• Devans99
    2.1k
    We have an ‘eternal realm’ - a required, atemporal basis for all of reality and a ‘timed realm’ - the sequentially ordered reality we are familiar with. The eternal realm is the cause of the timed realm (in some atemporal sense). The eternal realm may or may not contain the timed realm.

    One way to categorise the possible models is by whether whether each of these realms supports change or not:

    Eternal realm: static, Timed realm: static

    - Multiverse - Eternal Inflation
    - Multiverse - QM Many worlds

    Problems:
    - The timed realm being static runs contrary to 'gut feeling' about the world
    - The strong anthropic principle does not account for everything - some aspects of all universes would have to be fixed (aspects of the standard model) so could not vary across life supporting / non life supporting ranges
    - multiverses are not parsimonious
    - Multiverse generator may need fine tuning (and there is no room for a fine-tuner in this model)

    Eternal realm: dynamic, Timed realm: static

    - God + an eternalist universe.

    Problems:
    - The timed realm being static runs contrary to 'gut feeling' about the world
    - How does an eternal, dynamic, non-sequential realm work?

    Eternal realm: dynamic, Timed realm: dynamic

    - God + presentist universe
    - God + growing block universe
    - God + circular time universe

    Problems:
    - How does an eternal, dynamic, non-sequential realm work?

    Eternal realm: static, Timed realm: dynamic
    (no models I can think of)

    I have probably missed some possible models above. The 2nd and 3rd model require a dynamic eternal realm which is discussed below.

    How could a dynamic eternal realm work?

    I tried hard to think of topologies that a dynamic eternal realm could take but any topology is basically open (a line) or closed (a circle) so they are all inherently sequential and not suitable. So I think if there is a dynamic, eternal, realm, it is nothing like our spacetime.

    Perhaps its better to think first of a dynamic, eternal, realm as an unordered set of events:

    { ‘God causes Big Bang’, ‘God plans Big Bang’, ’God observes 2019’, ‘God observes 1066’, … }

    What could it be physically though? It may not be physical. If it is physical, maybe it is just nodes of information, perhaps connected by links that represent relationships between the nodes - so a directed graph of some sort.

    Maybe all of the events in our spacetime would be represented in this graph plus events external to our spacetime. So spacetime maintains the sequential ordering of spacetime events, but the graph represents relationships between all events. Might tie in with quantum entanglement - there would be a relationship between the nodes of the entangled particles and no time/space between those nodes so they could synchronise immediately.

    What is God? Certain nodes in the graph? All nodes in the graph?

    “Eternity is the complete possession all at once of illimitable life” - Boethius

    I lean toward this lately, because existence, having no opposite/alternative would have to all be there, as everything, not just some of it; however, that is only the implementation, which is the 'messenger', yet the 'message', which is of the real importance, remains the same as that of presentism, that we and the universe develop/change, which is why we can't tell the difference, and since we can't, we still have to go on, as mostly only considering the 'message', via some reasoning such as 'a difference (in implementation) that makes no difference in the 'message' is no difference."PoeticUniverse

    The static block universe has attractions - it is physically familiar model to the world around us - it does not require some strange additional representation like the graph I mentioned above that a dynamic eternal realm seems to require.

    For example, either way suggests determinism, one way as pre-determined and the other determined as things go along, not that we need to worry about it too much in this thread, unless it bears on something here. My continual transition theory, based only on the 'message', works either way. There is still never any lasting particular state of affairs.PoeticUniverse

    Maybe we can separate predestination from determinism - the 4D block view requires the first, but maybe not the second? So a fixed future that is undeterminable by us. So the possible/debated randomness of QM could still fit with an eternalist model?
  • Arne
    416
    you are trapped within the "in time" paradigm. Forever is by definition not "in time." Similarly, most religions consider God to not be "in time."
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    I'm discussing a timeless basis for reality and a timeless God - not quite sure what you mean?
  • Arne
    416
    then I suggest you give it some more thought.
  • PoeticUniverse
    744
    relationships between all eventsDevans99

    This is Relationalism, which I like. All seems to have to be relative/relational, since there is no outside or before Totality, thus no absolute rulers or clocks or anything to have a say. Seems there wouldn't be intrinsic properties, this still in accord with the eternal not being able to be anything specific.

    Our unified symphony plays from the entities/particulars, with the conductor therein and herein proposed to be an ontological Relationalism serving both the one and the many, in a balance, just as our own Yin-Yang being appears to do, we holistically and in detail revolving in our rounded life of understanding wholes and particulars in turn.

    The relations among the relata of entities would be more fundamental, ontologically, than the entities, yet, without the entities there can be no relations.

    Totality, as all that exists as reality, would have relatedness as its prime characteristic, providing for both the pluralistic, as diverse, and the unitary, as unity. Every entity, then, is a unity of its constituents, its identity defined by its internal and external relations, and ontologically open to to other entities due to the ontological basis that they share.

    That quark-gluon interactions make for 95% of the proton’s mass perhaps shows us how much relations count. Some quantum gravity theories strive to be relational by attempting to get rid of absolute space and time.

    Because Existence cannot go away, as eternal, it is inexhaustible and it is what keeps on giving and so it can originate and sustain a plurality of particulars such as you, me, atoms, trees, and all things.

    Occam might even simply put it that there are only matter points and distances, with each of the matter points distinguishing itself from all the other ones by at least one distance relation that it bears to another matter point, so there are no indecernables.

    While this relationalist ontology is parsimonious, as simple, basic, and uncomplicated, its representation seems to be difficult, what with so many things connected to other things, or as quantum entanglement, from either of which we’d hope to recover the basis for the typical quantities that we can find through measurement, such as mass, charge, spin, and more.

    As per Leibnitz, time derives from change, as time is the order of succession, so, there is no time without change; but change exhibits an order, and what makes this order temporal is that it is unique and has a direction.

    Relationalism, then, is the belief that all relevant physical information, including Time, should be deducible by the relations between physical objects.

    While atomism was apparently legitimized by the undeniable empirical successes of classical physics, nonetheless, developments in the conceptual foundations of contemporary physics — especially quantum physics — have shown to resist atomism in favor of holistic considerations.

    Holism, as an emergent concept in the philosophy of quantum physics, arises from the behavior of entangled quantum systems and the associated conception of non-separability, as ‘non-locality’, casting doubts on the view of the world as consisting of concrete, unchangeable, self-contained particulars, being localized in spacetime, and existing independently of one another.


    -- from arXiv paper by V. Karakostas

    What about GR versus QM? Do we have to pick one?
  • Possibility
    623
    Would we need observer(s) to make the formless have form and therefore lead to concrete events that could lead to the birth of our universe?Devans99

    Um, how about that timeless spaceless photons made everything at once, in no time, and so we must now be experiencing in a time-dilated broadcast of our portion of everything.PoeticUniverse

    Here’s an attempt to articulate my view of the ‘birth’ of our universe - although it may seem vague because it is speculation based on awareness (and I don’t have the ability to confidently apply maths or logic)...

    Nothing can even start to happen without potential, so we have to assume that, before there was anything else, there must have at least been potential as a timeless 5D experience.

    Something is deemed to ‘exist’ (in any dimension) only when something/someone is aware of it. An observer/measuring instrument is required to decohere the formless, but a timeless 5D experience (being everywhere and everywhen) has the capacity to be aware of itself - regardless of whether it can recognise this as itself.

    It is perhaps a big leap in thinking to suggest that potential’s awareness of potential led to the BB or other 4D universe-forming event. I’m not talking about self-awareness as we understand it, or in any multi-dimensional sense like animals or humans are aware, but a one-dimensional, vague awareness of more. At this point there is nothing but awareness: no relation to anything, no up, down, left or right, no time, etc. - all of it is only potential.

    If you can imagine sufficient energy to actualise a photon’s full potential - except that this actualisation consists of photons and other 4D events across time, each with their own formless potential energy/matter.

    So these 4D events interact with each other, decohering into 3D particles. Each of these particles interact with other random particles, choosing to be open or closed to that awareness, to the new information presented with each interaction that the universe consists of more. And so on - effectively creating spacetime and the physical universe in the process, yet without time having ‘begun’ as such.

    Some interactions result in chemical reactions as 4D events, developing the capacity to interact more than once in time (while the reaction lasts) and thereby integrate information. This is where the potential for life begins, and where an awareness of time starts.
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    This is Relationalism, which I like. All seems to have to be relative/relational, since there is no outside or before Totality, thus no absolute rulers or clocks or anything to have a say. Seems there wouldn't be intrinsic properties, this still in accord with the eternal not being able to be anything specific.PoeticUniverse

    I am unsure over the nature of spacetime, including the Relationalism Vs Substantivalism question. As a supporter of the first, maybe you can address these questions:

    - Time appears to pass without change. Change appears to have no impact on the speed time is passing (or the wrong impact - SR - time slows down rather than speeds up with increasing movement).

    - If time is change, then more change should result in time running faster? This does not happen, for example, a mechanical clock (lots of change) tells the same time as a digital watch (less change).

    - What are dark and vacuum energy? Space itself seems to have inherent properties.

    - It seems time had a start, maybe the BB. To go from a no time to time situation, would something physical have to change in the universe? Does that suggest time is a physical 'thing'?

    What about GR versus QM? Do we have to pick one?PoeticUniverse

    QM (or a ToE) is a micro level theory, so is not so useful for predicting the macro behaviour of the universe. The question of origin of the universe involves huge amounts of matter/energy so seems primarily a macro question. Sure we need QM/ToE for the singularity but before/after its a macro problem. So we will always need classical theories like GR - they are continuous approximations for a discrete reality but that seems the only feasible way to model the macro scale universe.
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    Here’s an attempt to articulate my view of the ‘birth’ of our universe - although it may seem vague because it is speculation based on awarenessPossibility

    Interesting. I have a few questions:

    What caused potential to go from a non-aware situation to an aware situation? Or was the potential ‘always’ aware in some way? The universe appears to be fine-tuned for life so single universe models seem to lead naturally to the presence of a timeless fine tuner. Multiple universe models may avoid the need for a fine tuner. Your view sounds like a single universe model?

    What is the nature of time in your model? Do you have it as one of your 5 dimensions so that it has permanent existence? Or is it created 'subsequently'? Or does time start when observers first appear? If (proto-)time exists permanently in the 5D environment, is that not introducing a sequential ordering of events into the timeless environment? - Once there is any form of sequential ordering, the need for a ‘start’ is introduced (or else an impossible infinite regress).

    I was trying to think of a timeless environment for which there would be no starting event and I could not come up with anything similar to spacetime - that is fundamentally sequentially ordered. So I though of the concepts of an unordered set of events or a graph of nodes. Both are abstract, but both do not have a starting point - so they can represent unordered, timeless existence. Really, I'm trying to think of ideas that get around questions like this:

    - What caused the first movement?
    - What caused God to have his first thought?
    - What caused potential to become aware?
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    I wonder if we could have the timeless environment as the usual 3 spacial dimensions plus an unordered set to represent the 4th dimension:

    - Events would happen somewhere in space but all be 'concurrent' with each other in a sense
    - There is no first event
    - Time as we know it would be a specialised, ordered subset of the 4th dimension
  • Possibility
    623
    What caused potential to go from a non-aware situation to an aware situation? Or was the potential ‘always’ aware in some way?Devans99

    Potential is timeless - it doesn’t make sense to say that it goes from one situation to another. There was never a time when potential wasn’t aware.

    The thing about a linear history of the universe is that time doesn’t work like that. We’ve sequentially ordered it all the way back to the BB from an imagined perspective of observers who experience ‘time’ in a particular way.

    But not every observer experiences time the same way that humans do. Apparently dogs can smell events, getting an olfactory map of your day as you walk in the door. Of course, you’d have to ask a dog if these events are sequentially or spatially ordered - or perhaps they’re ordered by value...but I digress.

    What is the nature of time in your model? Do you have it as one of your 5 dimensions so that it has permanent existence? Or is it created 'subsequently'? Or does time start when observers first appear? If (proto-)time exists permanently in the 5D environment, is that not introducing a sequential ordering of events into the timeless environment? - Once there is any form of sequential ordering, the need for a ‘start’ is introduced (or else an impossible infinite regress).Devans99

    Time is the fourth dimension: it is a relative aspect of our awareness of the universe, just like the others. Time appears to have ‘started’ from our perspective 13.8 billion years ago, because that’s the point back to which we can trace our broadest perspective of the universe in time. Once we begin to explore the 5D ‘universe’, it’s no longer relevant when this 4D cosmological event ‘started’, because there is no time outside of it.

    Awareness of the 5D universe is not an environment - that’s too limiting as a description. Think of it as a broader ‘experience’: space, time and value. It’s how you feel intuitively in relation to events that orients you in the 5D universe, not when that event occurs, or where.

    I was trying to think of a timeless environment for which there would be no starting event and I could not come up with anything similar to spacetime - that is fundamentally sequentially ordered. So I though of the concepts of an unordered set of events or a graph of nodes. Both are abstract, but both do not have a starting point - so they can represent unordered, timeless existence.Devans99

    It seems to me that you’re struggling to grasp the concept of multiple dimensions. Movies and fiction books tend to give the impression that alternate dimensions are a different place - as if the fifth dimension has its own space, completely different to our own. This is a misguided view, based on a poor understanding of time as a dimension of awareness.

    The 5D universe includes our 4D cosmos. Like time, it is a relative aspect of our awareness of the universe. Humans have already been developing their capacity for 5D awareness for thousands of years. We understand the 5D universe in terms of abstraction and hierarchies of value: numbers, mathematics, measurements and morals, logic and rational thought. It enables us to relate to events in terms of value over and above where or when they occur in spacetime: like the mathematics that gets us to the moon and back. It enables us to consider and evaluate events outside our physical 4D existence: such as the extinction of dinosaurs, the creation of a black hole, or the implications of destroying the earth’s ecosystem.

    We just haven’t considered it as a dimension, because for most of us, it is everything we value: all that we know and all that we don’t. It is the Infinite.
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    You misunderstand me - I will try to clarify. I’m aware of how multiple dimensions work. What I was discussing in my last post was if there is any alternatives to the static 4D block universe view.

    Time appears linear to us (presentism/growing block theory). The other touted way it could work is a 4D block universe view (eternalism). We do not know which view is correct (they could both be wrong).

    The problem with the 4D block universe view of the universe is that all is static and eternal, as in a still picture (when viewed from a 4D perspective). This presents a number of challenges:

    1. We cannot sense the past or future. We do not appear to be 4D spacetime worms
    2. Dynamic processes like evolution to not fit well with the static nature of 4D block universe
    3. Causality is a feature of time and even within the 4D block universe view, causality exists and is sequential. But a never ending sequence of causally related events is impossible - it must start somewhere and the question is then what is the cause of that start. Time, as a sequential ordering of events, has a definite start (maybe the BB). If we represent the time dimension as a line, then it has to have a start and something must be sequentially before time (in respect of that dimension). Eternalist views do not explain what that something is and how it morphed into the sequential time that we are familiar with.
    4. The universe appears fine-tuned for life. This requires a fine-tuner. In the 4D block universe view, everything is equally eternal - everything has existed forever - the universe and its fine tuner would be co-eternal - so when viewed from that perspective, there is no room for a fine-tuner to come before the creation of 4D block universe and fine tune it. That can maybe be skirted with multiple universes all of differing configurations, but it’s not a very parsimonious solution.

    So whilst acknowledging that a purely eternalist universe is a possibility, I am also interested in looking for at possible alternatives of a more dynamic nature - that would not have the problems mentioned above. Hence I suggested that the timeless environment has a pseudo-dimension that is actually an unordered sequence of events but it contains a subset of ordered events that represent our familiar, sequential time.

    Potential is timeless - it doesn’t make sense to say that it goes from one situation to another. There was never a time when potential wasn’t aware.Possibility

    But you have potential which is nothing by itself - it has to lead to the actual. What is the mechanism by which this happen? Does time exist as a dimension when this happens? Then it would be a sequential, cause and effect based mechanism (even when viewed from the 4d block universe perspective, causality, thus sequentiality hold)- which is impossible.

    I believe your model has 3 spacial dimensions and 1 time dimension? What purpose does the 5th dimension serve beyond being a larger container for the 4D universe? I don’t see how the presence of a 5th dimension would make for a timeless environment?

    Potential energy is always associated with pre-existing energy/matter. I do not understand the existence of potential by itself?

    The thing about a linear history of the universe is that time doesn’t work like that. We’ve sequentially ordered it all the way back to the BB from an imagined perspective of observers who experience ‘time’ in a particular way.Possibility

    You can view time from the 4d block universe perspective, but it is still sequentially organised - all time-like or space-like dimensions can be represented on a graph by an axis - so they are fundamentally sequentially organised - which means the time dimension has to stretch back forever (impossible - infinite regress) or start at some point (what is the reason why it started?).

    Time appears to have ‘started’ from our perspective 13.8 billion years ago, because that’s the point back to which we can trace our broadest perspective of the universe in time.Possibility

    The argument in the OP is that time as we know it (as a linear ordering of events) must have had a start. That may or may not have been the Big Bang, but the point is, it is more than just an ‘appears’ to have started, it is that it actually did start. Something about the nature of the universe is quite different in the no time picture to the time picture - something physically changed. That is why I’ve suggested that our time is itself part of a larger, non-sequential ‘dimension’.
  • PoeticUniverse
    744
    I am unsure over the nature of spacetimeDevans99

    Rovelli has it that space-time is Einstein's gravitational field. Rovelli is trying to model the spacetime quanta with 'loops' and 'spin-foams'. All the types of fields (electromagnetic, particle, etc.) lie atop one another, this being called 'covariant', so, then, all that there is are covariant quantum fields—that's it, finis; nothing more, anything seeming else having to be emergent.

    So, we can also banish space, time, and particles (they are subsumed in fields, as 'lumps'). Now what?
  • PoeticUniverse
    744
    - Time appears to pass without change. Change appears to have no impact on the speed time is passing (or the wrong impact - SR - time slows down rather than speeds up with increasing movement).

    - If time is change, then more change should result in time running faster? This does not happen, for example, a mechanical clock (lots of change) tells the same time as a digital watch (less change).
    Devans99

    Time's speed changes when we go higher or lower, faster or slower.

    - What are dark and vacuum energy? Space itself seems to have inherent properties.Devans99

    Heck if I know, but maybe dark energy was always around but was dominated by gravity earlier on; it seems to be a fuel that ever keeps on giving.
  • PoeticUniverse
    744
    discrete realityDevans99

    This demolishes claims of infinite divisibility, and so Zeno's hare beats the tortiose. Analog falls, digital rises; there is no continuum.

    As for more on relationalism, we can add 'Things' to our list of impossibles. 'Things' aren't; happenings/event are! A rock is merely a long event!

    Happenings are ubiquitous, meaning ever-present; change is all; there is never not any change; there is a continual transitioning. I wish it would stop so I could sleep for a week.

    The Great Existence has order, action, and simultaneous unity and plurality—the inter-relatedness of all the particulars perhaps being the underlying unity of Reality.

    Dualism, being a reality of two, as usually the opposites of spirit and matter, often gets rejected, for there can be no interpenetration/interaction of distinctly different categories.

    The same for Dualism’s similar extension, Pluralism, with even more distinct categories, for it, too, cannot explain unity.

    Processism, such as in Buddhism, is a dance without dancers, a process without agents acting. These so-called process-only occurrents cannot make it as relata. (not sure how I arrived at this). Monism, subsuming procession, such as all is in and of something, like Brahman, cannot explain pluralism/diversity.

    Considering the above mergers, we are left with just Monism and Pluralism.

    Relationalism, then, goes beyond them each, admitting both, in a balance, which empirical quality is bolstered by our experiencing each in Reality. We have brains that echo both unity and multiplicity, for we can understand holistically, in parallel, as well as understand details, sequentially.


    Back to the future:

    “Traces of the past exist, and not traces of the future, only because entropy was low in the past. There can be no other reason, since the only source of the difference between past and future is the low entropy of the past.”

    “In order to leave a trace, it is necessary for something to become arrested, to stop moving, and this can happen only in an irreversible process—that is to say, by degrading energy into heat. In this way, computers heat up, the brain heats up, the meteors that fall into the moon heat it; even the goose quill of a medieval scribe in a Benedictine abbey heats a little the page on which he writes. In a world without heat, everything would rebound elastically, leaving no trace.”


    Excerpt From: Carlo Rovelli. “The Order of Time.” Apple Books. https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-order-of-time/id1291981686
  • PoeticUniverse
    744
    - It seems time had a start, maybe the BB. To go from a no time to time situation, would something physical have to change in the universe? Does that suggest time is a physical 'thing'?Devans99

    Time is mostly constituted by us; take music, for example, from my own Rubaiyat:

    Memory’s traces recall the last heard tone;
    Sensation savors what is presently known;
    Imagination anticipates coming sounds;
    The delight is such that none could produce alone.
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    Rovelli has it that space-time is Einstein's gravitational field.PoeticUniverse

    Fields making up empty space? Sounds like substantivalism. All the fields I’m aware of have time as a determinate variable; a field is just a static picture without time - so time is a requirement for fields to exist and time is not a field in itself. So I do not see how the time dimension could emerge from fields.

    This demolishes claims of infinite divisibility, and so Zeno's hare beats the tortiose. Analog falls, digital rises; there is no continuum.PoeticUniverse

    To solve the puzzle of the actually infinite, it seems we have to choose either eternalism or discreteness (or both). I am not so sure about vanilla eternalism. That would suggest everything in existence is co-eternal from a 4D perspective. How could such a seemingly sequential structure as space-time ever exist as a single, co-eternal whole? So we need to consider discreetness.

    For each motion we make, do we complete an actual infinity? Actual infinity seems (otherwise from continuous motion) an unrealisable and disprovable concept; how for example could a real world set have a non-finite cardinality? It would cross the t’s and dot the i’s if the world turned out to be discrete. Quantum loop gravity is a discrete theory for example.

    Happenings are ubiquitous, meaning ever-present; change is all; there is never not any change; there is a continual transitioning. I wish it would stop so I could sleep for a week.PoeticUniverse

    Change may need a vessel. Playing pool without a pool table is difficult. That vessel gives us tell-tale signs such vacuum energy and dark energy. Something must have preexisted spacetime (by some unknown measure) - meaning something physical changed when spacetime began - therefore spacetime must be a physical thing.

    Dualism, being a reality of two, as usually the opposites of spirit and matter, often gets rejected, for there can be no interpenetration/interaction of distinctly different categories.PoeticUniverse

    Quantum engagement seems like interaction of matter linked via a separate world. The start of time also seems to be the intersection of two different realities. There are maybe many such realities, some forever disconnected, others able to influence each other.

    Relationalism, then, goes beyond them each, admitting both, in a balance, which empirical quality is bolstered by our experiencing each in Reality. We have brains that echo both unity and multiplicity, for we can understand holistically, in parallel, as well as understand details, sequentially.PoeticUniverse

    I think that substantivalism does not preclude either Monism and Pluralism. Foe example, if spacetime is fields and energy/matter are fields then we have a form of monism. Likewise, switching energy/matter to strings and spacetime to dark energy or ether, yields a form of pluralism.

    Time is mostly constituted by usPoeticUniverse

    Both the time and space dimensions are fundamentally sequential. Sequential things need a start (or else they are actually infinite - an impossibility). Things that have a start are physically real. So time is real IMO.
  • JosephS
    108
    I wonder if timeless matter could be matter which exists in all possible configurations simultaneously (in the 'eternal now'). So maybe a little like a quantum superposition.Devans99

    The cool thing about this conjecture is that we engage the possibility that discrete states are reflected as a set (a or maybe a bag, cf Java) without order. And the reason for the lack of, or even the potential for, an order is that 'the bulk' in which the states reside, exist distinct from the laws of thermodynamics which give rise to the ordering (time as we know it). Each state is reversible with respect to the next and so no glass whole/glass broken conundrum. The quantum is fundamental to the universe whereas the 4 fundamental forces (or maybe 3 + gravity) that we are familiar with exist as a result of the symmetry-breaking in the early universe.

    The only aspect of what we recognize as time that exists in the universe in the absence of the Big Bang is the various states of existence that exist within the potential.

    How do the field lines of potentiality cross to give rise to actuality?

    Conceptually, I have no clue how that can make sense. Can it mirror the process by which matter and anti-matter pairs can spontaneously arise in a vacuum (a process I have not internalized conceptually)?
  • PoeticUniverse
    744
    Fields making up empty space? Sounds like substantivalismDevans99

    Not substantivalism, but relationalism, because there's no empty space; 'space' doesn't exist in addition to something else. Space-time literally is Einstein's gravitational field. 'Space' is the span of relations.

    'Space' was always a problem, in that it had to be impossibly infinite in whatever quantity it had ascribed to it, such as it having volume as its only quantity.

    So we need to consider discreetness.Devans99
    Yes, the quantum discreteness demolishes the continuum—which we can add to our impossibles' list. Granularity rules.
  • Possibility
    623
    The problem with the 4D block universe view of the universe is that all is static and eternal, as in a still picture (when viewed from a 4D perspective).Devans99

    No, this is when viewed from a 5D perspective - when we do the maths and relate events outside of our own 4D perspective (ie. our physical existence).
  • Possibility
    623
    Processism, such as in Buddhism, is a dance without dancers, a process without agents acting. These so-called process-only occurrents cannot make it as relata. (not sure how I arrived at this).PoeticUniverse

    Are you suggesting here that two discrete events cannot relate to each other? That if we accept that all is process, then there is no relata?

    Another excerpt from Carlo Rovelli’s ‘The Order of Time’:
    “For a long time, we have tried to understand the world in terms of some primary substance. Perhaps physics, more than any other discipline, has pursued this primary substance. But the more we have studied it, the less the world seems comprehensible in terms of something that is. It seems to be a lot more intelligible in terms of relations between events.”
  • PoeticUniverse
    744
    Are you suggesting here that two discrete events cannot relate to each other? That if we accept that all is process, then there is no relata?Possibility

    No, a process is a good idea. I got it from my maybe garbled notes and perhaps 'processism' shouldn't be there or should have been something else. I should have left the whole thing out since I was already questioning it upon rereading it.
  • Possibility
    623
    You can view time from the 4d block universe perspective, but it is still sequentially organised - all time-like or space-like dimensions can be represented on a graph by an axis - so they are fundamentally sequentially organised - which means the time dimension has to stretch back forever (impossible - infinite regress) or start at some point (what is the reason why it started?).Devans99

    The absence of time does not mean, therefore, that everything is frozen and unmoving. It means that the incessant happening that wearied the world is not ordered along a timeline, is not measured by a gigantic tick-tocking. It does not even form a four-dimensional geometry. It is a boundless and disorderly network of quantum events. The world is more like Naples than Singapore.

    If by ‘time’ we mean nothing more than happening, then everything is time. There is only that which exists in time.

    - Carlo Rovelli, “The Order of Time”

    There is no ‘4D block universe perspective’ - you are either looking for time from within the 4D block universe (in which case ‘everything is time’), OR you are looking at the 4D block universe from beyond time (in which case the world is a ‘network of quantum events’ organised not sequentially, but by value relative to the observer).
  • PoeticUniverse
    744
    No, this is when viewed from a 5D perspective - when we do the maths and relate events outside of our own 4D perspective (ie. our physical existence).Possibility

    Here is a probably meaningless dimensional analysis equation if 'c' is a ratio:

    (externally, 4D block) as dddd / ('c' light speed) as d/t = (internally, space-time) as dddt
  • Possibility
    623
    Change may need a vessel. Playing pool without a pool table is difficult.Devans99

    Not necessarily. Pool is a two dimensional game played in four dimensions, hence the need for a three dimensional ‘vessel’ to contain the play. Change, on the other hand, is a 4D event. It only requires a 3D vessel if you’re trying to portray it in only two dimensions.
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    The cool thing about this conjecture is that we engage the possibility that discrete states are reflected as a set (a or maybe a bag, cf Java) without order. And the reason for the lack of, or even the potential for, an order is that 'the bulk' in which the states reside, exist distinct from the laws of thermodynamics which give rise to the ordering (time as we know it). Each state is reversible with respect to the next and so no glass whole/glass broken conundrum.JosephS

    It would be very neat, but can time really emerge from timeless thermodynamic phenomena? If entropy increases causes time to flow, we would expect time to flow faster where entropy is increasing faster. Has this ever been observed?

    There are other possibilities for the pre-Big Bang rather than timeless quantum soup. Quantum soup does not explain why the universe is fine tuned for life (without resource to unparimouous multiple universe models). We could imagine a macro world with a non-linear time dimension. It might or might not have the familiar 3 spacial dimensions. In that world, a timeless intelligence would compute the requirements for a life supporting universe and craft some sort of bomb that would set off the chain reaction leading to time/inflation/the BB.

    Not necessarily. Pool is a two dimensional game played in four dimensions, hence the need for a three dimensional ‘vessel’ to contain the play. Change, on the other hand, is a 4D event. It only requires a 3D vessel if you’re trying to portray it in only two dimensions.Possibility

    Time has a start implies something physical must have changed when time started which implies time is a physical thing.
  • Razorback kitten
    64
    An eternal universe is the only logical answer. If at any point there was no universe, no universe would exist today. God needn't come into the argument as he never existed or exists today.
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    If that's what you believe then please provide counter arguments to the OP.
  • Possibility
    623
    Not necessarily. Pool is a two dimensional game played in four dimensions, hence the need for a three dimensional ‘vessel’ to contain the play. Change, on the other hand, is a 4D event. It only requires a 3D vessel if you’re trying to portray it in only two dimensions.
    — Possibility

    Time has a start implies something physical must have changed when time started which implies time is a physical thing.
    Devans99

    I don’t see how your statement relates to what you quoted from me. I have never agreed that time has a start. It appears to have a start when measuring changes in a 3D world from within a 4D universe, when we assume that time is structured, sequential. Physical refers to what is perceived through the senses as opposed to the mind; what is tangible and concrete. If you’re looking for time as something physical, then all you will find is evidence of change.

    But when we look at the 4D cosmos from an eternal 5D perspective: when we recognise that the 4D block universe is structured not by time but by value, then the question becomes: a ‘start’ in relation to what?

    It would be very neat, but can time really emerge from timeless thermodynamic phenomena? If entropy increases causes time to flow, we would expect time to flow faster where entropy is increasing faster. Has this ever been observed?Devans99

    Entropy does not cause time to flow. The growth of entropy is time’s arrow, not its speed.

    Carlo Rovelli, again:

    “...if I could take into account all the details of the exact, microscopic state of the world, would the characteristic aspects of the flowing of time disappear? Yes. If I observe the microscopic state of things, then the difference between past and future vanishes.”

    “Just as with the movement of the Earth, the evidence is overwhelming: all the phenomena that characterise the flowing of time are reduced to a ‘particular’ state of the world’s past, the ‘particularity’ of which may be attributed to the blurring of our perspective.”
  • Razorback kitten
    64


    Well the original point you made about a counting God in an eternal universe is, in my opinion, a worthless thought experiment. An eternal universe has no need for a God. I can't even make a logical argument against it because it's tainted by the ambiguity of a fictional being. Sorry.
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