- Education and Science
Does Time Really Exist?
Like the sands through an hourglass, so are the days of our lives
Does time exist? It's an interesting question. I think it's safe to say it is, but that's just based on my own definition of the word "exist." In some sense, anything can exist if you can think about it. Real unicorns might not exist, but the concept of them is very real.
But, I'm guessing the question in this case is meant to go beyond concept. Of course the concept of time exists. We humans invented it. But does time itself really exist? Well, I'm inclined to think it does. How do I know? Well, let's take an example out of my own life:
When I was about 9 years old, and for my entire childhood beforehand, I was scared of dogs. I mean, borderline-phobia scared. But one day, my dad brought home a puppy. We named her Vicky, and she pretty much cured me of that fear. I didn't totally fall in love with her or anything, but it was impossible for me to be afraid of that innocent little animal.
Anyway, as puppies tend to do, Vicky grew up. She became a dog. And then one day, as dogs eventually do, she passed away. It was a sad time for our family, but we've moved on. Vicky was our first real family pet, and she opened the door for many more animals to enter our home.
What's my point here? Well, in a roundabout way, I'm trying to show how things change over time. Everything changes, but nothing changes immediately. Everything takes time. Time is the medium through which events take place.
Time and space have been equated by physicists, which can make it harder to visualize, but we move through time in the same way we move through space. In fact, most now consider time to be the so-called fourth dimension. The difference is, unlike space (the first three dimensions), time only allows us to move in one direction: forward. We can't go backward, and we can't really stand still. Some of my own research shows that it's possible to speed or slow the passage of time, but we can't stop moving forward altogether.
So, this is time to me: it's the way we move through the world that allows change. Without moving through time, nothing can take place. For every scientific equation you've ever seen, time is the final (though typically unmentioned) reactant. And the more time passes by, the more things change. And in most cases, time is a constant thing. It's the x-axis in graphs because it's so familiar to us as an indicator of a constant rate of change. It's like our rock; it's what we can always count on. Minor exceptions aside, no matter what happens, we can expect time to keep on going by.
Okay, I could probably go on about this all day, but I'm going to stop myself now. If anyone wants to hear more about my theories on altering time and how humans can use it to become superheroes, let me know and I'll do a hub on that.