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Showing 51-75 of 143 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 12:53:47 PM PDT
Brian Curtis says:
"dont confuse the Master Clock with the ones you know about here
that clock is outside the universe and does not have the problems of clocks here moving fast or being in gravity may have"

It also doesn't have the problem of existing or having any relevance to reality whatsoever.

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 1:45:54 PM PDT
George says:
Thread has gone off topic a bit but fun responses just the same I guess. Hard to imagine in the human mind when we see stars are night some are billions of years in the past some are a few years in the past and some are from another galaxy which haven't been born yet. It's according to their plan of reference and motion they are in relative to us. If they can see us in the future then we should be able to see them in future.
Somebody mentioned the speed of light put I don't see that having an affect on passage of time. Can't be if 2 atomic clocks have different times after 1 flown around the world. That would have nothing to do with light. It would be motion which slowed the second clock. Sounds like they have it confused with amount of time it takes light to travel great distances, what we see with our eyes. That may be true in some way but not what we are talking about.
I get back to work next week during those boring stages be interesting to strike this conversation up with my co-workers. Chances are will go over their heads, mostly high school education but be fun to debate just the same. It is amazing world we live in as we discover this stuff. Still much out there we don't know Einstein comes around take mankind another step further.
Another question...if earth was rotating on its axis a little quicker or slower right now we would be thousands of years in the future or back in the ice age? Just makes sense if motion of jet plane can slow time earth moving quicker should do same thing.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 4:07:58 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 4:08:40 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 4:09:57 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 6:06:19 PM PDT
Re whomper, 4-25 11:24 AM: "so you claim that God's clock is unstable" No: I claim that it is fiction. Now this claim is a universal statement, hence refutable by citing a counterexample. Can you do so?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 6:08:47 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 8:11:40 PM PDT
tom kriske says:
whomper, why do you persist in bringing an obviously, and obnoxiously, pro-christian agenda to a scientific forum - one in which you are embarrassingly ill-equipped to remonstrate - in such a paleolithically self righteous manner?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 9:05:38 PM PDT
reply to tom kriske's post:

your ad hominem proves that you have nothing to say of value
Your reply to the olde professor's post:
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 9:10:20 PM PDT
tom kriske says:
hardly an ad hominem - just an obvious truism.

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 12:20:58 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 26, 2012 12:22:38 AM PDT
Hoo-Zen!! says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 5:22:25 AM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 5:25:56 AM PDT
Hoo-Zen!! wrote:
"Lets try to get one thing straight.TIME. According to Aristotle (and he should know) time is the measure of motion in terms of before and after. "
How would get anything straight when you believe that Jesus changed water to wine?

In order to define "before" and "after" one needs to recognize time first.
Thus, you did not get it straight.

You simply defined time by itself.

Mohamed F. El-Hewie

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 6:25:02 AM PDT
Re Hoo-Zen, 4-26 12:20 AM: It is foolish to take Aristotle as an authority -- we have, after all, learned quite a bit in the last two millennia. Time is a property of neither a substance nor a medium: it is simply a dimension, like length. Aquinas is even more useless.

"Einstein merely took light to be the measure of relative elapsed local motion." This is wrong: Einstein used light as a method of signalling, and showed that by assuming that there was a maximum speed of signal propagation, various consequences would ensue -- all of which have turned out to be correct.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 7:41:20 AM PDT
Other universes are just speculation.

Or, I could redefine "universe" as "all universes", then my comment would still hold.

It's all just wordgames. What I'm trying to say is there is nothing beyond the one objective physical reality independent of our little brains.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 7:41:59 AM PDT
That's all just words. Untestable therefore for all practical purposes non-existent.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 7:43:12 AM PDT
This type of vaguely ominous threat to non-believers is a common tactic of the "true believer".

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 7:47:01 AM PDT
To Einstein, a spatial dimension is what one measures with a ruler. Time is what one measures with a clock. In his 1905 paper announcing the theory of special relativity he had each inertial observer lay out a 3-dimensional spatial coordinate system with rigid rulers. At each intersection (x,y,z) he placed a clock. He then defined the method whereby each observer syncronized his clocks. This then became the first clear enunciation of what is meant by spacetime. Then by comparing measurements of space and time between two observers moving at constant velocity with respect to each other, each with her spacetime coordinate system defined as above, he was able to show the simultaneity of relativity, time dilation, length contraction, the relativistic formula for addition of velocities, the relativistic formula for the aberration of light, and the relativistic invariance of Maxwell's equations.

Posted on Apr 29, 2012 7:45:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 29, 2012 7:48:20 PM PDT
Hoo-Zen!! says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2012 6:27:12 AM PDT
Re Hoo-Zen, above: What Einstein showed is that synchronization cannot be achieved by clocks in different reference frames which are in relative motion. Which is why the GPS satellites have tweakable clocks to achieve enough synchronization to make the system work. (There is also an effect from general relativity, arising from the lower gravitational potential in space.) See the Wikipedia article on GPS for more on this.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2012 9:19:42 AM PDT
I recommend Bernard Schutz's "A First Course in General Relativity". The first couple of chapters give an excellent presentation of special relativity.

Yes, the synchronisation procedure described by Einstein is as you describe. You can read his paper on line, it's as clear an exposition of SR as you'll find anywhere. The title is "On The Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies". You just need to read the first part.

Posted on Apr 30, 2012 10:45:11 PM PDT
Hoo-Zen!! says:
Thanks for the Bernard Schutz recommendation. Cheers.

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 1:54:20 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 21, 2012 2:01:23 PM PDT
(Amazon link A Brief History of Timelessness. )

RE Customer Discussions > Science forum Einstein

Dear George,

I only just found this discussion group, so I`d like to give an answer to your initial opening post.

But first, I realise, you are a first time poster, so may I offer my apologies if this reply is far more detailed, unconventional +longer, than you may have expected. Please don't feel obliged to comment/reply etc, As you will probably tell, this is my `pet' subject.

I intended to write you a short reply, but I always end up writing `essays' when responding to questions like yours, because, I feel there are a lot of very widely held, but false, `assumptions' about `time' etc - which lead to endless confusion and misunderstandings. And, I think (rightly or wrongly) that I can resolve all of this confusion in a fascinating way.

Apologies also to anyone else following this discussion, I don't mean to bomb or swamp the discussion, but it is public, and on Einstein, + I think all these comments are on topic. Please just scroll past this if it is not relevant to your POV.

So, RE your 1st POST > You mention a number of things, in essence, (numbered for reference).

1-Einstein's `persistent Illusion' quote.

2-Time being relative to the observer/ Moving clocks run slow

3-The `future' possibly already existing,

4-`is motion responsible for our time', and

5-The universe going from great order, to disorder.

Let me first explain my POV on your 1st point and then show how it applies to the others.
Re your point #1-Einstein's `persistent Illusion' quote.

(note, all CAPS here are not shouting, just emphasis).

I think the quote you heard was probably something like - "for we convinced physicists, the distinctions between the past, present, and future are just a stubbornly persistent illusion".

I studied this quote very carefully while researching for my own book on time, because I think I can show how the great man was more right here, than he actually realised.

Einstein suspected "the distinctions between the past, present, and future" might be illusions, because in most physics equations, particularly on an atomic and sub atomic scale, there is nothing to suggest that `time' must flow in one direction.

That is, while we may often see, and not be surprised that, a vase may fall off a shelf and smash into numerous pieces, we never see numerous fragments of a vase jump off the ground together to reform a vase - but this is only because it is highly unlikely, and not because there is a law or feature in scientific equations that proves `time has a fixed direction'.

More to the point, on an atomic and subatomic scale, scientists observe that countless reactions and interactions happen in completely `reversible' ways with 100% efficiency so to speak (i.e. with no loss or degradation of matter or energy). So, (loosely speaking) 2 particles, say of type A and B might collide, and become types C, D and E plus an amount of energy X. BUT - we might also see the `reverse' happen `perfectly', e.g. particles C,D and E might happen to be smashed together and transform `X' amount of available energy so as to transform into particles of type C, D and E.

The point being that on a small or large scale the equations of physics do not directly suggest `time' has a fixed direction, but on a large scale `time' seems to have a direction (e.g. vases only see to smash) - while on a small scale `time' seems to be reversible - so Einstein suspected the distinctions of time (e.g. specifically the `past' and `future') might be `illusions'.

I think Einstein was right, but even the way he describe his point is already confused and tangled in a misleading way. Because firstly, strictly speaking, there cannot really be any `Illusions' - but we can misunderstand what we see, secondly, it can be shown that there is no `distinction' between `the past' and `the future', because both of these `things' can be shown to be nothing more than `misunderstandings'. Sounds impossible? try this...

" Does `THE' past exist"?

To simplify, untangle and understand all of the above, I suggest you try something quite practical and simple.

Stop, clear you mind of any presumptions, look around you and first check what you actually, in the simplest of term `observe'.

My guess is you will observe that things around you can basically `exist', and `move'. We `say' things exist and move `over time' but, despite popular `opinion' I think you will find this doesn't stand up to examination. This is because, in simple terms some people might define time as...

- "time is that which flows from `the' future to `the' past"

And `the' past, is apparently that `place' where things that have happened `are now'. (however you try to word it someone will always have a different definition). But the existence of `the past' can be shown to be very unlikely by carrying out a very simple experiment, and asking one simple question...

First, grab an object (say a `cup') and place it at one of the 4 corners of a table in front of you (e.g. the top left). Look at the object there, and then move it from the corner, to the centre of the table, and leave it there.

Now, look carefully at the cup at the centre of the table and ask yourself "how do I know it `was' previously (in the past if you will) at the corner?".

The answer of course, is that you personally remember seeing the object at the top left corner of the table. And, you may express this as "I `remember' the object `being there in THE PAST' ".

Now, here's the question,

- "As you move the cup from `A' to `B', and form a `memory' of doing this - IS there ANOTHER RECORD of its motion created and stored somewhere in the universe, or is there "NOT" ANOTHER RECORD created and stored somewhere?
This question is asking, in the simplest terms possible, as things move (e.g. the cup), is " `the' temporal past" created and added to, or does it simply NOT EXIST?

You see we look at parts of the contents of our minds and `call' them references to `the past' - but IMO, we have no actual reason to even suspect that as well as `the contents of our minds changing', there is ALSO another `record' of all events `created' and 'stored' in a place or thing called `the temporal past'. We may think the changing contents of our minds prove there is a past, but the subtle point is that "ALL the changing contents of our minds actually prove, is that, like everything else around us, the contents of our minds can `change' ".

i.e it seems to me that we only actually observe that things in the universe JUST exist, and move, and interact - And NOT that they create a past `behind' themselves in anyway, any where, as they do so. - So, logic suggests that `the' past does NOT exist.

Likewise, we may create ideas and images in parts of our minds and `CALL' these "thoughts about `the future' " - but if you sit in a park and just look around, you will never see anything "arrive out of THE future" - but will only see existing things `move', interact, and `change'.

Ask yourself `Even if THE past did exist, how would I know?' We never claim to go back into THE past to see and check it, all we EVER see is the changing contents of our minds (and the world around us) here now.

Re EINSTEIN - to be precise, IMO, direct observation only proves that things exist and move `now' - and NOT that things "exist and move `over' a thing called `Time' " - Odd as this may seem, if that is how it is, then that is how it is. Especially unless disproven.

Therefore, in actual reality a `thing' or `place' or `whatever' that we might call `the past' does not `actually', exist in any way, or any where. Likewise, neither does a `thing' or `place', or `whatever' - called `the future' `exist'.

Things seem to just exist and move and interact, and this can lead us to the misunderstanding that the `the' past and `the' future exist - while in fact (it seems to me) these are just `tracks and trails' or `imaginings and ideas' in our minds - here - now.

So it is not quite as Einstein put it, that `the' `distinctions' between the past, present and future' to be `illusions' , more precisely there are just some `misunderstandings' about different thoughts and ideas, or perceptions and `objects' that we see, and we thus wrongly `think' there is a past and a future - but in fact, neither the past or the future actually exist (other than as ideas), and that is why there is no actual `distinction' between them.


George, I think Einstein was also quoted as saying (something like) `a good theory is a simple one that provides a lot of answers'. So re the other points in your first post, I think my reasoning (that there is no time, but instead things `just' exist and move, applies to all of your other points, thus...

2-Time being relative to the observer / Moving clocks run slow.

That `moving things change more slowly' (Special Relativity) is basically a proven fact (google GPS transmitters, `Hafel and Keating' etc) - BUT, this does not prove that there is ALSO `a past' or that there is `a future' or that there is a `thing' called `time' that `flows' or `passes' between these `places' - and which is itself `slowed down' by rapid movement.

Special Relativity only (IMO) proves that `moving things change more slowly' - which is ABSOLUTLEY NOT the same as a saying or `proving' that a past, a future and `time' exist.

Einstein said `moving clocks run slow', and he also said `time is that which clocks measure' - but he did not (as far as I am aware) prove that there is a past, or a future or a thing called time.

Thus, I think, all a `clock' is, is a motorised hand on a numbered dial. And all it really `measures' or displays, is the flow of ENERGY (e.g. electricity) from a CELL, through a MOTOR, to its SURROUNDINGS - and unless proven elsewhere, a `clock' does not ALSO show "the flow of a thing called `TIME', from a `place' called the `FUTURE', through the present, and into a `PAST' "

3-The `FUTURE' possibly `already all existing',

This (imo) is the kind of `conclusion' one is forced to reach if one assumes a thing (that time exists) to be a proven fact - when it may not actually exist. Thus, we might ponder the idea of `going into the future' - which might lead us to ask "does `it', all, already exist" or " is `THE FUTURE', fixed, or changeable, or made up as we go along, or pre-determined, or randomly created' and so on.

BUT, in my opinion, all these are leading questions that FORCE one to blindly accept we are talking about `THE' future and thus `THE FUTURE' must exist and be something.

This is, imo, unscientific, unless someone proves that `the future' `exists' - without this proof, it seems that al that needs to be said is that "we live in a world where matter and energy exist, and interact, and transform, in countless different, `orderly' and `chaotic', ways , on small and large scales"... and that is ALL!

i.e if there really is no such thing as `the future' then there really is no such thing, and thus, no matter how unfamiliar the idea might be, it only makes sense to discuss how things `are' `just' moving and changing `within and around us'.

And thus `the future' is not, `fixed', or `changeable', or `random', or `pre-determined' or `existing in many forms in parallel universes' etc, etc, etc, - because `the future' does not exist at all in any way, and instead things `JUST' move and change `now' (not that there is anything other than now), in, according to Quantum Mechanics, completely random ways on a small scale.

4-`is motion responsible for our time',

i think this question comes from a merging/confusion of what is actually observed - with the (possibly incorrect) assumption that `a thing called time exists, and must, or can, be explained).

If `time' is not observed to exist, then nothing is responsible for it (there just isn't any) - instead there is JUST motion. (E.g. unless you can prove that at least one component of `time', say that `A TEMPORAL PAST' , actually REALLY exists or means something, then it's not scientific to just assume `time' exists and needs to be `explained' or understood. (note, I do realise I'm going against quite a widely held `assumption' here (that time exists) - but as far as I can tell although the assumption is held by a lot of people, I can't find any ACTUAL proof of it =)

Direct observation seems to show me that "things `JUST' (as in only) exist and move", odd as it seems, that's what direct observation and straight logic seem to prove to me (along with a great deal of research and careful thought, book writing, public talks etc).

It helps to think in terms of just `change'.

An object, say a person, or more simply a mechanical toy, may change `locally' i.e within itself. And the object may also change `location'. But really both these things are absolutely one and the same - A cog changing `where it is' because it is in a `stationary' but running windup toy - is the same as a cog `changing where it is' because the entire toy is not running, but is being moved to another place.

In saying `the speed of light cannot be surpassed' Relativity tells us that there is a maximum `amount' or `rate' of change that anything can be going through. Thus if our wind up toy (or anything else) is running, and being moved rapidly to another location, then we cannot just add up the local change, and the change in location - for they are just the same thing, and so whatever you do no part of the `thing' can exceed the maximum `rate' of change anything can experience.

(so in effect the moving `thing' changes more slowly within itself, as it moves location).

Note, none of this is the same as suggesting there is a thing called time, which exists `becasue of motion' or is slowed by motion.


5-The universe going from great order, to disorder.

Yes, this seems to be what we directly observe. The red shift in the light from most of the stars around us seems to prove beyond all doubt that the universe (or at least what we can see of it) is all constantly expanding outwards, unstoppably, in one fixed direction, from a single `point', almost certainly as a result of a `big bang'.

How or why this is the case I have no idea, but (and I'm guessing you have got my theme/angle by now), much as this seems to tell us something about `the past', and the flow of time, I disagree.

I still suggest that all this matter, expanding unstoppably in `one way' (really many different `ways', or directions, we describe as `one way', i.e. as `outwards'), only actually shows us that matter can exist and move. But, this does NOT, ALSO prove that there is some other `universal thing', that also has a `one way' nature, nature, `direction', `flow', or `arrow' - i.e. the fact the universe seems to be unstoppably expanding, does not also prove `Time' exists, or that `time' has a one way direction.

While the countless receding stars clearly show us that `in a sense' there `was' a big bang `in the past' - if one claims one is being scientific (and this is an Amazon Science discussion) - one needs to

EITHER really prove that as things happen `THE' past really is created, or added to, or `exists' in `some way' -

OR accept that `THE' past (and "TIME", and the future etc) is ONLY actually a useful word, or term, or idea, or notion - useful in that it lets us talk about how things are - but, despite the usefulness of these words and ideas, they actually relate to nothing other than useful notions, and thus the universe seems to ACTUALLY be timeless.

Err, the end,

(if anyone's interested I have covered these and other related time/timelessness subjects in the Amazon eBook `A...

Posted on May 21, 2012 1:55:57 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 21, 2012 1:57:05 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 2:05:35 PM PDT
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Initial post:  Apr 23, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 18, 2012

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