There’s no Time

Question for the day:

Does time exist?

I mean “exist” – like the keyboard I am typing on or the screen I am looking at?

Does it physically exist like things I can touch or perceive?

Renaissance man that I am I have an interest in such things and absolutely no background or education in such things. So feel free to demolish any of my philosophical musings and errant conclusions.

Time flies as all us old folks say – I will be 73 years old in September. The “past” in my memory is fixed. The “future” is open and unknown. The “present” is this moment – and by the “time” you finish this sentence the “present” will be the “past”.

So does time physically exist or is it a mental construct?

Things I can touch and describe “exist” for me. Certain things I cannot see or touch, such as gravity, but which have an effect I can describe “exist” for me. I don’t know what causes gravity but I know intuitively it is there.

I can see light and I know it “exists” even though I can’t touch it like this keyboard.

But “time”? Our mental concepts of gravity and light coincide with real things.

How do we conceive time when there is no physical interaction and we cannot describe it? It fails both conditions of a physical reality.

Is time just an illusion?

But the clock tells us the time! Well not exactly. When we look at a clock we are seeing a physical object which is in motion. It’s the batteries and springs which make the hands go round. Not time.  And “time” continues in our head even if all the clocks stop.  The sun still rises.  Oh wait.  That’s not time.  It’s motion.

Is “time” the mental byproduct of the physical reality of motion?

Einstein did tell us that time runs differently depending on motion and the observer – that motion controls time. Is motion therefore the main physical actor of the universe?

I’ve gotten old. The body I was at 20 is no longer the same. This fact however has nothing to do with “time” – it has to do with cellular regeneration and perhaps the Second Law of Thermodynamics – the movement from order to disorder.

If “time” is non-physical then it doesn’t exist – it is a mental construct – it exists only in our heads.

Moment to moment, as you read this, nothing (and I mean nothing) remains the same. All is in motion. Everything moves from sub-atomic particles to the leaves on the tree in your yard to the earth revolving on its axis, around the sun, the sun moves in the galaxy, the galaxy moves in the cosmos, the cosmos expands. All moves from order to disorder to equilibrium.

Those in the “know” on these subjects do not think this way. They work on “string theory” and soap bubbles of “multi-verses”. They believe “time” is “real”.

“A sizable minority of physicists however believe that any successful merger of the two great masterpieces of 20th-century physics, the Theory of Relativity and the Quantum Theory will inevitably describe a universe in which, ultimately, there is no time.”   Hehe.  I could have told ’em that.

I’ve read of experiments done with atomic clocks – one here on earth and one orbiting the planet to see it there was a difference in “time keeping”. There is – exactly what Einstein had predicted. The clock in orbit ran slower.

So did the motion of orbit affect “time” Or did the motion of orbit affect the workings of the clock?

Humans need to describe a moment in our memory – to place it in context with other moments – the moment before she was in my arms, the moment she was in my arms, the moment after – we give it a time. The time is a mental construct. Not a physical reality.

“Time” is the definition of what our clocks measure; the mental byproduct of the physical reality that is motion.

I think.

Any questions? (Smile)

In my next post I will discuss the evidence supporting the theory that the earth is actually flat and that the sun revolves about the earth.  I mean, can you deny your own eyes?



There is no time;
only the motion of decay
the chaos of the defined
dissolving into infinite

Sitting still, the world spins
the sun moves, galaxies speed
nothing seems to change
while nothing remains the same

between glances
decomposition, degeneration
atrophy, becoming apparent
through the looking glass

Quantum state vectors
in a Hilbert space
not years
have changed my face

Time is noticing;
new lines
changes in the mirror
since last I looked.



About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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4 Responses to There’s no Time

  1. beetleypete says:

    It must be a fairly modern concept. In the original rural existence, the day was measured by sunrise and sunset, meal times and bedtime. Seasons were more important than hours. Then the Church started to divide it into smaller sections to allow for prayers, and before we know it, we have the ‘working week’.
    Regards from England, Pete.


  2. toritto says:

    Beetley – Tomorrow’s Monday! Oh wait. I’m retired. Makes no difference to me!




  3. Norman Pilon says:

    I concur: time is an ‘idea’ and not a self-subsistent reality. What there is, is the here and now, always and forever, a world constantly changing in its patterns of motion or apparent structure.
    There are occurrences and sequences of occurrences, and their order of occurrence is forever in the sense that what has happened cannot be undone. That is the historical nature of the world, in that events condition what is to follow in the interminable series of the now.

    Relativists, thinking they have drawn the correct conclusions from Einstein’s theorizing, substantialize time, that is, they turn it into a thing. They tell us that time is affected by motion and gravitational potential. But if you ask them how they know this, they cannot but point to a comparison of one set of physical processes in one defined frame of reference with those of other physical processes in another such frame. In the end, they have nothing but relative rates of physical occurrences to compare with one another, and so the only thing they are entitled to say is that physical processes — right down to the atomic order of things — are affected in their relative rates of occurrence by variations in “rates of motion” and “gravitational potential.”

    The here and now is all that is and will ever be.

    But the here and now is a monster of energy, forever changing. And the human brain notes the change as well as bits and pieces of sequences of this change, which it encodes as patterned memory traces in itself; and amazingly, so much of what happens in the here and now is so repetitive in form, that memory somehow or other becomes anticipation, and we are able as a result to fashion plans that we interpose in the buzz of the here and now.

    The past and the future are but the fabrications of memory and concocted anticipation, consequential and effective projections of the human mind.

    Time really is as you put it, the noticing of new lines, whether in the mirror or as a concrete possibilities.

    Great poem, by the way. I may come back and pilfer it, as I am in the habit of doing. But the theft will have to wait until next week. I’m off to the depths of Algonquin Park for a week (more or less) of solitary canoeing, fishing, and camping.



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