05 The Arrow of time.

  • One of 'Time's' apparent features or properties it that is has a fixed direction of flow, often described as the 'Arrow of Time'.

  • Professor Stephen Hawking suggests this arrow of time is one of our main reasons to accept that time is a real thing, and not just a human conception. He suggests that their are 3 main arrows of time, which alone or together prove the existence of a one way flow of time in the universe.

these are the Thermodynamic, cosmological, and psychological 'arrows of time'...

  • VIDEO LINK > Timelessness talk 4.2, the apparent 'arrow of time'


  • These are thus the suggestions that because we may see vase's smash but not the reverse, wee see the universe constantly expanding, but not the reverse, and we see our own collection of memories accumulate, and not the reverse this should prove that 'there is a consistent one way flow to all types of events in the universe... and thus time exists, and time has a one way flow'.

However, it can be shown that if mater in the universe JUST exists and interacts (not 'over a thing called time') then the universe would look just the same, vase would reliably smash in to pieces  but fragments would not defy the odds and reform vases, the universe could 'just' expand, and we could accumulate memories in our minds.

It can be seen that it is only by looking through the available evidence with the insistence that 'a thing called time exists' that will make it seem as if 'a thing called time exists'. but similarly looking at the evidence while considering 'perhaps things just exist and move, and not 'over time, and they don't 'leave a trail of evidence in a thing called the past', and there isn't a 'future' out of which events come - will show that this is all that the evidence actually shows.   

The following page links expand on different apparent examples of the arrow of time, and temporal order, with the intention of showing how our ingrained assumptions can force us to miss the simpler (though equally faciniating) conclusion that there is no time, and thus no 'arrow of time'.

  • This section demonstrates that while it seems obvious that one event clearly happens 'before' another in fact it can bee seen that all matter in the universe is always just doing something 'now'. And how, just because we humans might loose interest when one particular collection of matter is no longer 'integrated' or interesting, this does not mean that 'a particular event is over'.

  • Here we see that while entropy, (the tendency for physically organised things to become disordered, and not the reverse) seems to show an arrow of time, in fact it just shows that 'organised things to become disordered'.

  • While it seems that there is a clear 'accumulation' of history, this section shows how all the history we think we can see, and which e think is related to 'the temporal past', is in fact always just here now. And as such only actually shows that matter in the universe can exist, move, change and interact 'now'. And thus not, that there is also 'time' or a temporal direction that 'actually' exists.

  • It seems obvious that many, if not all things in the universe happen 'forwards', and that this relates to an 'arrow of time'. But careful examination shows that the way we look at the universe every thing must 'seem to happen forwards' because wherever we see motion, we automatically , in a subtle and biased way, 'define' the direction a thing moves in 'as forwards'.

  • The existence and accumulation of our own 'memories' seem to prove the flow and direction, or arrow, of time. However it can be seen that all our 'accumulating' memories actually prove is that matter can exist and interact, and that 'information' can indeed accumulate in organised ways in minds or computers etc.

No Temporal order.

It seems obvious that events happen in (temporal) order. and thus that time, and thus the past exist. but this can be seen as circular reasoning. here we consider whether or not as events happen 'a past' is actually created or added to or not. In other words whether a 'record' of events actually exists or does not exist. this is critical, because IF as events happen, the order is 'recorded' then it 'is recorded', and if it is recorded, then it 'does exist'.

but if the (apparent) 'temporal order' of events is NOT recorded, then it does not exist.... and if the 'temporal order' does not exist... then it does not exist. And logically, or scientifically, we cannot have it both ways, we cannot say 'the temporal order of events does exist.... but it doe not exist'.

Back to >> ∆ Timeless v.Time distinctions (Rhetoric and Semantics).