∆-0 Starting points


Here are a few site pages worth starting with, and an outline of our general poorley defined and often ambigeous views on time, and how this may be the start of much confusion.

       

info on 'ABH Timelessness' the draft.                                    The TIMELESS PowerPoint talks.


It's easy to agree in a casual conversation that it's obvious 'Time is a man made idea'. But many top scientists would strongly disagree. 




(Click above to read reviews of a few books on time.)



Many would even suggest that Time is so real, that 'Time portals', or even 'Time travel', may be completely valid ideas, even if only in theory.
 

Click above to see 'Stephen Hawking's Universe Mad Scientist Paradox' for an insight on 'Time portals')
 





Preface; Does Time really exist, or not?



Does Time really exist, or not?

Some people think that this question can never be answered once and for all, or that 'Time' something that by its very nature will always leave us humans only able to guess and speculate about its nature and deepest mysteries.

This book has one single central point to make, and it is that there are no mysteries or paradoxes about Time at all.

This is because, scientifically, the idea that ‘time’ exists - in any way other than as a useful human notion or idea - can be shown to be completely unfounded.

 Party Time.

Ok, here’s the thing. In a casual conversation anyone can say ‘well you know really, ‘Time’ doesn’t actually exist at all… it’s just a man-made idea.’

What usually follows is the initial acceptance that ‘Time’ is just a really useful human notion or tool. Followed by a couple of questions about who’s read Steven Hawking’s book ‘A brief History of Time’, and how everyone who did thought it was great but didn’t get past the first chapter. Then a brief chat about Einstein’s theory of relativity may follow, and a discussion about what you would want to do if you could travel through time into the past or the future.

Somewhere in the discussion there might also be an observation along the lines of ‘I remember exactly what I did last week, and I can’t possibly predict exactly what I’ll be doing this time next year’, and ‘we know people grow old and die and that they don’t come back’. So, it is concluded that ‘Time obviously exists in some form’. From there the conversation moves happily on to whether or not scientists can prove that ‘Time-travel’ is really possible, or may have even happened. And what would happen if you visited next week just long enough to scribble down the lottery numbers and return. Or if you went back in time a few decades and killed your own grandfather before your dad was conceived, or tried to stop world war 2 by assassinating Hitler for the good of mankind.

At this point I always think It’s funny not only how swiftly the conversation can go from agreeing that ‘time is just a made up human idea’ to ‘can we travel through time’. It’s also interesting how no one ever seems too worried about the moral issues of actually committing fraud or even murder, let alone getting arrested, as long as they think they can get away with it perfectly. And, I’m guessing, that we all think we’ll be allowed to keep our time machine in the prison cell with us after any arrest so we can make our escape at will.

And there we have it the conversation goes from ‘Time’ goes from being ‘obviously just a man made idea to ‘it obviously really existing’ and to us packing our suitcase’s for a guilt free, fraud based, trip to the future, or a ‘parricide murder’ weekend somewhere in ‘the past’ all in a few easy conversational steps. What's more, if we do discuss these inconsistencies on the conversation the subject of time seems to get more and more complicated, and this leads us to believe that ‘time’ as a real thing in the universe, and not just a manmade idea, really must exist. Otherwise, how could it be so hard to discuss and explain?

The problem with such superficial ‘cocktail party’ discussions about time is that although they can be fun and lead to few minor insights they will also naturally contain many very significant oversights and as is the very nature of oversights that they will sneak unchecked into our model of the world, misleading us and leaving us none the wiser about Time than when we first mentioned the topic.

So, without a careful and structured approach to a subject as puzzling as time one might as well be running blindly around a maze going too fast, working without a plan and constantly losing track of where we even started from, let alone where the exit might be. And so we are virtually guaranteed not to stumble across the way out, and maybe even reach the wrong conclusion that there isn’t a way out.

The sole purpose of this book is to show how the idea of time can be shown to be just, and only an idea. An idea, notion, or mental tool that is useful to us as we try to organise our lives in a universe of constant change. But fundamentally not an idea that actually relates to some other real and existing thing, such as a ‘fourth dimension’ or any other kind of phenomena extra to just matter and motion, just existing and interacting ‘now’.

A persistent illusion?


The quote from Albert Einstein at the start of this book comes from a letter Einstein wrote to the bereaved widow of his close friend and fellow scientist, Michele Angelo Besso.

Although Einstein suggests here that he and other physicists are convinced that the fundamental distinctions of Time, the past, the present and the future may be just ‘illusions’ his famous and ground breaking work on the theory of relativity refers to ‘Time’ extensively throughout its pages. And in his work Einstein doesn’t actually contest the existence of Time. Instead he suggests that space and time are aspects of the same one thing, the entity that he called ‘spacetime’.

One of Einstein’s main reasons for suspecting that the past and the future may not be what they seem was probably because he knew, that the laws of physics are generally agreed to be what is known as ‘Time reversible’. What this means is that scientifically any mechanism, be it chemical, physical, biological, electrical and so on, could in theory be made to operate ‘backwards’ just as well as it normally operates ‘forwards’. Although we never see this happen, the apparent ‘time reversibility of the laws of nature’ literally means that  in scientific theory any process should be able to happen in any ‘direction’. A plant should be able to ‘un-grow’ and ‘emit’ sunlight. A car engine could be forced to run backwards, sucking in fumes through its exhaust pipe, and pumping clean air into the atmosphere and ‘gasoline’ back into its tank. Broken vases should be able to fly up off the floor and reform perfectly. Arrows should be able to fly backwards through the air, and people should even be able to physically appear younger and fitter. The only reason these kind of things do not happen is because it is too complicated to ever arrange every atom in a complicated system such that they are all simultaneously heading back in exactly the opposite of their original direction all at once. But, in theory if we could do so, we might see shattered vases spring up and reform, and so on.  In other words, Einstein may have considered that some, or all, of the future could in theory be reversed and become the past. I.e. the distinctions between the past and the future might not really exist, and so could be called ‘illusions’.

I hope to show that even this point of view is not the case, and that the situation only seems complicated because in all conversations about time we make the mistake of assuming things about its nature, without proving them, and from there discussing ‘problems’ or possibilities that don’t really exist.

 

Time reversible... or just 'reversible'?


For example, if we ask ‘could the pieces of a shattered vase ever in theory spring up and reform?’  The question seems to be, are physical events ‘Time reversible’ or not? – But there’s a problem with this question before we even start to try and answer it, because whether you say ‘events may be time reversible’, or ‘may not be time reversible’, you have already, automatically, agreed or assumed that Time ‘obviously’ exists.

When Einstein says he sees Time as a stubbornly persistent illusion it suggests to me that he felt sure Time was not quite what it seemed to be but also that he could not quiet explain away what it was that he did observe. I believe his problem here may have been that he to felt that time must at least exist in some form, and thus he just had to work out what that form was. And so he seems to have thought that ‘one of the features of time, is that the past, present and future were all the same thing in some way’.

What I am suggesting is that if anyone starts off by assuming time exists in some way, and then tries to understand ‘time’, if they are wrong they will never be able to see the truth. Or in other words ‘you can’t get there from here’. 

Einstein seems to have considered the approach that the distinctions of time may be illusions. What I am suggesting is that there is no such thing as time, and therefore no ‘distinctions of time’ to be illusions. Instead I am suggesting that all there is in the universe is just what we see, which is ‘matter’ existing, moving, and interacting ‘now’.

And by ‘now’ I don’t mean in a present moment which is sandwiched between a future and a past, or a present moment that if moving forwards through time. I mean ‘now’ as in what you can directly observe around you as you read this –things just existing and moving.

It’s easy to suggest ‘every thing is just here now’, and at first sight it may seem very naïve and incomplete, because any explanation replacing time has to account for every observation or process we assume involves time from ‘day to day’ observations up to and beyond Einstein’s own theory of relativity. Thus it is the purpose of this book to show that just matter and motion now, can re-explain all of this completely, without exception.

The idea that ‘things just exist and move’ occurred to me when right in the middle of a particularly long, hot and relaxing bath I suddenly realised that ‘everyday’, ‘all day’ there is always a sunset constantly happening!

This is fairly obvious, sunsets don’t just happen when you and I are looking at them. People somewhere are constantly being pulled through the sunset into the night in an endless procession as the earth rotates. If you could look at how the earth is, and how it rotates from outer space you could easily see that just as its constant rotation pulls people into the night through the sunset on the opposite side of the globe people being pulled out of the darkness of the earth’s shadow into the sunlight see this as a ‘sunrise happening’.

While carefully thinking about this scenario various odd questions started to arise in my mind, such as, if ‘sunset’ is a thing that is happening constantly in a ‘place’ then how come we have to wait ‘until the sunset?’ And if the sunset is always happening, is it a place that changes ‘over time’ or is it always just happening ‘now’?’

As I considered these thoughts and ideas more and more I realised that throughout the entire universe, literally every ‘where’ there must be some ‘thing’ happening right now. And, along with everything else that is happening everywhere, along with all the other change, all the stars forming and decaying, all the planets and meteorites orbiting and colliding, all the clouds, animals, plants and oceans on earth forming and collapsing, growing and decaying, ebbing and flowing, along with all of this change, the contents of my own mind were also changing, now.

From there I wondered, does all of this change have to happen ‘over time’, or, could it all just be happening now?

Looking into this possibility very carefully, and logically I came to the conclusion that much as we may think otherwise, the idea or ‘notion’ of Time is not actually needed to explain the way that everything around us moves, changes, forms, decays and interacts.

Unlike other ‘books on time’ this work has one single central point to make, which is that, probably to a greater extent than even Einstein thought when he wrote to his friends widow, ‘Time’, really is absolutely nothing other than ‘a stubbornly persistent illusion’.

This conclusion, ‘that time is entirely nonexistent’ seems very clear to me, particularly given that all we constantly see is ourselves and other things just moving and changing. But, just saying time does not exist, and proving that it doesn’t, are two very different things, and explaining ‘timelessness’ from scratch in a simple conversation is almost impossible.

How to dispel a persistent illusion.


http://www.zazzle.co.uk/persistent_illusion_postcard-239344417909700291


The good news is that like most other stubbornly persistent things, the illusions related to time can be dispelled with some thoughtful methodical and equally persistent effort hence the writing of this book.

There are many books about Time available. Some aim directly to explain the nature of Time, as if it most certainly exists, and move on from there, typically highlighting a few paradoxes on the way. Some books offer titles suggesting they try to explain the birth or origin of time. Others how time itself may come to an end, or explore many different possibilities as to what Time may or may not be, and so occasionally have a section or two on how some religions or philosophies might believe there is no such thing as time.

But such views or discussions about them are never much more than indistinct ideas with no solid reasoning around them that can be shown to be right or wrong. Such chapters generally lead to some vague point of view ‘that time may simultaneously kind of exist’ and ‘kind of not exist’ depending on how you look at it. And so time is left as ‘still at least kind of existing’ and if anything the matter is more formless or mysterious than before.

The one thing all of the books I have on time have in common is that none of them has a single section covering the actual history of how mankind thinks he dis-covered[1] Time, followed by a rigorous proof that ‘Time’ a real and existing thing was discovered, and not that just a useful mental tool, ‘notion’, or convention was constructed!

Conversely, in failing to prove the apparent discovery was real and that time is more than just an idea such works also sidestep having a section rigorously examining the possibility that time may scientifically be shown to be only an idea.

This book differs fundamentally from all other books on time because its sole purpose is to show how we can scientifically and logically explain Time entirely in terms of its existing only a human idea, notion or mental tool, and not existing at all in any other form.

This exploration has to be in book form because the complexity of the idea of time means that any casual discussion on the subject never reaches any solid conclusions, for example in conversation many people bring up the idea that ‘Time is a man made notion or idea that we use to help us understand and organise our lives. But then we often go on to discuss the possibilities of slowing time down or ideas such as Time travel. Essentially asking the rather odd question ‘can we travel through something in the real world that we just agreed is nothing but an idea in our minds?’

The essence of my 'proof ' of timelessness rests on one critical question - 

"if things could just exist and move - would that explain all that we see?'                    (See...∆The Past.)




[1] as in ‘removed the cover from’ an existing thing.

Subpages (1): 2 Timeless Postulates
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