Paper Experiment: Is 'time' passing?

This is an experiment, as given in answer to a question on "Quora".

see here for the quora entry...

and here for other discussion group conversations on timelessness v time

Hi Natasha,
RE : “Are we moving 'through' time or is time passing at the same rate as we experience it?”
I ask ‘time’.... Is there an Elephant in the room wearing the emperors invisible robe ?

(Matt Welcome (@MattWelcome) | Twitter)

Thank you for asking me to answer this question. I think you may find it is based on a widely accepted, though possibly false assumption, and that therefore the answer is “neither”, and/because the question may be wholly invalid.
If you look at your other answers, the one thing you can definitely confirm is that there is disagreement and confusion in each attempt to answer your question directly. You may also notice that everyone tries to answer your question, as opposed to fully considering that the question itself may be invalid.
Where any theory or hypothesis, such as ‘time’, leads to many conflicting and untestable conjecture, then it is worth considering that with so many alarm bells ringing, the theory itself may be wrong from the outset.
However with time people, professional or lay,  seem to keep trying to dig themselves out of the hole... i.e. persist in the theory rather than rechecking it from first principles, and actually applying the scientific method at each step.

(e.g. re all these works and others Brief History of Timelessness, Bibliography - A Brief History of Time-lessness - Matt Welcome.)
So, I would suggest you ask any responder if they can describe an experiment to confirm any suggestions.
Re my own answer and approach, I would suggest you...
1-    check your most basic observations,
which I think you will find are only that things seem to exist, move, and interact.
2-   You (actually) ask yourself the question....
  • “If the stuff of the universe is just existing, moving and interacting (including the contents of our own minds), would this be enough to mislead me into wrongly assuming there actually is a ‘past’ or  ‘future’, or thing called time”?

My point being that while the idea of time is extremely useful in organising the contents of our minds and lives, and in performing observations and calculations,  there seems to me to be no evidence at all of the actual existence of a past, future, or of a thing called ‘time’ we are either moving through, or that is passing by us.
If anyone starts from the ‘assumption’ that some other, extra, invisible intangible ‘phenomena’ must exist to enable motion etc, and if they happen to be wrong in this assumption, then they may fail to ever consider other possibilities.
Bearing in mind that we use science to find out how things are... as opposed to trying to make things look how we think they are, it seems to me that...

With no evidence of a past or future ‘actually’ existing, and with a universe just full of motion and interacting being all we observe, and enough to explain all we observe – then scientifically – it may be the case that the universe may literally just exist and be just full of things moving and interacting.*

* – Not also’ heading into a future’ Nor ‘leaving a past behind them’, i.e. possibly, literally ‘timelessly’. And following the rules of Relativity, but just in '3D' warped space.
(i.e. ‘we may be wrong from the outset to assume any such thing as time exists (other than as a useful ‘idea’ held in the matter of our minds) )

An Experiment to check our observations and assumptions.

With this in mind, actually try this simple experiment (and anyone else looking for a possible ‘new’ approach to the problem of time).
-1 grab a sheet of paper...

-2 tear it in to pieces,

and as you do so, observe whether you see any actual evidence of a 'past receding'

...or a 'future' arriving'

or, whether you see things just existing moving and changing, in just '3 dimensions', be they stable, integrating or dis-integrating

If you observe no evidence of a ‘past’ or ‘future’ existing in any way, and if all you observe is that matter can exist and be changing, then, logically, consider that this may be all there is.

Note also, that although you may be creating and storing images in your head as you do this, or anything, these images do prove that matter is existing, moving and interacting, but do not prove that the universe also creates a record of all events in another 'dimension'.

 Though many people, including Professor Stephen Hawking
(A brief history of time p161)
∆ A Brief History of Time. - A Brief History of Time-lessness - Matt Welcome.

Seem to jump to the conclusion that in looking at such presently existing internal, physical mental images, is akin to "remembering 'the' past" - and in some way a reason for assuming 'the past' may be some thing that exists, or 'the past'  is a valid scientific term.

(imo-  While internal mental impressions may be a good basis for the hypothesis 'there may be a thing or place called the past',  that would need to be backed up by experiment as per the scientific method)

Hope that at least gives you a different paradigm from which to consider the matter.
Matthew Marsden
(aka Matt Welcome)
Auth "A Brief History of Timelessness"
This video may help.

Does Time exist? What is Time? +What does Einstein's Relativity Prove?