∆ The Birth of time.John Gribben.




The Birth of Time p1 'No child can be older than its parent'.


The problem with this opening line...


Whenever I read a book on 'Time' I always look for its first attempt to justify that 'Time' actually exists.

In the opening line of 'The Birth of Time' John Gribben is suggesting that this observation, that no child child can be 'older' than their parent, in some way shows the existence of one of time's features, and thus the existence of time. 

This seems convincing until you realise that in fact,'the stuff' that makes up a parent, or a child, or any other 'thing' must in fact all, at best, be the same age. To put this another way, if you ever have considered buying a 'brand new' car - wouldnt you like to go to the factory and actually see the moment the stuff that makes up your care actually 'becomes' 'new'?

surely, whatever material goes into making your car, or a 'new' child is in fact just stuff - changing form - 'now'.

For a full break down as to why i think this opening line does not prove in any way that time exists please look at...
>>> see Parents and children. No time gap.  



IA similar opening approach is found in "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking.

Here it is suggested that we can remember the past but not the future, and this suggestion is meant to imply that 'the past' and 'the future' thus both exist, and have different properties, and thus that time also exists. How ever, it can be seen that what we 'call' the past, and what we 'call' the future are in fact both just 'things' that are here now, and both of which only prove that things can be 'here now' and change. 


'The Birth of Time' - John Gribben, 

my comments.


This book is not about proving whether time exists, or discussing time's apparently mysterious nature, instead it is focused on explaining how we measure the age of the universe, and it does so extremely clearly and in great detail. In essence, to calculate the age of the universe we First observe that virtually every star in the sky is receding not only from us here on Earth but from each other. 

Logically this means we must be inside of a colossal explosion, i.e. the Big Bang. By accurately taking measurements from 1000's of distant stars and galaxies we can calculate 'when' they must have all been in the same place. And we get a figure of around 13.75 billion years. 

This figure is incredible, and amazing, but it and the calculations used to reach it, don't prove anything other than that matter can exist, move, and interact (now).

What I mean here is that while of course it is nonsensical to assume the universe just came into existence in this highly organised form in one step - suddenly 'yesterday' - seeing that the stars around us do exist, and are receding, proves that stars can exist, and move. 

It doesn't prove that stars can exist and move 'over a thing called time'. Accurately working out how far away and how fast a star is moving, does mean we can do some calculations, and say 'If, as the big bang happened, there was a separate , 'Earth' somewhere orbiting a suns just like our own solar system -  then by now it would have completed 13.75 billion orbits.

But none of this proves that as things move, 'years' of time exist, and past. Or that there is a future, or that we move forwards through a thing called time, or that there 'are' 13.75 billion 'years' of past 'somewhere', that a time traveler might be able to go to if it was theoretically possible. 

My point being, that we shouldn't confuse the amazing amount of matter in the universe, and the amazing accuracy of numerical calculations we make about it, with also being 'amazingly vast or accurate proof that time exists'. To do this is a kind of false proof by association, confusing the detail and accuracy of one thing that is proven as also proving Time, but as always, the subtle thing to notice, is that if we assume time exists, then other things we explore may seem to confirm what we assume. But 'seeming to confirm' something, is not the same as proving an original assumption.


m.m


Comments