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Does time have an objective existence?

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posted on Jun, 14 2014 @ 03:20 PM
What is time? Do clocks measure time? Is there really any motion?

I don't believe time or motion in time have an objective existence. The debate is still on going though. Let's start, where many people start these debates, with Albert Einstein. Einstein said this:

"Now Besso has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion"

Einstein saw the universe as a single now. A lot of people make the mistake and think Einstein said there wasn't any present. This isn't the case. In fact he thought all that existed was the present or now and the observers perception of past, present and future was just an illusion.

Einstein said this in the book Relativity:

Since there exist in this four dimensional structure [space-time] no longer any sections which represent "now" objectively, the concepts of happening and becoming are indeed not completely suspended, but yet complicated. It appears therefore more natural to think of physical reality as a four dimensional existence, instead of, as hitherto, the evolution of a three dimensional existence.

Again, no observer can experience now objectively. Now being the four dimensional space-time structure. We experience this structure or now below C or the Speed of Light and therefore we're under the illusion of a past, present and future. This can even go back to Plato who saw reality as shadows or an illusion of something more fundamental.

Here's more from Rebel Science which goes much further than I do.

Why is motion in spacetime impossible? It has to do with the definitions of space and time and the equation of velocity v = dx/dt. What the equation is saying is that, if an object moves over any distance d x, there is an elapsed time d t. Since time is defined in physics as a parameter for denoting change (evolution), the equation for velocity along the time axis must be given as v = dt/dt which is self-referential. The self-reference comes from having to divide dt by itself. dt/dt always equals 1 because the units cancel out. This is of course meaningless as far as velocity is concerned.

To emphasize, it is logically impossible for the t coordinate of an object to change because such a change is self-referential. Et voilà! It is that simple. No time travel, no motion in spacetime, no spacetime and no time dimension. They are all abstract mathematical constructs without any counterpart in nature.

Like I said he goes much further than I do and he's over the top but he makes some good points. I also agree with him on time travel but I don't call going forward or backwards in "time" time travel. So going back to a point in 1980 from a point in 2014 would require that you warp space and connect these two points.

You can also look at what we call time as a dimension of space. A book I read called The Extradimensional Universe made the case for this really well. It also gets interesting when you factor consciousness into the equation. So if you add an extra dimension of space, this would mean everyone is essentially moving at the speed of light as they change from one 3-dimensional now to the next 3 dimensional now.

Here's a video from Professor Brian Greene that talks about this.

Here's more:

Efforts to understand time below the Planck scale have led to an exceedingly strange juncture in physics. The problem, in brief, is that time may not exist at the most fundamental level of physical reality. If so, then what is time? And why is it so obviously and tyrannically omnipresent in our own experience? “The meaning of time has become terribly problematic in contemporary physics,” says Simon Saunders, a philosopher of physics at the University of Oxford. “The situation is so uncomfortable that by far the best thing to do is declare oneself an agnostic.”

The trouble with time started a century ago, when Einstein’s special and general theories of relativity demolished the idea of time as a universal constant. One consequence is that the past, present, and future are not absolutes. Einstein’s theories also opened a rift in physics because the rules of general relativity (which describe gravity and the large-scale structure of the cosmos) seem incompatible with those of quantum physics (which govern the realm of the tiny). Some four decades ago, the renowned physicist John Wheeler, then at Princeton, and the late Bryce DeWitt, then at the University of North Carolina, developed an extraordinary equation that provides a possible framework for unifying relativity and quantum mechanics. But the Wheeler-­DeWitt equation has always been controversial, in part because it adds yet another, even more baffling twist to our understanding of time.

“One finds that time just disappears from the Wheeler-DeWitt equation,” says Carlo Rovelli, a physicist at the University of the Mediterranean in Marseille, France. “It is an issue that many theorists have puzzled about. It may be that the best way to think about quantum reality is to give up the notion of time—that the fundamental description of the universe must be timeless.”

So what do you think? Does time have an objective existence or is time an abstract mathematical concept?

posted on Jun, 14 2014 @ 03:35 PM
Does time have an objective existence? I would liken this question to the tree falling in the woods. Scientifically speaking, yes, the tree makes a sound. And yes, as long as the laws of thermodynamics are in play, time will also exist.

posted on Jun, 14 2014 @ 03:35 PM
a reply to: neoholographic

S n F good thread

Time is a measurement in the change of space, if space stopped changing, eg earth stopped spinning, nothing ages or grows then time stops.

Time is a dimension. And measurement.

I hate this 2d 3d 4d crap. Space has one dimension, space.

posted on Jun, 14 2014 @ 03:48 PM
God made day and night.
Not hours and minutes.

Hours and minutes were added so some could control the rest via routine and timetable.

Spring is determined by life of the planet mainly plants not our calendars that have been chopped and changed to suit. We added leap years for crying out loud.

In dreams I have we had 13 months of 4 weeks of 7 days lol then I searched to find out once upon a time it was true lol
nuts ey

60 second -1 minute
60mins -1 hour
edit on 14-6-2014 by jazz10 because: (no reason given)

10 fold.

60 hours are equal to what?
edit on 14-6-2014 by jazz10 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 14 2014 @ 04:14 PM
Has anyone here heard of a guy named Andrew Basiago?

He said his father worked on a secret government project to send people back and forth in time.

There are others that have come forward to confirm his claim.

Facts may be stranger then fiction, and we don't know what we don't know!

posted on Jun, 14 2014 @ 04:24 PM
a reply to: neoholographic

It can be argued that time is merely an arbitrary measure that we as a species apply to events, so that we can order our thoughts, and better manage the moments that we have on this planet.

However, it could be argued that time needs to be measured. It is one of the significant metrics in GPRS technology, helps us study deep physics, and is vital for medical treatment as well, for measuring pulses and the like.

The way I choose to think of time as a concept, is that it is the way we measure the mark of entropy upon the universe. We count the decay of atoms, the passage of glaciers, the collapse of old buildings, the decomposition of corpses, and in order to make these things, and their effect on us clear, we have to be able to conceptualise them in terms of cause and effect, and in order to know which is cause, and which is effect, one has to count time.

posted on Jun, 14 2014 @ 06:03 PM
Maybe time doesn't have an objective existence. Maybe everything already exists, it is just that awareness subjectively interprets events to happen along a time line.

posted on Jun, 14 2014 @ 06:31 PM
Where does Time go and why is it taking so long both add up to someone Keeping track of Time. Now ever wake up from a good night sleep and not know either the time nor day? Or just doing something you like vs. something one does not like.

People have kept track of time for so long, who can say what the actually reason was for. Use to be day/night, seasons and where the Sun sat rising during the day. Hell, Stars could tell you what season it was.

Maybe that was too hard for people to understand these things so a clock was invented! Saves time explaining and work needed to be done. No elect nor any watch and one would not care about Time. Plus creating Daylight Savings just to have more Sun after work means Slaves; all of us, need to Enjoy Life Too!


posted on Jun, 14 2014 @ 06:43 PM
a reply to: neoholographic
You're not the first person to quote Einstein without understanding what he was saying. He's talking about the relativity of simultaneity.

What he means is that your reference frame isn't preferred over another according to his theory.

But an argument can be made for an objective "now" based on a discovery since Einstein's time of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). I think it could be argued that if there is an objective "now" it could be as perceived by an observer who is stationary with respect to the CMB. I also think Einstein might agree with this if he was aware of the CMB, which wasn't discovered until after his death.

Why pick the CMB as objective? If the big bang theory is correct, it's the reference frame of the big bang and the universe as a whole.

How much different is our time from the CMB time? Not that much, but a little. Earth is estimated to be moving at about 371,000 m/s relative to the CMB. This works out to 0.001237522793185144 of the speed of light, and gives our reference frame a time dilation of 1.0000007657322114, which is pretty close to 1, which means that our time really isn't much different from the universe time. You could measure it with atomic clocks but you couldn't notice much difference in twins separated in the two reference frames for a few decades.

So for practical purposes, the difference in our "now" and the universe's "now" is somewhat trivial, but it is a miniscule non-zero amount.

edit on 14-6-2014 by Arbitrageur because: clarification

posted on Jun, 15 2014 @ 03:15 AM
a reply to: Arbitrageur


I understand how velocity affects time

What about mass/gravity? Has there been calculations/considerations regarding the effect of the gravity of local bodies and their relation to "CMB time'?

I like you coining the CMB time concept, as it is far more eloquent than my own musings of "Real Universe Time".

Example: the light from a supermassive galaxy reaches us. We are told it took millions of years to reach us due to distance. However, what about the variance in relative time due to travelling through various fields of gravitational effect (wells)?

If you find a place where there is the least amount of matter in the universe, what is the difference in the traversing of time there vs here? Not considering velocity, just gravity. What does this mean for the concept of intergalactic travel?

posted on Jun, 15 2014 @ 03:24 AM
a reply to: neoholographic

LOL this thread was probably made from reading the other thread.

If time is an illusion then why are you perceiving going through time?

If everything was all present "now" then...
Why now and not before or later?

Many problems with this.

If this is all right now at single time then why are you moving?

edit on 6/15/2014 by Deaf Alien because: Why does this keep asking me the reason for the edit. Stop asking me! dammit!

posted on Jun, 15 2014 @ 03:39 AM
A fascinating thought, Op !

Time, as we know and experience it, is an invention of man, and possibly only relevant as such to us, as we experience it, on this planet, to mark our passage through same ...past, present, future....maybe ?

Anything beyond our little blue marble may be, to all intents and purposes, be timeless, as far as we are concerned, in that events happen on a scale way beyond our comprehension.

By this, I mean think about the scales of time we can comprehend, usefully, in our day to day lives.

Days, weeks,, months, years, decades.... A miniscule timescale, when you think about events in the cosmos.

I'm not a scientist. Just my thoughts on the matter.

posted on Jun, 15 2014 @ 12:11 PM
i simply read the title and thought of a response so i apologies if i cover anything already mentioned.

To be honest I've thought about the existence of time and how it plays out in our universe a few times. However i seem to fall down after i start thinking about thermodynamics and other factors in our universe..i come to the same conclusion every time.

Time is simply a byproduct from the big bang (the initial one of course.) in a simple form time is not an illusion but simply a checkpoint system in the development of the universe to give us situation such as irreversible actions (bread to toast.) Time is the allowance we have as a universe to develop in a manner near infinite (or it could be infinite, but i'm not for that theory) until the 'big rip' happens.

we simple have harnessed time as we have grasped the use of light from our stars, it's there and we use it to how we see fit especially when relativity and special relativity are taken into's all down to our point of reference..

but then again that's only my opinion but i'll be keeping a sharp eye on any papers released about it.

posted on Jun, 15 2014 @ 12:21 PM
a reply to: Deaf Alien

my understanding is that there is no single point. If it will exist, it exists.

There are more than 1 concept for how it works. My favorite presumes that time can have a 3 dimensional existence, where you could travel "to" a time in the same way you would travel "to" the store.

posted on Jun, 15 2014 @ 02:53 PM
Ive always been really interested in this subject. I intuitively reached a similar conclusion to some I see expressed here through intellectual hallucinogenic drug use and meditation a long time ago (which I am ALWAYS extremely skeptical about any 'truth' or information gleaned this way honestly) that Time is an illusion of matter moving through space. That the entirety of the universe is in actuality one given present moment at any point in space/time.

I got the overwhelming feeling that time was just # splayed across a table top, that matter created gravity, which deformed space, which the matter moving through this fabric and deforming it created time which was somewhat illusory as I had previously conceived it.

My question is though, I realize gravity has an effect on time, and that mass has an effect on gravity.

Could something be constructed with ultra fast spinning fermions which created an ultra dense form of matter, thus warping space/time, creating a large gravitational dilation in space-time and therefore altering time itself locally?

Like to create a time 'machine' in effect, compile VAST quantities of fermions compacted together that are so massive that they almost create a black hole (or grey hole) and deform space time to a degree that light and matter speed up or slow down depending on their motion relative to the deformation of spacetime created by said ultra dense matter?

Im totally just thinking off the cuff so please dont take any of this seriously as any sort of 'theory'

posted on Jun, 15 2014 @ 03:12 PM
Hi, time fans !

I have been thinking since a long time about this:

1 = We can move in 3 "axis" in SPACE, back-front, left-right, up-down, with
our legs or in "machines", in one **time line**. . .

2 = Will we one day move in 3 "axis" in TIME, back-front, left-right, up-down, with
our legs or in "machines" to be invented, in one **space line** ? B-)

Here is a NEW speed for us !:

Blue skies.

edit on 2014/6/15 by C-JEAN because: The link.

posted on Jun, 15 2014 @ 05:02 PM
a reply to: neoholographic

I think if time had an objective existence we would have found it by now.. Maybe its like this

Two monks are debating the movement of a flag in the wind. One monk saying it is the flag that moves. The other saying it is the wind that moves. The master comes along and scolds them both. No it is the mind that moves..

Our bodies are vessels and are minds are capable and experiencing time travel


posted on Jun, 15 2014 @ 08:10 PM

originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
a reply to: Arbitrageur


I understand how velocity affects time

What about mass/gravity? Has there been calculations/considerations regarding the effect of the gravity of local bodies and their relation to "CMB time'?

I like you coining the CMB time concept, as it is far more eloquent than my own musings of "Real Universe Time".
Yes the effect of Earth's gravity on clocks on the Earth's surface is known to be about 45ms/day slower than GPS satellites due to gravity and about 7 ms/day faster due to the satellites' velocity, so the net effect is the difference of 38ms/day.

Relativity has an equivalence principle which says that acceleration due to motion and acceleration due to gravity are indistinguishable regarding the effects on the reference frame:

Equivalence principle

The equivalence principle was properly introduced by Albert Einstein in 1907, when he observed that the acceleration of bodies towards the center of the Earth at a rate of 1g (g = 9.81 m/s2 being a standard reference of gravitational acceleration at the Earth's surface) is equivalent to the acceleration of an inertially moving body that would be observed on a rocket in free space being accelerated at a rate of 1g. Einstein stated it thus:

we [...] assume the complete physical equivalence of a gravitational field and a corresponding acceleration of the reference system.
—Einstein, 1907

Example: the light from a supermassive galaxy reaches us. We are told it took millions of years to reach us due to distance. However, what about the variance in relative time due to travelling through various fields of gravitational effect (wells)?
If the light actually reached us, it was probably traveling through a vacuum so the speed never deviates from the speed of light regardless of how much time slows down. The light can get distorted in gravitational lensing however, as in this simulation of an Einstein ring forming around a black hole, but it has little effect on arrival time to Earth.

The effect of a gravitational field on light is not to affect the velocity, but instead it shifts the wavelength to blue or red when it enters or leaves a gravitational field (as opposed to slowing down or speeding up as a clock entering and leaving the same field would do), as explained in this clip:

Alex Filippenko on gravitational bending of light

(click to open player in new window)

If you find a place where there is the least amount of matter in the universe, what is the difference in the traversing of time there vs here? Not considering velocity, just gravity. What does this mean for the concept of intergalactic travel?
I haven't tried to calculate it, but since 45ms is the difference between time on Earth's surface and the GPS satellite due to gravity alone, and the satellite is still in the Earth's gravitational field, I'd guess something more than 45ms, but still maybe less than 1 second per day, like off the top of my head and this might be wrong but half a second a day perhaps difference between Earth's surface and a low gravity location. I searched a little bit for a figure and didn't find one and don't have time to make calculations right now, but I think the half second per day may be a decent guess for how much time would speed up completely away from Earth's gravity.

posted on Jun, 15 2014 @ 09:21 PM
a reply to: Arbitrageur

i would buy that if we are talking interstellar space. Intergalactic...not so much. I would posit that we are affected by myriad variable gravity wells in our galaxy, including that of our galaxy itself.

I don't want you taking up time doing the math. I am more interested in understanding the principle. If you have numbers handy, great.

Thanks for your reply thus far.

posted on Jun, 16 2014 @ 10:22 AM
The quantum of Now (physicists call it "Plank Time") exists as an indivisible unit of presence. That unit is immediately replaced by the next quantum of Now in the same way that quanta of action and energy exchange are replaced by the next quantum of same. Across the entire environmental confine that we refer to as Reality, every manifestation of activity and change is exchanging the quantum of Now for the next quantum of Now in a resilient "lockstep" that synchronizes the entire environment as the emerging quantized manifestation that it is and has always been.

This quantized synchronized forward progression of Now quanta is Time. We measure it for our own convenience, but our measurements don't affect that forward progression.
edit on 6/16/2014 by NorEaster because: (no reason given)

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