Is Time Just an Idea?

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Terrapin Station
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Re: Is Time Just an Idea?

Post by Terrapin Station » January 21st, 2020, 10:47 am

Steve3007 wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 10:37 am
Terrapin Station wrote:Are you an Aspie or are you just one of those folks who plays one online?
Please refrain from ad hominem remarks. If you've got no argument to make, say nothing. Thank you.
Please refrain from using terms in ways that suggest no understanding of them. Thanks.

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Re: Is Time Just an Idea?

Post by Steve3007 » January 21st, 2020, 11:02 am

creation wrote:I am extremely interested in 'you' providing 'your', so called, "logically consistent account of what the Theory of Relativity actually says about time", then I have something to work on which I could then show where the errors have been made in 'your' version, if I do see any
It's a post that I've referred back to a few times over the past few posts. It's a very brief starting point for what Relativity actually predicts (as opposed to what various people say that it predicts). You've seen it and commented on it. To your credit, you're the only person (as far as I recall) who has actually done that. For reference, the post is here:

viewtopic.php?p=345897#p345897

and your comments are here:

viewtopic.php?p=345949#p345949

I will address your comments as best I can.

I will point out first that I'm simply describing my understanding of what Relativity predicts and my understanding of the reasons, in terms of experimental evidence and logical argument, why it predicts it. Who knows, I may have completely misunderstood it and someone can correct me with references. And the mere act of elucidating it here doesn't mean I'm implicitly saying: "this is the unquestionable truth and you mortals must bow down and worship it" or anything similar to that. It's not a holy relic. It's simply an idea that someone once had, and they told other people about it to see if they agreed with it. Some did. Some didn't.

If you already know that, sorry for pointing out the obvious. But, as a rule, I think it's better to point out the obvious (and be told "I already knew that!") than to leave something out and be misunderstood.

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Re: Is Time Just an Idea?

Post by creation » January 21st, 2020, 11:08 am

Greta wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 12:52 am
Terrapin Station wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 7:25 pm

This is a philosophy board. It's not "repeat the scientific consensus or scientific status quo" board, where you're not allowed to question anything. He's arguing that on (philosophical) analysis, what's being claimed isn't coherent.
It's not a philosopher's job to contradict science - they usually don't know enough to validly do so, and natural phenomena can be complex and counter-intuitive, eg. water expands when it freezes, the black fire snake experiment.

So I think philosophers et al should treat science as the established baseline from which they can use as a foundation and a springboard for ideas.
What happens if and when the "established" baseline has errors in it? Should we just ignore those errors, and just use that "established" baseline anyway, to express our ideas?
Greta wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 12:52 am
Occasionally a super genius without training will think through an issue that scientists have not considered. This is rare, though, because scientists consider their topics far more deeply and thoroughly that most realise.
To suggest scientists consider their topics far more deeply and thoroughly than most realize, is to ignore all of those scientists who have just faked or falsified their way the education system to become labelled a scientist, and who just go to work to get money, and have no actual real interest at all in their topic of choice.

Both these scientists, and the other ones, also do repeat what they have been told, learned, and believe is true, without putting actually that much thought into what they are saying other than something like there is an already "established" baseline, than most people realize yet.


Greta wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 12:52 am
Perhaps philosophy's most valid contributions to this subject lie in subjective time, that which can't be measured?

I note an issue with language here too. "Dimension" is an ambiguous term with a precise scientific definition plus some common definitions. Like many, I personally don't see our reality as being of three spatial dimensions and time, just a single thing that can be modelled as such so as to make successful predictions.

I have my own personal interpretation of "dimension" that pleases me, and hang what others think. I like to see dimensions as "break points", and they are overlaid throughout reality. My incredibly precise and scientific definition [sic] is that anything that comprises squillions of very tiny constituents will operate under different rules to the little things and, in a sense, exists in another dimension. Time would only apply to this definition in that the time scales of large celestial objects is of a different "dimension" to its little life forms.
This way of looking is exactly where the flaw lays and the errors are made.
Greta wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 12:52 am
I think that the mysteries of time and human consciousness may be closely intertwined, given that consciousness flows in time, and humans have a special relationship with time.
But "mysteries" are only in relation to things that are not yet known, understood, or resolved. Any issue or mystery regarding 'time' and/or 'human consciousness' have already been resolved.

What these things actually are already understood and known.
Greta wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 12:52 am
It appears to be a situation akin to being unable to look at one's own eyes directly.
But looking into one's own eyes, and or 'self', is and extremely easy thing to do.

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Re: Is Time Just an Idea?

Post by Steve3007 » January 21st, 2020, 11:29 am

viewtopic.php?p=345949#p345949
Steve3007 wrote:Given those clarifications of terminology and setup, this is what is predicted by SR:

As two observers recede from each other at constant velocity, each can look at their own clock and compare it to their view of the other's clock. Each sees the other's clock ticking more slowly than their own. If they move towards each other at constant velocity, each sees the other's clock ticking faster than their own. Obviously (tautologically), in both cases, each sees their own clock ticking at the same rate as their own clock. So, regardless of their velocity relative to the other observer (or relative to anything else) they see all of their local clocks ticking at the same rate as each other. More generally: there are no local measurements that they can perform which will tell them anything at all about non-local observers or their clocks, or how those non-local observers are moving relative to them.

The faster the relative velocities, the more extreme the effect. As relative velocity tends towards the speed of light, each sees the other clock's tick rate tend towards stopped.

This is sometimes referred to as the Relativistic Doppler Effect.

If each observer makes observations of the other to determine the other's spatial dimensions, each will observe the other to be shortened in the direction of motion.
creation wrote:From my perspective, this is NOT what I observe.

But as I say, I do see things very differently from what most other people do.
Fair enough. I think I understand why you would say that this is not what you would observe if you were one of those travellers. From what I recall of your words in previous posts, I think you would say that the travellers do not see each other's clocks ticking more slowly than their own but see them as ticking at the same rate? Do I recall correctly?

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Re: Is Time Just an Idea?

Post by gater » January 21st, 2020, 1:46 pm

Einstein was wrong about time - he didn't have the mental capacity to comprehend what time is - and yet scientists blindly follow his theories.

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Re: Is Time Just an Idea?

Post by gater » January 21st, 2020, 4:22 pm

I hate to call Einstein a moron, but his theory that gravity effects time is moronic - and so is the Big Bang Theory.

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Re: Is Time Just an Idea?

Post by Greta » January 21st, 2020, 6:43 pm

I admit that should have spoken about balancing one's own judgement with the science. Obviously, first comes one's own perceptions. Then we ideally check our ideas against what other people have found out on the subject (aka "science").

Having worked in a scientific institution for a decade, getting to know the scientists and their technical staff and their work, it is clear that a number of people here do not understand how science is conducted, or of the passion, obsession and dedication scientists, curators and technical officers have for their subject matter. No one goes into science for the money. A research scientist with a PhD earns less than accountants with just a degree, and they will work far longer hours.

When it comes to the question of this thread, which forum do you think has addressed it with the most focus, information, depth and civility - this one or this: https://www.researchgate.net/post/Is_time_an_illusion ? :oops:

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Re: Is Time Just an Idea?

Post by Terrapin Station » January 21st, 2020, 7:33 pm

It's ridiculous that scientists ignorantly and often incoherently dabbling in philosophy get a pass, but philosophers talking about science--even when one of their areas of specialty is philosophy of science--are seen as committing some sort of faux pas.

Folks with PHDs in the sciences have no expertise in philosophy, unless they've done extensive independent study in it (and really extensive experience writing papers and defending claims against challenges in a peer group setting is necessary, too).

Folks with PhDs in philosophy are not experts in science, either, but they can be experts in philosophy of science, as well as epistemology, ontology, etc.

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Re: Is Time Just an Idea?

Post by gater » January 21st, 2020, 7:51 pm

A few years ago I went on a Science web site, and I said something about infinite space, and they assured me that they didn't acknowledge infinity as being true because they couldn't see it. They only acknowledged what they could see with Hubble, and refused to accept the fact that there is space beyond what they could see.
I realized then that Scientists are morons - Philosophers however can see beyond what a telescope can see, with Logic, and hence can learn the truth about the Universe.
The Scientific community thinks gravity effects time - wrong, they think time had a beginning - wrong. Time is an abstract concept, but how do they misunderstand it so badly?

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Re: Is Time Just an Idea?

Post by creation » January 21st, 2020, 10:14 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 3:53 am
gater wrote:Either way is petty to call others "straw men" implying they have no brain - very clever - when you are the one that doesn't get it.
Your implication. Not mine.

A straw man fallacy is a form of argument in which one attempts to refute another's argument, position or proposition by attacking a distortion or misrepresentation of their position rather than a fair representation of the real position.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

Example:
RJG incorrectly states that a body he refers to as "Science" simply says "Time "stops" at the speed of Light." and that since when he turns on his flashlight time doesn't appear to him to stop, this body must be saying something illogical.
viewtopic.php?p=345615#p345615

Regardless of the body being referred to, this is a straw man argument. Pointing out that it is a straw man argument does not mean I worship the body in question or mindlessly defend something that others apparently call "the status quo".

I explained this. I explained a little about what The Theory of Relativity (the relevant part of Science) actually says. (If my description of what it says is wrong, tell me so, with quotes from relevant texts). All ignored, of course. Obviously I'd be more than happy for the actual proposition of that theory to be challenged because it's by challenges to what it actually says that science advances. But no takers. There are a surprisingly large number of posters who are not willing to challenge what "Science" actually says, but would rather challenge what it doesn't say and then when somebody points out what it does say, and openly invites a critique they say "you worship science". Very odd.
I responded to that post. So, not "all ignored". I even attempted to challenge the so called "actual propositions of that theory", but you did not answer my clarifying question: Sounds like all of this has been confirmed and verified already, and so there is really nothing more to discuss, right?

Nor did you say that you were willing to answer some more clarifying questions. I did write, in response to your post, where you are now claiming that there were no takers: But if there is anyone willing to answer some clarifying questions of mine regarding what they would observe and experience when traveling at the speed of light if it was possible, then feel free to let me know and then we can chat.

See, in order for me to challenge what 'you' say are the "actual propositions of a theory", then I first need to gain clarity that I have the "actual proposition of that theory" correct, from 'your' perspective. The reason I need to do this is because people have different interpretations of what the "actual proposition of a theory" is exactly.

For a person to state that they know what the "actual proposition of a theory" is, especially a theory that is in contention and disagreement among a community, is a pretty big claim to make. You have made the claim though, and I do not dispute that you know what the "actual proposition of this theory" is. So, as long as you are consistent, then we will be able to work through this. That is, if you ever agree to do so.

Now, you also claim that you have pointed out what "a theory" does say, and when you have openly invited a critique that they say "you worship science". And you find this very odd.

What I find very odd also is you say you openly invited a critique of what you say a theory says, but when I attempted to critique it you then appear to not want me to challenge it, by not taking up my offer to challenge it.
Steve3007 wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 3:53 am
Terrapin Station wrote:This is a philosophy board. It's not "repeat the scientific consensus or scientific status quo" board, where you're not allowed to question anything.
This is another example of a straw man. If you think that the arguments and evidence I've presented are a thing that you call "scientific consensus or scientific status quo" then that's as irrelevant as if I called your words "the Terrapin Station status quo" isn't it? Analyze the things being said not the person or body you presume to have said them. I have explicitly said many times in the past that I would love to see arguments against the things that have actually been said. If you think I've stated that nobody is allowed to question the thing that you (not me) have called the "consensus" or "status quo" quote me saying something similar to that. If you can't quote me, withdraw the remark.

If I said "This is a philosophy board. It's not 'repeat the Terrapin Station status quo' board, where you're not allowed to question anything." do you think that would be a fair and relevant comment?
He's arguing that on (philosophical) analysis, what's being claimed isn't coherent.
No, he's arguing that something which hasn't been claimed isn't coherent. We can all do that! A bit like if he told you that you'd claimed 1 + 1 = 3 and then told you that you are claiming something illogical. In RJG's case, he also refuses to cite a place where the alleged claim was supposedly made. So it's a little bit like me telling you this:

"You claim that 1 +1 = 3 and it's not up to me to show where you claimed it. It's up to you to prove that you've never claimed it."

i.e prove that there are no black swans.
greta wrote:It's not a philosopher's job to contradict science
I would say that we're all perfectly entitled to critique the predictions and claims of science or of anyone else. And that's true regardless of whether we regard ourselves as philosophers. But the simple point I keep trying to make is that in order to critique something you first have to know what its' saying. And if somebody appears not to know what the thing they're attempting to refute is saying, simply pointing that out (and being happy to be proved wrong) is not arrogant, or condescending. It's a proposition that can be proved wrong by the poster in question showing that they do, in fact, know what they're criticizing. If it turns out that they do know it I'm happy to admit that I've misjudged them, as I've said in the past.

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Re: Is Time Just an Idea?

Post by creation » January 21st, 2020, 11:04 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 4:23 am
I know it's futile, but once again, for what it's worth:
Steve3007 wrote:I know it's futile, but once again, for what it's worth:
viewtopic.php?p=345897#p345897

That's the beginning of my understanding of what the Theory of Relativity actually says about such subjects as time and clocks and people moving at constant velocity relative to each other. Maybe it's wrong. Maybe the theory says something completely different to that and I've totally misunderstood it. If you think so tell me so, quoting a relevant text in support. If you think it's roughly right, at least as a beginning, feel free to analyze it and point out any logical or evidential flaws in it.

Or, alternatively, continue attacking straw men and congratulating yourself that you've understood the universe so much better than everyone else. If clinging to that view makes you happy, fair enough.
If what you are referring to here is the below, then let see if there is actually any flaws in it
Steve3007 wrote:
January 14th, 2020, 1:13 pm
First we make it clear that even if one disputes that time is what is measured by a clock, hopefully we can agree on the following:

1. It is possible to look at other observers.

2. When we look at them we do so by observing light emitted or reflected from them.

3. It is possible to look at clocks and see them ticking.

4. When we look at a clock we do so by observing light emitted or reflected from that clock.

5. It is possible for an observer to carry a clock and look at it. That can be called a "local clock". (Anything that is stationary with respect to an observer can be referred to as "local" to that observer.)

6. When looking at a local clock we can arrange things such that the time taken for light to reach us from our local clock is negligible, compared to non-local clocks, and can therefore be regarded as zero.

7. When we refer to a "clock" we can be using the word in the most general possible sense to mean any process that changes in such a way that it marks the passage of time. For this thought experiment, it needs to be a process that can be duplicated for other observers. i.e. all observers need to be able to carry similar clocks that can, when they are local to each other, be synchronised such that they tick at the same rate in those circumstances.

8. The accuracy of any given type of clock obviously dictates the tolerance/error in any measurements we take. So, for example, the ageing process of a human being is (compared to, say, a wristwatch) an extremely inaccurate form of clock. But this doesn't change the principle of what is being discussed. It just means that any measured tick-rate differences would have to be correspondingly large in order to be admissible.

9. We can assume that all clocks continue to function in the same way indefinitely. i.e. we are not concerned with clocks breaking down or changing their tick rates due to mechanical reasons.

---

Given those clarifications of terminology and setup, this is what is predicted by SR:

As two observers recede from each other at constant velocity, each can look at their own clock and compare it to their view of the other's clock. Each sees the other's clock ticking more slowly than their own. If they move towards each other at constant velocity, each sees the other's clock ticking faster than their own. Obviously (tautologically), in both cases, each sees their own clock ticking at the same rate as their own clock. So, regardless of their velocity relative to the other observer (or relative to anything else) they see all of their local clocks ticking at the same rate as each other. More generally: there are no local measurements that they can perform which will tell them anything at all about non-local observers or their clocks, or how those non-local observers are moving relative to them.

The faster the relative velocities, the more extreme the effect. As relative velocity tends towards the speed of light, each sees the other clock's tick rate tend towards stopped.

This is sometimes referred to as the Relativistic Doppler Effect.

If each observer makes observations of the other to determine the other's spatial dimensions, each will observe the other to be shortened in the direction of motion.
First I make it clear that I dispute that time is what is measured by a clock and number 1, but, for the sake of this discussion I agree on the 9 numbered points above.

You said, As two observers recede from each other at constant velocity, each sees the other's clock ticking more slowly than their own, and, if they move towards each other at constant velocity, each sees the other's clock ticking faster than their own, correct?

If this is correct, then you also said that the faster the relative velocities, then the more extreme the effect. As relative velocity tends towards the speed of light, each sees the other clock's tick rate tend towards stopped, correct?

If both of these are correct, then the first flaw I see, which obviously may not be with clarification, is how could a faster relative velocity towards each other each see the other's clock now tick rate tend towards stop, (meaning slower?) when at constant velocity they see each other's clock ticking faster than their own. So, why at a constant velocity towards each other they see the other's clock tick rate is faster than their own clock but as soon as the relative velocities towards each other is faster then the other's clock tick rate slows down, than their own?

What does "faster the relative velocities" actually refer to? Does it just mean, in lay people's terms, 'speeding up' or "going faster", relative to each other? Or, is there some whole completely different meaning that one has to be a part of some particular group to fully understand the "actual meaning of the term "relative velocity"?

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Re: Is Time Just an Idea?

Post by Greta » January 21st, 2020, 11:45 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 7:33 pm
It's ridiculous that scientists ignorantly and often incoherently dabbling in philosophy get a pass, but philosophers talking about science ...
Talking about science? If only. For pages and pages it's just been baseless assertions and claims that scientists are stupid, along with regular insults, both implied and explicit.

It's not even philosophy. It's social media, at times Twitteresque.

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Re: Is Time Just an Idea?

Post by creation » January 21st, 2020, 11:47 pm

Greta wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 7:05 am
Steve3007 wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 4:28 am


I disagree. I don't think anything based on empirical observation has to be treated as an established baseline. For any given set of propositions, whether or not we regard them as an established baseline, or a status quo or an establishment conspiracy or whatever, I think we should challenge them. Propositions that are not challenged are not tested. But we need to challenge the actual propositions being made, not something else. That, really, is my only point.
Failure to accept the baselines of our knowledge is how flat Earthism and Moon landing conspiracy theories took hold.
If we just accept the baselines of our knowledge, and did not challenge them, then we would still be believing the earth is flat and that the sun revolves around the earth.
Greta wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 7:05 am
When it comes to physics, physicists would seem best equipped to test existing propositions.
But this would be like saying; When it comes to religion, religious people would seem best equipped to test existing propositions. No matter what field anyone is in, if they believe something to already be true, then there is absolutely nothing in the Universe that can override this belief.

Obviously if a person already accepts something as being the baseline of knowledge, then they are not the best ones equipped to test that. To them, there is nothing to test, as, to them, it has already been verified and confirmed correct.
Greta wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 7:05 am
Ideally anyone who is not an expert in a field would present their ideas on that field humbly (which too often doesn't happen).
It does not matter how something is presented to an "expert", by definition, the 'expert' is meant to be the one who is most knowledgeable in that field. So, if they believe that the "baseline of knowledge" has already been set and is confirmed, then presenting anything humbly, or not, to them, is really not going to make that much difference at all.
Greta wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 7:05 am
Just as ideally, those in the field would not treat those humbly put ideas with kindness (which too often doesn't happen; physics forums are tough places for newbs).
So, what do you propose can be done to overcome this situation?
Greta wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 7:05 am
For instance, who here could sensibly critique work like this? (Summary below) https://www.papersinphysics.org/papersi ... e/view/336
Anyone, if they could be bothered putting enough effort into understanding what it is that is actually being talked about first.

But see, this thread is really only about one thing only, and that is 'time', and whether or not 'time' is just an idea or not.

Going deep into scientific issues is not really necessary here, yet, especially when we are just discussing and working out what 'time' is first, and, if 'time' is actually even something actually physical, or if 'time' is just a concept existing as an idea only.

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Re: Is Time Just an Idea?

Post by creation » January 21st, 2020, 11:55 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 7:12 am
Greta wrote:When it comes to physics, physicists would seem best equipped to test existing propositions. Ideally anyone who is not an expert in a field would present their ideas on that field humbly (which too often doesn't happen). Just as ideally, those in the field would not treat those humbly put ideas with kindness (which too often doesn't happen; physics forums are tough places for newbs).
Obviously being humble is good. But the humbleness or otherwise of the participants is not, in itself, relevant to the validity of their arguments. As I said, I (humbly) propose that one thing that is relevant is that those who seek to analyse an idea must be clear as to what the idea says so that they're not attacking an imaginary foe - a.k.a a straw man. This is true regardless of whether we label the participants as "physicists" or "philosophers" or anything else. I don't think the labels we pin on them matter. What matters is the arguments they make.
What also can happen is someone is trying to propose their idea, which just happens to be inconsistent with other ideas and theories, which are just accepted as "baseline knowledge". So, one might just be trying to make their ideas clear, and not necessarily wanting to analyze previous and other ideas. Therefore, it could be said that if those who want to analyse an idea, which is just being put forward now, then they must be clear as to what the idea actually says, so that they are not attacking anything that is not in the idea.

If, and when, one is putting forward an idea, then commenting by something like; "current knowledge is sufficient", " current knowledge has already been proven, verified, or confirmed", or "current knowledge should be the baseline from which to move forward on", then obviously these people are not at all trying to be clear about what the idea actually is. They are just attacking, without ever even knowing what the idea actually is.

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Re: Is Time Just an Idea?

Post by creation » January 22nd, 2020, 12:04 am

Steve3007 wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 7:15 am
Greta wrote:For instance, who here could sensibly critique work like this? (Summary below) https://www.papersinphysics.org/papersi ... e/view/336...
I couldn't, and I'd guess that nobody else here could either. But we all know a method that we could use to get ourselves into a position to critique that work, if we were interested enough to put in the work. Same as any other work written in a specialist language. Same as if it was written in Hungarian.
I have already totally agreed with this, (except for the first sentence. I do not like to guess anything at all. For all I know there might be tens or hundreds of people, or more, who have visited this forum and who could already actually sensibly critique that "work". But for all I know, that "work" could be completely made up just to ridicule and laugh at others anyway).
Steve3007 wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 7:15 am
So, if we haven't yet done that, would it be rational to look at that passage you quoted and declare it to be nonsense?
Just like would it be rational to just look at the first few words written about any new idea proposed, and just declare it to be nonsense?

If one wants to declare an idea nonsense, or a sensible idea, then it is best to look at the idea fully, and analyse absolutely everything about it, until it is fully understood, first.

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