2 of 6
2
Is the empty space between particles or other matter something?
Posted: 20 December 2011 07:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5975
Joined  2009-02-26
George - 20 December 2011 12:37 PM
TimB - 20 December 2011 12:18 PM

Understanding of spacetime is not as intuitive as of space itself because one cannot move freely in time as in space and also, what is the nature of time, why does it flow and has direction, is still unknown.

Could it be that organisms have evolved to only perceive time flowing in one direction, as this has been necessary for survival?

I always have to nitpick when I see this. Sorry. Organisms don’t evolve a certain way because it’s necessary for survival, but rather they survive (and reproduce) because they have evolved whatever it takes to survive (and reproduce).

As far as the direction of time goes, I imagine we perceive it the way we do because we have consciousness, and I doubt consciousness is an adaptation. Rather, I am more inclined to believe it’s a byproduct of something else—I have a few ideas.

I believe time is a by-product of quantum and is created (needed) during the change from one quantum state to another. In other words, before the first quantum event there was no time at all. IMO it is closely related with SOL which is fastest speed/time at which quantum can take place in the physical world.

 Signature 

Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
W4U

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 December 2011 12:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4375
Joined  2007-08-31

Sorry, answers about time that implicitly use time to explain awareness of time cannot be real answers:

TimB - 20 December 2011 12:18 PM

Could it be that organisms have evolved to only perceive time flowing in one direction, as this has been necessary for survival?

To say that ‘organisms evolved’ presupposes time.

Write4U - 20 December 2011 07:31 PM

...before the first quantum event there was no time at all.

Don’t suggest you understand what you are writing, Write. Did exist Potential before time came into existence?
‘In the beginning there was Potential, and lo, it became real and time existed!’
‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’

George - 20 December 2011 12:37 PM

As far as the direction of time goes, I imagine we perceive it the way we do because we have consciousness, and I doubt consciousness is an adaptation. Rather, I am more inclined to believe it’s a byproduct of something else—I have a few ideas.

Well, at least evolution is evolution in time, that is where the word originally stems from: ‘the gradual development of something’. I don’t know what a development without time could possibly mean.
The evolutionary advantage of the brain is clear: it makes it possible for animals to anticipate the future in very flexible ways. Animals can ‘picture’ its needs and position, and has the possibility to act based on it. I have no idea what the difference between these capabilities and consciousness could be. You could call planetary systems byproducts of gravitation. But a meteor clashing on a planet is not the same as a stable planetary system. ‘Just’ byproducts…

 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 December 2011 05:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5975
Joined  2009-02-26
GdB - 21 December 2011 12:47 AM

Sorry, answers about time that implicitly use time to explain awareness of time cannot be real answers:

TimB - 20 December 2011 12:18 PM

Could it be that organisms have evolved to only perceive time flowing in one direction, as this has been necessary for survival?

To say that ‘organisms evolved’ presupposes time.

Write4U - 20 December 2011 07:31 PM

...before the first quantum event there was no time at all.

Don’t suggest you understand what you are writing, Write. Did exist Potential before time came into existence?
‘In the beginning there was Potential, and lo, it became real and time existed!’
‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’

I would rather put it this way, ‘In the beginning was the word, and the word was Potential.’

GdB I understand what I am writing, but I make it abundantly clear that it is my opinion and that I do not speak from authority.
And yes, it is my opinion that Potential (latent excellence or ability) existed before time existed. It was universal potential contained in an infinitely small singularity which “instantaneously” resulted in a mega quantum event (the BB) and spacetime only began after inflation when universal constants took hold of the chaos.

[ Edited: 21 December 2011 10:08 AM by Write4U ]
 Signature 

Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
W4U

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 December 2011 07:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9281
Joined  2006-08-29
GdB - 21 December 2011 12:47 AM

Animals can ‘picture’ its needs and position, and has the possibility to act based on it.

So can a computer when it’s playing chess. Is it conscious? Plus, when we decide on the possibilities on which to act on, we do it unconsciously. We only become aware of them once the decision has been made. But we have discussed all these things a million times before.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 December 2011 09:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9281
Joined  2006-08-29

Perhaps I should add, GdB, that I believe consciousness is the product or the reaction of our ability to reason. Not its cause. We are more conscious (I believe it’s a spectrum) than lower animals because we reason more. You seem to claim the opposite, that we are better at reasoning than the animals because we are more conscious. I don’t see it that way at all.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 December 2011 09:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4375
Joined  2007-08-31
George - 21 December 2011 07:32 AM
GdB - 21 December 2011 12:47 AM

Animals can ‘picture’ its needs and position, and has the possibility to act based on it.

So can a computer when it’s playing chess.

Does it?

George - 21 December 2011 07:32 AM

Plus, when we decide on the possibilities on which to act on, we do it unconsciously. We only become aware of them once the decision has been made.

I do not think that is exactly true. Think about the following actions:

1. Put the left leg for the right.
2. Walk.
3. Go to the fridge because there is a last bottle of beer.
4. After some deliberation that you know there are more people that would like the beer, take it.

Isn’t there a gradual increase in consciousness in describing these actions? But all describe the same event: you go to the fridge to take a beer. That there is a lot of unconscious processing involved does not mean that it can happen all on this level when you leave out consciousness.

Why did the planets collide? Because their orbits overlap. Do orbits exist? Well, no, only matter and gravity exist.
Did evolution occur? Well, no, organisms do not really exist, it’s all chemical reactions, nothing more, just cause and effect. In fact there is nothing to be selected, so no selection either.

 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 December 2011 09:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4375
Joined  2007-08-31
George - 21 December 2011 09:32 AM

Perhaps I should add, GdB, that I believe consciousness is the product or the reaction of our ability to reason. Not its cause. We are more conscious (I believe it’s a spectrum) than lower animals because we reason more. You seem to claim the opposite, that we are better at reasoning than the animals because we are more conscious. I don’t see it that way at all.

A sorry, that sounds better.

Yes it seems so, but in fact I claim that reasoning and consciousness (in the context you mention it) are the same, only seen from a different perspective. There is no causal relationship between reasoning and consciousness. You cannot have ‘reasoning’ without consciousness, as you cannot have a backside of a piece of paper without a front side. But the front side does not cause the backside, or the other way round.

 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 December 2011 10:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9281
Joined  2006-08-29

Yeah, as usual, we’ll have to agree to disagree. I am sure the ability to reason is an adaptation, but since the part of us being conscious of what we have reasoned to do seems to be delayed by a few seconds, I don’t think they are necessarily the same thing. I see consciousness as the gift from God, one for which we have to pay with the awareness of our mortality. But no, I don’t think you need consciousness to get the beer from a fridge. I have had accomplished a lot more than getting a beer from fridge when I used to sleepwalk in my younger days.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 December 2011 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2766
Joined  2011-11-04
GdB - 21 December 2011 12:47 AM

Sorry, answers about time that implicitly use time to explain awareness of time cannot be real answers:

TimB - 20 December 2011 12:18 PM

Could it be that organisms have evolved to only perceive time flowing in one direction, as this has been necessary for survival?

To say that ‘organisms evolved’ presupposes time.

GdB, are you saying that one should not question whether time really is only unidirectional?  Or are you saying that it makes no sense to hypothesize whether it only seems unidirectional due to our perceptual limitations? Or are you saying something else, entirely.  (Some of what you text often flies rapidly past, above and parellel to the top of my head smile ).

 Signature 

“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb… We are bound to others, past and present… And by each crime and every kindness… We birth our future.”  Sonmi, 2144.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 December 2011 07:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5975
Joined  2009-02-26
TimB - 21 December 2011 03:00 PM
GdB - 21 December 2011 12:47 AM

Sorry, answers about time that implicitly use time to explain awareness of time cannot be real answers:

TimB - 20 December 2011 12:18 PM

Could it be that organisms have evolved to only perceive time flowing in one direction, as this has been necessary for survival?

To say that ‘organisms evolved’ presupposes time.

GdB, are you saying that one should not question whether time really is only unidirectional?  Or are you saying that it makes no sense to hypothesize whether it only seems unidirectional due to our perceptual limitations? Or are you saying something else, entirely.  (Some of what you text often flies rapidly past, above and parellel to the top of my head smile ).

Tim, I am ignorant (but very interested) on the subject. But reread my post #16

If we assume that there was no time before the beginning, it follows that you cannot go backward past that point. The beginning of the universe (spacetime) is where history (the passage of time) begins.
Thus time moves forward, as the universe evolves. If it were possible to go back in time, such as during “inflation” when energy expanded at FTL (faster than light speed), we would end up back at the BB in an infinite loop, which it obviously did not. My conclusion is that “inflation” (an almost infinitely small instant) could happen because spacetime was not yet existent and the universals associated with “spacetime” were not yet instantiated.

Today, when we look back billions of years we can see the traces of the BB. We popularly say that we are looking back in time, but in reality we are looking back at the history of the universe and we are not actually travelling back in time, because even as we look, time is still travelling forward in our present.

In a proof once offered by a Japanese physicist, he devised a mental experiment to see if he could go back in time and kill himself.
He posited that he had a gun, loaded it, all of which took 3 minutes. Then he opened a window back in time 3 minutes before his present time.
He saw himself standing in his room, gun in hand which was not yet loaded, and unusable for shooting. Thus if he killed himself at that time, he could not have had a loaded gun in the present and the gun in his hand at the present time would be unloaded and he would be unable to kill himself at that prior moment back in time. If he then proceeded to load the gun, which would take him 3 more minutes and try to repeat his experiment, he would end up looking at his present time (three minutes past), opening the window into time to kill himself 3 minutes back in time. But then he would again see himself standing with an empty gun in his hand, etc, etc. Thus in fact he was not travelling back in time but only looking back in history and never be able to change it as his present would always be three minutes ahead of his history and he would not be able to kill himself with a gun which he had not yet loaded.

IMO, this proved that even if we were able to travel back in time, we would not be able to change anything, because the condition in the present would prevent us from altering the past. Al we can hope for is to “look” back in history (time) watching ourselves as a memory, unable to influence that memory in any way. I hope that this a correct interpretation of the time paradox.

IMO, it is actually impossible to reverse time, because in doing so we would be dissembling all the history which brought us to the present, including ourselves, which would prevent us from reversing time from the present.

Time can only move forward, not because time moves independently of events, but rather that time is created by the events, i.e. the time it “takes” for an event to become instantiated. I posit that SOL (speed of light) is the fastest possible way (duration) for physical reality to become manifest. Even virtual particles can only be created by accelerating other particles to near SOL and colliding them in order to create enough energy for a virtual particle to become manifest (be measured) for an instant in time before it disappears beyond the event horizon.
I believe this is how they seek to discover the Higgs boson.

Perhaps this is why we call SOL the event horizon. It is impossible for a physical object to travel faster than SOL and (theoretically) going back in time. As I understand it, it would take all the energy in the universe to be able to accomplish that and that would instantly tear the entire universe into shreds.

However, at STL (slower than light speed) time becomes relative. We can create conditions which slow time down for an event, but only relative to another object or observer. We have the story of the astronaut travelling a great distance at near SOL, returning to back to earth younger than the people on earth, as time for them passed relatively faster than for the traveler. But for the traveler his time passed normally. Thus time at STL is a relative experience, but always moves forward.

[ Edited: 22 December 2011 03:37 AM by Write4U ]
 Signature 

Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
W4U

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 December 2011 08:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5975
Joined  2009-02-26
George - 21 December 2011 07:32 AM
GdB - 21 December 2011 12:47 AM

Animals can ‘picture’ its needs and position, and has the possibility to act based on it.

So can a computer when it’s playing chess. Is it conscious? Plus, when we decide on the possibilities on which to act on, we do it unconsciously. We only become aware of them once the decision has been made. But we have discussed all these things a million times before.

But can a computer set traps? As i understand it computers win because they are able to calculate the mathematics of “best” moves in a given situation. But can a computer deliberately devise a diversion on one side of the board in order to gain a positional advantage on the other side?

There are monkeys who will call a false alarm and when the troup retreats in the trees, it will gather the food left behind.

[ Edited: 21 December 2011 08:26 PM by Write4U ]
 Signature 

Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
W4U

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 December 2011 11:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5939
Joined  2006-12-20
GdB - 21 December 2011 09:52 AM

I do not think that is exactly true. Think about the following actions:

1. Put the left leg for the right.
2. Walk.
3. Go to the fridge because there is a last bottle of beer.
4. After some deliberation that you know there are more people that would like the beer, take it.

Isn’t there a gradual increase in consciousness in describing these actions?

No.

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 December 2011 12:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4375
Joined  2007-08-31
George - 21 December 2011 10:23 AM

Yeah, as usual, we’ll have to agree to disagree.

I do not agree.  tongue wink
Yet.

George - 21 December 2011 10:23 AM

I am sure the ability to reason is an adaptation, but since the part of us being conscious of what we have reasoned to do seems to be delayed by a few seconds, I don’t think they are necessarily the same thing.

Consciousness is not a single flash, it is a long taking process of which most of course is unconscious. The absurdity of the idea that the whole process should be conscious, in order to count as a conscious decision, can be seen by the idea that you then should be able to fire every neuron separately. The idea that ‘you’ are in charge, i.e. you are determining your physiological processes is dualistic, presupposes a ‘you’, or putting more honestly, a ‘soul’. The idea that consciousness plays no role because unconscious processes build it up and then at one moment you become conscious presupposes a dualistic world view. It is still the Cartesian Theatre that haunts us: the idea that all (sense-)information is built up, then comes together in the conscious centre, and this centre sends motoric signals to the body. This is the picture you deny. But that is not my picture.

Said in another way: if you do not explain consciousness with unconscious processes, you have explained nothing. So seeing brain process being built up before a test person reports his conscious decision is factually no surprise at all.

But saying that consciousness is just a by-product misses the point. Then you are saying that you can have all the capabilities we have, like having foresight, the ability to plan our actions etc. without being conscious: having all these capabilities is consciousness. It is like saying that mass is a by-product of matter.

George - 21 December 2011 10:23 AM

But no, I don’t think you need consciousness to get the beer from a fridge. I have had accomplished a lot more than getting a beer from fridge when I used to sleepwalk in my younger days.

Sure, many of our actions are automatically, as I tried to illustrate with my examples 1 till 4. I think it is commonly excepted by neuro scientists that as soon as we are used to certain regular actions, we become unaware of the every small step we do (children who learn to walk!).

 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 December 2011 12:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4375
Joined  2007-08-31
TimB - 21 December 2011 03:00 PM

GdB, are you saying that one should not question whether time really is only unidirectional?  Or are you saying that it makes no sense to hypothesize whether it only seems unidirectional due to our perceptual limitations? Or are you saying something else, entirely.

No, I am saying that it makes not much sense about asking what was before time, because the use of the concept ‘before’ presupposes time. Also, asking for the cause of time suffers from this problem, as we usually see a cause of an event as preceding the event. Even the concept ‘event’ presupposes time. So it is a conceptual limitation.

How then can physics talk about time? Well it can on the cost of abstraction, in which e.g. the idea of a direction of time disappears, as well our daily experience of the past, now, and the future. And in this framework one can build at least a consistent, but abstract and mathematical model of the universe.

 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 December 2011 07:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9281
Joined  2006-08-29

GdB,

Just because something may not be an adaptation, it doesn’t mean that it plays no role in our lives. Art, for example, can very well be a byproduct (a spandrel), but it doesn’t take away from the impact it has had on our species. I am not sure that you really understand what a byproduct means in evolutionary terms. Your mass/matter examples are irrelevant here, since physics is not biology.

I believe that all of our actions are automatic and we are, in a way, robots. The complexity of our brains is what gave a rise to us having consciousness, but consciousness plays no causation role in our decision making.

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 6
2