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Why do lots of people think time isn't real?

  1. Apr 24, 2012 #1
    Why do you think that's the case?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 24, 2012 #2

    phinds

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    I didn't know it WAS the case. Why do you think it's the case? Take all the time you want to answer.
     
  4. Apr 24, 2012 #3

    HallsofIvy

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    Perhaps because there are lots of foolish people?
     
  5. Apr 25, 2012 #4

    haruspex

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    We perceive time by change. Memory is changes in your brain. Given a shuffled sequence of snapshots of the universe, your own state included, you would always perceive them in the 'right' order. So there does not appear to be any need for an actual passage of time. What does matter is that adjacent states exist with consistent relationships. See e.g. Julian Barbour's "The End of Time"

    Another reason is that quantum mechanics can be formulated in a manner in which time does not feature.

    No doubt there are other arguments. Several philosophers down the millennia have said similar, St Augustine for one.
     
  6. Apr 25, 2012 #5
    I suppose we could add another aspect philisophically speaking and say the converse is aslo true - We perceive change by the passage of time.
     
  7. Apr 25, 2012 #6
    I believe that whether something is real or not depends on your perspective. Humans created the concept of time in order to make the understanding of physical concepts easier.But nature doesn't "know" what time , velocity,mass etc are so for nature these quantities are imaginary.

    It's just like the question : Does God exist ? Well i can't say yes or no but , from the peoples point of view yes it exists, it exists in their minds.No one can say if it exists beyond that.
     
  8. Apr 25, 2012 #7
    I don't think that the belief that time is not real (or at least not fundamental) is foolish, although a lot of fools believe that time is not real.

    Time is as real as space. But maybe all of spacetime is some kind of emergent reality which we perceive on top of a universe with a different geometry. I just got finished reading Penrose's _A Road To Reality_, so twistor theory is on my mind. In this theory, the space of events on spacetime is not fundamental, and it is instead the null intervals that make up points in the fundamental space.
     
  9. Apr 25, 2012 #8

    haruspex

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    Not really. We cannot perceive the passage of time directly. We only perceive it by change, and we only perceive change by virtue of memory.
     
  10. Apr 25, 2012 #9

    jtbell

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    Ohhh nooooo, not another "what is time" thread! :cry:

    https://www.physicsforums.com/blog.php?b=3106 [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  11. Apr 25, 2012 #10

    phinds

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    I agree. I think it's time a mod called time-out on these pesky time posts.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  12. Apr 25, 2012 #11

    Dale

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    The question as posed is not a physics question, but rather a psychology question.
     
  13. Apr 25, 2012 #12

    Vanadium 50

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    Agreed. This is not physics.
     
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