The Scientific Explanation of Timelessness



The Scientific Explanation of Timelessness

Let us try to clarify the subject by quoting explanations by various scientists and scholars on the subject. Regarding the subject of time flowing backwards, the famous intellectual and Nobel laureate professor of genetics, Francois Jacob, states the following in his book Le Jeu de Possibles (The Possible and the Actual):

Films played backwards, make it possible for us to imagine a world in which time flows backwards. A world in which milk separates itself from the coffee and jumps out of the cup to reach the milk-pan; a world in which light rays are emitted from the walls to be collected in a trap (gravity center) instead of gushing out from a light source; a world in which a stone slopes to the palm of a man by the astonishing cooperation of innumerable drops of water making the stone possible to jump out of water. Yet, in such a world in which time has such opposite features, the processes of our brain and the way our memory compiles information, would similarly be functioning backwards. The same is true for the past and future and the world will appear to us exactly as it currently appears.(153)

Since our brain is accustomed to a certain sequence of events, the world operates not as it is related above and we assume that time always flows forward. However, this is a decision reached in the brain and therefore is completely relative. In reality, we can never know how time flows or even whether it flows or not. This is an indication of the fact that time is not an absolute fact but just a sort of perception.

The relativity of time is a fact also verified by the most important physicist of the 20th century, Albert Einstein. Lincoln Barnett, writes in his book The Universe and Dr. Einstein:

Along with absolute space, Einstein discarded the concept of absolute time-of a steady, unvarying inexorable universal time flow, streaming from the infinite past to the infinite future. Much of the obscurity that has surrounded the Theory of Relativity stems from man's reluctance to recognize that sense of time, like sense of color, is a form of perception. Just as space is simply a possible order of material objects, so time is simply a possible order of events. The subjectivity of time is best explained in Einstein's own words. "The experiences of an individual" he says, "appear to us arranged in a series of events; in this series the single events which we remember appear to be ordered according to the criterion of 'earlier' and 'later'. There exists, therefore, for the individual, an I-time, or subjective time. This in itself is not measurable. I can, indeed, associate numbers with the events, in such a way that a greater number is associated with the later event than with an earlier one.(154)

Einstein himself pointed out, as quoted from Barnett’s book: "space and time are forms of intuition, which can no more be divorced from consciousness than can our concepts of color, shape, or size." According to the Theory of General Relativity: "time has no independent existence apart from the order of events by which we measure it."(155)

Since time consists of perception, it depends entirely on the perceiver and is therefore relative.

The speed at which time flows differs according to the references we use to measure it because there is no natural clock in the human body to indicate precisely how fast time passes. As Lincoln Barnett wrote: "Just as there is no such thing as color without an eye to discern it, so an instant or an hour or a day is nothing without an event to mark it." (156)

The relativity of time is plainly experienced in dreams. Although what we see in our dream seems to last for hours, in fact, it only lasts for a few minutes, and even a few seconds.

Let us think on an example to clarify the subject further. Let us assume that we were put into a room with a single window that was specifically designed and we were kept there for a certain period of time. Let there be a clock in the room by which we can see the amount of time that has passed. At the same time, let it be that we see from the room’s window the sun setting and rising at certain intervals. A few days later, the answer we would give to the question about the amount of time we spent in the room would be based both on the information we had collected by looking at the clock from time to time and on the computation we had done by referring to how many times the sun set and rose. For example, we estimate that we had spent three days in the room. However, if the person who put us in that room comes up to us and says that we spent only two days in the room and that the sun we had been seeing from the window was falsely produced by a simulation machine and that the clock in the room was especially regulated to work faster, then the calculation we had done would bear no meaning.

This example confirms that the information we have about the rate of the passage of time is based on relative references. The relativity of the time is a scientific fact also proven by scientific methodology. Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity maintains that the speed of time changes depending on the speed of the object and its distance from the centre of gravity. As speed increases, time is shortened, compressed; and slows down as if it comes to the point of "stopping".

Let us explain this with an example given by Einstein himself. Imagine two twins, one of whom stays on earth while the other goes travelling in space at a speed close to the speed of light. When he comes back, the traveller will see that his brother has grown much older than he has. The reason is that time flows much slower for the person who travels at speeds near the speed of light. If the same example is applied to a space-travelling father and his earth-bound son, if the father was 27 years old when he set out and his son 3; when the father comes back to the earth 30 years later (earth time), the son will be 33 years old but his father will be only 30. (157)

It should be pointed out that this relativity of time is caused not by the slowing down or running fast of clocks or the slow running of a mechanical spring. It is rather the result of the differentiated operation periods of the entire material system which goes as deep as sub-atomic particles. In other words, the shortening of time is not like acting in a slow-motion picture for the person experiencing it. In such a setting where time shortens, one’s heartbeats, cell replications, and brain functions, and so on all operate slower than those of the slower-moving person on Earth. The person goes on with his daily life and does not notice the shortening of time at all. Indeed the shortening does not even become apparent until the comparison is made.

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•  The Relativity of Time and the Reality of Fate
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