Nobody Asked

Is Time Just an Illusion?

Episode Summary

Time controls everything, it dictates when we wake up, go to sleep, live, and die, but is it all just an illusion?

Episode Notes

We live our lives on a clock that ticks on by. There are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, and 24 hours in a day. Time controls everything, it dictates when we wake up, go to sleep, live, and die, but is it all just an illusion?

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Sources that made this episode possible:

Amponsah, S. (2019, May 26). The Illusion of Time. Retrieved August 14, 2019, from https://medium.com/swlh/the-illusion-of-time-b882bceaf470Larry G. Maguire, Kapoor, R., James, Dalia,

Chaudhry, R., Russell, A., . . . Llana, A. D. (2019, February 28). Does Time Exist? Retrieved August 14, 2019, from https://larrygmaguire.com/does-time-exist/

Musser, G. (2017, December 07). Why Space and Time Might Be an Illusion. Retrieved August 14, 2019, from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/space-time-illusion_b_9703656?guccounter=1

Episode Transcription

Oh, hello! Welcome to this episode of Nobody Asked, I'm Kyler Johnson, and today we're taking a look at time. Does time actually exist, or is it just an illusion?

We live our lives on a clock that ticks on by. There are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, and 24 hours in a day. Time controls everything; it dictates when we wake up, go to sleep, live, and die. Time present is now; it's what is currently happening. However, what I just said is now contained in time past. Time is always moving forward.

Time itself is a social construct. Many believe that time began after the Big Bang occurred, so what was there before the Big Bang? Was there no time? It's possible that before the Big Bang, the universe was an infinite stretch of space material. Just sitting there. It was just a dot in a sea of black.

When it comes to physics, time is defined by what a clock reads. It's used as a tool to help define other quantities. Like how fast a car is moving or how painstakingly slow a snail is moving.

According to Einstein's theory of relativity, it states that space and time are part of this four-dimensional structure where everything thing that has happened has its own coordinates in spacetime. 

It is meaning that everything (past and future) are equally as important as present. All of these things are real because they exist in spacetime, not our time. This is what makes me believe time is an illusion. 

We believe that the past has already happened and that the future doesn't exist yet. However, the only reason we know the past exists is because we have personally experienced it. It's what our brain remembers. 

Since the past, present, and future are all happening at the same time, it's possible that we can view this all at once. I'm not sure how we'd do it, but since all of these tenses have a coordinate in spacetime. We could technically view them all at once, according to the theory of relativity. 

Dr. Julian Barbour, a physicist, says, "as we live, we seem to move through a succession of nows, and the question is, what are they?"

He also says, "the only evidence we have of Earth's past is rocks and fossils. But these are just stable structures in the form of an arrangement of minerals we examine in the present."

Essentially, we date these fossils relative to our idea of time. We use things like radioactive decay to help place a time stamp on these things, so we can fill in the blank about a past we personally never experienced. 

Professor Sean Carroll of Caltech, says the law of physics do not see the differences between the past and future. He believes that we don't have a full understanding of our universe, so it's hard for us to understand time truly. However, when we do have a better understanding, then we can make a better argument on whether or not time is an illusion.

The question of whether or not time is an illusion is one of the biggest controversies on the planet. And before I wrap up this episode, I want to read you something.

In a poem by T.S. Eliot, called, "Burnt Norton," which is featured on Lana Del Rey's Honeymoon album btw. Hi, Lana, how are you?

It reads,

 "Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All-time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door, we never opened
Into the rose-garden."