The Instigator
Rational_Thinker9119
Pro (for)
Winning
17 Points
The Contender
PhilosophicalPerson
Con (against)
Losing
4 Points

Physical Reality Is Probably Fundamentally Timeless/ Unchanging

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Rational_Thinker9119
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/2/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,336 times Debate No: 43263
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (4)

 

Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

I will be arguing that change and time are not fundamental aspects of physical reality, and they are are most likely just emergent illusions that observers within the universe experience, while ontologically; reality is static and unmoving.

First round for acceptence.
PhilosophicalPerson

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

Introduction

I am going to be arguing that at the fundamental level of reality; time probably plays no role. This may seem bizarre because time is something that seems intimate to us. Physically, however, it is not that fundamental. Ontologically, the universe is likely to be static and unchanging.

Quantum Events Are Not Dependent On Space And Time

The fundamental reality is quantum, and the macroscopic world is made of the quantum world. This suggests that if quantum events don't depend on space-time, then time isn't really fundamental to physical reality (the quantum world is our fundamental physical reality). In the paper "Quantum Erasure With Causally Disconnected Choice" from 2011[1], physicists Xiao-song Ma, Johannes Kofler, Angie Qarry, Nuray Tetik, Thomas Scheidl, Rupert Ursin, Sven Ramelow, Thomas Herbst, Lothar Ratschbacher, Alessandro Fedrizzi, Thomas Jennewein, and Anton Zeilinger showed that for the result of the experiment they carried out to be compatible with Special Relativity; we have to assume that quantum events (like quantum entanglement) are not dependent on space-time. If we do not assume this, then violations in Special Relativity appear, which is unlikely, as Special Relativity is very well tested[2][3]. This suggests that the quantum world, and thus, the more fundamental aspect of our physical reality, is timeless.

Anton Zeilinger describes the results of the experiment:


"Our work disproves the view that a quantum system might, at a certain point in time, appear definitely as a wave or definitely as a particle. This would require communication faster than light – which is dramatically at odds with Einstein's theory of relativity. And so, I think that this view needs to be abandoned completely. In a certain sense, quantum events are independent from space and time." - Anton Zeilinger[4]

It seems as if this is strong evidence that the quantum world, our fundamental physical reality, isn't dependent on time or space. Thus, it is likely timeless.


The Wheeler-DeWitt Equation

\hat{H}(x) |\psi\rangle = 0

The Wheeler-DeWitt Equation describes a reality that is fundamentally timeless, but it is the best description we have with regards to uniting Quantum Mechanics with Relativity.

"The Wheeler–DeWitt equationis an attempt to mathematically meld the ideas of quantum mechanics and general relativity, a step toward a theory of quantum gravity. In this approach, time plays no role in the equation, leading to the problem of time."[5]

Since this is the best equation we have so far in context, and it describes a timeless reality; this is a large clue in favor of the resolution.

Time Emerges From Quantum Entanglement



Scientist Ekaterina Moreva and an accompanying team were able to show that time is an emergent property of Quantum Entanglement, and that reality is fundamentally static in their paper "Time from quantum entanglement: an experimental illustration"[6] . Basically, if there was an observer outside the universe, this observer would see our timeless and unchanging universe as it really is.

"The results depend on how the observation is made. One way to do this is to compare the change in the entangled particles with an external clock that is entirely independent of the universe. This is equivalent to god-like observer outside the universe measuring the evolution of the particles using an external clock.

In this case, Page and Wootters showed that the particles would appear entirely unchanging—that time would not exist in this scenario...


... Of course, without experimental verification, Page and Wootter’s ideas are little more than a philosophical curiosity. And since it is never possible to have an observer outside the universe, there seemed little chance of ever testing the idea.

Until now. Today, Ekaterina Moreva at the Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica (INRIM) in Turin, Italy, and a few pals have performed the first experimental test of Page and Wootters’ ideas. And they confirm that time is indeed an emergent phenomenon for ‘internal’ observers but absent for external ones."[7]

Now , the universe is either timeless or not ontologically regardless of reference frames. So who's reference frame is ontologically correct, the inside, or outside observer? Well, since time is the emergent property, this means that that timelessness is more fundamental:

"[E]mergent entities (properties or substances) ‘arise’ out of more fundamental entities and yet are ‘novel’ or ‘irreducible’ with respect to them"[8]

This suggests that time is the illusion, with the outside observer (hypothetical outside observer) seeing reality as it really is. This should be especially evident considering the fact that an outside observer would have a complete view of all points of the universe. However, we only experience what we view as the "present", when really this observer would be able to look at all of our deaths, even though to us, they haven't happened yet. Thus suggests that we are the ones experiencing something that plays no fundamental role in physical reality; time.

The Mathematical Object Resembling A Multifaceted Jewel In Higher Dimensions

Physicists discovered a mathematical object resembling a multifaceted jewel in higher dimensions, which suggests that space and time are illusions:

"Physicists have discovered a jewel-like geometric object that dramatically simplifies calculations of particle interactions and challenges the notion that space and time are fundamental components of reality." [9]

Arkani-Hamed explains:

"In a sense, we would see that change arises from the structure of the object...But it’s not from the object changing. The object is basically timeless.” - Arkani-Hamed

This idea (that predicts a static reality) seems revolutionary:

“The degree of efficiency is mind-boggling... You can easily do, on paper, computations that were infeasible even with a computer before.” - Jacob Bourjaily, a theoretical physicist at Harvard University

"It’s a better formulation that makes you think about everything in a completely different way.” - David Skinner, a theoretical physicist at Cambridge University

The simplest answer is usually correct (Occam's Razor), especially to this degree; we should take it seriously. This is just another clue that leads us to the notion that time is likely to be an illusion.

Special Relativity And Static Time


Einstein's Theory of Relativity, on its face, seems to predict that space and time are illusions:

"The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion." - Albert Einstein [10]

If the space-time interpretation (where space and time are interwoven) of Special Relativity is true, then this supports the idea of ontologically static time. As it turns out, the spacetime vortex predicted by the spacetime interpretation of Special Relativity was confirmed.

NASA scientists discovered the space-time vortex predicted by Einstein's theories of Relativity [11], showing that the space-time interpretation of Special Relativity is true over other views, in which space and time are not interwoven and there is no fabric to bend (and thus, no vortex).

PhilosophicalPerson

Con

Introduction

I will negate the resolution that the Universe is ontologically static and unchanging.

I will refute my opponent's arguments in R3.

Contention

Nothing can happen and exist without time

This is very simple. In time, there is a past, present, and future. Without a future, time wouldn't be moving, as we move into the future, so to speak. Future validates the past. Since time is moving, those events that have already past are now... past.

If both did not exist, we must be frozen, never to move. However, without the present, not even what things currently are can be so, which I rightfully consider absurd.

I await my opponent's next set of arguments.
Debate Round No. 2
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

Well, this is going to be easier than I thought!

Addressing My Opponent's Concerns

My opponent's contention is:

"Nothing can happen and exist without time." - Con

I agree that nothing can happen without time, but timeless existence isn't incoherent at all (as long as the thing that has timeless existence doesn't change). So, my opponent is half-right. Nothing can happen without time, but changeless things can still have existence without time.

"This is very simple. In time, there is a past, present, and future." - Con

My opponent's statement depends on what view of time you adopt. If you are a Presentist, then only the present exists and that past and future play no ontological role in reality. In this view, the present changes, but the idea of the "future" and "past" are nothing more than concepts in our mind.

"Presentism is the philosophical doctrine that only events and entities—and, in some versions of presentism, timeless objects or ideas like numbers and sets—that occur in the present exist. According to presentism, events and entities that are wholly past or wholly future do not exist at all."[1]

Therefore, if Presentism is true, then in time, there is only the present. Con has to disprove this view of time before we can even begin to accept his statement above.

"Without a future, time wouldn't be moving, as we move into the future, so to speak." - Con

The present could still constantly change, even if the past and future don't exist. This is exactly what Presentists adhere to. If my opponent is saying that the future exists, then this means that the Moving Spotlight Theory of time[2], or B-Theory of time is true[3]. However, my opponent hasn't defended either view. Also, if the B-Theory of time is true, then this is essentially saying that time doesn't exist anyway (In B-Theory, everything is static and unchanging).

Therefore, my opponent must actually support his claim by justifying the assumptions it relies upon.

"Future validates the past. Since time is moving, those events that have already past are now... past." - Con

This begs the question. It assumes time exists, and it moves. Also, as I said, his view depends on a view of time he has not supported, and one that assumes time exists in the first place.

"If both did not exist, we must be frozen, never to move." - Con

Nonsense. Even if the past and future do not exists, the present could still change.

"However, without the present, not even what things currently are can be so, which I rightfully consider absurd." - Con

Why can't things exist without the present? This is just a fallacious bare-assertion. Also, what Con "considers absurd" is a subjective opinion, not an objective argument.

Conclusion

Oddly enough, nothing Con mentioned undermines my arguments at all, even if all of his objections go through. It seems that if Con is attacking Presentism, however, my view is not Presentism. He hasn't attacked the idea that time is an illusion at all. He just argues that if it is; nothing changes. However, this is what my position embraces ("no change"), so how could "no change" be a problem for my view? Take for instance the Wheeler-Dewitt equation, it states that nothing happens:

"It seems to describe a static universe in which nothing happens."[4]

If my view is correct, then time is not fundamental, and time and change may be illusions. If change is an illusion, then this still accounts for our experience of change. Thus, my opponent can't use our experience of change to undermine timelessness, because if my view is correct, then change is just an illusion anyway!

Con only attacked Presentism; not my view. He has done absolutely nothing to undermine the resolution. I urge voters to remember that I had 5 points to establish the resolution:

. Quantum Events Are Not Dependent On Space And Time
. The Wheeler-DeWitt Equation
. Time Emerges From Quantum Entanglement
. The Mathematical Object Resembling A Multifaceted Jewel In Higher Dimensions
. Special Relativity And Static Time

Con ignored all 5 points, and his arguments weren't even relevant to my case.

The resolution has been established.

Sources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...(philosophy_of_time)
[2] http://qspace.library.queensu.ca...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://www.thehealingpages.com...
PhilosophicalPerson

Con

Our subjective understanding of the Universe is what makes up Science; our ideas aren't absolute. They are merely ideas that we were capable of coming up with with our human perception.

"I agree that nothing can happen without time, but timeless existence isn't incoherent at all (as long as the thing that has timeless existence doesn't change). So, my opponent is half-right. Nothing can happen without time, but changeless things can still have existence without time."

You have agreed that NOTHING can happen without time, which is a logical contradiction. How so? If ABSOLUTELY NOTHING can happen without time, then why do you suppose that quantum events are not dependent on space and time?

And, actually, timeless existence is incoherent. There consists a present - what things currently are - And without that particular composite, things can not be what they currently are. And taking into mind that things exist? That doesn't make sense.

"My opponent's statement depends on what view of time you adopt. If you are a Presentist, then only the present exists and that past and future play no ontological role in reality. In this view, the present changes, but the idea of the "future" and "past" are nothing more than concepts in our mind. "

The "Presentism" view should be removed as an adoptable belief; It is flawed. Like I said, without the future, time wouldn't be moving; As we are moving INTO, but HAVE/WILL NOT move into, the future. That is, then, what validates the past. As we move into the future, those events that have past have moved into this composite of time that we call a past.

The idea of the "past" and the "future" are logical concepts in our minds.

"The present could still constantly change, even if the past and future don't exist. This is exactly what Presentists adhere to. If my opponent is saying that the future exists, then this means that the Moving Spotlight Theory of time[2], or B-Theory of time is true[3]. However, my opponent hasn't defended either view. Also, if the B-Theory of time is true, then this is essentially saying that time doesn't exist anyway (In B-Theory, everything is static and unchanging). "

I'll concede to a loss in this debate actually, for I don't very well understand my opponent's arguments. Vote Pro! Anyways, thank for the debate, Pro!
Debate Round No. 3
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

I disagree with a couple of things my opponent said, but I guess it doesn't matter; he conceded. I thank my opponent for the debate.
PhilosophicalPerson

Con

Like said, vote pro! I didn't really understand his mainpoints introduced in R2, as I wouldn't be able to respond to them. I'll try to get a better understanding of quantum. OH! Should've asked Pro this in the previous round, but what is quantum?
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
Am I in the twilight zone? What's up with the trolls?
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
Also, quantum Theory is confirmed by experiment, it is not just paper. I seriously think that voter shouldn't be allowed to vote...
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
Nice troll voter. My opponent conceded, which means he lost.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
"If nothing moved in the Universe, there's be no such thing as time."

Exactly. I don't believe time exists..
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
Oops, failed my typing test here, too many errors found, fingers are still going faster than brain can spell.
LOL :-$
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
Oh, I forgot, in my little bit of philosophy to also mention that, even though Time is Constant, it is constantly Random. Some things under controlled conditions have consistent repetitive movement, like some planetary orbits, though these vary and Cesium Clocks if kept in a controlled environment, though accurate repetitiveness (resonance, frequencies, fluctuations) are rare in reality.
Wavelengths are constantly being influenced and altered by environmental conditions as they pass through substances and bonce of matter in the universe.
Time is absolutely random, because it is continually the result of infinite random movements/changes.

Humans are creatures that require patterns and repetitiveness in their lives to give their lives meaning.
Thus humans have constantly sought patterns in time and concentrated on things that are almost constant in frequency and measured everything else against these timing standards humans have devised.

Though, in the universe, the time standards and philosophies, even the physics that humans have devised, means absolutely nothing.
We use our perception of time to make it appear that the world is somewhat predictable through the use of it. But this is nothing but a Human Delusion.

So, in a way, I'm agreeing with both sides of this strange, philosophical debate.
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
Hmm, Strange Debate,
Playing with philosophies concerning Time.

If nothing moved in the Universe, there's be no such thing as time.
On subatomic particle makes a dash, and suddenly there is time, because of that dash/change.
An observer the size of a human would not know of the change, so to such an observer, no time exists.
An observer at the same level as the sub-atomic particle would have observed the movement and thus to that particle's frame of reference, a change occurred, thus time lapsed and time existed, for that moment.

Time is simply a function of Change being observed, if no change is ever observed, then to that observer, time does not exist.
If nothing changed, time would not exist.

Because there is constant movement in the universe, stars beginning (hydrogen. oxygen, water, helium movement) and ending, planets orbiting and moons orbiting planets which have winds and dust movement, also wiith comets and asteroids moving freely, change in the universe is constant, thus time will always exist, regardless of the status of the observer.

Human concepts of time come from us observing changes in relation to ourselves, so our concepts of time are only our perception of it, for many philosophers have a delusional notion of time. Many formulas in physics depict Change as a Function of Time, ie. dy=dx/dt when factually, Time is really a function of Change and Change is always a result of Movement., thus time is created by movement.

Time has no constraints nor favorites, time is not intellectual, it's just the result of change/movement, any and every single change/movement in the universe creates an instance of Time.
Time can only not-exist, if nothing ever moves or changes.

Anybody Agree? :-D~
Posted by dtaylor971 3 years ago
dtaylor971
0_0

Dude... He's a noob... Don't destroy him like that...
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
Also, when you said you were going to address my arguments in the third round, I hope you mean you next one. If you address it in the last one, I won't have a chance to respond; hopefully you aren't planning such a cowardice move.
Posted by kbub 3 years ago
kbub
@Rational_Thinker9119
Dang, man.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Tophatdoc 3 years ago
Tophatdoc
Rational_Thinker9119PhilosophicalPersonTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Poor quality debate. Pro provided a valid argument. Con conceded. Good luck to you both in future debates.
Vote Placed by dtaylor971 3 years ago
dtaylor971
Rational_Thinker9119PhilosophicalPersonTied
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Total points awarded:61 
Reasons for voting decision: Due to the concession, pro wins. However, even without a concession, a win would still be on his side. Conduct to con due to the concession, S&G to pro for reasons that are obvious (less spelling mistakes.) Sources are to pro also, as he as the only one to use it.
Vote Placed by Magic8000 3 years ago
Magic8000
Rational_Thinker9119PhilosophicalPersonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con conceded. Con also misunderstood Pro's argument. If change is an illusion, then his argument is moot. Pro had sources from physics websites while Con had none. Con also argued that our ideas aren't absolute. But the resolution was probablistic
Vote Placed by Iamthejuan 3 years ago
Iamthejuan
Rational_Thinker9119PhilosophicalPersonTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: I tied the sources because while Con didn't use any, his argument was completely rooted in logical deduction based on laws of physics --an argument that I believe was both sound and valid, and negated Pro's entire post about quantum mechanics. Quantum theory is mostly hypothesizing on paper, while physics deals with universally observed laws. I don't see how the former could "trump" the latter. I gave pro grammar because he did put a lot more effort into his post (there are other points that Con could have made, but ultimately he didn't need to).