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Existence Without Time

  1. Oct 1, 2004 #1
    Time is wholy contingent upon the fact that a material Universe exists. Meaning, if there is no physical distance by which to measure the rate of change, there would be no time. However, that isn't to say there wasn't an immaterial universe that existed prior to this, otherwise where would the pre-existing structure (blueprint) exist to give rise to the Big Bang and set the whole material Universe into motion? And what would be the difference between that and say, "rolling out the carpet" (so to speak) with its inherent design? Isn't that in effect what DNA does, the inherent blueprint or code that tells the body what to do? So, if all we have is the immaterial dimension -- ever wonder where we go in our dreams? which, are merely an extension of thought and of the same dimension -- then the only possible thing we can have in the physical sense is stillness which, is an expression of the moment and, extended unto Eternity.
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  3. Oct 1, 2004 #2
    What reason do we have to believe that a necessary condition for the existence of time is the existence of physical space? Further, if you are correct that prior to the material universe (whatever that means, exactly) there existed an immaterial universe (whatever that means, exactly), then you are already committed to the existence of time, as you are committed to the existence of temporal priority. See, you can't say both that 1) Time came into existence with the material world, and 2) before the material world there was an immaterial world. "Before" is itself a temporal notion. So, your position entails a contradiction, and hence it is false.
  4. Oct 2, 2004 #3
    Because in order to get from points A to B it requires a physical plane and, of course time. And yet if there was no physical plane, let alone points A and B, what is there to measure, and hence time?

    No, you're committed to the fact that there was a before the Big Bang which, could not have been measured at the time :wink: because there was no physical plane by which to do so. However, now that there is, we can project any time we want back before the Big Bang, for example, 1 billion years BBB (before the Big Bang).

    Yes, time has always existed, it's just that at one point there was no (physical) rate of change by which to measure it.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2004
  5. Oct 2, 2004 #4


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    It is meaningless to discuss time without spatial dimensions. They are covariant. Neither concept is meaningful without the other. Multiplication by zero can yield any result desired.
  6. Oct 2, 2004 #5
    All this entails is that if there is movement from A to B, there must be time as well. This entails nothing about the existence of time itself.

    First, I'm not committed to any particular position on the Big Bang, because I haven't made any claims about the Big Bang. Second, you're fallaciously assuming that if there doesn't exist the means by which to measure something, then that something doesn't exist. Third, you claimed in your first post that before the material world there was no time, and now you are claiming (again) that there was something before the existence of the material world. You are contradicting yourself.

    Oh, now you are completely changing what you said originally. You began by claiming that time came into existence with the material world (although you went on to contradict yourself). Now you're claiming merely that the means by which to measure time came into existence with the material world, but time itself has always existed. Well, at least this position is consistent. Unfortunately, it is also not the position you took originally. Apparently, you now recognize your previous incoherence.

  7. Oct 2, 2004 #6
    In philosophical discussions, it is customary to give arguments for one's claims, and not merely present semi-coherent assertions. Do you have any arguments? Anyway, just because two things covary, that doesn't entail that they can't be defined independently of one another (ie, it doesn't follow that their respective concepts aren't meaningful in isolation). Second, multiplication be zero does not yield any desired result. It yields one result, the same every time, and that result is zero.
  8. Oct 2, 2004 #7
    pre BB as relates to our universe all that existed was time there was no space for objects to move through to make things relative to each other...

    If you only have one thing and that is "nothing" then it is only relative to itself there is no thing to compare it to so it exists etenally and infinitely and not at all but it still exists.

    So let's give it a consciousness of itself such that it has a thought which then differentiates something from nothing and let that thought be a first cause. The first thought/cause that is our universe is I AM.
  9. Oct 6, 2004 #8

    Tom Mattson

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    This being Physics Forums, I think that Chronos was expecting that his readers could fill in the blanks. "Covariance" is a direct reference to relativity, which inextricably couples space and time.

    I agree that space and time have meaning in isolation. Relativistic covariance doesn't go against that.

    What SR does entail is that time and space do not exist independently of each other, not that they don't have meaning independently of each other. And what GR further entails is that time and space do not exist independently of matter and energy.
  10. Oct 6, 2004 #9
    I disagree. Time is a fundamental component of the material universe. Without time, there could not be a material universe.

    I believe that you are arguing from a perspective that assumes that the Big Bang is necessarily the beginning. This is a fallacy, I believe.

    I like this line of reasonaing better, yet it contradicts your previous statement, I believe.
  11. Oct 6, 2004 #10
    In what way is time active though? I doesn't really affect anything does it? To me, I think it's a lot like a shadow, which is a secondary effect, and entirely contingent upon something to project it. Meaning if there was no space in the first place, there would be no rate of change to measure in the second place. Which, is why I believe it's only possible to live in the moment, for the past nor the future really exist, in the sense that we're speaking of the moment which once was or, the moment which has yet to be.

    I'm suggesting that the Big Bang was the beginning of the material universe, yes. Except that something (of another dimension) existed prior to this, which contained the blueprint of the Big Bang (so to speak) and, everything else that came into existence.

    By immaterial I don't mean nothing though.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2004
  12. Oct 6, 2004 #11
    So 'before' the BB, time and space didnt exist, yet there was something that contained its blueprint. If time didnt exist for this something, wouldnt that make it eternal, meaning that the something-with-the-blueprint still exists(outside of time and space)?
  13. Oct 6, 2004 #12
    I don't understand this. For one thing, time affects all of space. All of space is and must be always in motion through time. Can you provide an example of any space that is not in motion through time? Time affects everything. Space cannot exist independent of time (post Big Bang).

    Are you saying that if there were no space in the first place, then there would be no people or other entities that could measure time since they cannot exist if there is no space? I agree with this. Without space, time cannot be measured. A major reason for this is that there could be nothing that desires to measure time, and there could be no tool to measure with. However, you have stated that you are speaking of the post Big Bang era, in which not only is there space, but this space is indivisibly integrated with time, as space-time.

    I don't understand. Are you saying that a person cannot at this very moment live his life in yesterday? I agree. That seems pretty obvious to me. I wonder if this is what you mean, however. What do you mean when you say that the past and the future do not exist? If your past and future do not exist, then you could never have been born and you will never die. This also cannot be what you mean. Please explain what you mean by this statement, because I cannot understand what you mean.
  14. Oct 6, 2004 #13
    Maybe he means that, right at this second, the past does not exist and neither does the future. The past only existed at the moment it happened. And the future only exists at the moment it happens(but by then it wont be the future anymore obviously).
  15. Oct 6, 2004 #14
    What about the possibility of a missing time dimension - the present - that some people are already advocating? And the wacky possibility that we may be either in the past or in the future? How plausible are these claims?
  16. Oct 7, 2004 #15
    Yes, this is correct. So, basically if you acknowledge this much, you're acknowledging the original stillness which always was (and still is), before time began ... i.e., due to the advent of matter or, material space. So, before the advent of time, I'm suggesting we had something comparable to the dimension of thought, which is, afterall, realized in the moment ... i.e., through consciousness.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2004
  17. Oct 7, 2004 #16


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    Time came to existence with the material world, "of course time" cannot be stated as we created time, it didn't exist naturally!

    Could not have been measured at the time? And now it can? why is that? we didn't exist? or was it the material world in which created time that didn't exist?

    I tend to agree that you're contradicting things here....

    Another contradiction...
  18. Oct 7, 2004 #17
    Tom this is a little difficult to understand since we are discussing what might have been before the Big Bang. I realize that we can not really talk about GR before BB as it does not make any sense. Would it be cogerent language to talk about space before BB in a 0 time frame, before matter came into existence? The reason why I ask, is that following the BB what actually occupies space is 99% empty. Any comments to help clear things up.
  19. Oct 7, 2004 #18
    In whose visual frame of reference? Supposing ants, rats, 'microscopoids', 'macroscopoids' or 'cosmolopoids' all perceive and interprete time or spatio-temporal relations differently? How would we, the humans, know how they perceive time, let alone spatio-temporal relations? Come to think of it, our close relatives, animals that we often visually degrade and dumb-down, tend 'see', 'hear' and 'sense' more than we do. For I have witnessed many years ago, animals predicted eathquake and fled inland to safetey 10 days before the actual moment of impact and before the humans knew about it. People woke up that morning to see the entire village completely empty. No single animal in sight. While they spent the rest of the ten days wondering whether the village has been visited by a gang of thieves, the animals were rejoycing miles away from the point of danger. Yet, we claim to be the ones who always see and know best. Well, I think there is more to visual pereception and knowing than what we currently imagine them to be.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2004
  20. Oct 7, 2004 #19
    Perhaps, humans have a great deal to learn from other life forms! Just perhaps! At the very least, couldn't we make some effort to scientifically overcome the human visual or perceptual limitations? Must we just sit back, go with the flow, leave things to nature as the prophets of doom often suggest, and ultemately do nothing to improve our visual abilities for which we are, quite rightly, naturally empowered?
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2004
  21. Oct 7, 2004 #20
    Scientists, and many advocates in other disciplines, often see and think of the human activities as artificial and unnatural. Well, philosophers, especially those with their heads well-screwed on, see this view as a fundamental perceptual error, hence a contradiction. This is the fundamental paradoxical question they have raised:

    If man is part of nature, why should anything that man does be unnatural or artificial? For example, if the humans, upon subsequent realisation of their own natural limitations, suddenly dicided to write the structures of the world into themselves as a means of overcoming those limitations, why should such an action be perceived and construed as unnatural?

    Upon the same token, we tend to naively detach human activities very often from activities that may be said to have something to do with a Higher Being or GOD. We talk of scientific progress as if though God may have no hand in it. If good science, for example, cures us of diseases and ailments, are we to continue to claim that a Higher Being, if such a Being did exist in the first place, had nothing to do with this? This is the very point where science and religion must reconcile and seek a common ground through proper conduct of interdisciplinary scholarship.

    NOTE: If nature, human and God all acted in a manner that avoids errors in the causal and relational structure of the world, could we not count them as related and as acting progressively for the common good of all? Is there anything in this relation that is artificial or more natural than the other?
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2004
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