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> What is Time
Casey
post Dec 29, 2006, 01:46 PM
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So this is a ludicrous question, but I'm kind of curious what you all think (or know)...

A few days ago, I was thinking about the Big Bang Theory. Now, it hasn't exactly been a primary interest of mine, so my understanding is limited. As far as I know, (many) scientists believe the universe was once a high energy mass that spontaneously expanded to form the universe in it's current state. This is backed by red-shift evidence and all that jazz.

But, I have a problem with all of that. So here's my question:

Assuming
  • Our current conception of time is somewhat linear (spacetime aside)
  • The universe is infinite
  • Matter cannot arise from nothing
How exactly can one event spontaneously occur along an infinite plane of time?

Here's a little graph to better explain (I'm not an elequent writer)

Universe Timeline
infinity ---------------> big bang ------------------> Present --------------> infinity

More Assumptions
  • Since there is no beginning, there must be an infinite amount of time preceding the big bang.
  • It is conceptually impossible to cross an infinite span in a linear way.
Conclusion
So, how could we have ever arrived at this current state in time? Why isn't the universe stuck in some sort of time stasis?

Again, I'm sure this is utterly ludicrous, and I must simply be missing something.

Here are the few possible solutions I could think of:
  • All time is somehow interconnected
  • We live in an oscillating universe (i.e. explosion, expansion, contraction, explosion, and so on...)
Any thoughts? Am I an idiot? Am I missing something simple?

I really haven't done enough research into the spacetime continuum, but it really doesn't seem to explain this. As far as I know, it's relativly linear as well.
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lucid_dream
post Dec 29, 2006, 06:19 PM
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http://brainmeta.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=16474&hl=time
http://brainmeta.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=15608&hl=time
http://brainmeta.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=14824&hl=time
http://brainmeta.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=14558&hl=
http://brainmeta.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=13626&hl=
http://brainmeta.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=5162&hl=
http://brainmeta.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=9574&hl=
http://brainmeta.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=7442&hl=



Btw, I question your assumption of the linearity of time, spacetime aside, if it implies some sort of absolute clock or absolute time frame. Your question is not just limited to time, but more generality, it is the question, "how do finite quantities emerge from infinity?" Think of the integers, which are countably infinite, yet we have particular integers like "1", "2", "8", "666", etc...
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Casey
post Dec 29, 2006, 07:37 PM
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Alright, I suppose I should add this premise:
I do not necessarily believe in the assumptions stated above. I have yet to adopt any current scientific theories on time as my own personal beliefs. That's just a proposal for scholastic dissection. I guess I simply like to contemplate the "what ifs" of life.

QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Dec 29, 2006, 08:19 PM) *

Btw, I question your assumption of the linearity of time, spacetime aside, if it implies some sort of absolute clock or absolute time frame.

It doesn't really imply an absolute time frame. It simply an assumption that time moves in one direction. That's not to say that the reference can't change.

QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Dec 29, 2006, 08:19 PM) *

Your question is not just limited to time, but more generality, it is the question, "how do finite quantities emerge from infinity?" Think of the integers, which are countably infinite, yet we have particular integers like "1", "2", "8", "666", etc...

Well yes, anything can be labeled. And yes, I'd imagine anything on a continuum can be labled in infinitly smaller discrete portions.

Using the number analogy, if you were to start counting upwards at the lowest possible number, how long would it take you to reach a particular number, say 0 (big bang) for example?

Could you ever count to 0 if you started at the lowest possible number? Regardless of the speed (i.e. frame of reference) of your counting.

So then, am I to believe time is in equilibrium? a.k.a. all time is interconnected

I know some of you are going to scoff at me and say that it's long been theorized that time is connected. But, I've never heard this sort of argument before for spacetime. Is it valid? Is it foolish?
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Casey
post Dec 29, 2006, 07:39 PM
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Sorry if it sounds like I'm repeating previous threads. To me, this really is a bit different. As I said before, however, I am not the best at putting my thoughts into writing. In fact, I pretty bad at it.
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Hey Hey
post Dec 29, 2006, 11:45 PM
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QUOTE(Casey @ Dec 30, 2006, 03:39 AM) *

Sorry if it sounds like I'm repeating previous threads. To me, this really is a bit different. As I said before, however, I am not the best at putting my thoughts into writing. In fact, I pretty bad at it.

Don't be sorry. Indeed thanks for raising this topic again so quickly. The issue has not been dealt with sufficiently well (surprise) and deserves to be ongoing on BM.
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lucid_dream
post Dec 29, 2006, 11:56 PM
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QUOTE(Hey Hey @ Dec 29, 2006, 11:45 PM) *
Don't be sorry.

Agreed. I should have prefaced the links with something indicating that they were pointers to related topics, and not to imply that the same topic had been discussed elsewhere.
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maximus242
post Jan 01, 2007, 06:35 PM
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Time is non existant, it is a human perception used to mentally organize a series of changes that occur in matter.

There is no so called order of events rather it is simply matter in a constant state of change, you are simply trying to organize what you consider to be major changes in the universe using a simple mathematical scale to depict said changes.

The truth is that 0 and 1 ect. Are also mental constructs of the human mind, mathematics is a system that people use to interpret and understand the universe - whether on a micro or macro scale.

Bottom line is that changes in the universe do not begin and do not end, they simply continue. Nothing is destroyed, nothing is created, matter simply changes and we can view these changes, interpret them and examine them. The beginning of time is not the beginning of the universe but the invention of time by humans, or another being whom has invented it before humans.

Time was created by people, not the universe. So time begins when we create it, not when the universe began to exist as we know it.
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Casey
post Jan 03, 2007, 02:18 PM
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QUOTE
Time is non existant, it is a human perception used to mentally organize a series of changes that occur in matter.

Seems like a cop out to me.

Time was "invented" by society. However, that does not imply that time does not exist as a physical property.
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maximus242
post Jan 03, 2007, 06:11 PM
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Actually it does. Time is a mental construct, it is not a 'cop out', show me your so called physical existance of time.

The sun exists and the earths rotation around it exists, however there is no such 'thing' as time. Time is the relative comparison between one set of actions (the rotation of the earth) to something else.

Humans percieve time as a way of interpreting and making sense of the world around them. We simply take a constant and measure it against a variable, that is time.

For example, lets say I measure the highest point of a tide and the lowest point, then I put 10 sticks at equal distances inbetween the highest and lowest point. Whenever the tide moves up another stick, I will know that another 'hour' has passed. Lets say I want to see how long it takes me to go from the beach to a cliff and back. After a lovely walk I get back to find that two more sticks have been reached by the tide. Thus, I know two so called 'hours' have passed.

Time is a human perception of a constant being measured against a variable. Since change is the only true constant (philosophically contradicting itself) then we can defer that time is constantly changing, thus a far diffrent definition arises than what might first appear.

So, I hope you now understand that time does not exist, only so called constants in nature that allow us to compare variables and emperical evidence. Time is the human perception of changes and the order in which they occur.
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Trip like I do
post Jan 03, 2007, 08:40 PM
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"What is Time?"

.... the time is 11:39 P.M. eastern standard time
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Casey
post Jan 04, 2007, 07:45 AM
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QUOTE(maximus242 @ Jan 03, 2007, 08:11 PM) *

Time is a mental construct, it is not a 'cop out', show me your so called physical existance of time.

That's an argumentum ad ignorantiam.

And I'm not calling time a cop out. I feel that method of argument is an easy solution to a tough question.

It seems you're saying:
  • Time is a human construct - this is true
  • Human constructs are not physical reality - well, yes, they're not necessarily reality
So...Time is not reality

I guess I simply have a problem accepting the second premise as absolute. I believe it's possible for a construct to represent or approximate reality.

Using that form of argument, you could disprove gravity. That's not to say that gravity is, for certain, real. But I don't believe you can logically disprove it with that argument.
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Casey
post Jan 04, 2007, 07:47 AM
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QUOTE(Trip like I do @ Jan 03, 2007, 10:40 PM) *

"What is Time?"

.... the time is 11:39 P.M. eastern standard time


LOL
Problem solved, eh? wink.gif
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