I've put this into the philosophy forum because I'm interested in what those who ponder the meaning of the cosmos would consider the ramifications of the answer to be.
We talk of the Space-Time Continuum. We know the following:
Cosmologists tell us it would be impossible to go back in time because the universe is expanding. It was, in times past, more compact.
NASA has proven that space-time is distorted around the earth; just as the theory of relativity suggested it would be.
Time is distorted by black holes and time is said to virtually stand still when you approach the speed of light.
All evidence tells us that the universe is expanding; but I honestly don't know that we can assume this means it is expanding at a consistent rate of speed in all directions and at all points. This time distortion around earth leads me to believe that time, too, could be not only inconsistent at points known, but also unknown;and the flow could be inconsistent over long periods of time. Our perception of time could be at odds with the greater reality of the nature of time.
What do you think it would mean if time were expanding with space? I think it would screw up a lot of conclusions we have come to, concerning just about everything.
I realize that there are Hubbers who believe Time is a concept that only exists in the minds of men; but I am more interested in answers from those who believe that time and space are intertwined into a single continuum.
um, let's not forget gravity. Gravity effects both light and time. According to physics time should be able to go backwards as well, but it doesn't.
We have not observed time going backwards. Which isn't the same add it doesn't.
Have you every wondered at the perception of life, if a moment in the mind's eye was compacted? Think about it. If our ancestors had less time available in the same span. My mind runs a mile a minute, like everyone else's. Have the amount of thoughts possible within a period of time increased geometrically due to time expansion?
I don't think so, time alway appears constant to those in it. If you were traveling at close to the speed of light you wouldn't feel time slowing down, your perception wouldn't change, you would simple end up in the future.
Yes, I realize this. And, this is somewhat my point. You are comparing perception of time for me standing on earth to my perception of time for you moving at the speed of light. What I am saying is that, since these two are known yet completely different; what if there are other conditions that can cause time to be percieved and experienced differently? What if time, itself, simply expanded with space. Even if it was expanding at a universal constant; the questions it would bring up are staggering.
What if, the speed of light changes over time? What if our perception of time changes also, allowing us to be blind to the changes? How would that effect our perception of the history of the universe? Would the age be anywhere near the same? Would our calculations of time on earth have any bearing on the greater reality of the age and nature of the universe?
Closer to home. Think of time as a rubber band. It is linear, but that does not imply that it is straight. We see it as straight. Think of the circle of your life. If time expands, and your perception expands with it (not allowing you to 'see' the expansion of time over the generations) then a lifetime is still, simply, a lifetime. But, what does that lifetime encompass, compared to a lifetime millenia ago?
Your brain processes 400 billion bits of information a second. 400 billion. Imagine if time has expanded just enough to give you an additional second to process information, over what your distant ancestors could. Multiply that by 7 billion people living. That is a lot of information being analyzed that we are adding to the collective soup.
Interesting you mention that one should be able to go backwards in time according to physics. Until now, this only mathematically possible, because one can 'create' a hypothetical situation where time returns to itself, e.g. it forms a closed curve.
However normal time does not seem to behave this way, even on a quantum scale. Furthermore, being able to travel backwards in time would violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which basically defines the arrow of time.
I don't mean it is impossible, because every theory can only emulate reality, but until there has been more progress in unifying quantum gravity and general relativity, physics still predicts that time flows in but one direction.
As to the question posed by the OP, both the Second Law and the (apparent) nature of time to not fold on itself will not be violated by an increased expansion/decelerated flow.
Since time is not an absolute, it would have to expand relative to another time being observed in the same way it dilates relative to another observer.
What do you mean by time expanding? It doesn't really make any sense.
I'm so happy you took the time to respond. This one is irritating me at the moment. I keep thinking about it.
I can see that the question didn't make any sense. I didn't really get any comments that appeared to have either thought on it, or understood my question. Your comment is interesting. So, the way I'm reading your answer is you are saying that time is simply determined from where you are standing? That's fascinating. So, if I had been in coNJnstant motion- at the speed of light- since 14.7 billion years ago by our count; I wonder how old I would consider myself to be?
But, to my question. If you lived a hundred years as factored here on earth, but you lived those years at light speed; think how much longer you would live by my estimation; although by your own estimation you would only have lived as long as I did. The only way you would know the difference is if you could observe me. See me age and die in a blink of your eye. You would have more time to accomplish billions of things I would never have dreamed of.
If time is linear, but flexible (as shown by observations science has made. i.e. the space time distortion around earth) I'm simply wondering if maybe it hasn't distorted over the millenia. The earth creates the distortion in time by its situation in space. It's the first we've ever known of its existence. And, I would assume the existence of one distortion would give ample reason to wonder about more, at different places and/or under different conditions. And I don't see why, if the earth creates a slight distortion, conditions throughout the universe couldn't create massive ones.
I realize that the question is far fetched; but if things change without us knowing....even a few seconds of change can create vast opportunities over time. We have billions of thoughts in a second. But, the flash of genius is usually just that. A flash of a thought that we grab to go with. What if the flash didn't even get the chance because there, literally, wasn't the time for it.
EDIT It just occurred to me. This is a conversation I can't have with an atheist. This assumes the thought process would benefit from the expansion, while physically remaining in balance with the changes.
Okay Emile, time is relative. In other words, If I were traveling at near light speed through space time for me would feel no different then time here on earth, but one minute for me may be thousands of years on earth. I wouldn't feel I have more time.
I'm not actually attempting to approach the subject from a personal observational point, but yes. What you said is commonly agreed upon.
You seemed to talk about the subject from a personal observational point from this post earlier.
That was an example to show it from the perspective he appeared to be looking at it from. Never mind though. I realized this isn't something an atheist can ponder.
An Atheist can ponder anything a theist can. Can you explain why you would think such a thing as an Atheist not being able to ponder the expansion of the universe?
So, um, you think this is a God thing, or you think atheists are stupid? I am not sure which would be weirder.
Neither. Funny how atheists think anyone who thinks a little differently is 'weirder'.
Then why did you post that this wasn't something an Atheist could ponder? It just seemed that post didn't fit.
Well, it depends on the atheist. I honestly don't think ATM would understand the things I take into account in pondering the question. Not that he can't understand; but that he wouldn't. Just as I think (from past conversations with you) that you wouldn't be able to follow my train of thought.
Before you become insulted; this isn't meant as an insult. We all just make certain assumptions while we think and my assumptions are not yours.
Interesting... You must then think all Christians can understand the time paradox, but only a few Atheists. This is a little disappointing, but not surprising and smells a little of bigotry.
sometimes your 6 year old may explain to you or vice-versa a subject from their/your prospective and the other person just can't get started understanding the mind set of the other.
That ain't saying any one is stupid. just a bit color blind concerning some things.
No no no... you need to back up and look at her posts. "I realized this isn't something an atheist can ponder." were her words. I'm not taking as an insult, it's more of ignorance.
OK I didn't see that. I do see her point about the many aspects of time.
Imagine you and your wife are traveling on a light ray. Hers enters into the gravitional force of a planet. She "Might" exit that place and meet back up with you just a step behind where you are but she is 10 years older than you. That isn't a good example (off the top of my head) but crazzyer stuff than that "could" happen concerning quantim physics.
Hey jerami. I wasn't attempting to make a broad stroke insult to anyone who considers themselves an atheist. It appears there are those who wander around attempting to find cause for a feather ruffle. Go figure.
My point was that there is one assumption I make that ATM does not, therefore the conversation would get bogged down in the same way they all do on this forum. I assume that there is some core of truth to the belief in religion. I don't believe in the Christian God (or any God as defined by religion), I don't believe in heaven or hell, I don't believe that we wander through eternity as ourselves....but I do think there is something that has caused people to travel down that road of thought. To insist that humanity has been completely deluded for the entire time humanity has been stumping around this earth is more egotistical than I can wrap my head around.
It is like the plague. They knew something was causing it. They just didn't know what. They made up all kinds of theories. They wore all types of protective gear. But, they didn't know anything other than that people were dying. And, you can't deny that the plague killed people.
And, if there is something that drives belief it would have to exist outside of our understanding of time. I haven't adequately explained where I am coming from. It is difficult. We all view time in a linear fashion and we assume it as a flat line. ATM made an interesting point that I had not taken into consideration. I'll have to figure out how to explain what I'm thinking.
Don't you know the best and only answer is "I don't know"?
The next thing I'm going to ponder is where you got that giant chip from Radman.
Since you want this to be oh so personal. I am interested in agnostic responses. We seem to be the only group that spans the gap between the far end close minded philosophies.
No, you all are similar. I believe there is god, while the other one do not believe god and the last one believe it is either way. All believe.
I'm confused. I enter a conversation about time and space and am told my opinion is useless because I don't believe in God. I don't even see why God has to creep into this conversation. Then you tell me I have a chip on my shoulder? I would think the one with the chip would be the one excluding someone from a conversation about space-time because of their religious beliefs.
How, the devil, did this become about God? Why is it that atheists see God everywhere and in everything and then blame others for the fact that they have fabricated it? Can we simply conduct a conversation without the G word involved?
Sure we can. That's what I was doing until you told me that an Atheist could understand space-time. Do I need to direct you to that post? And even know you are saying you only want to hear from certain types on a topic that is physics in nature.
I misspoke previously. That comment was directed at ATM. Not at you. I find it hilarious that some athiests conduct themselves as the theists do. Taking everything so personally that they can't seem to think rationally.
That's interesting! You were asking personal opinions!
are you serious? you don't understand the difference between having an opinion and suffering an emotional reaction to the opinion of others?
So you mistake me for someone else and insult my intelligence while attempting to insult someone else and then dismiss me as being sensitive? Then you lump all Atheists up into the same bag and say we take things so personally we are not thinking rationally? What have I done or said that was irrational?
I'm again not being sensitive here and take no offence, just trying to understand what your saying.
Atheist are to stupid to understand space-time?
Atheist take everything personally?
Atheists are irrational?
Are you JMcFarland in disguise? You appear to be. I didn't imply, say or infer that all atheists were anything.
Honestly? You have degraded this conversation down to a juvenile level that I don't feel inclined to participate in.
Just answer my questions and stop being so dramatic so you can move on. I'll through my two cents in about space-time and you can ignore it.
No, I'm not JMcFarland in disguise, but thats for the complement.
What question have you asked that I did not answer?
Not that you can't understand; but that you wouldn't. A 'believer' first makes an opinion and manipulate facts to fit the opinion, theist, atheist and agnost alike.
Any philosophy is predicated by assumptions. That's life. If you think anyone is any different; please enlighten me.
And that is why I equated theism, atheism and and agnosticism all together. But there is one more thing we can do, start from the present and then deduct, deductive reasoning.
You do not want the opinion of people who think time is a concept, so what actually is the difference between a concept and non-concept. If time is not a concept, what is time? If it is not a concept, why do we look at our watch to check time? If time is universal why we have time zones?
Jomine, we measure time by where we stand. This doesn't make it universal, it makes it personal. Which is the question. We throw out 'facts and figures' as if they mean something. But, if we assign meaning, what is the greater meaning? If we cite measurements, how do we know our measurements will stand up to the more defined measurements we will find to exist?
And, to throw the entire question back to my bizarre train of thought that started this whole conversation, what if time fluctuations occur randomly? What if the slight variation NASA observed isn't constant? What if the energy which drives our consciousness is tied to a universal constant while our physical bodies are tied to the variations?
We measure and what we measure is observer dependent, subjective, hence a concept. But things exist independent of us. Suppose the earth with all its inhabitants are destroyed today, will it be the time that is remaining or it is the sun? ? because there is nobody to see and measure, will something happen to sun? And whatever we can throw is a 'thing' and that certainly do not include fact or figure unless it is figurative language. Whatever we measure the standard also is our definition, if the standard changes we should find better standards, just like the standard we used to keep in paris.
NASA measured fluctuation? Then it is time to change the watch NASA is using, won't you do it if your watch measured a different time? Can you see time to measure its fluctuation or are you measuring the variations that is occurring in the instrument?
It is not energy that drives our consciousness, but the neurons that make up our brain. And any disturbance in that connection changes our consciousness, even make us unconscious.
So, your assumtions have led you to those conclusions. Mine have led me to others. Ain't life grand?
I don't assume, I see the stars, the sun and earth when I look around and do not see time or energy. And when I use my words correctly I differentiate between objects and concepts.
In another post you were arguing that I said something which I didn't and here you said you didn't want to hear anything that challenges your assumption, that time is a thing. So I thank you again for helping me to find why believers tenaciously cling to their belief, otherwise they will have to change their outlook.
So of course we all "believe" what we want and only accept that which fit that world view. And grand again is subjective.
I didn't say I didn't want to hear things that challenge my assumption. I said I was interested in hearing from certain types. That isn't the same thing, you know.
Interested in hearing from certain types means not interested in hearing from others and you specified in one of your post who the others are.
Why don't you define your words? Here you want to know about time, then why do you leave the meaning open? It's simply because once you define the meanings, the conclusions that are already there has to be changed and it's difficult. I have a stereotypical view about a particular religion and I know I shouldn't have. But it is difficult, if anything comes in contrary to my view I tend to ignore it in spite of my wish and have to work hard there to see above my "short sight". You might be more lucky than me in terms of that while I consider myself more lucky regarding this because I could easily change here compared to the other.
While I'm sure that if you go off on a some tangent, I may not understand you. However, the questions you pose are within my understanding and appear to be a result of things you don't understand. Hence, if you gained an understanding of that subject matter, you wouldn't be asking those same questions. Does that make sense?
And, what does that mean? That you didn't bother to read my previous post in response to your question on that? That you prefer to stay miffed, as opposed to attempting to understand where I was coming from?
Sheesh, rad man. It is difficult to give you the benefit of the doubt, at times.
Once again here is your post where you said that space-time isn't something an Atheist can ponder. Are you now claiming you didn't say that?
My question all along has been, why do you feel Atheists are no qualified to discuss space-time given the above post by you?
Radman, you can't be this obtuse. We can talk about many thiungs, but there are some roads of thoughts you won't (or can't) travel.
My statement was not meant to imply that atheists can't discuss space/time. You wanted it to imply that. I'm not sure why.
Okay, you can call me obtuse if you like, but, I'll ask one more time, what were you referring to when you said "I realized this isn't something an atheist can ponder."?
OK. I can discuss the subject with you, but the only portions of the thought process I can discuss with an atheist, of your caliber, is what you can personally observe. Which is great. For you. Not for me. I'm afraid that 'what if' is a valid question in my mind and deserves a trip down the road of thought.
I get bored with the belief that things unknown could not exist. That the world as we observe it today is all there will ever be. And, quite frankly, it fascinates me how quickly many atheists attempt to shut down conversation on what ifs. How difficult it is to get them to imagine the possiblity of anything. Because we are always discovering new things. Nothing is written in stone radman, except in the mind of the person unwilling to accept that what we see is only a fraction of the things to be seen and learned.
So, you guys can all insist that I don't know what I'm talking about. I think there is a strong possiblity that you are right. Which is funny because the same can be said about any statement made about the make up of the universe. The difference is I know this.
There many many things that I can't personally observe that I believe or understand exists. I find for instance this space-time-gravity thing fascinating and very hard to wrap my tiny head around, but I keep trying. So unless you are about to or are attempting to insert a spiritual aspect in this space-time discussion, I don't see why my being an Atheists limits my ability to contribute. If you insert a what if god in involved I'll leave you alone. Promise.
Well, there is the problem. What do you consider spiritual? I don't think we wander through eternity as ourselves; but I do consider the energy that animates all life to be connected and eternal. Does that qualify as spiritual?
Okay, I would agree with you that energy is eternal. It's who we describe the energy source that may cause problems. Upon anythings death the bodies energy can be released in many ways. Energy is released even upon the death of a star.
When I think of the word Spiritual I think of a Spirit. I think the definition of spiritual has to do with the human spirit or soul and not every. Spiritual implies you take your thoughts and memories with you.
There are answers to your questions in Special Relativity, specifically Lorentz transformation, reference frames, time dilation and length contraction, but an understanding of those topics will force you to think counter-intuitively to what you're accustomed living a reference frame at rest on earth.
I'll try to explain briefly. Say you were in a ship moving at near light speeds (particles and objects with mass cannot reach light speed), everything around you in the ship is in your reference frame moving at high velocities, hence everything appears perfectly normal.
However, everything outside the ship that is not moving at high velocities, but is at rest relative to the rest of the universe, clocks are ticking slowly from your reference frame. Of course, in their reference frame at rest, everything is normal and it is your clocks that they observe are ticking slowly.
In the same way, distances and lengths decrease or contract in the direction of travel.
So, in this respect, it's difficult to understanding exactly what one means by time expanding? Perhaps, you are referring to time dilation and not expansion?
OK. Maybe it would have been better to use the term time dilation.
I don't know what put this whole thing in my head. It all started when I was reading an article on Dark Flow, right after reading the one on the NASA experiments. It simply fascinates me because I don't think we have a full grasp of the nature of time on a universal scale. Come to think of it; we don't have a firm grasp on anything on a universal scale.
And, the whole space/time vortex confuses me. We are sitting in a dimple of the fabric of the universe? I feel as if we are stuck inside a giant ball of rubber bands. Do you ever wonder what the thread count is to the fabric? I wonder if we are causing the dimple, or caught in the dimple? Does the fabric move with the movement of the planet, does it drive the movement of the planet or do we slide across the fabric as the planet moves around the sun? Is that crazy to even wonder about?
Since time is not an absolute, it would have to expand relative to another time being observed in the same way it dilates relative to another observer.
There is more that will be discovered concerning time but there may limits to what we can know, not because it is forbidden in any way or that we are not smart enough, but because we are inside it - we are a part of spacetime. Looking at it from the outside requires the powerful tool of imagination. Einstein made good use of this tool in his mind games which in part led to the development of his relativity theories, expanding our understanding of reality. Increased knowledge and understanding expands our imaginations which leads to the potential of more knowlede, etc.... I just think that there may be more to reality than what meets the brain. Have a nice day.
This is a very thoughtful post! The OP is right. It has not been proven that time is a constant.
Well, according to me time is a constant, it just moves forward and isn't being stretched as the universe expands. The rest of the questions you've put forth though are pretty strong points would like to see some replies.
BTW redman light can't depend on gravity it's a constant. Time on the other hand depends on the speed you travel and gravity can affect that, so I'm not sure.
The bending of light by gravity causes gravitational lensing, in which multiple images of the same distant astronomical object are visible in the sky. It's described in General Relativity.
Aha - "We know the following:" - nope - we don't - we theorise based on observations. The problem with observation is that observing something can actually change the way it acts - this has been 'theorised' in quantum mechanics theory. Although if you take a look at the Schrödinger's cat experiment, this theory can be seen as being paradoxial (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger's_cat).
"NASA has proven that space-time is distorted around the earth" - so far the measurements seem to point that the theory of relativitiy is correct - however a couple of hundred years ago Newton's theories were all correct - this has since been shown that at quantum levels and 'universal' levels Netwon's theories do have errors. As our technology improves and the ability to measure minutely increases we may find fluctuations in our results that contradict the theory of relativity.....
Having said that - the modern theories do seem to hold up very well so far...
I never thought that space was measured in time...any how I find that the older I become, the faster time seems to pass!
No, time is not expanding with space. In fact it is impossible to even say space is expanding without holding time as a constant.
Yet, there are derivatives in General Relativity that agree with the redshift we observe, and it doesn't have anything to do with Doppler effects, but is instead a result of expanding space and what happens to light that travels over vast distances.
Yes, there are distortion in time and space. But see nothing to suggest the net amount of time in the universe increasing, or even what that would involve. The universe will take up more space tomorrow than it does today. But the same amount of "time".
Well, I beleive that time constantly expands, to accomadate with the possibility of other dimensions. This theory would mean that every moment in time, is connected to another in any various dimension. These "threads" take up multitudes of space, which also streaches time. For every action made, is a time we can pinpoint in the universe, because of Cause and Effect. These causes and effects will always be present in another dimension, because dimensions are other possible outcomes of a decision. No action is made without a Cause and Effect, so they are also seperate "threads" branching off from time.
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