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What is time? Does time even exist?


Daniel Foreman

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Your ipad doesn't perceive 2-D. You do.

Yeah, I develop enough software to know how screens work mate. X and Y are the only co-ordinates you'll ever see. This is 2D information. Also if you'd engage your mind for a few seconds and take a look at a CMOS or CCD sensor you'll notice they are flat, and the light sensing elements of the device only capture along an X and Y plane. In fact I perceive 3D not 2D. because I have two eyes, I focus on distant and local objects. The human eye is far more complex then a CCD or CMOS camera, with all sorts of biological tricks that allow us to judge distance. This is why so much money is put into 3D technology design to fool our senses into perceiving depth. The reason it's so difficult to make this technology work well, is that human eyes are rather sophisticated devices and inaccuracy's of the technology produce motion sickness. A film has to be recorded just right in 3D if you don't want your audience vomiting in their popcorn.

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As long as subatomic particles move, things happen, and the order of events is just dictated by their movements. Matter can move only in a single direction at once, otherwise is going to split. This is how subatomic particles move. But if you ask me why they can't move at once in every possible direction, I can't answer that (nobody can answer that), it's just the way universe works.

 

 

Matter moving in more than one direction is your example, not mine. I said things don't all happen at once. There is an order to events — I can cross the street after the bus passes through, so we don't collide. There is causality — some things require another to precede them. It's the way universe works.

 

We can't be certain 100% of anything, I have never seen Napoleon or Julius Ceasar, but I tend to believe their historical existence much more than Santa Claus. How do you know time exists outside your brain?

 

You haven't seen Napoleon or Julius Ceasar? Why not? How do you have "historical existence" without time?

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Odd that you're notably not coming up with any experiments that demonstrate time.

 

A video that is a sequence of images over time? Your post 4 minutes after mine?

 

But again, you are the one making a claim. The burden is on you to provide evidence or even a rational argument. So far, all I have seen is: "time doesn't exist". What if, strange as it may seem, I don't believe you?

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Now when someone invents an experiment that allows us to merge the three states together, past, present and future so you can experience being in your mothers whom, on your death bed and at the prime of your existence along with everything in between. Then that is a valid demonstration of time. However, as we all know this isn't possible.

 

If those things all co-existed that would be evidence that time didn't exist. However, as we all know, this isn't possible. Ergo, it appears to me that time exists as the thing that keeps those events apart.

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And happening means moving.

It does not mean a single particle moving in two (or more) directions at once. I mentioned time-ordering,which gives you the context of my statement. Please don't ignore the context.

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True (time being the measurement of speed of motion with our clock)

 

Are we just quibbling over semantics? It sounds like you are trying to get rid of time by equating it with something that has time as a hidden parameter. I'm afraid I no longer find this discussion productive.

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A video that is a sequence of images over time? Your post 4 minutes after mine?

 

But again, you are the one making a claim. The burden is on you to provide evidence or even a rational argument. So far, all I have seen is: "time doesn't exist". What if, strange as it may seem, I don't believe you?

 

First, belief is not required. If you want to believe in something go talk to god.

 

Second, you have yet to come up with an experiment demonstrating time exists. I have however come up with an experiment demonstrating motion exists. Until you do so, either put up or shut up about evidence.

 

Thirdly, each captured frame in that video is a record of the world was it was. This is Past State information. You will never work with real time information, if for no other reason then a human being isn't a capable of doing so, it will take time for you to see something, and react to it. This is a proof of human latency, so even we ourselves are never actually processing information and reacting to information in real time.

 

Now you claim the burden is on me to provide the evidence that time doesn't exist. You can not prove something doesn't exist you can only prove it does. So the burden is on you to produce an experiment (which you can't do) that demonstrates that time is real.

 

Don't sit there saying "A sequence of images is time" because it's not, it's a record of the universe as it was. You can not rewind the universe to that point. You can only sit there with your lagging senses doomed forever to be behind even the concept of "the moment". Never ever seeing the present, and forever doomed to observe the universe as it was and not as it is.

 

Until you can produce an experiment that demonstrates otherwise you have absolutely no right to sit there demanding evidence from anyone else. I have now done so, the burden of proof is on you.

 

Are we just quibbling over semantics? It sounds like you are trying to get rid of time by equating it with something that has time as a hidden parameter. I'm afraid I no longer find this discussion productive.

 

When you use a formula to predict something, then you use time to mark a future event. This doesn't prove time exists, only that the measuring tool is used to express a possible, as yet unproven future event. When you use time to reference a past event, then you are using it as an index to mark at what point in the past it happened. This is used for reference, Alternatively you also use formula to state what happened in the past based on events that have happened more recently. But this is a prediction and not fact, and worse it's one that can never be proven unless records appear marked at that time or close enough to that time to prove it.

 

Time is more like record keeping than an actual function of the universe. Do you beleive the index on your filing system is a real element in the universe? No of course not. Or at least I hope you don't!

Edited by Daniel Foreman
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First, belief is not required. If you want to believe in something go talk to god.

 

I certainly don't believe your unsupported claims.

 

 

Second, you have yet to come up with an experiment demonstrating time exists.

 

Again, I am not making a claim: you are. I am not claiming time does exist; I am just pointing out the complete lack of any support for your claim and the rather obvious flaws in such a claim.

 

 

I have however come up with an experiment demonstrating motion exists.

 

Of course motion exists. I fail to see the relevance (apart from the fact that motion is a change in position over time).

 

 

Thirdly, each captured frame in that video is a record of the world was it was. This is Past State information.

 

The existence of the past means time exists, no?

 

 

it will take time for you to see something, and react to it.

 

But how can that be if time doesn't exist?

 

 

You can not prove something doesn't exist you can only prove it does.

 

OK, so there is absolutely no reason to accept your claim.

 

 

So the burden is on you to produce an experiment (which you can't do) that demonstrates that time is real.

 

I AM NOT MAKING A CLAIM.

 

 

Don't sit there saying "A sequence of images is time"

 

I didn't say that.

 

 

because it's not, it's a record of the universe as it was.

 

"Was"? Doesn't that require time?

 

 

Until you can produce an experiment that demonstrates otherwise you have absolutely no right to sit there demanding evidence from anyone else.

 

I am not making a claim so I do not need to prove anything.

 

 

I have now done so, the burden of proof is on you.

 

You haven't provided any evidence that time doesn't exist (you have conceded that such a thing cannot be done). And no, because I am not making a claim, so the burden still rests with you.

 

 

When you use a formula to predict something, then you use time to mark a future event. This doesn't prove time exists, only that the measuring tool is used to express a possible, as yet unproven future event. When you use time to reference a past event, then you are using it as an index to mark at what point in the past it happened. This is used for reference, Alternatively you also use formula to state what happened in the past based on events that have happened more recently. But this is a prediction and not fact, and worse it's one that can never be proven unless records appear marked at that time or close enough to that time to prove it.

 

Maybe the problem is the meaning of the word "exist". You seem quite happy to refer to time, use time, and measure time.

 

 

Do you beleive the index on your filing system is a real element in the universe?

 

Well, when I shake the box, it rattles. So yes. But I have no idea how that is relevant.

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Yep.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncAfQ4Hh3ig

 

Tell me why time has to exist for that to work? I have space! I have my finger! I can move stuff. Why exactly is time necessary, other than as a reference point for any single frame within that video? I've never refuted that time was a useful tool but the way popular media, fiction and frankly the average joe on the street thinks about time, they credit it as much more than that. Why does it need a live functioning presence in the universe just so something can move, or sit still (and the word still is a little misleading given that the world is spinning at around 66,500 Miles per hour). Moving stuff around is what space is for. Why exactly does time have to be an actual real function of space just so I can move stuff around with my finger?

Edited by Daniel Foreman
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Proving the non existence of Santa Claus doesn't make any sense, the problem is proving his existence. The same is for "time" as a dimension. (and I hope this will be my last post in this addictive interesting thread).

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Exactly, so far outside mathematics I can't see any demonstration of time. Within the mathematical framework it can easily be relabelled to something other than time without changing the method. As a way of indexing and organising events, recorded or predicted it is a very useful tool. As I see it there's probably more evidence for Santa Claus (just type it into youtube lol) then there is for the existence of time as a dimension. Unlike space, if time does exist in that way it can not be directly observed.

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Well, in that case, motion can't be directly observed either. I can certainly remember where something was, and I can see where it is now. My brain will interpret two sequential images that are similar but not identical in their positioning a as movement, but you can't actually see movement.

 

Can you provide me with proof that movement actually occurs? It must exist instantaneously since time is not a component.

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Well, in that case, motion can't be directly observed either. I can certainly remember where something was, and I can see where it is now. My brain will interpret two sequential images that are similar but not identical in their positioning a as movement, but you can't actually see movement.

 

Can you provide me with proof that movement actually occurs? It must exist instantaneously since time is not a component.

 

The word motion simply means the action or process of moving or being moved. If I nudge something with my finger I have achieved motion of that object. Hell I've achieved motion of my finger prior to even that. This is the problem with peoples thinking, they think in a very materialistic way. You hear a word like motion, and attach an extra complicated meaning to it, raising it from a simple process up to a physical entity in it's own right. It's what leads people to start thinking of simple concepts as complex entities themselves.

 

The same is true with time. Some artist sat down once and said "wouldn't it be nice if I could go into the past and future at will?". Then they coined the phrase "time travel" and now as a result we have multiple generations of people spouting metaphorical nonsense about time being some kind of physical entity that a human being can swim up and down like a river. When faced with paradoxes like killing your own grandfather, people complicate the matter even further, rather than accepting that if time travel can't work. At this point people get even more ridiculous by saying that every human decision somehow splits the universe into multiple different universes just to accommodate someone deciding to kill their grandfather. Which it turns out was never their grandfather at all.

 

This kind of stuff is a perfect example of human beings playing with stories, then starting to blur them with reality. Choosing belief over cold hard logical thought. Accepting what people tell them, over actually spending time thinking about things themselves.

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It's how most people who claim time exists tend to describe it. So Delta1212 what is your concept of time? How does it work? How can it be observed? Can it be manipulated like space as time dilation might suggest? Why does time have such massive influence on matter? Why is time even needed as anything other than a simple "index of events" system? Have you ever observed time serving any kind of practical function other than keeping your diary organised? If I asked you "how would you define time?" then what would you say?

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It's a temporal dimension, which is similar to a spatial dimension in certain aspects and different in others.

 

In a coordinate system, events can be defined as happening at x,y,z,t. When editing the boundaries of an object, you have length, width, depth and duration.

 

When measuring speed, everything moves at c through spacetime. When an object is at rest in the spatial dimensions, it is traveling at maximum speed through the time dimension, and when it moves through space, its speed through time slows accordingly.

 

That doesn't mean that you can travel back in time, or that universes split off to accommodate time paradoxes.

 

But we know that time exists in the same way we know that the x, y and z axes exist: They separate events. It's very easy to take any of the dimensions for granted because we're so used to dealing with them, but while questioning time, you should also stop and question what distance actually is. Especially since, like time, how far away things are in space is malleable depending on how fast you are moving relative to them.

 

My phone doesn't occupy the same space as my head because it's a foot in front of me, and my finger isn't hitting the 't' and 'i' keys simultaneously because the events are separated by a second.

 

All dimensions do is mark separation. Time does this as well, and so I think qualifies as a real dimension, even if it doesn't have exactly the same behavior as the other three (hence marking it as a temporal rather than spacial dimension).

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What about frequency? isn't it real? I see two material point moving in circles. The first is moving in a circle with 2 cm radius, the second is moving in a circle with 8 cm. radius. I record that the second has fulfilled 8 circles when(?) the first only one. If flow of time existed independent the same for both they must have the same number of circles. Does this mean that flow of time is the same for both? Or that the flow is in - existent?
The illusion of existence of flow of time is only that we compare recorded frequencies of different phenomena.

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It's a temporal dimension, which is similar to a spatial dimension in certain aspects and different in others.

 

How does a temporal dimension differer from a spatial dimension and why does it need to be a dimension at all?

 

 

 

In a coordinate system, events can be defined as happening at x,y,z,t. When editing the boundaries of an object, you have length, width, depth and duration.

 

The co-ordinate system isn't a dimension it's a representation of spacial co-ordinates. T doesn't refer to the dimension specifically, if is a reference system for timing specific events. When refering to previous states of the universe we talk about the past. When referring to future events it refers to predictions made. These two aspects don't exist any more, one is a record of events and the other is a prediction of events. The only aspect of time that is real, is the present. Don't mix a clever indexing system with something that's real, the past is no more real than the future.

 

 

 

When measuring speed, everything moves at c through spacetime. When an object is at rest in the spatial dimensions, it is traveling at maximum speed through the time dimension, and when it moves through space, its speed through time slows accordingly.

 

C is the symbol that represents the speed of light. Einstein's theories demonstrate that you would need infinite energy to move any significant mass at the speed of light. From what I understand of what you're saying, the slower something is in X Y Z the faster it is in T. How can this be demonstrated, and are there any experiments that prove this, or is it simply an unproven mathematical statement? Also why if Time is a dimention is it not subject to the same infinite energy requirements that X Y and Z need?

 

 

 

That doesn't mean that you can travel back in time, or that universes split off to accommodate time paradoxes.

 

I'm glad we can agree that time doesn't mean time travel. However you've already said that objects move through time as the speed of c, if you can travel in one direction why can you not travel in another? After all in space, you can go backwards and forwards.

 

 

 

But we know that time exists in the same way we know that the x, y and z axes exist: They separate events. It's very easy to take any of the dimensions for granted because we're so used to dealing with them, but while questioning time, you should also stop and question what distance actually is. Especially since, like time, how far away things are in space is malleable depending on how fast you are moving relative to them.

 

How do we know that time exists in the same way that x y and z exists? Again what is the experimental evidence for this? As for distance, it is the gap between two objects. This is enabled by the spacial framework. Matter exists within that framework. It doesn't have to be anything in the material sense. I'm not getting spiritual on you, but it's simply fact that not everything is made up of matter, so not everything can be related in terms of matter. Therefore the question "What is distance" doesn't' hold any meaning to me. Distance is simply one point separated by another point, which is an inbuilt feature of the spacial framework.

 

 

 

My phone doesn't occupy the same space as my head because it's a foot in front of me, and my finger isn't hitting the 't' and 'i' keys simultaneously because the events are separated by a second.

 

Your phone only occupies a finite amount of space, expecting it to collapse on itself or expand to fill everything simply doesn't match observation. You don't need time to separate buttons, that's the job of space. You also don't need time to move within that space, you simply need motion. Motion is a built in function of matter, apply enough force to it, and it will move through space. No time required.

 

 

 

All dimensions do is mark separation. Time does this as well, and so I think qualifies as a real dimension, even if it doesn't have exactly the same behavior as the other three (hence marking it as a temporal rather than spacial dimension).

 

I disagree, because with X Y and Z I can move freely between multiple points (within certain physical limitations, I can't for example escape gravity on my own, or walk through solid objects) but I can push air out of my way which is very useful when I need to cool down. We can not move freely in time we are forced and bound to "the moment", the ever moving now. All we have observed so far is that a couple of clocks lose synchronisation when travelling around the world at different directions. This doesn't prove that time is flexible or the dimension is manipulable. All this demonstrates is that the matter upon which clocks are based are affected by external forces. Even scientists describe it as "losing some ticks" which sounds to me, more like a suppression of motion. Heck, it might even be an alignment issue, after all we've seen in the slit experiment that radiation's path can be altered. This seems a much more sensible explanation to me, and it doesn't require the creation of a whole extra dimension to pull it off.

What about frequency? isn't it real? I see two material point moving in circles. The first is moving in a circle with 2 cm radius, the second is moving in a circle with 8 cm. radius. I record that the second has fulfilled 8 circles when(?) the first only one. If flow of time existed independent the same for both they must have the same number of circles. Does this mean that flow of time is the same for both? Or that the flow is in - existent?

The illusion of existence of flow of time is only that we compare recorded frequencies of different phenomena.

 

 

This deals with the complexities of particles acting as objects and waveforms, this applies to photon's, electrons and in fact any kind of particle as is the basis of a completely different discussion.

Edited by Daniel Foreman
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But you can't define motion without time in the same way you can't define motion without space. Motion involves an object covering a distance interval over the course of a time interval. Without a time interval, the object can't change position.

 

If you remove the spatial dimensions, everything happens in the same place. If you remove the temporal dimension, everything happens at the same time. A dimension is simply a way of separating events. Since events are separated in both space and time, time acts like a dimension.

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