'There is no time' - Wired magazine

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  • #2
Tony11235
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Humm...I'm not sure what to say. Regardless, it takes a lot of gutts for somebody who has not even completed college to come out and say that Hawking is wrong.
 
  • #3
Pengwuino
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Tony11235 said:
Humm...I'm not sure what to say. Regardless, it takes a lot of gutts for somebody who has not even completed college to come out and say that Hawking is wrong.

or stupidity...

One journal said that he didn't have a basic understanding of calculus, that's what made me kinda laugh. I really don't know if i should continue to read Wired if this stuff turns out to be as stupid as it seems and it gets published.
 
  • #4
Ivan Seeking
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Tony11235 said:
Humm...I'm not sure what to say. Regardless, it takes a lot of gutts for somebody who has not even completed college to come out and say that Hawking is wrong.

Most people who make such statements never finished college. :biggrin:
 
  • #5
Pengwuino
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So what's your take on this ivan :D

Who are these "time theorists"?
 
  • #6
Tony11235
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Why are people, including recognized physicsts like David Deutsch, even taking interest in this guy? There must have been a spark of some sort that sets him apart from other so called "time theorists" and others with similar claims. I'm not saying I think there's anything to this guy.
 
  • #7
Ivan Seeking
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Pengwuino said:
So what's your take on this ivan :D

Who are these "time theorists"?

I have no idea as yet. I plan to read up a little when I have more time and a working brain [~1.5 hrs of sleep last night]. But if DD is interested, then I'm interested.
 
  • #8
Zantra
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Tony11235 said:
Humm...I'm not sure what to say. Regardless, it takes a lot of gutts for somebody who has not even completed college to come out and say that Hawking is wrong.

True.

But so was a lowly patent clerk once judged.

Not making comparisons, just pointing out some biases.

At the very least he's thinking outside of the box.

More people should do that.
 
  • #9
Pengwuino
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Zantra said:
At the very least he's thinking outside of the box.

More people should do that.

If it makes any sense...

Otherwise, it shouldn't be taking up magazine space :P
 
  • #10
Integral
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But so was a lowly patent clerk once judged.

LOL!

That lowly patent clerk had just completed a PhD in physics at one of the better universites in the world. This is not even similar to the topic of this thread.

At the very least he's thinking outside of the box.

If you have no idea where the box is, how can you think outside of it?
 
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  • #11
chronon
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I guess everyone philosophises about space, time and the universe. Some people know enough physics to take this further. I'm not sure how much physics Peter Lynds knows, but he does seem phenomenally good at publicity. e.g. Physicists Yahoo! considers to be worth a mention in their directory. http://dir.yahoo.com/Science/Physics/Physicists/

I've written more about Peter Lynds and his work at http://www.chronon.org/Articles/ZenoLynds.html
 
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  • #12
kcballer21
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chronon said:
It is interesting to look at some of the response to Lynds' paper. Some people seem to be arguing about whether he is right or wrong. This seems to be a sterile argument - I would say that he is right but not saying anything new.
I don't know if Lynd is right or not, but I agree that he isn't saying anything new. Let's give Parmenides some credit here. There is nothing shocking or new about saying some aspect (or all) of reality is an illusion, even though such talk still makes me squirm.
 
  • #13
jma2001
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chronon said:
I've written more about Peter Lynds and his work at http://www.chronon.org/Articles/ZenoLynds.html
Interesting website you have there! But, is there an About page somewhere that tells a little about yourself and your background? I generally like to know something about an author before I spend a lot of time reading his or her articles.
 
  • #14
chronon
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jma2001 said:
Interesting website you have there! But, is there an About page somewhere that tells a little about yourself and your background? I generally like to know something about an author before I spend a lot of time reading his or her articles.
No, I've been meaning to do such a page, but haven't got round to it yet. But I take your point, so I'll try to give it higher priority.
 
  • #15
zoobyshoe
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I don't think Lynds ideas make any sense. He says there is no time, only sequences of events. How can "sequences" take place in any medium but time?
 
  • #16
chronon
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zoobyshoe said:
I don't think Lynds ideas make any sense. He says there is no time, only sequences of events. How can "sequences" take place in any medium but time?
I'm not sure that the 'sequences of events' are really part of Lynds' philosophy, this seems to be just the summary of the writer of the Wired article. They seem more like Julian Barbour's idea, which I think is the opposite of Lynds - I'm not surprised that the two fell out.
 
  • #17
kcballer21
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zoobyshoe said:
I don't think Lynds ideas make any sense. He says there is no time, only sequences of events. How can "sequences" take place in any medium but time?
Right, I can picture Parmenides and Zeno mulling over a similar question only to determine that, well, sequences don't take place. But, maybe he thinks all sequences of events have already occurred, and our consciousness creates 'time', or the illusory sequence aspect of reality.
 
  • #18
zoobyshoe
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chronon said:
I'm not sure that the 'sequences of events' are really part of Lynds' philosophy, this seems to be just the summary of the writer of the Wired article.
If this is the case, then the only other idea he seems to be proposing to respond to is that time isn't quantized, that it is a smooth, continuous flow. I don't find that to be objectionable. As far as I know physics doesn't assert the existence of any quanta of time.
 
  • #19
zoobyshoe
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kcballer21 said:
But, maybe he thinks all sequences of events have already occurred, and our consciousness creates 'time', or the illusory sequence aspect of reality.
I've done a lot of thinking about this. It seems that if our consciousness were analagous to a record player "playing" a pre-existing recording, it would still be playing it over time. The events it is watching may, indeed, all exist all at once, but the observation of them, in sequence, still has to take place over time.
 
  • #20
selfAdjoint
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The real question of this thread is can you have succession of events without time?. I think you can.

Consider the causal sets approach to quantum gravity or the causal dynamic triangulations approach. Both of these take cause to be prior to time. That if one event causes another, then the second one is later in time than the first is a theorem, or an emppirical discovery for them.
 
  • #21
Kazza_765
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selfAdjoint said:
The real question of this thread is can you have succession of events without time?. I think you can.

This may be naive of me, but how do we define time if not for a sequence of events? ie. If there were no sequence of events would this not be analagous to time standing still?
 
  • #22
zoobyshoe
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selfAdjoint said:
The real question of this thread is can you have succession of events without time?. I think you can.

Consider the causal sets approach to quantum gravity or the causal dynamic triangulations approach. Both of these take cause to be prior to time. That if one event causes another, then the second one is later in time than the first is a theorem, or an emppirical discovery for them.
Without knowing anything about either of these, I still notice they are referred to by the term "approach". What this suggests to me is that these are probably "means of analysis" which yield information that is of use in some way shape or form, but whose premises needn't have any literal reality for them to be effective.

On the other hand, If I knew more about them, it could be they are claiming to be literal, factual descriptions.

In the latter case, there is still the human perception of sequence in time, which, as far as I can tell, has to actually take place over time.
 
  • #23
Ivan Seeking
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zoobyshoe said:
Without knowing anything about either of these, I still notice they are referred to by the term "approach". What this suggests to me is that these are probably "means of analysis" which yield information that is of use in some way shape or form, but whose premises needn't have any literal reality for them to be effective.

This is true for everything in physics. All theories are just models which may or may not have any essential truth beyond their ability to predict that which is observed.

Even if we finally identify a theory of everything, we can never know if it's really "true". We can only know if it works or not.
 
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  • #24
Here's a quote I found from New Scientist 6th Dec 2003 which seems to better explain Lynds redefinement of time,

Peter Lynds's reasonable and widely accepted assertion that the flow of time is an illusion (25 October, p 33) does not imply that time itself is an illusion. It is perfectly meaningful to state that two events may be separated by a certain duration, while denying that time mysteriously flows from one event to the other. Crick compares our perception of time to that of space. Quite right. Space does not flow either, but it's still "there".
 
  • #25
zoobyshoe
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Art said:
Here's a quote I found from New Scientist 6th Dec 2003 which seems to better explain Lynds redefinement of time,
Thanks for digging that up, Art, but that quote just confused me more about what he is trying to say.

"It is perfectly meaningful to state that two events may be separated by a certain duration, while denying that time mysteriously flows from one event to the other."

If you're sensitive to language, notice the syntactically hinky use of the word "duration." The sentence ends up not having any meaning I can fathom.
 
  • #26
zoobyshoe said:
Thanks for digging that up, Art, but that quote just confused me more about what he is trying to say.

"It is perfectly meaningful to state that two events may be separated by a certain duration, while denying that time mysteriously flows from one event to the other."

If you're sensitive to language, notice the syntactically hinky use of the word "duration." The sentence ends up not having any meaning I can fathom.
I'm not sure but how I read it is that it seems to suggest that all events occur (or could occur) simultaneously but to travel from one event to another requires movement (duration) which we perceive as the flow of time. I can't see how this makes any difference on a practical level but from a philosophical viewpoint it is probably important?? :confused:
 
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  • #27
Ah, found some more on this. His central contention is that there is no such thing as a specific static instant in time his argument being that for time to be continuous it precludes the possibility of a physical static instant. From this he expounds that this uncertainty in time is what creates quantum uncertainty which he argues is a concept which applies to the macroscopic world as it does to the quantum world. Here's the conclusion from his paper;
Conclusion:
In summary, it was shown there is a necessary trade off of all precisely determined physical magnitudes and values at a time, for their continuity through time, although with the parameter and boundary of their respective magnitude and value being determinable up to the limits of possible measurement as described by the quantum hypothesis,(1) but with this indeterminacy in precise value not being a consequence of h and quantum uncertainty. This illustrated that in relation to indeterminacy in precise physical magnitude, the macro and microscopic are inextricably linked, rather than being a variable only directly associated with the quantum world. The explanation provided was also shown to be the correct solution to the motion and infinity paradoxes, excluding the Stadium, originally conceived by the ancient Greek mathematician, Zeno of Elea.(9) It is not necessary for time to emerge from the quantum foam present just after the big bang at approximately (Gh/c3)1/2 scale,(2-7) and the proposals of Imaginary Time (2, 3, 5-7) and Chronons,(2, 8) have been shown to be incompatible with a consistent physical description, and would appear to be superseded on a theoretical basis.
 
  • #28
zoobyshoe
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Art said:
Ah, found some more on this. His central contention is that there is no such thing as a specific static instant in time his argument being that for time to be continuous it precludes the possibility of a physical static instant.
I am not sure that anyone has ever claimed such a thing as a physical static instant. Maybe some people have gotten into trouble be taking arbitrary cutoff points like t=0 too seriously, but I'm not aware of it if they have.

Planck proposed a smallest possible measurement of time that has any meaning: the time it takes a photon to travel one "planck length", but this isn't the same thing as proposing a physically static instant.
 
  • #29
Ivan Seeking
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zoobyshoe said:
Planck proposed a smallest possible measurement of time that has any meaning: the time it takes a photon to travel one "planck length", but this isn't the same thing as proposing a physically static instant.

If it exists, time is either continuous or quantized. By definition this is what quantized means: discrete units.
 
  • #30
Telos
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All this man did was become a psuedo-Buddhist new age Hindi poser. His book will sell millions, of course.

Now, if he invents a new system of mathematics to accompany his theory, that might be a different story. Then, after he dies, we might have a revolution.

The article only mentioned that he and Deutsch had a little chat. It did not seem like Deutsch was interested.
 
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  • #31
Mk
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Telos said:
All this man did was become a psuedo-Buddhist new age Hindi poser. His book will sell millions, of course.
Well! I better start crackin!
 

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