-12-2009 by LordBucket]

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