What proof do we have that TIME exists?


by Homesick345
Tags: exists, proof, time
Chalnoth
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#19
Mar22-12, 07:49 AM
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Quote Quote by Homesick345 View Post
Super weird indeed. Moreover, if time exists, & it passes linearly, it should have an infinite speed, since it passes continuously..Time is weirder than existence itself
Why would you think this?

And anyway, time "passing" is just a colloquial description that doesn't have any relation to reality, as near as I can tell.
Alephu5
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#20
Mar22-12, 08:08 AM
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I think there is unanimous agreement that as humans, we all experience something which can be called "time" in English, which describes a one-directional increase in entropy of the universe at a constant rate. In this sense it is perfectly reasonable to assume that it exists. The real challenge is trying to abstract beyond the individual's perspective and learn about the nature of time itself.

We know that time does not actually move at a constant rate, and that an individual will never notice a difference despite the relative rate of time compared to that of those moving more slowly, or in places with less gravity. My own speculative opinion is that time appears to us the way it does because of the makeup of our bodies. All that we feel, say and do is a result of physical and chemical interactions and therefore the same rules of entropy that govern forms of matter in the universe determine our experience of life and "time". If there exists a somewhat biological being in a macro-verse that contains our universe, they may be able to see our universe as a static entity with 4 "spatial" dimensions.
Chalnoth
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#21
Mar22-12, 08:13 AM
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Talk of colloquial experience is describing us, not time.
sahmgeek
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#22
Mar22-12, 09:51 AM
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Quote Quote by petm1 View Post
Consciousness is required for us to see the behavior of reality, and the co-moving frame of my consciousness is the one second part of time that I am always within, what do you think makes up our present.
this gets tricky, distinguishing between consciousness as "experience" and reality as "that which is experienced". two separate things, i think, but clearly deeply connected (some would argue inseparable).
Homesick345
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#23
Mar22-12, 09:56 AM
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Quote Quote by Chalnoth View Post
Why would you think this?

And anyway, time "passing" is just a colloquial description that doesn't have any relation to reality, as near as I can tell.
Well, (I'm sure I will sound crazy - & I'm not a physicist or scientist of any kind), but since time passes & covers every second & milli-second, it covers an infinity of moments...the billionth milli-second of milli second etc...the flow of time, if there is such a thing as a "flow" of time, must go at a vertiginous spead. Because of the infinity of each single present "situation", therefore time is relentless & infinitely speeding..
sahmgeek
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#24
Mar22-12, 09:56 AM
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Quote Quote by alt View Post
I've always thought that when thinking about what time is, or whether it exists, one has to look at the immediate, first hand experience of it - the present.

And when trying to work out what the present is, I get even more perplexed. Is it a certain amount of time ? It must be, for if it was a point instant, it would be static, and no movement would be possible.

But how long IS your experienced present ? A second ? Half that ? Douple that ? One hundredth that ? In any case, it would still have (unless it was a point instant), a component of past, and possibly future in it. Weird !

yes, so if you discuss time as something that is "experienced" you have to have an agent to experience it; you have to have it be consciousness dependent. and this is how we think of time. we "experience" time as one-directional, however I suspect the TRUE nature of time is just space somehow filtered through a relative lens. does that make sense?
sahmgeek
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#25
Mar22-12, 09:59 AM
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Quote Quote by Alephu5 View Post
I think there is unanimous agreement that as humans, we all experience something which can be called "time" in English, which describes a one-directional increase in entropy of the universe at a constant rate. In this sense it is perfectly reasonable to assume that it exists. The real challenge is trying to abstract beyond the individual's perspective and learn about the nature of time itself.

We know that time does not actually move at a constant rate, and that an individual will never notice a difference despite the relative rate of time compared to that of those moving more slowly, or in places with less gravity. My own speculative opinion is that time appears to us the way it does because of the makeup of our bodies. All that we feel, say and do is a result of physical and chemical interactions and therefore the same rules of entropy that govern forms of matter in the universe determine our experience of life and "time". If there exists a somewhat biological being in a macro-verse that contains our universe, they may be able to see our universe as a static entity with 4 "spatial" dimensions.
I agree
sahmgeek
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#26
Mar22-12, 10:06 AM
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Quote Quote by sahmgeek View Post
however I suspect the TRUE nature of time is just space somehow filtered through a relative lens. does that make sense?
and taking that thought one step further is the idea that NOTHING has a TRUE nature independently. instead, it is all relative...micro to macro
Alephu5
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#27
Mar22-12, 10:54 AM
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Quote Quote by sahmgeek View Post
and taking that thought one step further is the idea that NOTHING has a TRUE nature independently. instead, it is all relative...micro to macro
This is similiar to a philosophical perspective called "Model-dependant realism" put forward in a book called "The Grand Design" by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. It does not talk about hierarchies of subsystems within supersystems, but rather that there is a common scientific misconception, that models describe the underlying reality of a situation. It refers to the fact that two intuitively different concepts can describe the exact same thing, and that as humans, all we can do is build models and use them until they no longer describe observations. Basically, reality is a concept that exists within the mind of creatures such as ourselves. In the mind of a religious person this may not necessarily comply with reality for a scientist, who has empirically found models that reliably describe observations. Even so, the idea of things having a true nature is an illusion.

A quote from the book:
"According to the idea of model-dependent realism ..., our brains interpret the input from our sensory organs by making a model of the outside world. We form mental concepts of our home, trees, other people, the electricity that flows from wall sockets, atoms, molecules, and other universes. These mental concepts are the only reality we can know. There is no model-independent test of reality. It follows that a well-constructed model creates a reality of its own."
sahmgeek
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#28
Mar22-12, 11:03 AM
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Quote Quote by Alephu5 View Post
This is similiar to a philosophical perspective called "Model-dependant realism" put forward in a book called "The Grand Design" by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. It does not talk about hierarchies of subsystems within supersystems, but rather that there is a common scientific misconception, that models describe the underlying reality of a situation. It refers to the fact that two intuitively different concepts can describe the exact same thing, and that as humans, all we can do is build models and use them until they no longer describe observations. Basically, reality is a concept that exists within the mind of creatures such as ourselves. In the mind of a religious person this may not necessarily comply with reality for a scientist, who has empirically found models that reliably describe observations. Even so, the idea of things having a true nature is an illusion.

A quote from the book:
interesting. i'll check it out. thanks.

another thought i had today, not fully related but somewhat relevant is that we get easily tripped up by language and logic. we use logic, well, b/c nature shows us that that is how the world works (patterns, cause & effect, etc). but "nature" knows something that we don't (it could be something along the lines of this type of Model-dependant realism theory) and we encounter paradox. until we can incorporate that missing piece (if we ever can) we'll never fully understand.
Chalnoth
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#29
Mar22-12, 01:25 PM
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Quote Quote by Homesick345 View Post
Well, (I'm sure I will sound crazy - & I'm not a physicist or scientist of any kind), but since time passes & covers every second & milli-second, it covers an infinity of moments...the billionth milli-second of milli second etc...the flow of time, if there is such a thing as a "flow" of time, must go at a vertiginous spead. Because of the infinity of each single present "situation", therefore time is relentless & infinitely speeding..
You're making a number of assumptions here that are unwarranted.

First, that there are an infinite number of instances of time. There are certainly an extremely large number, but our limited knowledge of quantum gravity suggests that a finite number of instances is possible.

Second, that somehow it makes sense to talk in speed versus a number of instantaneous moments.

Third, that there is a flow of time at all, that it isn't just a perceptual illusion. Relativity strongly suggests that there is no such flow, period.
sahmgeek
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#30
Mar22-12, 02:39 PM
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Quote Quote by Chalnoth View Post
Third, that there is a flow of time at all, that it isn't just a perceptual illusion. Relativity strongly suggests that there is no such flow, period.
without a doubt, all humans (except maybe those with neurological "abnormalities") can agree that we experience time as having a "flow". This is indisputable, is it not? Things occur in a certain "order". If not, we wouldn't even be able to have this conversation.
sahmgeek
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#31
Mar22-12, 02:43 PM
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also, i think we should replace (altogether) the word "illusion" with "relative in nature".
Chalnoth
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#32
Mar22-12, 03:26 PM
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Quote Quote by sahmgeek View Post
without a doubt, all humans (except maybe those with neurological "abnormalities") can agree that we experience time as having a "flow". This is indisputable, is it not?
As I said, this speaks more about us than it does about the reality of time. We don't experience the real world raw and unfiltered. We experience the world through the lens of our senses and the processing that goes on in our brains.
Mark M
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#33
Mar22-12, 03:33 PM
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Quote Quote by Homesick345 View Post
Well, (I'm sure I will sound crazy - & I'm not a physicist or scientist of any kind), but since time passes & covers every second & milli-second, it covers an infinity of moments...the billionth milli-second of milli second etc...the flow of time, if there is such a thing as a "flow" of time, must go at a vertiginous spead. Because of the infinity of each single present "situation", therefore time is relentless & infinitely speeding..
It seems more and more likely that time is discrete - that is, divided into moments. The length of such a moment would the Planck Time, which is the amount of time that is takes light to travel one planck length. The Planck Length is for all purposes the smallest you can get, as it corresponds to Planck's Constant, a figure which represents the size of the smallest unit of energy, a quantum.

Quote Quote by sahmgeek View Post
without a doubt, all humans (except maybe those with neurological "abnormalities") can agree that we experience time as having a "flow". This is indisputable, is it not? Things occur in a certain "order". If not, we wouldn't even be able to have this conversation.
Events occur in a particular order because of the second law of thermodynamics - that is, entropy will always increase. Like Chalnoth said, time doesn't flow, as relativity treats it as a fourth dimension that we move through, not it flowing by us.
sahmgeek
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#34
Mar22-12, 03:47 PM
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Quote Quote by Chalnoth View Post
As I said, this speaks more about us than it does about the reality of time. We don't experience the real world raw and unfiltered. We experience the world through the lens of our senses and the processing that goes on in our brains.
true, but the implications of this raise a huge question concerning whether we will ever be able to understand raw, unfiltered reality (if there is such a thing...i think there is).
Drakkith
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#35
Mar22-12, 04:42 PM
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Quote Quote by sahmgeek View Post
true, but the implications of this raise a huge question concerning whether we will ever be able to understand raw, unfiltered reality (if there is such a thing...i think there is).
Define "raw, unfiltered reality".
sahmgeek
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#36
Mar22-12, 04:44 PM
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Quote Quote by Drakkith View Post
Define "raw, unfiltered reality".
exactly. Ask Chalnoth; he/she proposed it.


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