∆-Not 'Taking Time' to move.

Why things might not 'Take Time' to move.

We may say 'things "take time" to move, and that hours are to time as miles are to distance...
and so both are a bit odd, so both must 'kind of exist', or not, in the same way.

But is this really a fair comparison?

Is this really firm, scientific reasoning ?

Can we really say there is a 'fourth dimension' to the universe because inches and miles are a bit abstract?

Is this really congruent logic ? Does such a vague suggestion really stand up under investigation ?

'Distances' seem to exist and make sense. Try jamming your head between some railings if you doubt this, I think you will find that all your 'metaphysical' thoughts about the no reality of 'distance' will seem less important if the 'distance' between your ears is less than, or close to the 'distance' between your chosen railings.

 "Space" - try sticking your head through some railings.
If it won't go, then the space between the railings, is less than the space between your ears.

But do hours and minutes 'exist', and prove that time exists? because inches and miles are 'odd', is one a valid comparison to the other, do each prove each other ?

Do cars really 'take' time to move... or do they just stand still if that's what they are doing, and move at what ever speed, if they have a driver, and fuel in the tank?

That's a lot of questions, and I think the answer to each is 'no' - as follows...

We all use expressions like, 'taking time' to do something, and becasue we all use these expressions, and becasue they work, we tend to assume (often literally without giving it any thought at all), that therefore, this must mean that a thing called 'time' exists...

How else could things 'take' 'time', if it did not exist? 

Similarly, we might say a car travels at "100 miles, per Hour".

And this suggests that 'cars', 'miles' and 'hours' must exist in some way, and are necessary for us to be able to move, and to express 'speed'.

All of this seems to 'obviously' make sense. But this may be becasue we have not checked our most basic facts, but instead, assumed that the widely accepted terms we use, must mean that all the things they seem to relate to must exist.

If we recheck our most basic observations however, we should at first be able to agree in simple terms, that - "objects seem to exist, and move".

Then we find that using only the assumptions that objects can exist and 'move', we find we can actually express the same speed (e.g. 100 miles, per 'hour'), in a different way...

This highlights the point that in fact, where we describe a speed, we are always only ever just comparing the speed of one thing to the speed of another.

In the example above, we can see that where we say a car is doing '100 miles per hour', if we cut through all the abstractions of

 - observing that the Earth rotates,
 - insisting (blindly) that, becasue the Earth rotates, then a thing called 'time' must also exist,
 - calling 15 degrees of rotation 'an hour'
 - seeing that as the Earth rotates a car can move,
 - expressing the cars speed in terms of the unit 'hour' - derived from the blind idea that time must exist.

We see that in fact, what we observe is that 'a car can move', and that 'the Earth is spinning', and that we do not actually seem to observe a thing called 'time' having to be present for things to move, and that we do not observe  that as things move 'events' come out of a thing called 'the future', or are 'recorded' in a place called 'the past'.

Instead, we actually observe that we can compare the speed of the car, to the speed of anything else, and typically we choose the earths (basically) constant speed of rotation, becasue it is an excellent example of constant motion, and becasue we all live on it.

We should also note, that to make this task easier, we tend to compare the speed of the car to the speed of rotation of a hand held, or wrist worn, model of the earths rotation. aka of course a 'watch'.

But all a watch, or clock, actually is, is a small motor, demonstrating a useful example of constant regular motion. Dividing the face of a watch into equal units and numbering them is extremely useful.

But,( critically), just 'calling' so many degrees from the vertical, or so many cm around the face,  '10 minutes', etc, does not prove that a thing called time exists, and must be present and passing, for things to be able to move. Any more than calling those distances (or degrees), minutes, proves, that there is an invisible and intangible thing or place called 'the future' or an invisible and intangible place called the past, between which this 'time' thing flows.

But using words like 'Hours' makes abstract or non existent things like 'time' seem to be more than they are.

Note, there is an (irritating for me) added complication here, that takes careful consideration to untangle.

In saying "100 miles per hour" - we are using two arbitrary units. (note also all units are arbitrary choices).

"miles" are an arbitrary unit of distance, which is in a sense invisible and intangible, yet clearly (in simple terms) can be said to exist or have meaning in some way. e.g consider the 'head between the railings' example above - or look at the black areas between the stars - what ever that black bit is, we can call it 'distance'.

However, the really tricky bit is, that becasue in the same, short, expression (miles per hour). we seem to use another arbitrary unit, of something, also taken to be invisible and intangible(etc) - we automatically and with virtually always no thought, assume that what is sensible and true, or real, about the first part of the expression, is true about the second part.

Therefore we conclude,automatically, in my opinion wrongly,  and, without careful thought, that...

-becasue things move, and
-becasue we can express motion in terms of 'miles per hour', and
-becasue distances exist, and the arbitrary unit miles, are sensible, legitimate, and work,
-A thing called 'time' must be linked to distance and motion, and it's units (minutes), must be as sensible, real,  and legitimate, as miles, and its existence must be as real or confirmed as 'distance'.

But this can be seen as false association and confirmation, if you consider the points in slides above, and recall that from our most basic observations we can see that however we word it, we are always in fact only obseerving that things can move, and that we can compare their speeds. 

But surely we don't use the Earths motion, we use CLOCKS, that measure TIME!?

Of course we don't typically compare the motion we are interested in to the actual motion of the Earth (although we could if we wanted to) - instead we tend to compare the motion of a car, or a runner, or a falling object etc to a 'clock'.

The problem here is this 'motorised hand on a numbered dial' (aka 'clock) adds a layer of abstraction to what we are actually doing. Why?, because we consciously or otherwise, assume that we are not just watching a hand going round in circles, but watching a thing that shows 'time' passing by, in 'seconds' and minutes'.

So it is important to bear in ming that any clock is just a machine designed to provide a useful example of smooth motion. Because we live on the Earth, most 'clocks' are very specifically designed to present an example of motion that is some sensible fraction of the speed of the Earths rotation. 

BUT - even here there is another layer of abstraction to be aware of, (which most scientist probably think I have missed as they are reading this), which is that behind the actually rotating Earth, or the small and convenient models of it, that we call clocks, especially in mathematics concerning time, is the realisation that these things do not provide a perfect example of smooth and continuous motion.

SO - we make the assumption, or presumption, that our clocks etc, are attempting to model something that does flow, or change, or progress possibly perfectly smoothly.... i.e 'Time'.

We then also assume that at least in our mathematics we can use this real and perfectly flowing time to some extent, with mathematical precision, not realising we are just using the "very useful 'idea' of an example of perfectly constant motion" - as opposed to genuinely calculating how things move with respect to a genuinely existing and 'passing' thing called time. 

We then focus on things like discussing how 'even our best cesium atomic clocks' may not track 'time' perfectly - implying again that there is a thing called 'time', which is hard to track perfectly,

- and if something is hard (or easy) to track... then we assume (wrongly) that it must exist... how could some 'thing' be hard or easy to track if it didn't exist ? 

In other words, many people assume that time exists and passes, and thus (wrongly assume) 'time passes as things move',
and assume the fact that 'things move' therefore in some way proves time exists.
this is invalid circular reasoning.

So it seems all we are doing is comparing the speed of a thing (a car) to the speed of the rotation of the earth - but in a very roundabout way, using words like 'hours' instead of '15 degrees of rotation'

And yet, it seems to me,  we very unscientifically deduce that 'time exists' and flows, from an invisible future , through an infinitely thin present, into an accumulating past.... all without any evidence at all to prove any of this!

(Note our initial point of reference might be the rotation of the earth - but it needn't  be, so then we use pendulums, or use handy portable 'watches', or super accurate crystal, or atomic oscillators and this abstraction may confuse the fact that we are always just comparing some useful example of steady motion to some other motion).

For more see > ∆-The speed of light, is 'the speed of light'.