For some reason scientists (physicists mostly) think only they have the right to answer “What is Time?” They are blinkered either by the unquestioned assumption that it’s a science problem, or maybe by the limits of their own cognitive envelope.
In Time Reborn ((2013, all) Professor Lee Smolin struggles to make sense of the destination science has achieved with time – it doesn’t add up – science has failed.
Space-time seems to be a sticking point, particularly for scientists. Einstein showed that space and time are connected. And he did this, did he not, without a full understanding of what time is (he actually said that he had no idea if time really existed or was an invention of man). And, undoubtedly, an understanding of space-time has allowed science to make many breakthroughs and predictions.
But it doesn’t get us any closer to a definitive explanation of time itself. If we don’t know what time is, how can we really be sure we fully understand what space-time is?
So breaking down time does impact on what we think we understand space-time to be. But the starting point to that has to be to understand time itself.
Why has the quest for time been surrendered to scientists?
Why is the question of “what is time” a science problem? Science is about hypothesis, observation and experiment – explain cause and effect. But does time cause anything?
“Doesn’t time cause ageing?” I hear you cry. Well, no. You age because of the sequentially dependent, complex bio-chemical processes happening in your body – time is merely a calibration of those processes. Time measures, it doesn’t cause.
Time makes no causal impact, it has no outcomes, it doesn’t do anything; there’s nothing to evidence it has an existence – you can’t see it, hear it, smell it or touch it. Time causes nothing, affects nothing and produces nothing. All we observe is change. What experiments do we expect?
How then can “what is time” be a science problem?