Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Discussions on the nature of being, existence, reality and knowledge. What is? How do we know?

Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby Positor on July 25th, 2020, 8:39 pm 

Section 2 of the Stanford article on Time (Reductionism and Platonism with Respect to Time) is worth reading. It deals with the question of whether there could be time without any change/motion.
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby DragonFly on July 25th, 2020, 9:01 pm 

CanMan » July 24th, 2020, 10:33 pm wrote:The infinite universe is a "where", where all finite objects exist.


Good thread, CanMan, as it gets into everything.

The old Newton Absolute of an inert where/space went away. All is field, thought Einstein.

A good guess seems to be that fields themselves, and only them, form the substratum formerly known as space in which all plays out.

These would not be classical fields but covariant quantum fields, as Rovelli points out, that are what's being headed to as the final unveiling of reality's totality.

What has fallen by the wayside, in order:

1. Newton's separate, absolute space and time as backgrounds/containers, whose only quantity is volume, with particles in space moving through time—is gone. (Replaced by Einstein's spacetime.)

2. Faraday's and Maxwell's fields and particles as coming from spigots of particles—is gone, too. (Replaced by particles manifesting from fields, along with spacetime and other fields becoming covariant.)

3. Classical fields/particles—is gone (since no continuum, due to quantum discreteness). (Replaced by spacetime and quantum fields in quantum mechanics.)

4. Spacetime—is gone (now emergent). (To be replaced by covariant quantum fields in quantum gravity.)

Fields in general are granular, indeterminate, and relational. The particles manifesting exist as themselves only during interactions; they are not persistent things. Their spectrum is discrete, such as that electrons can only have certain orbitals (from this the periodic tables can be constructed). Gravitational field quanta are different; they are not in spacetime but they are spacetime.

There are no infinities (Einstein's curved spacetime is finite but boundless; Planck size / granularity /digital limit makes the size scale absolute, plus it eliminates classical, analog continuums of endless divisibility. No more Zeno paradoxes.)

No things are permanent; there's no fundamental lego type of building blocks that can build anything. (Called constitutionalism?)

There is no original space and time. In Quantum Gravity theory, 'time' would amount to a counting of beats but there is no universal clock; 'space' quanta serve as 'space' themselves; no Newton type 'space' is required.
Last edited by DragonFly on July 25th, 2020, 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby DragonFly on July 25th, 2020, 9:10 pm 

@CanMan

Quantum covariant fields are proposed as the One (so far) or, better said, the Ones (plurality), given many types of fields setting atop one another, which is what 'covariant' means.

It was once thought that voids (Nothingness/Space) were required for motion to operate in; however, it is proposed that 'all is field' and so a perturbation/kink can travel through waves/fields as a particle manifestation.

Rovelli suggests that the world is not made of something that is, as things/entities/substances, but is made up of events/happenings/processes/occurrences that do not last. There is continual transformation/transmutation and so nothing is permanent in time. There is no stasis/stillness in a motionless time. Not at all a collection of things but a collection of events not ordered in time.

The sciences tell of how events happen, not how things are, and so we come to understand the becoming/relations, not the being.

Fields and their manifested particles would be all there is; the fields are all on top of each other. The energy of the fields can only take on certain values—their quanta.

So, fields and particles can be reduced to just ‘covariant quantum fields’. All is a swarm of the relations of elementary field events. ‘Time’ is reduced to merely counting interactions.


So, quantum fields are all atop one another (covariant), especially the gravitational field per 'space', they weaving what we call 'space', 'time', events, and all else, through their interactions, with no emptiness possible ('nothing' can't be there as any kind of spacer having being); no infinite background called 'space' as some inert Newtonian backdrop fixture with its only quantity being volume.

I propose that the fundamental fields are never still because there can be no inputs to them, and so are always in their outputs jiggling, for this foundation must output randomly and thus probabilistically, given no design point, in likely a unitary way that has all the probabilities adding to 1 so that everything gets represented as equally likely and truly random.

Not that I like 'random'; I'd like to get rid of it; what makes a Geiger counter not beep versus when it does beep? What goes into that difference?

Nevertheless, Anton Zeilinger has shown randomness to be the bedrock of reality to the high quality degree of 3-sigma.


There seems to be no refuge; no solace; no retreat; no certainty; as all else would have to be emergent. Worse: all is relative, due to no outside or before Totality, with few or no intrinsics within—the dance never ending and never having begun—ongoing forever and devoid of any purpose or information content put into it in the first place that never was.

Well, could it be any other way?
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby DragonFly on July 25th, 2020, 9:40 pm 

@CanMan

The space and time that we perceive in their large scale low energy states are the approximate image of the quantum gravitational field; thus, spacetime is the gravitational field.

Newton's background of space couldn't act on anything and couldn't be acted upon, but it came to be the way that we see things from our brains' point-of-view, which is our only point of view. Literally, we 'see/sense' but the inside of our heads—the brain. Out there is really in here.

Some fun; my video of Now Here — No Where:

https://vimeo.com/336721421
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby CanMan on July 26th, 2020, 1:03 am 

charon wrote:A dimension is something measured.

That is one interpretation of the word (dimension). A "measurement" is one thing, and a "structural property of the universe" is quite another.

Either the dimension of Time is real or it is merely just a man-made concept (i.e. just a measurement) to help describe relative change in matter.


CanMan wrote:It boils down to this -- if you believe Time is truly a dimension, then motion is a function of time (not the other way around).

Serpent wrote:And if I don't?

Well, then if you believe Time is just a man-made concept (i.e. a measurement of change) then 'time is a function of motion'.

Or if you believe Time is truly a dimension, then 'motion is a function of time'.


Positor wrote:Section 2 of the Stanford article on Time (Reductionism and Platonism with Respect to Time) is worth reading. It deals with the question of whether there could be time without any change/motion.

Thanks Positor for this interesting article.

I believe Plato and Newton have the correct view "Absolutism with Respect to Time". -- Time can exist without change or motion in the same respect that railroad tracks can exist without a moving train.

Reasoning -- From a geometic perspective, all changes require a dimension (a means; path) to change or move. A 2D plane can't transform into a 3D object without a 'means' to do so. The third dimension is the 'means by which 2D planes transform into 3D objects. And likewise the 4th dimension (called "time") is the 'means' by which 3D objects can move; have motion.

To put it simply -- without a 'means' to move, there can be no movement. Without the dimension of Time, there can be no motion.

Or as I said earlier:
CanMan wrote:- Zero dimensional point can't change/translate into a line without a 1st dimension.
- One dimensional line can't change/translate into a plane without a 2nd dimension.
- Two dimensional plane can't change/translate into a solid (object) without a 3rd dimension.
- Three dimensional object can't change/translate into motion without a 4th dimension.

The 4th dimension is called Time. Without Time, there could be no motion or change of 3D objects.



CanMan wrote:The infinite universe is a "where", where all finite objects exist.

DragonFly wrote:There are no infinities (Einstein's curved spacetime is finite but boundless.

"Finite but boundless" seems to be as self-contradictory as the phrase "beginning of time".

It is not possible for a finite universe to exist nowhere. Finite objects have boundaries (that's what make them finite!) that must then exist somewhere. Existing no-where is not-existing. A "boundary-less boundary" is a self-contradiction; an oxymoron. Falsely conflating "boundless travel" as a "boundless boundary" is the error in this claim. "Travel" is not "boundary".

The universe can only exist 'infinitely'. There is no other possibility.

Regarding your other comments, I'll need to re-read to better comprehend before responding. You have a unique, almost poetic style of writing which makes it difficult for me to understand.
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby charon on July 26th, 2020, 2:25 am 

CanMan -

That is one interpretation


You know, I get very frustrated with conversations of this kind. You say 'one interpretation'. What does that mean - apart from the fact that anyone can say anything, or give any meaning they like, to anything?

What's an elephant? Well, one 'interpretation' is that it's a big grey animal with big ears and a long curly nose. I suppose another is that it's small and furry. Or is an animal with a shell...

In other words no one either cares or gives a damn what an elephant really is.

It's the same with this kind of thing. No wonder these subjects just go round and round in total confusion and go absolutely nowhere.

It's indulgent, non-serious, and answers absolutely nothing. It's devoid of any real understanding of the realities we find ourselves in and I just don't see any point in it.

I'm not interested in interpretations. If in doubt go to a dictionary. That's what they're for. There is a general consensus of what the word dimension is. The word comes from Latin and means 'a measurable extent'.

I haven't gone further than that. A dimension is something measurable. Any other dictionary will say the same.

So, I repeat, a dimension is measurable. It's never something immeasurable or beyond any measure.

Then we have time. Time is obviously what we all know it is, the consecutive sequence of events - yesterday, today and tomorrow. We can't stop it and we can't reverse it.

Then there's the idea that time is somehow separate from movement. What a lot of complete nonsense. Time IS movement. That's what a sequence of events is, a movement. That's what life is, where everything is moving changing, evolving, what you will.

Then... and so on and so forth.

So your real question is whether life, the universe, movement and change, has always existed. That is, has it a beginning? Or is it, like Buddhist or Hinduism says, something which has no end or beginning?

That's all you're asking, and these questions are being asked over and over and over, again and again, ad nauseam, but no one seems to have the slightest idea. It's all theory and speculation.

So is there any beginning to life, to existence? If we once discover the truth of that then all the rest of it falls into place, right?

Forget what anybody else says. How do you know they're right? The philosophers, the scientists, the religious types... how do we know they're right about any of this? Can any of them really say with any complete certainty if life has a beginning or no beginning?

So we, you and I, have to find out for ourselves, right? Is that difficult? It isn't. It isn't if we put our heads together and think very simply, very honestly, and very directly about it.

Evolution is obvious and self-evident. The animals and so on have evolved. That took time, again obviously. If anyone has an argument with that they're deluded.

There's a difference between an origin and a beginning. Beginning implies an actual starting-point. Origin means something from which all this comes, or has been born, anything you like.

It must have got here somehow. It might have appeared as if by magic but that's unlikely. Why should it?

So, if we approach this humbly, with clarity, not just repeating some rather tedious conclusions, it seems that everything must always have existed in some form. So there's no beginning.

So life just IS, it's that simple. So what is time then? If we think in linear terms does it necessarily imply a distinct starting point? Or is time a dimension that again simply IS?

So everything's just there, including ourselves. We see plurality but the reality may be oneness. We see beginnings and endings but all that means is change, which is constant transformation.

It's change which is constant. No one has ever disputed that.

Then there's matter and energy. No one disputes that matter is a kind of energy. But, above all this, no one disputes that energy can't be created or destroyed.

So material forms come and go but energy, which has no beginning, is just there. So what is time then?

In its absolute form it simply is. In its relative form it relates to things starting and finishing. So it depends whether we're talking relatively or absolutely.

Answered. But those who insist on dealing with endless theories will never really know one way or the other. Shame, but there we are.
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby doogles on July 26th, 2020, 3:45 am 

I have a 2 cents worth that I'd like to throw into this thread.

TIME is a human concept. Without human thinking, there is no NEED for the concept of time.

The universe, or multiverses or whatever, would just roll on and change without any concept of time.

It is merely a tool that aids human (and maybe some domestic animal) thought.

We are constantly driven by our concept of TIME. We are born; we remember birthdays; we age; we know our parents and grandparents preceded us; we live daily by the concept of appointment times; we have diaries and calendars and histories of events; we have a concept of a big bang commencing 13+ billion years ago and we have an imaginal concept in the form of a blank about what happened before the big bang, but we still have a concept that there may have been SOMETHING before the big bang. We each have a concept about the infinity of time, but it is merely a useful property (or tool) of human thinking.

Our entire lives revolve around our concept of time -- when we sleep, when we wake, when we eat, when we work, when we travel etc etc, but it is still just a human concept (or tool for relative thought).

And we can just as easily have a concept about infinite, as well as finite, time. Otherwise, the title of this thread would not exist. It's only a human concept, but yes, we can conceive such a thing as infinite time.
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby charon on July 26th, 2020, 6:22 am 

So you're saying, quite rightly, that we live on time in daily life. Absolutely, that's indisputable. But you're also saying the rest is entirely conceptual and therefore unreal.

Again, perfectly right unless one has an insight into these things. Insights aren't concepts of our own making, they're actual perceptions into the nature of reality.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insight

So why do we bother with concepts at all? One can see that the calendar and 24-hour clock are useful. We can catch trains and buses on time, and all the rest of it.

But why do we say there's no time otherwise? We may not measure it but nevertheless there's movement and change. That can't be denied! As long as there's movement of any kind there must be time - obviously. It takes time to go from here to there, to type a post, or do anything.

We've chosen to call it time, which is only a word of our own making, but surely it's also a fact? We could just call it movement but surely it amounts to the same thing?
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby Positor on July 26th, 2020, 8:09 am 

The problem with a 'common sense' view of time is that many scientific observations about time and movement are contrary to common sense. For example, the fact that the observed speed of light is constant, regardless of the motion of the observer. And the fact that the internal changes in an object (how fast it ages) depend on its speed – hence the twins paradox.

We need a sophisticated understanding of time, and its relation to space (spacetime), to explain such things.
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby Positor on July 26th, 2020, 8:31 am 

CanMan » July 26th, 2020, 6:03 am wrote:
DragonFly wrote:There are no infinities (Einstein's curved spacetime is finite but boundless.

"Finite but boundless" seems to be as self-contradictory as the phrase "beginning of time".

A 2D surface can be finite and boundless, e.g. the surface of a sphere. A finite but boundless 3D volume is more difficult to conceptualize, but the principle is the same, and I think physicists are agreed that it is at least a logical possibility. The basic idea, as I understand it, is that 3D space is 'curved' in a fourth spatial dimension, so that you can travel in a straight line and eventually come back to where you started (given a vast amount of time).

Such theories may seem strange to the average person, but they are not just idle speculation or intellectual games – they are genuine attempts to explain counter-intuitive observations.

It is not possible for a finite universe to exist nowhere.

Please see the Stanford article I linked, for the argument against the universe existing 'somewhere'.
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby CanMan on July 26th, 2020, 9:01 am 

CanMan wrote:That is one interpretation of the word (dimension). A "measurement" is one thing, and a "structural property of the universe" is quite another.

charon wrote:You know, I get very frustrated with conversations of this kind. You say 'one interpretation'. What does that mean…

It means we are talking about two different meanings of the same word.
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby charon on July 26th, 2020, 9:12 am 

Positor -

common sense


Absolutely. It was sheer, indisputable common sense that said: 'Here I am on the earth and I see the sun come up one side and down the other so obviously it's going round us'.

But a more insightful mind might have said that the first statement doesn't necessarily imply the second.

To us, time is linear. We say: 'Here we are today, yesterday has gone and tomorrow is yet to come, therefore time is linear'.

It may not be, time may include the whole of that movement. That's why I'm drawing the distinction between the relative and the absolute.

I'm saying time is movement. No one said movement is necessarily linear.
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby charon on July 26th, 2020, 9:15 am 

CanMan -

It means we are talking about two different meanings of the same word.


Then it's high time we decided on what it means. Which word do you mean?
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby CanMan on July 26th, 2020, 9:30 am 

...either, but I believe Time is a true dimension of reality, for without it motion could not occur. Motion can't happen without a means to happen, no more than a line can transform into a plane without a means.

My point is that if Time is a real dimension of this universe, then Motion is a function of, and is dependent upon Time. And if Time is merely a human construct; a measurement made with a clock, then the reverse is true - Time is then dependent on motion and change.
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby Serpent on July 26th, 2020, 9:59 am 

Positor » July 26th, 2020, 7:09 am wrote:The problem with a 'common sense' view of time is that many scientific observations about time and movement are contrary to common sense. For example, the fact that the observed speed of light is constant, regardless of the motion of the observer. And the fact that the internal changes in an object (how fast it ages) depend on its speed – hence the twins paradox.

We need a sophisticated understanding of time, and its relation to space (spacetime), to explain such things.

Perhaps that's asking the impossible. Perhaps our concept of time has been no more than a convenient fiction - after all, comets and swallows keep their appointed routes and schedules without recourse to any calendar, clock, compass or GPS.
Perhaps, when we contemplate processes beyond the scope of our physical senses, we are also beyond the scope of language that was invented for and from our normal experience. That's why such silly words had to made up for particle physics and computer science, but the new-speak of cosmology is still just fantastical applications of mundane language.
Perhaps that's the problem. Beyond common sense, we need uncommon concepts.
perhaps, rather than describing time in ever more convoluted gibberish, we should simply stop talking about time and make up a new designation for that fourth or fifth or 17th dimension that seems to behave in such an untimely manner.
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby CanMan on July 26th, 2020, 10:34 am 

CanMan wrote:"Finite but boundless" seems to be as self-contradictory as the phrase "beginning of time".

Positor wrote:A 2D surface can be finite and boundless, e.g. the surface of a sphere. A finite but boundless 3D volume is more difficult to conceptualize, but the principle is the same, and I think physicists are agreed that it is at least a logical possibility. The basic idea, as I understand it, is that 3D space is 'curved' in a fourth spatial dimension, so that you can travel in a straight line and eventually come back to where you started (given a vast amount of time).

Every finite object can be understood as "finite but boundless". Even a rock is "finite and boundless" in the sense that it has finite boundaries and "travel" around this rock is "boundless" (...an ant can travel around it and come back to its original starting point, and continue it over again forever). "Boundless travel" does not mean "boundless boundary". "Boundless travel" has absolutely no effect on a rock being any less finite than what it is. A finite object with finite boundaries needs to exist somewhere. Existing no-where is not-existing.

If the universe is finite then it is no less finite than a rock. If there is no-where for this rock (or universe) to exist, then it does not exist.

Positor wrote:Please see the Stanford article I linked, for the argument against the universe existing 'somewhere'.

I could not find where this was discussed in this linked article. But nonetheless, the flaw in this argument is conflating "boundless travel" as something special, or as a "boundary-less boundary" (...an self contradicting oxymoron).

The universe can only exist 'infinitely'. There is no other possibility.
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby charon on July 26th, 2020, 11:34 am 

CanMan » July 26th, 2020, 2:30 pm wrote:...either, but I believe Time is a true dimension of reality, for without it motion could not occur. Motion can't happen without a means to happen, no more than a line can transform into a plane without a means.

My point is that if Time is a real dimension of this universe, then Motion is a function of, and is dependent upon Time. And if Time is merely a human construct; a measurement made with a clock, then the reverse is true - Time is then dependent on motion and change.


But you've said previously, I believe, that there can be time without motion.

I've seen that idea before but I have to admit it sounds like a non-statement to me since there's never been any point when there was no motion at all.

So are we agreeing that time and movement are the same? As long as there is movement there must be time simply because it takes time for any movement to take place.
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby CanMan on July 26th, 2020, 12:09 pm 

charon wrote:But you've said previously, I believe, that there can be time without motion.

Correct. If we view time as a true dimension, then this is the means by which 'motion' is possible (i.e the movement/change of 3D objects).

It is the same as with any other spatial dimension. A 3rd dimension is the means by which 'solids' (3D objects) are possible. (i.e. the change of 2D planes into 3D objects).


charon wrote:I've seen that idea before but I have to admit it sounds like a non-statement to me since there's never been any point when there was no motion at all.

There are more places without motion than with motion. Motion is only possible with 3D objects (matter). Much of our universe is matter-less.


charon wrote:So are we agreeing that time and movement are the same?

No. Time is the track (path; means) by which 3D objects move. Time and motion are not the same. Without time there can be no motion. But without motion, time still exists.


charon wrote:As long as there is movement there must be time simply because it takes time for any movement to take place.

Correct. But the reverse is not true.

--- added ---
Time (the dimension) exists infinitely and invisibly, as do the other 3 spatial dimensions. Our only glimpse at Time is through the measurements of the spatial change in 3D objects (aka "motion"). "Measurement of time" is not the "dimension of Time".
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby Positor on July 26th, 2020, 12:58 pm 

CanMan » July 26th, 2020, 3:34 pm wrote:
Positor wrote:Please see the Stanford article I linked, for the argument against the universe existing 'somewhere'.

I could not find where this was discussed in this linked article.

My apologies – it was in a different article I have read recently. I'll try to find it. It concerned Leibniz's argument (contra Newton) that if the universe is 'somewhere', then if it were imagined to be moved somewhere else it would be impossible to discern any difference. Consequently, according to his principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles, the idea of such a 'move' is incoherent.

If the universe is 'somewhere', what thing contains it, and where is it located within that thing? Might it have been located somewhere else?


On the question of boundaries: Where is the boundary of the surface of a sphere? Don't confuse it with the boundary of the volume of a sphere (the latter boundary is, of course, the surface as a whole).
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby CanMan on July 26th, 2020, 1:16 pm 

Positor wrote:If the universe is 'somewhere', what thing contains it, and where is it located within that thing? Might it have been located somewhere else?

There is no-'thing' that contains the universe, nor is the universe a finite "what" (that must be located somewhere), it is an infinite "where". The universe is structured by its 4 infinite dimensions, and is the "where", where all finite objects exist.


Positor wrote:On the question of boundaries: Where is the boundary of the surface of a sphere? Don't confuse it with the boundary of the volume of a sphere (the latter boundary is, of course, the surface as a whole).

If the sphere is finite, then that which gives it its finite-ness is its boundary. A finite spherical marble, for instance, is bounded by its spherical shape. This spherical shape (boundary) is finite, and therefore must exist somewhere. If it exists nowhere, then it, and its internal volume do not exist.
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby charon on July 26th, 2020, 1:41 pm 

CanMan -

If we view time as a true dimension, then this is the means by which 'motion' is possible (i.e the movement/change of 3D objects).


No, you've gone back to your old nonsense. That's just imaginary. I don't do imaginary. We're trying to find the true answer to your question. Positing imaginary if's isn't the way to anywhere.

There are more places without motion than with motion. Motion is only possible with 3D objects (matter). Much of our universe is matter-less.


Which means energy. Energy is active, living, dynamic. There's no such thing as a literal blank or void anywhere. Even a vacuum isn't empty.

Time and motion are not the same. Without time there can be no motion. But without motion, time still exists.


You're just repeating. How can time possibly exist without duration? Even something completely static has a duration of existence - but there is nothing totally static. Show me something completely static. Anywhere will do!


Our only glimpse at Time is through the measurements of the spatial change in 3D objects (aka "motion"). "Measurement of time" is not the "dimension of Time".


Our only glimpse of time is via motion. Obviously! Measurement of time is not the dimension of time. Obviously not. We invented the measurement!

This is why these arguments (not in the personal sense) get nowhere. We can't just posit stuff which may suit the purpose but doesn't exist. Come on, CanMan!
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby Serpent on July 26th, 2020, 2:11 pm 

CanMan » July 26th, 2020, 12:16 pm wrote: The universe is structured by its 4 infinite dimensions

So you keep stating. Others say it's 10 dimensions, or n dimensions. How could we possibly know the limits of dimensionality? You probably couldn't convince a point on a line that flat surfaces can exist, never mind solids and - whoa! - motion. But we, moving solids, have more imagination than to forbid the entire universe any dimensions we can't experience.


[ P -- Where is the boundary of the surface of a sphere?]
If the sphere is finite, then that which gives it its finite-ness is its boundary.

Now there is your classic tautology! The sphereness of a sphere guarantees (not gives) a shpere its finitness. Doesn't imbue it with the property of finiteness, but means that in order to be identified as a distinct object, it must first be finished. But that does not impose a limit on its surface, which is continuous. You can make an arbitrary mark anywhere and draw a finite line on the surface all around the sphere and back to that point, but the surface doesn't begin where you start or end where you stop; all you've done is measure one circumference of the sphere. OTH, a surface is not an object in its own right, but merely an aspect or attribute of an object, and thus limited in size and shape by the object it covers. If a surface is shaved off, the object still has a surface, but the removed surface no longer has an identity. If it was the surface of an actual sphere, made of solid material, then the shaved-off surface becomes a little pile of three-dimensional matter, like clay or wool, with obvious limits. If it was the surface of an imaginary or holographic sphere, the shaved-off surface becomes nothing at all, which has no limits.
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby CanMan on July 26th, 2020, 2:26 pm 

charon wrote:How can time possibly exist without duration?

The problem here is that you are viewing time as a 'measurement', and not as a 'dimension'.

You are viewing the moving (or stopped) train, and not the track upon which it rides. The track still exists, even if the train comes to a complete stop. But the train (matter) can't move without the existence of the track (dimension of Time).


charon wrote:Our only glimpse of time is via motion. Obviously! Measurement of time is not the dimension of time. Obviously not. We invented the measurement!

Although we invented (man-made) the measurement of time. We didn't invent the dimension of Time. Without the dimension of Time, there could be no motion to measure. Without the train track, we could not see and measure the motion of the moving train.


charon wrote:This is why these arguments (not in the personal sense) get nowhere. We can't just posit stuff which may suit the purpose but doesn't exist. Come on, CanMan!

So are you saying that the dimension of Time does not really exist? But the motion of objects somehow happen how??

Can movement happen without there being a 'means' to move? If the dimension of Time does not exist, then how do objects move?

If the 3 spatial dimensions do not exist, then how do we get 3D objects?
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby CanMan on July 26th, 2020, 2:54 pm 

CanMan wrote:The universe is structured by its 4 infinite dimensions.

Serpent wrote:So you keep stating. Others say it's 10 dimensions, or n dimensions. How could we possibly know the limits of dimensionality?

I'm not disputing the number of dimensions. Who knows, maybe there are thousands of dimensions. I'm just saying we need dimensions for change to happen. A zero dimensional point can't change into a line without a 1st dimension. A one dimensional line can't change into a plane without a 2nd dimension. ...and we certainly can't get 3D objects to move (change into motion) without a 4th dimension (called Time).


CanMan wrote:If the sphere is finite, then that which gives it its finite-ness is its boundary.

Serpent wrote:Now there is your classic tautology! The sphereness of a sphere guarantees (not gives) a shpere its finitness. Doesn't imbue it with the property of finiteness, but means that in order to be identified as a distinct object, it must first be finished. But that does not impose a limit on its surface, which is continuous. You can make an arbitrary mark anywhere and draw a finite line on the surface all around the sphere and back to that point, but the surface doesn't begin where you start or end where you stop; all you've done is measure one circumference of the sphere. OTH, a surface is not an object in its own right, but merely an aspect or attribute of an object, and thus limited in size and shape by the object it covers. If a surface is shaved off, the object still has a surface, but the removed surface no longer has an identity. If it was the surface of an actual sphere, made of solid material, then the shaved-off surface becomes a little pile of three-dimensional matter, like clay or wool, with obvious limits. If it was the surface of an imaginary or holographic sphere, the shaved-off surface becomes nothing at all, which has no limits.

I'm not sure I totally follow your point here is. My point is that if we call something "finite", we do so for some reason. We do so because it has a boundary; a border; limits of some sort. If it has no boundaries, borders, or limits, then we would call it "infinite". So if we call a sphere "finite" then it is specifically because it has a boundary. If we identify that boundary as it's spherical shape, then it is bounded by its spherical shape. -- That which gives it its 'finite-ness' is that which gives it boundary.

"Finite" and "boundary" are therefore inseparable. Claiming something as "Finite and boundary-less" is a self contradicting oxymoron.
CanMan
 


Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby Serpent on July 26th, 2020, 3:51 pm 

CanMan » July 26th, 2020, 1:54 pm wrote:I'm not disputing the number of dimensions. Who knows, maybe there are thousands of dimensions.

Exactly. So why insist on 4?
I'm just saying we need dimensions for change to happen.

No, that's not all you're saying. You're also making statements, predicated on the 4-dimension model, of what all can't happen.
A zero dimensional point can't change into a line without a 1st dimension. A one dimensional line can't change into a plane without a 2nd dimension. ...and we certainly can't get 3D objects to move (change into motion) without a 4th dimension (called Time).

Alternatively: When a zero dimensional point changes into a line, it creates the 1st dimension.
The changing of a one dimensional line into a plane is the 2nd dimension.
When 3D objects acquire the ability to move, a 4th dimension comes into effect and we may arbitrarily call this dimension Time - or Process or Change - or even use each of those words to describe activity in the 3-dimensional universe. We have no vocabulary for, because we have not consciously experienced, the range of activities of a universe with n dimensions; though a few of us have glimpsed the possibilities of 10, I'm pretty sure none of us can imagine how a 1000 dimensions might behave.

My point is that if we call something "finite", we do so for some reason.

Yes: because it's complete, wholly present, definable, finished; it doesn't continue on indefinitely.
We do so because it has a boundary; a border; limits of some sort.

Border and limit are different concepts, with applications that overlap, but also diverge.
You can know the limit of a sphere, but you cannot find the borders of its surface. At least, that's how I understood Positor's example, which you didn't address, except to conflate the surface with the sphere itself, as you are doing now.
So if we call a sphere "finite" then it is specifically because it has a boundary.

We don't call a sphere finite; that would be redundant. We call it a sphere because it is a three-dimensional circle, and we can describe it, unnecessarily, as finite, because being finished was prerequisite to our recognition of it as a sphere.
If we identify that boundary as it's spherical shape,

Yes, if we did - only, we don't. We identify the limit of a sphere by its surface.
What we can't identify are any boudaries to the surface of a sphere.

That which gives it its 'finite-ness' is that which gives it boundary.

That which ... what?

"Finite" and "boundary" are therefore inseparable. Claiming something as "Finite and boundary-less" is a self contradicting oxymoron.

Stated, reiterated, still unproven.
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby CanMan on July 26th, 2020, 5:00 pm 

CanMan wrote:A zero dimensional point can't change into a line without a 1st dimension [i.e. without a space to move into].

Serpent wrote:Alternatively: When a zero dimensional point changes into a line, it creates the 1st dimension.

How can a 0D point move into a 1D space to change into a line, if a 1D space does not yet exist?


Serpent wrote:When 3D objects acquire the ability to move, a 4th dimension comes into effect and we may arbitrarily call this dimension Time - or Process or Change - or even use each of those words to describe activity in the 3-dimensional universe.

How do 3D objects acquire the ability to move into 4D motion if the 4th dimension does not yet exist?


CanMan wrote:"Finite" and "boundary" are therefore inseparable. Claiming something as "Finite and boundary-less" is a self contradicting oxymoron.

Serpent wrote:Stated, reiterated, still unproven.

Something cannot be both X and ~X.
CanMan
 


Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby Serpent on July 26th, 2020, 6:49 pm 

CanMan » July 26th, 2020, 4:00 pm wrote:How can a 0D point move into a 1D space to change into a line, if a 1D space does not yet exist?

How can 1D space exist without a dimensional entity to define it?

How do 3D objects acquire the ability to move into 4D motion if the 4th dimension does not yet exist?

The same way Wile E. Coyote can run out onto thin air: they haven't become aware of your definition of their motion as a fourth dimension of ... ?space.
Etc. When you compare two equally absurd suppositions, there is no standard available for judging which is better.

Something cannot be both X and ~X.

Ah, but dimension are not somethings!
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby Positor on July 26th, 2020, 8:54 pm 

Serpent » July 26th, 2020, 8:51 pm wrote:You can know the limit of a sphere, but you cannot find the borders of its surface. At least, that's how I understood Positor's example, which you didn't address, except to conflate the surface with the sphere itself, as you are doing now.

Yes.

Contrast this with a cube, the 2D sides of which have boundaries; you can reach the edges of the sides. We are talking here about the boundaries between one side (surface) and another side (surface), not between the interior and exterior of the sphere. There are no equivalent boundaries on the 2D surface of a sphere; there is only the boundary between the interior and exterior of the sphere, which is not the point at issue.
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Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby CanMan on July 26th, 2020, 9:30 pm 

Positor, Serpent,

A cube and a sphere are both finite objects.

1. What separates the inside of a finite cube from the outside of the finite cube?

2. What separates the inside of a finite sphere from the outside of the finite sphere?
CanMan
 


Re: Has Time Always (Infinitely) Existed?

Postby Serpent on July 26th, 2020, 10:43 pm 


Yes, what? You agree that the surface of a sphere is finite yet unbounded?

Contrast this with a cube,

Why a cube? Why not a lump of quartz or a store-window dummy? Why contrast at all?

the 2D sides of which have boundaries; you can reach the edges of the sides. We are talking here about the boundaries between one side (surface) and another side (surface), not between the interior and exterior of the sphere.

Aha. If you substitute a square, you can divide its surface into more readily dileneable sides. But if you took the entire surface of a cube as a single entity - which is what it is - then defining the boundary of the whole wouldn't be quite so convenient.
There are no equivalent boundaries on the 2D surface of a sphere; there is only the boundary between the interior and exterior of the sphere, which is not the point at issue.

So why keep referring to to it?
In any case, you don't have the executive privilege of swapping out solid forms in somebody else's example of limited-but-unbounded. And you might run into problems with the rock and the mannequin.
Last edited by Serpent on July 26th, 2020, 11:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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