Friday, August 7, 2009

Introduction to time and origin of the universe

Nature of time

Time is the most fundamental aspect of our experience, and yet it remains mysterious in many ways. A longstanding problem is time's arrow – the directionality displayed by most physical processes, for example, clocks run down, organisms age, stars burn out. Ultimately that leads to cosmology (is study of the Universe in its totality). Most physicists are convinced that the origin of time’s arrow can be traced to the initial conditions of the universe, but the details depend on the specific cosmological model, and there is no agreed solution.

Another problem is the psychological perception of time, the feeling we all have that time is flowing or passing. Yet no such phenomenon is apparent in physics. So how does this impression of a moving present arise? Is it linked in some way to memory, or is there a deeper link – for example, between quantum mechanics (the study of matter and radiation at atomic level) and the observer – that plays a role?

Origin of physical laws

Science works because the universe is ordered in an intelligible way. The most refined manifestation of this order is to be found in the laws of physics, the fundamental mathematical rules that govern all natural phenomena. One of the biggest of the big questions of existence concerns the origin of those laws. Where do they come from, and why do they have the form that that they do?

Until recently, this problem was considered off-limits to science. The job of the scientist, it was maintained, is to discover the laws and apply them, not inquire into their form or origin. Now things had change one reason for this is the thrust toward a final unified theory of physics, sometimes called a “theory of everything,” that would encapsulate a complete description of nature in a single mathematical scheme.

A distinctive feature of the laws of physics is that (with one minor exception) they are symmetric in time, that is, they make no distinction between past and future. Yet the world about us has a definite temporal directionality, manifested for example in the way that the sun and stars are slowly and irreversibly burning up their fuel. The one-way slide towards degeneration, decay and entropy (degradation of matter) is often expressed by the so-called second law of thermodynamics. Just how a temporally asymmetric world has emerged from time–symmetric laws is a very old and still unsolved problem.

Origin of the universe

Most of the Cosmologists agree that the universe began with a big bang 13.72 billion years ago, but they disagree about some pretty basic questions, like:
  • What happened before the big bang?
  • Did time begin with the big bang?
  • Are there other big bangs and other universes, and if so, will they be like ours or fundamentally different?
  • Is it a lucky fluke that our universe is so well suited to life?
These issues relate to the nature of the laws of physics. What are they? Where do they come from? Why are they mathematical? Why do they permit universes that are comprehensible to sentient beings such as homo sapiens. Which leads in turn to the biggest question of all: What is the place of human beings in the great cosmic scheme?



Point 1 - "the universe is ordered in an intelligible way"

Point 2 - "this problem was considered off-limits to science"

Point 3 - "What is the place of human beings in the great cosmic scheme? "

These three questions are the intriguing and innate questions of human though in different paths, different definitions, different interpretation.

I think everyone has some sort of believe system, without that everything is inconsequential. The science also stands on some sort of believe system.

I had a long debate once about the difference between man and animal. Man is also an animal and there is always an animal part hidden in it, that's why we are brutes. But man is always striving for something higher and that goes unconsciously in his mind. When any mind thinks, simultaneously the thought vibrates at a certain level and when we think something higher than that vibration, the lower vibration cuts off. Whenever, we feel angry if we think of solace and love, anger vanishes. Whenever we think of revenge, if we think of forgiveness, revenge vanishes.And why love etc are higher thoughts? At the first place it is tough, it is tough to love than hate. It is tough to forgive rather than revenge. It is tough to remain cool rather than angry. And on the second places it is actually a moral order, which began from the very beginning. In every time, age, circumstances, organism these always rules. Anyways,the higher vibration always cut off the lower one and above all this mind is a really a queer substance, which always stands on that base what it continuous force to remain on.

And this is the difference in animal and man. There is no difference in instincts but on the degree. If we see a unicellular in the microscope we see it expands where there is hope for life. So it is clinging to life in every creature. And clinging to life creates all bondage in mind and human is the only species who unconsciously move towards where there is no clinging of life, no fear of death. We enjoy life because we are slaves of life and strong clinging for life exists. We work like a slave because of this clinging. When a person realizes that death is not to be feared because it is inevitable and clinging to life creates only bondage then he will not enjoy life anymore. He wants something higher and create frustration and it is like someone put a burning coal on his head day and night. He want to get rid of bondage every moment and that's the start of first realization. Only Human can think in that portion and seek the truth of existence, the cosmic intelligence and so on.

Human can only attain that perfection through the evolution from blue green bacteria to Homo Sapiens and it hasn't stopped here, he is continuously striving towards something more higher. More higher, more higher! And that ordered intelligent works through every creature to destined to that higher state and Homo Sapiens are the finest vehicle to reach that stage. It is not that I, you or we want to get into that but its the ordered intelligent that governs us all in the same direction from blade of grass to the most intelligent man in this universe. Earth destroy, stars destroy, galaxy destroy, universe destroy but this ordered intelligence remain constant. In a micro aspect we work. for eg. I'm typing, you are reading but in a macro aspect we are all governed. In a poetic sense a big brain works through all little brains.

And who is sitting inside this vehicle? That's another chapter all together. said...

Isn't there any other scientific theory about the beginning of the universe than the big bang?

Mariana Soffer said...

yes, here are a few that I know: Steady State:The steady state theory asserts that although the universe is expanding, it nevertheless does not change its look over time (the perfect cosmological principle); it has no beginning and no end.

Plasma theory:is an attempt to explain the development of the known universe by interaction of electromagnetic forces with plasma (ionized gas).

Inflation Universe:proposes that the universe underwent a gigantic growth spurt in a fraction of a second just moments after the big bang. According to inflation, the largest structures in the universe trace their origins to the fundamental fuzziness of the subatomic world.

Big Bounce: states there was actually something before the Big Bang. It suggests that another universe went through a Big Crunch and then 'bounced' back and gave birth to this universe.

Cyclic Universe: contends that what we think of as the moment of creation was simply part of an infinite cycle of titanic collisions between our universe and a parallel world.

Mariana Soffer said...

science is as belief system indeed. It has been demostrated by a mathematician called godel that the mathematic is based by arbitrary statments. This demostration practically change the course of math completely.

Intresting explanation about human beings and animals, never thought it that way, I think about it like this: the human brain is divided in 3 parts, reptilian brain, emotinal brain and cognitive brain, and the animals have mainly the 2 first parts, but luck mostly the third one, the first part is less complex than the second and the second is also less complex than the third one. So these parts of the brain interact among each other in each being doing something like this interaction between the parts that you described before.

I agree that the difference is in the degree, probably on all aspects, including the cognitive one. By the way I liked a lot when you said "We enjoy life because we are slaves of life and strong clinging for life exists."

So you are stating that with this ame of getting higher humans end up destroying everything, in most of the cases I agree, but there are other people who want to get higher in other kind of things, for example in helping the wellbeing of the humanity, like gahdhi did.

Thanks a lot s for sharing your very interesting thoughts

Raul said...

There is a fractal theory about the universe also, which I could never understand properly, besides for what I understand fractals do not have an integer number of dimension, they have decimal numbers of them, do you know anything about that?

Mariana Soffer said...

Here is what I found, and it is pretty accurate reagading fractal theory, which is what I know about:
All of reality, from the smallest microcosmic sub-atomic particle, to the largest galactic cluster, seems to follow the same basic fractal structures - structures based on number and dimensions. Looking at the big picture of nature, we see an evolution of consciousness, from small systems or entities of consciousness, to progressively larger and more complex consciousness. There seems to be a basic drive which compels all conscious entities on an upward spiral of ever expanding consciousness, and coherent intelligence. We all seem to have an innate need to evolve to ever more expansive and integrated fields of consciousness, to ever larger coherent databases of processed information. Conscious beings are like fractals evolving to ever greater scales of magnitude. Along the way we follow the same basic patterns, but at each stage there are some unique variations. This variety adds spice to life, spice which can easily lead to confusing chaos, to an over load of data, if you do not know the underlying patterns, the basic laws. But if you know what to look for, the key fractal structures, you can look beyond the millions of trees and start to see the forest, the unity behind the great diversity of nature.

Jim Murdoch said...

Christ, no small issues here. I'm not a scientist – far from it – but I do hold with living in the now and fretting less how we got here when we have enough to worry about dealing with what that process has left us to deal with. There is a scripture in the bible – it's been years so you'll forgive me if I can't quote chapter and verse – but it talks about God putting infinity in our minds or something like that. It being in our minds and our grasping it are two different things though. I used to play a game with a friend of mine years ago where I would ask him why he did a certain trivial thing, e.g.:

      Me: Why did you cross the road?
      Him: To get to the other side.
      Me: Why do you want to get to the other side?
      Him: Because I want to go home.
      Me: Why do you want to do home?
      Him: Because I want me dinner.
      Me: Why do you want your dinner?
      Him: Because if I don't eat I'll die.
      Me: And why will you die?
      Him: Because I'm designed to eat to live.

You see where this is going. Ultimately if you ask enough questions you get to one of two answers, either 'Because God made me do it' or 'Because the Big Bang happened' but we never went any further. Of course, after a while, whenever I asked him a question he'd simply go: "Oh, God," and cut right to the chase, him being a believer.

Personally I've always been a firm believer Newton's Third Law: basically nothing happens for no reason. And I suspect that 'reason' is the flea under the dog's collar here. A bang is a reaction, a response to certain pre-existing 'laws' and so what determined what those laws would be that resulted in that bang? Ultimately whether God decided to create a universe or not matter just doesn't happen by itself. It had to come from somewhere and energy is the most obvious source which suggests that energy has always existed but our tiny brains can't grasp the idea of something that didn't begin whether it has an intelligence behind it or not.

Our place in the universe depends very much on whether you care what the answer to this question is. There are those, my friend included, who conclude that the only answer is that there is a God and, if such a being exists, one would assume that he would make some effort to communicate and direct his creation, being a responsible Creator and all that. That route also requires opening up your mind to a number of concepts as equally mind boggling as the existence of something that has always existed. Personally I couldn't. I now neither believe nor disbelieve. I don't care. I'm not awaiting further evidence with bated breath. I'm just getting on with my life and allowing the bigger issues to take care of themselves. Time, to return to your original point, may well provide the answers but it will do it in its own good time and I don't expect to be around to be surprised or delighted by them.

Mariana Soffer said...

jim murdoch:
Let me deviate the conversation to tell you a small anechdote, when we where young, I used to ask my dad
what is sex?
it is something people do to have kids?
and why do they want to have kids?
because they love each other very much and want to do something together?
and why do they want to do something together?
till they got tired and say a bad word, which they realized that is what t they should have done at the beginning

Ok, lets go back.

Well I understand that you generally end up with one of the 2 ansewrs, but there are tons of more exotic and fun ones also, which we do not even alow ourselves to imagine.

Maybe what you say can be related to the following theory of the creation of the universe
Big Bounce: states there was actually something before the Big Bang. It suggests that another universe went through a Big Crunch and then 'bounced' back and gave birth to this universe.

I completelly agree with what you say here:That route also requires opening up your mind to a number of concepts as equally mind boggling as the existence of something that has always existed. which also goes according another origin or the universe theory that states that it always existed and it always will.
I am not expecting to discover or learn anything myself about this complex things, but at least I would like to discover some of the smaller human misteries.
I myself sadly could never think as god as a creator as an option, I just siimply can not belive it, it is nov a mater of will, I was raised a scientist and it seems to be hardwired in my brain the sicence beliefs.

Take care jim and thanks a lot for your lovely post

the walking man said...

human beings...define everything that a human being is in truth (not honesty) and all the other answers are verifiable through standard theorem, test and prove procedures.

Until one understands the totality of "human" then no explanation to the question is possible because all of the components of the equation are not included.

Mariana Soffer said...

the walking man:
I am amazed! that is what I always think, well sometimes I also think that the question is not well formulated, or is biased in itself. But that is how you can show that goedel the mathmatician that proved mathmatically that math was arbitrary was wrong, you can demostrate that if you include extra stuff in the theoreme then what goedel says fails
lets walk together under the sun

Uncle Tree said...

Once upon a time
Twice to make it rhyme
Thrice for a good reason

I can't see the forest because I am a tree. So when I fell, I fell in backwards. Heaven is within. Only Time will tell if I made a sound when I landed. Assume I did. I made a big bang, and a choir of angels roared in my behalf.

Mary's axiom: One became two. Two gave birth to the one that came before the two.

Therefore, I pray to my Mother and Father whose art is in me. They cannot do without me. Thy will be done by The Four Laws that 'precisely' spin the Earth in the heavens. Above, below, same difference. Nobodaddy does not need to keep track of Time. It is already set to go.

You've really picked a doozy and my wooden noggin at the same time, Mariana. I'd call that a miracle.

Luvz and hugz, sweet niece!

Charles Gramlich said...

Fascinating questions definitely. I believe at our current state of knowledge we can't answer them, although I believe we are getting closer all the time.

Val said...

If decay and rebirth, time winding down so that time can be rewound, are a continuous cycle, then is that not outside the human moving present perception? I'm not a scientific person, but in this ordered universe, this cycle exists. I have a belief that when the sun burns up completely, a new sun will be born and the cycle will begin again. Just because we haven't figured out how this is possible, doesn't mean it can't or won't happen. The time thing is interesting, because when one is out of body, pure mind/soul, it doesn't exist. In fact, it is a barrier to being out of body to be time aware. As always mariana, you write so many thought provoking and intelligent posts. hugs

Anonymous said...

science == faith
faith != science

and here we arrive at the borderline between classical and non-classical logics

'big bounce' has my vote

¤ ¤ ¤


Renee said...

Dear friend, thank you for your love.

Love Renee xoxo

AM said...

"there is no such thing as time, there is only movement." Ludwig Wittgenstein.

"Antiquities are history defaced, or some remnants of history which have casually escaped the shipwreck of time." Francis Bacon

"Salomon saith. There is no new thing upon the earth. So that as Plato had an imagination, that all knowledge was but remembrance; so Salomon giveth his sentence, that all novelty is but oblivion." FB

Jason Gusmann said...

mariana, how do you do this every week? does that restless intellect of yrs never stop moving? you amaze me.

Jessie Carty said...

i think that question game is a fascinating idea. i am thinking of turning it into a poem. these blogs and comments are such inspiration!

xileinparadise said...

Mariana -- I've seen your comments on Tom Clark's blog. This is quite an interesting and in-depth post. A weighty subject as well. I could never get there by myself so I read others on the subject. Allow me to recommend Stuart Kauffman's Reinventing The Sacred. His is an "emergence" theory and comes close to being a unified theory of everything. It is also a unique way of looking at life and of being in life. He is not an easy read, but the struggle is worthwhile. The one concept of his that sticks with me is his idea of "the adjacent possible." Is it a doorway, a change of state, a phase shift? As a writer, I feed on such informed speculation, it goads the imagination. That is what makes us unique, don't you think? We can imagine.

Anonymous said...

First of all, science is an institution that should be feared as much as organized religion. It teaches us to think a certain way in a specific manner. It does not grant us the infinite freedom that we all pursue and stare at in awe. We cannot be truly sure of anything.

I believe time is relevant. Time, consequently, is a tool of measurement that has spawned from our perceptions to govern change.

We age by growing then decaying physically and mentally. We are only able to comprehend this with the aid of measurement by time.

As long as we exist time will also. This does not mean we can truly understand time.

Time and change also stem from perception.

Perception can never be truly understood either since it differs from one mind to all others.

If the conception of time were completely erased from every mind that hails in this universe would we age, would we even grow and decay?

Growth is limited by perception.

What is growth anyways?

There is no doubt that perception allows people to connect, and that I believe is our true nature.

We are all connected in a sense yet granted the gift of our unique perceptions.

Our unique perceptions do not give us the right to judge or the ability understand.

We just sense, and we act on our senses.

If something has a beginning it must have an end; we are either just a piece of the puzzle that will never even come close to grasping an understanding of the big picture, or we are the big picture in its infinite with time only existing out of our arrogance that shadows this. Animals and even plants have senses and therefore can form perceptions.

I consider myself religious although I do not belong to any organized religion because I believe in a higher power of some sort. That higher power is infinite.

We are all either Gods shaping our reality, or reality is shaping all of us. This could all change in a heartbeat, or exist simultaneously.

We should not be the ones burdened to judge this however it is entertaining.

Change is inevitable although time may be not.

Anonymous said...

First of all, science is an institution that should be feared as much as organized religion. It teaches us to think a certain way in a specific manner. It does not grant us the infinite freedom that we all pursue and stare at in awe. We cannot be truly sure of anything.

I believe time is relevant. Time, consequently, is a tool of measurement that has spawned from our perceptions to govern change.

We age by growing then decaying physically and mentally. We are only able to comprehend this with the aid of measurement by time.

As long as we exist time will also. This does not mean we can truly understand time.

Time and change also stem from perception.

Perception can never be truly understood either since it differs from one mind to all others.

If the conception of time were completely erased from every mind that hails in this universe would we age, would we even grow and decay?

Growth is limited by perception.

What is growth anyways?

There is no doubt that perception allows people to connect, and that I believe is our true nature.

We are all connected in a sense yet granted the gift of our unique perceptions.

Our unique perceptions do not give us the right to judge or the ability understand.

We just sense, and we act on our senses.

If something has a beginning it must have an end; we are either just a piece of the puzzle that will never even come close to grasping an understanding of the big picture, or we are the big picture in its infinite with time only existing out of our arrogance that shadows this. Animals and even plants have senses and therefore can form perceptions.

I consider myself religious although I do not belong to any organized religion because I believe in a higher power of some sort. That higher power is infinite.

We are all either Gods shaping our reality, or reality is shaping all of us. This could all change in a heartbeat, or exist simultaneously.

We should not be the ones burdened to judge this however it is entertaining.

Change is inevitable although time may be not.

Harlequin said...

I like the role of attentive wonder among others as my place in the cosmos.... and I love reading these amazing comments that your posts inspire.... more clues to the cosmos and the wild being(s) that it call/sings/ cries...

julio said...

cambio de direccion


Rick said...

Hello, Mariana! Wonderfully thoughtful post.

Have you considered that the universe itself might be sentient and that the laws of physics are merely universal thought patterns? In this view, would reality be changeable or plastic as defined by universal thought?

Mariana Soffer said...

uncle tree:
excelent begining, poetic and a little dadaist.

I am not sure that time will tell, cause time is tricky, and impossible to get it, you just can follow its footsteps trying to understand what happen then, but by then they all have been half erasen.

Are you talking about the virgin mary? About the holy trinity? You talk in a gorgeous way on that paragraph. You also hide there an uncertain amount of wisdom, that is not easy for me to unmask.

The four forces/laws? I am having some problems in understanding the meaning of these. Do you refer to the following:
"These forces were formed along with the formation of the first sub-atomic particles at specifically appointed times in the immediate aftermath of the Big Bang to form the entire order and system of the universe. Atoms, which make up the material universe, owe their existence and extremely even distribution across the universe to the interaction of these forces. These forces are the force of mass attraction known as the gravitational force, the electromagnetic force, the strong nuclear force, and the weak nuclear force. All have a distinct intensity and field of impact. The strong and weak nuclear forces operate only at the sub-atomic scale. The remaining two – the gravitational force and the electromagnetic force – govern assemblages of atoms, in other words "matter." The flawless order on the earth is the outcome of the highly delicate proportion of these forces. A comparison of those forces produces a very interesting result. All the matter that was created and dispersed across the universe following the Big Bang was shaped by the effect of these forces, which have wide gulfs between them. Below are the stunningly different values of these forces shown in international standard units: These fundamental forces allow the formation of the material universe through a perfect distribution of power. This proportion between the forces is based on such a delicate balance that they can cause the due effect on particles only at these particular proportions."

So true, no need to keep track of time, no use of it, it is already started, and it is imposible to change it, or to stop.

There is something they say that I like that is that:God would have never sown a field of flowers like our Universe if only one flower, our Earth, would germinate.

Thanks for making me the hero of your text, by being able to perform those two tasks concurrently, but I have to confess uncle, I did not intend to do it, it just did it without even thinking, probably because I wanted to make you feel better at least for a small instant.

Love uncle tree. Thannks for being

Mariana Soffer said...

Charles Gramlich:
Thank you my friend.
Sometimes I doubt we are getting closer, sometime I don't. I think we might be aproximating these responses in a spiral kind of shape, getting closer to the center and advancing in circles that deciline in size and get close to the ultimate objective we want to arise.
take care dude

Mariana Soffer said...

It reminds me of the serpent shading its skin the circle or decay and rebirt you mentioned in this comment, here.
The notion of a cyclic universe is also remided to me by you, this is not a new concept . People have considered this idea as far back as recorded history. The ancient Hindus, for example, had a very elaborate and detailed cosmology based on a cyclic universe. They predicted the duration of each cycle to be 8.64 billion years—a prediction with three-digit accuracy. This is very impressive, especially since they had no quantum mechanics and no string theory! It disagrees with the number that I'm going suggest, which is trillions of years rather than billions.

The cyclic notion has also been a recurrent theme in Western thought. Edgar Allan Poe and Friedrich Nietzsche, for example, each had cyclic models of the universe, and in the early days of relativistic cosmology, Albert Einstein, Alexandr Friedman, Georges Lemaître, and Richard Tolman were interested in the cyclic idea. I think it is clear why so many have found the cyclic idea to be appealing: If you have a universe with a beginning, you have the challenge of explaining why it began and the conditions under which it began. If you have a universe, which is cyclic, it is eternal, so you don't have to explain the beginning.

I like what you say that just because we do not know how it happens it doesn't, cause you are asking us to belive in our instincts, to follow our inner gut feelings regardings the reality of how real life is.

Very intersting what you say about being time aware and the barrier to be out of the body that is becomes. I am going to keep thinking about that, cause I am not so sure what is the way to go for understanding that. We also have to include what is awareness in humans to be able to understand this complex idea.

Thanks you very much val, and I tell you you really help me dig deeper in this quest I am trying to understand.

Mariana Soffer said...

I like that theory too, but there is a part that I do not, that is the idea that there was one before than the one before than the one before, and so on, so neverending stuff. But I found how to prevend this, and just keep the part of the theory that I like
"The eternal recurrence of absolutely identical universes would seem to be prevented by the apparent existence of an intrinsic cosmic forgetfulness."

I comletelly agree with your equations about science and faith, but somehow I can now do here the demostration of why this is correct, given that I would have to explain the fuzzy logic concepts that allow this for being right, and then start with the demostration of it.
Do you have any quicker way of explaining this beautifull equations to me?

big kiss

Mariana Soffer said...

Renee: love is always there for you in this universe, as long as I can send some towards your way.

Just let me tell you sometihng interesitng:
1=1 and 1=2, at the same time.

Therefore twist your logic and free the posibilities in your mind

Mariana Soffer said...


My reply to w quote, with his own quote:
"If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present" (and he does not say anything about movement here)

Francis bacon is so write, he has always been, but people do not want to see it. He showed me the first truth in art I ever seen.

Regarding Salomon you can say that all new concepts are based on metaphors of old concepts, so there isn't anything new either.

thanks a lot for your excelent quotations you collaborated with

Mariana Soffer said...

Jason Gusmann:
my friend thanks, first off all.
well writting the post is not hard, I just write about stuff I want to learn and share with other people, and that I know that I can explain without using complicated physics language or weird stuff.
What is starting to take me too much time is the commeting replies, cause they have became too many too quick, so I am thinking about what to do about it.
Take care my talented friend

Mariana Soffer said...

Jessie Carty:
I am glad that you find this thing about the questions fascinating.
You should probably turn them into a poem or something if you are intersted it. Please feel free to ask me anything, and you can get my support for anything you need.

Thank you very much for calling my posts an inspirtation, your comments are inspirations for my thoughts too, so we retroaliment each other in a great way.
Bye and take care

Mariana Soffer said...

Tom is a great man, a very nice human indeed.
Thank you very much for your compliments on my post.

This guy asked himself:how do we build a theory that combines self-organization (order for free) and selection? , which are two areas I studied before, but never both at the same time.
"Kauffman seeks to formulate a new scientific worldview and, in the process, reclaim God for nonbelievers. Hen argues that our modern scientific paradigm -- reductionism -- breaks down once we try to explain biology and human culture. And this has left us flailing in a sea of meaninglessness. So how do we steer clear of this empty void? By embracing the "ceaseless creativity" of nature itself, which in Kauffman's view is the real meaning of God. It's God without any supernatural tricks"

I agree with his opposition of the reductionist theory but I do not lke his new proposal of what god is to overcome the redutionst problem. Why doesn't he create something new instead a modified version of a deity to complete his theory?

What makes us unique is the hability to create, to be intuitive, to propose new things, to imagine new words of possibilities, I agree with you completely! Where will we be without imagination?
Thank you very much for the very intersting information about this kind of unified theorie, seems to be extremelly intersting (at least for me), ll keep reading about it.
Take care my new friend.

Mariana Soffer said...

completelly agree about what you say about science, check what I comment before about it:

time is highly relevant, for example check the cultures where they did cultivate different plans such as potatos, time guided them, no doubt.

We decay with time that is true, and only with it we understand it, but a paradoxical thing I always reflect about is that our soul or wisdome seems to grow stronger as time goes by.

There are tons of things that exists that we never been able to understand, that they do not mean they do not exist anyway.

Completelly related perception time and change, or movement if you want to call it like that.

But there are similarities in perceptions, many enough to understand lots of things about humans.

I guess that if we delete time, nothing would happen, no movment, no memories, no life, no feel, not even our notion of space.

Everything it is limited by perception and by the awarness we have of things in our mind.

Depends what growth you refer to, depends to whom?

Perception is an interface for the outside word from our inner person, that is why it allows us to exchange information from the inside to the out.

Perception does not do that, that is done by other parts of our mind.

We percieve with our senses, wich allow us to act, but those inputs we have are completelly biased by our interpretation of things, stuff, time, life.

I do not have a clue about your assertion regarding something having a beginning, do not know what to say. Except that yes I agree with animals sensing and percepting this world.

Regarding shapping there is also the possibility that we are shapping our reality too.

I know it is not our responsability, but we should be responsable for trying to make this word a better one.

Change happens, but it cant without the existance of time, so I do not know, I think time also must.

thank you so much for all those intersting reflections, that made my brain almost burn itself in life. I know I still owe you lots of answers I was not able to tell you in a properlly understandable way.
take care

check this
time and space perception:

Mariana Soffer said...

It is a nice role the one you chose for yourself, I think we all need to play that role a part of our life in order to be able to learn an understand new things in our lifes.

Thank you very much arlequin for the complimments about the comments that my post usually has.

more and more clues, do you think they will ever enough? I think what is necesarily is to tight the evidence in an intersting way to better understand life.

and yet call/sing/cries/... that is a big part of it.

Thanks for your lovely visit friend

Mariana Soffer said...

gracias por el aviso, podes si queres ponerlo tambien en el prox post.

Mariana Soffer said...

rick: thank you very much rick for you so kind words.

I thought about that right, I thought about that to an infinit scale, tha we are part of a sentient universe and we are formed by sentient atoms, and that the sentient atoms are formed by ..., till eternity itself.

I do not think that reality will be changable, but that just myself, because the laws of each level of the universe/sentient being composed, are different at the different levels they work, therefore you can not change one for another, they do not play in the same fields.
(that is my humble intuitive thought, just that my friend)

Uncle Tree said...

Carl Jung said it was a Greek axiom, Mariana, and I took his word for it. I could not find a quote. The closest I came to it was with Thales, who coined 'prima materia' (Prima Dona Mary?) as being water.

I got the "Noboddady" from William Blake.

The once, twice, thrice dingy was mine, I confess. Rhyme and Reason have to be married, I believe. I like the idea of cyclic, or bounce. Perhaps this was not "The Creator"'s first shot using the Big Bang style. Maybe we need to allow "IT" the freedom to learn and improve on "IT"'s mistakes. But that would make "IT" answerable to Time. Nothing works, I swear. We can't 'win'. Therefore, we created the concepts of renunciation, relinquish, and acquiesce to make peace with our inherited ignorance.

Yes. Those are the four laws of which I was speaking. They can speak for themselves. They are The Second Cause, not the First.

I agree. There may be more Earth's out there somewhere, but they must be hiding behind The Truth, or we would have found them by now.

Mariana Soffer said...

uncle tree
maybe you where talking about the unity jung talks here when he refers to alchemy:
It was the famed psychiatrist who finally expressed his view the total goal of the alchemist, both then and now. After years of alchemical research and study Jung wrote the goal in his Mysterium Coniunctionis. If the goal was ever attained it was achieved by three stages. The first stage, the studying of the problem or the whole situation, for the alchemist, is purely intellectual. Even very early in alchemy this was known as separating the subtle essence, pneumia or soul, from the matter. But almost throughout the history of alchemy this separation was recognized as not being enough. The liberated spirit then had to be reunited with the corporal body or matter. Alchemy represented this reunion by various symbols, perhaps the best known is the "chemical marriage," But, the alchemists were not satisfied just to let this chemical marriage represent the marriage of man and woman, no, to them, it was more significant than that. They tried through repeated distillation to produce an actual sky-blue fluid of the subtlest consistency which they called caelum, their heaven.

To Nobodaddy
Why art thou silent & invisible
Father of jealousy
Why dost thou hide thyself in clouds
From every searching Eye

Why darkness & obscurity
In all thy words & laws
That none dare eat the fruit but from
The wily serpents jaws
Or is it because Secresy
gains females loud applause

(this poem is fantastic, amazing how it depeicts womans reaction to secrecy, but except for the secret, I am not sure about how to conect this with the post)

Interesting what you say about practicing, why not practice creating more than one universe, till you perfect the one you want to be in enough for your standards. But also you say we created relinquish and so because we can win, that is also true, and a weird human characteristic.

I think the other earth is sustained by giant turtles who are also sustained by slightly smaller giant turtles, and so on till the never end.

Thank you very much for your thougbts and hugs mon oncle

Little Lamb said...

I believe in creation. i also don't think this earth is very old. I aloso believe this earth was created to look old for whatever reason.

Mariana Soffer said...

little lamb:
so you are a creationist, it makes sense being a little lamb that was created yourself, the universe followed the same fate.
I have doubts about creationist meaning the same as beliving that god created tbe universe, I guess I will ask my oracle about it.

I agree that this world was created to look old, maybe it was made like that in order to look wiser, with more life lived in its case. Maybe because it just looks nicer in an aesthetic way.
Bye bye my friend

Chris Benjamin said...

Bill Bryson has a great book called Short History of Nearly Everything (I think that's the title) - have you seen it? It's a fun science/political history of, well mostly of science itself. Lots of great photos.

Mariana Soffer said...

This is a little off, excuse me, I know this guy but I did not read his book but I did read a book by a guy who he chats about in the presentation of the book you reclmmended that is called trillobite by chard Fortey.

The review of this book says:
"This is a book about how it happened," the author writes. "In particular how we went from there being nothing at all to there being something, and then how a little of that something turned into us, and also what happened in between and since." What follows is a brick of a volume summarizing moments both great and curious in the history of science, covering already well-trod territory in the fields of cosmology, astronomy, paleontology, geology, chemistry, physics and so on. Bryson relies on some of the best material in the history of science to have come out in recent years.

Sounds to be very intersting, for geeks like us who like every aspect of science, because we can get interested in every part of this book. And in any of the interviews he has with the fantastic scientifics he talks to.

Thanks for recommending it
Take care

roxanne s. sukhan said...

A post that will keep me thinking for awhile.

Mathematics is a universal language, I believe. I am inclined to think that time began with the big bang. What is time ~ is it the expansion of the universe ... another manifestion of an immutable law of nature, that matter is neither created not destroyed, only transformed? Is there such a thing as the God Particle? What do we do, if and when we find it?

If the universe is the answer, what's the question?

I agree that we do not fully understand ourselves ~ humans. And until we do, perhaps we will not really be able to answer the question of what our role is in the great cosmic scheme.

Thankyou for your kind words on my blogs. I love the name of your blog. I you have captured my attention. I shall follow you.

Rangan Badri said...

My God, where were you all these days? Rather, where was I? How could I have missed you in this universe where time is definitely an illusion.

Thanks you much Mariana.

Mariana Soffer said...

tinkerbell the bipolar faery
It makes people think generally, except to the ones who are phobic to those subjects.

Well one question a great nlp professional asked myself was if knowledge was gemetrical per-se, therefore mathematical, and knowledge can be also seen as linguistic mostly, you could say that everything we know is based on language. What do you think?

I think time is change and/or movement. And I do not belive in the god particle.

Excelent sentence I loved that, cause the responsed is always limited/biased by the question that generated it:
"If the universe is the answer, what's the question? "

There is a sci fi movie where a group of hyper-intelligent pan dimensional beings decided to finally answer the great question of Life, The Universe and everything.

To this end they built an incredibly powerful computer, Deep Thought. After the great computer programme had run (a very quick seven and a half million years) the answer was announced. It was 42. Sadly the ultimate question was unknown, therefore nothing was solved.

I like reading your blog thanks to you anyway. And thank you for all of your nice compliments

Take care

The Ultimate answer to Life, the Universe and Everything is...

Mariana Soffer said...


I am not sure that time is an ilussion, it is certainly not absolute, or rigid, Einstein already proved that it was relative to velocity. I would also add that it is subjective to the mind of the humans that are transcurring that period of time.
But who knows you might be right and time might end up being like a perceptual fantasy of some kind.

I guess you missed a very in your last sentence. Thanks to you anyway mister M.

JR's Thumbprints said...

So, without particles moving through space, there would be nothing to measure in units of time, or more precisely, there would be no time. Interesting concepts.

Mariana Soffer said...

JR's Thumbprints:
Exactely, you got the real concept, the idea I wanted to transmit, indeed it is not an assertion, is more like a reflection a doubt about the nature of things. A doubt about the nature of time and if it exists by itself or if it needs movement to occure to come to life for us, in which case time will be a completely utilitarian variable or measurment of variability of an uncertain thing

ojo vidrioso said...


Well, of course I have so much to learn, to bare this subjects in a better way.
However, i left only one concept. Time is a philosophy tool. When we take objects to know them, we use two primal tools: time and space. Time is a tool to mesure the movement.
Like you say in the text, seems hard to separate time from movement.

Well: let´s try to keep on deepen in thats subjects

Regards :)

Mariana Soffer said...

I like the idea that you gave to us, that time is a phylosophy tool, it never occured to me that.
But I can not seem to think of space as a tool, I think about it more like a real thing from the universe, something that exists in reality. A tool related to it would be the measurement. For example the agreement of where in this space I refer to as a the begining of the positive quadrant, which is usually related to the intersection with other dimension of this so called space. The 3 dimensions together are called space generally, each dimension is a subdivision of it.

Thank you very much my lovely friend for your nice adding to this thread.

roxanne s. sukhan said...

... everthing we know is based on language ...

an interesting concept. i am inclined to agree.

Mariana Soffer said...

tinkerbell the bipolar faery

Good to know your opinon about that, beause I still have doubts, anyway it is about conceptual ideas/knowledge that may or might not apply in reality, not for example about body learning stuff like bike ridding.
Feel free to tell more about what you think regarding this
Take care and thanks

Anonymous said...

one clarification

The inflationary universe is a refinement, and enhancement of the big bang, not an alternate theory

For all:
science is a method of "knowing". Another one very familiar to us all is "Religion".
I do believe in both

Daniel (you know who)

Anonymous said...

It’s believed that the laws of physics and constants derive from resonance patterns of the strings (see superstring theories The physical constants are a 3 or 4 dimensional perspectives of a resonating string on a higher dimension space.

The LHC in Switzerland will be used to prove this theory, by trying to find gravitons.
Stay tuned, because in the following years answers to these questions may be answered (at least in part)

Mariana Soffer said...

First thank you for the clarification, is like you say my friend.

It is also very interesting and instructive what you say about the resonance space, I do not think many people are aware.

The only thing about LHC is that I am not sure is when is going to be working properly, I hope soon.

Take care my (I know who) friend

Kert said...

Interesting... The question about the origin of the universe has given me lots of sleepless nights when I was still in high school..

I'm interested with the question you posted in the end, "What is the place of human beings in the great cosmic scheme?" . I want to add something up to this question. Do human beings even have a special place in the great cosmic scheme? Or are we just a dot and will eventually fade away like other species on this world?

I'm kind of late to this thread. Well, wising you the best in life, Mariana.

Mariana Soffer said...

Excelent question you added, I think that it will depend (if we stay or not) on ou rlevel of adaptation to this planet, and also to our culture itself (which it is becoming pretty alive and particular, and has its own rules that we do not dominate, specially with technological stuff)

Take care

Anonymous said...

What is time?
What it is not?
Times goes by?
Or we go by it?
What is present? What is past?
Is the present just future, future becoming past?
Or future into oblivion? Or memories in the past?
Is time like sand, slipping through our finger?
Past influences present? Future influences past?
Is future fixed? Or and endless “what”?

Time has speed? 1 second per second?
Time has direction?

Times goes by...

Mariana Soffer said...


Great questions man, what a brainstorming inspiration you had! Congrats on that, and also pretty poetic, you might consider writing poetry because we are not getting any younger as time goes bye!
Excuse me for not answering the questions now, but my brain got all scrambled up, just a few lines but too much stuff.


John said...

Very interesting questions and comments.

I think the most basic knowledge we have of time is that it is a product of memory.

How do you know time has passed?
Because you remember how things were.
(That's how it is for me anyway, I assume it is like that for others).

Would you disagree?

Would you agree that abstractions like physical theories come after this?

And would you say that the time used in abstract theorising is a different time than the time of personal memory?

Would you say that the space used in abstract theorising is different to that experienced physically?

What would you say that the difference is between a memory of how things were, and an idea of how things will be?

Why is one called past and why is one called future, and how do we distinguish between the two?

What do you think about the different senses that are involved in our experience of time when we smell, hear, feel things to be different from what they were?

Is a knowledge of time passing dependent upon vision?

Those are some questions I have, and would be interested to see what people say.

And just to add more, some may be interested to watch these vids.

A short one...

And a longer one...

Mariana Soffer said...

Interesting point about time being the product of memory.

I think we know time passes because we recognize changes in things, we see things move, change colors, etc ...

No I do don't, If I did not remember how things where I would not know things are different than before.

Maybe abstraction alrady came before this, like by the abstract notion that changes imply time advance.

I agree that personal time if different from the time used by physicist.

I loved that question!!!!! I will have to borrow. The difference lies in our asumption that the arrow of times moves only in one direction.

Because we asume a measurment for time advance according to planet movements and all of that, but there where cultures who did not distinguish time like that like the ones who belived in circular times.

Regarding the senses involved in the time experience: “Previous studies have demonstrated the involvement of spatial codes in the representation of time and numbers. We took advantage of a well-known spatial modulation (prismatic adaptation) to test the hypothesis that the representation of time is spatially oriented from left to right, with smaller time intervals being represented to the left of larger time intervals. Healthy subjects performed a time-reproduction task and a time-bisection task, before and after leftward and rightward prismatic adaptation. Results showed that prismatic adaptation inducing a rightward orientation of spatial attention produced an overestimation of time intervals, whereas prismatic adaptation inducing a leftward shift of spatial attention produced an underestimation of time intervals. These findings not only confirm that temporal intervals are represented as horizontally arranged in space, but also reveal that spatial modulation of time processing most likely occurs via cuing of spatial attention, and that spatial attention can influence the spatial coding of quantity in different dimensions.”
depends on vision among other things.

If you want to check some strange creatures creater by borges who had only one kind of sense which also dealt with time you can check:

Very interesting questions and reflections john, thanks for it!

John said...

I suppose everyone could agree that if they did not have a memory of how things were they could not tell time had passed.

It also seem true that in the mental realm time can be made to flow backwards and forwards, depending on the strength of the imagination. Or, at least, the relations between imaginary objects can be changed- but it still happens in the present moment.

I only started thinking about time recently because I kept hearing people make statements about time which seemed overly complex and theoretical.
I did not realize that arguments about the truth of time are very old arguments- from the Greeks and before.
Newton and Leibniz argued about the distinction between ordinary time and abstract time, as I read today, so I am only about 300 years behind in my thinking.

There is an astrophysicist called Kent Culler (you can search him on the web) who has been blind since birth, yet he is a prize winning scientist. It would seem that without ever seeing the physical world or light, he can carry out high level work in physics.
I have not been able to find out how he has done this, I don't know if a sense of touch and hearing is enough to give an idea of what dimensions and distance are and base thinking on that. I would guess that areas of the brain involved in spatial perception can still be used even if there is no visual input.
That comes closer to an abstract sense of time without personal experience of changes in the physical world. Perhaps he does base it on touch and hearing.In interviews I have read, no one has asked the obvious question of how he does his work!

The idea of whether physical space is the same as theoretical space is one I have not thought through yet.
When I have studied science and there has been a lot of visualization of bodies moving through space etc, it has always been assumed that the student knows what the teacher means and vice versa. I have never heard the question asked what the differences may be, and what the background to the thinking is.
Is it imagined in black empty space? Does the background have a colour? Is there even a pretty pattern?

There could be an interesting result if we find that people imagine things taking place in a space that is identical to that between the stars in its quality, but I don't know if that is the case. I don't even know if it could be said that the blackness between the stars is empty space, or is a something black.
I know the buddhists have answers to questions about mental space. I think they would say it is the same as outer space- all is mind.

I am guessing that what you wrote about a prism is an experiment using optical apparatus to alter the perception of space, and therefore see what effect altered perception of space has on ideas of time. I had not considered that we place the past on the left and the future on the right. It seems perhaps linked to writing from left to right.

Of course you are right that different cultures have different ideas about time- some are cyclical, some have no future, and all sorts of variations. I wonder if the predominant theory of the big bang has a judeo/christian cultural bias? Let there be light? In fact I am just reading that the big bang idea was first put forward by a priest- funny.

Thanks for the Borges, that's something I will probably look into more.

Mariana Soffer said...

So you agree with the previous text in the 2 first paragraph, good comon startpoint.

I always thought about time, but remember I am a scientist. And you are not 300 years behind, you can catch up in a few weeks if you want, except with the quantic part.

Very interesting data about the guy, I will definitelly check it out, I know one other artist that is also blind, but he manages the dimension amazingly well:

It is not the same theoretical than real, to me, is like comparing a draw of a chair with an actual chair.

I do not understand well what you mean in your 3 to last paragraph. Do you refer to void, what happens with things taking place on the void, well for once they never stop things that are thrown cause there is not that foce that slowly stop things in earth which is the friction with air.

Regading the experiment
Interesting asociation the one regarding the big bang and the judeo christian influence on it, the more than I think about it, the more it seems to make sense. I like the other theories of the origin of universe they are fun for me to learn.

Thanks a lot for your colaboration with the information and your great reflections about this post facts.

John said...

I think the links you gave - thank you - show very well what could be happening with people like Kent Culler, an expression of our ability to understand spatially as separate from our visual sense. We have three senses that need spatial awareness- sight, hearing, touch, so why not?

I don't know why this comes as a surprise to the psychologists- I thought they had studied all this stuff years ago!

Certainly the sense of hearing can be used to gain a spatial awareness. You may have seen the documentary about the blind boy who uses clicks like a dolphin to navigate.

What I mean about the void...

My point about the space we live in and the space we think in is a question on the individuality of our minds. If there is no difference between void in which we think, and the void in which real objects exist then it would seem that assumptions about our individual identity are not true.
I had always assumed that the space of the mind is a personal space, separate from the material world- but maybe that is not so.
Not only that, but I have assumed that the space of my mind is separate from the space of someone else's mind, but maybe that is also not true.

For example
Let us say we are students in a physics class.
The teacher gives us a problem about a rocket moving through space, and we sit there thinking about it.
We visualize the rocket in mental space, that is both separate from outer space, and separate from each others mental space.
Or we assume that it is separate- I always did.

But, if the qualities of space are that it is boundless and that it has only one quality- that of spaciousness, who is to say that we are not using the same mental space, that our minds are not one in this way? Or that we are using the same space as outer space?

I don't think I can read your thoughts just by closing my eyes and journeying from my part of inner space to your part of inner space (some may say that they can).

But what is the difference between inner and outer space?
Is inner space infinite?
If it is infinite then it should contain everything, and yours cannot be separate from mine.
Or is it more complicated than that?
Is mental space a copy of physical space or is it the same?
Is it a different type of space?


(The priest I refer to was called Georges Lemaitre, by the way, a physicist and a priest rolled into one).

Thanks Ms Soffer :)

Mariana Soffer said...

I am glad you liked the linked I sent you

Well do not get me started about psychologists, I found most of them absourd. They belive in obsolete and ridiculous theories about how our mind works.

I do not know if they are the same space of not, but I think they might perfectly be like that, have you check something about the quantum physics theory?It talks about space and all the universe being connected or placed in a different way traditional physics thinks.

I would belive there is no difference between both (check buddhist belief in the no separation of beings and also no separation of between being and planet and universe)
At a fundamental level there is no separation between our internal life and our immediate circumstances. Therefore, the causes we make through our thought, word and action manifest in our external surroundings. Once we acknowledge that we shape our environment, both constructively and destructively, we become more confident to tackle issues, that cause us suffering.
Nature is one vast organic movement directed by a single life-force and operated by means of a single gigantic nervous system, a majestic and harmonious order in which countless living organisms coexist and cooperate, but also devour each other to keep the system alive.
I do not think it is a different kind of space.
Interesting data George Lemaitre

Your welcome mr John

John said...

Thinking further upon the difference between real and mental space, I am still not sure of any conclusion. Certainly, what we have no difficulty (usually) in recognising what is mental imagery and what is real. If you were solving a physics problem on the motion of trains, you would not say the train in your mind is the same as the real one, unless you were having a very vivid dream.
If it is the same with space, I am not sure, perhaps inner space is merely a representation, but it is much more difficult to say what the difference is between one type of space and another.

Perhaps different dimensions are involved.

I should have a search for what parts of the brain are involved in thinking, what brain scans can tell us, I am sure it must have been studied.

I know that one of the subjects of Andrew Newberg's scan studies was a buddhist monk who went into inner space when he reduced activity in the part of his brain that gives a sense of spatial orientation. If that is relevant, I don't know.
I will probably keep looking at the subject, I hope you find it interesting.
BTW, that was me with the Eugene O'Neill link, sorry for the anonymous, I am not consistent.

Mariana Soffer said...

Well I think the only time when those are mixed in us (imagery and reality) is when we dream.

It never happen to me a dream so vivid (while being awake), which I can mistake for reality.

I think that almost the exact same parts of the brain are activated either when we imagine a train and when we actually see it. There must be a part that is kind of a supervisor which is the one that indicates whether is in our head or a perception from the outisde word. I think fmri's studies might be able to tell us what part is the one that is in charge of being aware of the distinction.
It makes sense what you say about the study of the monk, because when you go to inner space you need less resources active to understand what is going on.
Yes I do like this subject a lot, it is really intersting to me.
Do not worry about being inconsistent, I tend to be a mess myself, but with other kind of stuff, because here I log automatically, so unless I do it on purpose, I will always apear as mariana.

Interesting thoughts my friend, thanks for sharing them

John said...

There's an interesting point about fMRI- there may be a difference in brain use when looking at space and when thinking about space, though I would expect similarities. I should check it out.

Mariana Soffer said...

Please do, I am really curious about this thing, really indeed, let me know if you find something about it, I was treading something about dreams and firm's that is slightly related to it. Hope you enjoy it.

Take care many

John said...

Having read the piece that you supply, I find it interesting that the doctors work was in getting people to swap places with the people who inhabit their dreams, shifting identities to find different ways of feeling. I also agree that learning can be consolidated in dreams. I have had dreams of a skill I was trying to master and could only do it after I dreamed it. Thanks Mariana.

Mariana Soffer said...

I am glad you found it intersting, I know it is kind of weird for us that are not into neuroscience research, but if you keep reading you are going to clarify things in your mind with time. It is intersting how dreams do consolidate learning, I do not know if it says there but you also learn by reenacting it in your brain from the end to the begining, you do backguards many things. I was also thinking that psichoanalists, who I do not like, tend to put a lot of emphasis in to dreams, maybe is related to that.

Your welcome, take care

john said...

Thanks Mariana

Mariana, it's not something that is pointed out or mentioned very often, but a necessary consequence of our understanding of physics is that everything we perceive is in the past.
Light and sound take time to travel, even the impulses of touch and taste take time to travel through nerves.
If we just take what we perceive as it is, we are in the present, but as soon as we consider our situation we have to conclude that we don't see things as they are, only as they were.

We are accustomed to asking 'how are you', but maybe we can never get a true answer!

Mariana Soffer said...

Sorry for the late reply. So true what you say and at the same time so frustrating I used to think about this for hours when I learned that the light we see from the stars is many years old indeed.
Thanks a lot for this great comment I really liked it.

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