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Sometimes I like to dredge up an argument I have made before if I think I have a new and better way of expressing it. So I apologize if this looks like a repeat.

People keep sending me links to articles about how time is an illusion and not a quality of the universe. Apparently that is the common view of physicists. Scientists prefer concepts such as warped space-time and whatnot. I won't pretend to understand any of that. The point is that science doesn't recognize time -- in the way we understand it -- as a quality of the universe.

You might say time has something in common with God. Most people have a sense that both time and God exist, and they need both concepts to understand their own existence. Atheists and dyslexics (who experience time out of order) are the minority.

Given that science can't find evidence for either God or time, it takes a leap of faith to assume either one exists. Therefore, anything in our daily life that depends on either God or time is built on a foundation of faith and not science.

As a practical matter, faith is necessary to navigate our daily existence. You need to believe without benefit of scientific evidence that the way things work today, or seem to work, will be similar to how things will work tomorrow.

Evolution is a scientific fact. It meets all the tests of science. But it also depends entirely on the common notion of time. Therefore, while evolution is not a religion per se, it is built on a foundation of faith in something that scientists recognize as an illusion.

That doesn't make the theory of evolution any less useful within the reality we imagine we are experiencing. And it doesn't make it any less a scientific fact as we commonly define such things. But as a non-believer and a dyslexic, I twitch when I hear anything being touted as truth or reality when it so clearly depends on faith.
 
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Jun 9, 2009
Huh?
 
 
Jun 5, 2009
This reminds me of the old story of the dyslexic agnostic insomniac who used to lay awake all night wondering if there really was a dog.
 
 
Jun 4, 2009
My cat's breath smells like fish; Therefore evolution is untrue.
 
 
Jun 3, 2009
I am under the distinct impression that "time" is, like say, "space". They are both simply human-defined terms designed to represent a concept that is somewhat abstract. Time is not a "thing", it is our word for the passing from one moment to another. It might be defined as "energy changing from one state to another". If all the energy in one particular area were to stay in the exact same state, then time would stand still in that area. The fact that anyone has ever managed to think a thought, or simply just live for that matter, is proof that time exists. In regards to time, no faith is required. In regards to God, evolution etc. faith IS required, because for these things the evidence isn't 100% conclusive. Evolution has pretty darn solid evidence, but it's not 100% conclusive. In regards to God though, there isn't a single shred of evidence either way, so that is 100% based on faith.

I suspect I'm just about as qualified as you to discuss this topic - so this is of course only my two cents.
 
 
Jun 2, 2009
"People keep sending me links to articles about how time is an illusion and not a quality of the universe. Apparently that is the common view of physicists. "
It is not the common view of physicists. It is merely conjecture at this stage (not even a hypothesis), because it is not falsifiable.
For this reason, it is not part of science.
It is a personal conjecture by some physicists.

"Scientists prefer concepts such as warped space-time and whatnot. I won't pretend to understand any of that. The point is that science doesn't recognize time -- in the way we understand it -- as a quality of the universe."

"science doesn't recognize time -- in the way we understand it -- as a quality of the universe" - this is not true.
science currently does not have a strong theory (based on hypotheses) about what time actually is.

"You might say time has something in common with God. Most people have a sense that both time and God exist, and they need both concepts to understand their own existence. "
people feel that they require god to understand their own existence, but since God is not the only way that they could have come to exist, it is not rational to conclude that God is required.

"Atheists and dyslexics (who experience time out of order) are the minority. "
neither atheists nor dyslexics experience time out of order (no one does).

"Given that science can't find evidence for either God or time, it takes a leap of faith to assume either one exists. Therefore, anything in our daily life that depends on either God or time is built on a foundation of faith and not science."

God - yes
Time - anything in daily life that depends on 'time as being a quality of the universe' requires faith - but then what part of daily life actually depends on this?
his statement is false "anything in our daily life that depends on either God or time is built on a foundation of faith"
it should read: "anything in our daily life that depends on either God or time as being a quality of the universe is built on a foundation of faith"

"As a practical matter, faith is necessary to navigate our daily existence."
Incorrect - I navigate just fine.

"You need to believe without benefit of scientific evidence that the way things work today, or seem to work, will be similar to how things will work tomorrow."
Why?

"Evolution is a scientific fact. It meets all the tests of science. But it also depends entirely on the common notion of time."
Incorrect - it does not depend on time being a quality of the universe.

"Therefore, while evolution is not a religion per se, it is built on a foundation of faith in something that scientists recognize as an illusion."
False - Evolution is based on falsifiable hypotheses, that have passed numerous tests over a very long period.

"That doesn't make the theory of evolution any less useful within the reality we imagine we are experiencing. And it doesn't make it any less a scientific fact as we commonly define such things. But as a non-believer and a dyslexic, I twitch when I hear anything being touted as truth or reality when it so clearly depends on faith."
as a non-believer (not a dyslexic), I twitch when I hear anything being touted as final (probability of being wrong equals exactly 0) truth.

I think that you may hold this opinion because of a lack of understanding of the conjecture in question - here is some further reading:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19726391.500-is-time-an-illusion.html
 
 
Jun 2, 2009
"sounds like your pride prevents you from experiencing what your Father intends"

I disrespectfully decline the request to join your hallucination and enjoin you to drink in reality as it becomes available and take responsibility for your world, for Science is the beverage that will both quench your thirst and leave you thirsty.
 
 
Jun 2, 2009
"sounds like your pride prevents you from experiencing what your Father intends"

I respectfully decline the request to join your hallucination.
 
 
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Jun 2, 2009
sounds like your pride prevents you from experiencing what your Father intends. what are you going to do about it?
 
 
Jun 2, 2009
"But as a non-believer and a dyslexic, I twitch when I hear anything being touted as truth or reality when it so clearly depends on faith."

But it's like the broadening of the word "customer" to include everyone that the business interacts with - when EVRYONE is a customer, there is no way to differentiate the people who choose to buy your products from the people who happen to walk past one of your billboards.

If time requires faith (fair enough), then EVERYTHING requires faith - since everything we do involves time in some way. And when EVERYTHING requires faith, then there is no way to distinguish between the things that require "proper" faith ("my god exists and yours does not") and "common" faith ("If I let go this ball, it will fall to the ground")
 
 
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Jun 1, 2009
"time is an illusion and not a quality of the universe. Apparently that is the common view of physicists"

Except this is not true. This view is nowhere near common among credible physicists. Saying that time is relative, i.e. dependent on the observer or amount of mass nearby in no way implies that "time is an illusion and not a quality of the universe". It is very much a quality of the universe, just a more complex one than we routinely perceive. A quality, I might add, that is not taken on faith, but systematically studied. The rest of your elaborately constructed argument falls apart from there.
 
 
Jun 1, 2009
How do you know you weren't created 5 minutes ago with a complete set of memories?
 
 
Jun 1, 2009
Does God ever wonder why he's here and what's it all mean?
 
 
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 1, 2009
I'm not sure what's funnier, your understanding of physics and time or how riled up you got all the steeple huggers with the mention of evolution....lmao
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 1, 2009
I agree with many other posters that the use of the word "illusion" is unfortunate. For anyone taking the time to read Barbour, Deutsch, Smolin, and other authors, the difficulty with time starts with its interpretation as a dimension. As other posters have mentioned, physicists don't discount it in their equations; they are bothered by the lack of symmetry, i.e., our inability to traverse the time dimension in two directions.

Time is an element of our understanding of the universe, just not as well understood as physicists might like...

What Scott may find more interesting to ponder are the implications of Barbour's approach in which time is subsumed into superposition of states in the wave equation (one of two possible versions of the equation). Basically there are an infinity (large number) of states possible for a particle. There is a probability assigned for each state, which governs ultimately our perception of reality. (I'm doing Barbour's arguments a disservice with this description, but you get the idea). Now, couple that concept with the recently proposed idea that electrons may possess "free will", i.e., are free to choose their own state, then we have an interesting proposition, one that leads naturally to Kantian, Schopenhauer-ish discussions.

In the end, the problem of time is not one of faith. We use a common-sense notion of time when we measure things in the macro physical world. Scientists consider the meaning of time in various laws and theories and are trying to find experiments to validate their ideas. Therein is the main point, time is considered in the framework of scientific theory(ala Popper, Kuhn, or others...), with testable assumptions. Thus, this discussion is rooted in and remains in the domain of science.

thanks,

 
 
Jun 1, 2009
jctennis123
1. I dont know where to start with your basis in Strobel. how about biased and unscientific. Google it as you suggest and read everything not just the bits you like.
2. the point was that Science requied belief, not that god doesnt exist.
3. Creationism requires you to belive that god stuck dinosaurs fossils in the earth simple to confuse archologists. Im not saying he didnt, but id hope he had better things to be doing with his time.

What came first God or Belief. Now before you say "god" think about it for a bit. If god came first how long had he been there, where was he before he was here. are we his 689978th attempt at credible life?

Does "god" have a god? he created us in his image so our ability to belive must be something se share with him. so who does he belive in?

I think religioin has some way to go for a credible, "gods responsible" for everything.
 
 
May 31, 2009
Scott, If you don't believe God exists, just google "Evidence for God". 10 minutes of honest searching should make you question your views. And I know you are a busy man but I recommend "Case For Creation" by Lee Strobel. It is an excellent read on Creation and proof for God and it also blows up some commonly held evolution premises.

Don't you think that eternity is too long too have the wrong answer? Imagine 10,000 years from now. Where will you be?

Also, why are there very intelligent people on both sides who believe they have the right answer 100%? Do atheists have a prior commitment to materialism and they don't want to believe that a God exists who will hold them accountable? Isn't that convenient for them? Are the creationists weak and they couldn't handle it emotionally if God did not exist? Isn't that convenient for them to have this impalpable belief that they can use as a trump card?

But there is not any evidence for God, right?
 
 
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
May 30, 2009
Since time, as a variable, shows up somewhere in a huge number of physics equations, I don't think it's fair to say that most physicists think of it as an illusion.
 
 
May 30, 2009
Time is an illusion? What are the links? The passage and direction of time can be seen with entropy increasing as time advances.
 
 
May 30, 2009
For anything to be an illusion there has to be something real which it's hiding (e.g. a slight of hand, a projecter, a double, a secret compartment, etc.) So with that said, what's behind time?

I'm remeber the good old days when people actually believed that what's there is there, not doubting everything like insecure children.
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
May 30, 2009
Middle species? Roadkill. Fold your hands together as in prayer. Now slowly pull your hands apart. Imagine that one hand is big woodpeckers, the other small, the fingers, woodpeckers in between. As long as they touch, they're one breeding population. Sexual selection, competition and environment favours the extremes.
 
 
 
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