Bad Assumption: |
Time is an Absolute marked out for us by the motion of the sun, moon, earth, stars,
that's all the time we have.
A thought experiment is a hypothetical situation in which a hypothesis, theory, or principle is laid out for the purpose of thinking through its consequences.
Johann Witt-Hansen established that Hans Christian Ørsted was the first to use the German term Gedankenexperiment (lit. thought experiment) circa 1812. Ørsted was also the first to use the equivalent term Gedankenversuch in 1820.
Much later, Ernst Mach used the term Gedankenexperiment in a different way, to denote exclusively the imaginary conduct of a real experiment that would be subsequently performed as a real physical experiment by his students. Physical and mental experimentation could then be contrasted: Mach asked his students to provide him with explanations whenever the results from their subsequent, real, physical experiment differed from those of their prior, imaginary experiment.
The English term thought experiment was coined (as a calque) from Mach's Gedankenexperiment, and it first appeared in the 1897 English translation of one of Mach's papers. Prior to its emergence, the activity of posing hypothetical questions that employed subjunctive reasoning had existed for a very long time (for both scientists and philosophers). However, people had no way of categorizing it or speaking about it. This helps to explain the extremely wide and diverse range of the application of the term "thought experiment" once it had been introduced into English.
The common goal of a thought experiment is to explore the potential consequences of the principle in question:
Given the structure of the experiment, it may not be possible to perform it, and even if it could be performed, there need not be an intention to perform it.
Examples of thought experiments include Schrödinger's cat, illustrating quantum indeterminacy through the manipulation of a perfectly sealed environment and a tiny bit of radioactive substance, and Maxwell's demon, which attempts to demonstrate the ability of a hypothetical finite being to violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics. (Wikipedia).
Let's travel back in time to the "beginning" to search out our origins. Our carefully selected elite traveling companions will provide checks and balances one day at a time. Our morning conference table free-for-all will give everyone a time slot to share. Our leader, a Patriarch respected by all, should surely be a Nobel Prize winner or a distinguished person from the Hoover Institute or even a Dennis Prager? If we can find the right guy, perhaps we ought to induce a token rabbi or even a theologian? Also, every monarch, it is said, needs a court jester, if only to keep him humble. We'll include a court comedian on our team to lighten us up after the work day is over.
Hindu cosmology believes the universe is eternal though it experiences great cycles called kalpas. A kalpa is 4.32 billion years. Hindu units of time are described in Hindu texts ranging from microseconds to trillions of years, including cycles of cosmic time that repeat general events in Hindu cosmology. Trillions of years is way greater than the usual 15 billion years of modern astronomy! Our Western World view (our Weltanschauung) also presupposes a definite beginning. This is reasonable because the entropy of the universe has been observed to be always increasing.
Brahma, the behind-the-scenes god of the Hindus is vague and shadowy unlike the God of the Jews. He (it?) is more an ultimate principle than a living Person. Yahweh, "the great I AM" of the Bible is super-personal!
An H. G. Wells time machine is available for our adventure from a movie set and it's battery powered. Our journey this trip will be about history, not astronomy. Are human beings basically good? Is mankind going anywhere? Who can we trust? Where do we go from here as the greatest civilization ever? What is our manifest destiny?
Starting today, late February 2022, the first twenty centuries (50 generations) of time travel into the past should be straightforward. Our space craft has a world population clock on the dashboard like the Worldometers folks have running now. It runs forward in time, but let's ask them to run it back in time. For our first trip into the past we won't need Warp Drive. To accommodate our team I suggest a Hindu Vemala.
As Westerners, rational scientists, students of the observable universe, let's not go to India on our first jaunt. But a Vemana space craft should be comfortable. A crew of ten ought to suffice. We won't be looking at the stars especially. Human events are our focus--not stars and galaxies for now, not atomic science, not psychological time (as in a "bad hair day") as we experience it.
As for clocks and calendars, we'll use presently available clocks. Our day will 24 hours, weeks will be 7 days, the year 365.25 days, etc. Just the facts! On Day-One we note from Worldometers that our tiny planet is home to 7,928,682,800 people with a new population growth of 11,397,000 people just this year.
Note: Actually God does not travel around in a Vemana, a Flying Saucer, or via a Flying Carpet. He has a chariot throne. See The Chariot Throne of God if you want to read ahead.
Our backup team of reporters from the media plans on sight seeing and interviewing people, so they will travel in their own Vemana. Be it known that Team One members have impeccable credentials. None are given to visions, hallucinations, or mystical religions. None are from the "clergy."
Our travel back to the First Century ought to be straightforward. World population back then a mere 300 million people. Jesus probably born in 5 BC. (Calendar change)
Greek Civilization: Archaic Age of Greece (800-500 B.C.), Classical Age of Greece (500 - 323 B.C.), Hellenistic Greece (323 - 146 B.C.)
Rome: The Period of Kings (625-510 BC), Republican Rome (510-31 BC), and Imperial Rome (31 BC – AD 476).
So far so good? Let's keep going back in time. Luke, the Greek Physician, and Matthew the tax collector, give us the genealogy of Jesus back to Abraham and to Adam! Our time machine ought to be able to verify this account by letting our team interview each of the ancestors of Jesus. Jesus, by the way, is a recognized historical figure.
Now it's time to look at world population Before Christ. Since we know population growth rates and numbers from 0 BC to now, for a start we can extrapolate back in time.
Resource #1: World Population Data. A strange thing happens to human reasoning about the earth and its inhabitants Before Christ. No one goes there! Population growth rates are well known! Put one man and one woman on earth 8000 years ago and let them multiply at the rate we actually observe, and the present world population can be generated in at most a few thousand years. This even allows for a big dip at the time of the Flood (c. 3536 BC) when many millions perished.
An empty universe for 15 billion years without man makes no sense! This dilemma was solved--40 years ago, by Astronomer Barry Setterfield's work on the observed decrease in light speed since the Fall. The excerpted notes in this article should give you enough information to abandon the prevailing mythology of a very old universe.
Yes, things do have the appearance of great age, but this is illusory.
This article highlights the life-work of Barry Setterfield. Please visit his web site and watch his splendid YouTube videos.
Our time machine will encounter some major discontinuities as we journey into the past. Is science the only way to discover and catalog truth? In Part I we discussed the decline of science as authoritative.
It's time to look at the $64,000 question: What is Time? There is a common myth today about the nature of time. It's the assumption that times flows linearly in history and is best understand as determined by obvious clues in nature: the day is one rotation of the earth on its axis. The year is the time required for the earth to circle the sun.
Your homework is to read the Time Papers to get a jump start about time as a built in feature of a universe created by way superior living being. Here is where I believe you, the reader, will want to catch up on what we know about time. I have cut and pasted some highlights. My long list of articles ought to show you something about the vastness of the space-time continuum as created by God.
Secular science is black and white at best, and can be incredibly naive. This current article is actually Part 2 of your homework assignment. Part I is an ongoing discussion on cosmology and astronomy, The Music of the Spheres.
It's About Time
This article is about various aspects and dimensions of time. To a scientist, time is a relatively simple matter, but when one gets into the Bible time has qualitative and subjective aspects---there is much more to consider. The Bible contrasts time and eternity as well.
God is outside of time.
Time as we know it was created by God---it is part of the creation. However the created universe consists of a physical, material world and a spiritual realm---the latter is called in the New Testament "the heavenly places." In the heavenlies time has quite different properties than we usually think about in regard to the physical, material world. Man was created to live in both worlds (the material and the spiritual) at the same "time" and a study of time and eternity (a much neglected subject) carries a number of surprises. The physical universe has been drastically affected by the fall of Lucifer and his angels, and by the fall of man. This means we now live in a damaged, deteriorating "old creation." Time itself has been altered by the fall.
Age at Birth of son
Patriarch's Life Span
Patriarch's Life Span
Atomic Time BP at Patriarch's Birth
Light Speed (times present value)
|Adam||230 Seth||230||5562||930||5792-4862||14.8 billion||10.6 million|
|Seth||205 Enos||435||5357||912||5562-4650||12.5 billion|
|Enos||190 Cainaan||625||5167||905||5357-4452||10.1 billion|
|Cainaan||170 Mahalaleel||795||4997||910||5167-4257||8.96 billion|
|Mahalaleel||165 Jared||960||4832||895||4997-4102||7.62 billion|
|Jared||162 Enoch||1122||4670||962||4832-3870||6.42 billion|
|Enoch||165 Methusaleh||1287||4505||365||4670-4305||5.34 billion|
|Methusaleh||187 Lamech||1474||4318||969||4505-3536||4.35 billion||5.8 million|
|Lamech||182 Noah||1656||4136||777||4318-3541||3.35 billion|
|Noah||502 Shem||2158||3634||950||4136-3186||2.5 billion||4.3 million|
Approximately 2256 years after Creation or about 3536 BC
|650 million||2 million|
|Shem||100 Arphaxad||2258||3534||600||3634-3034||816 million|
|Arphaxad||135 Cainan||2393||3399||535||3534-2999||596 million|
|Cainan||130 Salah||2523||3269||460||3399-2939||358 million|
|Salah||130 Eber||2653||3139||433||3269-2836||196 million||1.1 million|
|Eber||134 Peleg||2787||3005||404||3139-2735||97 million||615,000|
|Peleg||130 Reu||2917||2875||339||3005-2666||63 million|
|Reu||132 Serug||3049||2743||339||2875-2536||1 million||78,000|
|Abraham||100 Isaac||3588||2204||175||2304-2129||c ~ c (now)|
God is outside of Time. This does not mean He is "timeless." He watches past, present, future from the "Control Room" of the Universe. Time as we know it now was not defined until the work of creation described in Genesis was finished.
Therefore our hypothetical "time travelers" from the present, described at the beginning of this article will encounter a wall, a discontinuity when they try to travel further back in time than Genesis One. At most they will find a wall with an "Under Construction" sign, and perhaps a knot hole in the fence to peer through. The Time Machine's clock will stop! It ought to be evident that our tiny slice of the created universe is just a local region of time and space...
"Eternity" is earlier than Genesis One, but it was not "timeless" nor what we think of empty space, Tohu wa Bohu. Please read up on Zero Point Energy!
An ordinary mechanical clock consists of a system of gears which move the second, minute, and hour hands around the face at the appropriate rates. The power comes from a wound-up spring or a system of weights at the end of a chain.
The rate at which the clock runs is determined by an oscillating balance wheel, or by a pendulum. The pendulum allows the gears to move one increment per pendulum period only. The clock run rate is determined by the period, T, of the pendulum:
The length of the pendulum is l, and g is the local gravitational acceleration.
Clocks and watches driven by quartz crystals and battery powered have run rates determined by basic physical, mechanical laws. Clocks of this kind also measure what has been called "dynamical time." In contrast atomic clocks are dependent upon rates of radioactive decay, by the interval between atomic transitions, by the spectral wavelength of emitted photons, etc. But atomic clocks are not necessarily running in lock-step with mechanical clocks.
The calendars and clocks used in the Bible for recording historical events are all based on the dynamical time system:
And God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for [measuring] signs and for seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth." And it was so. And God made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. (Genesis 1:14-19)
To return to the analogy of the pendulum clock, once the clockmaker has designed the clock and built the parts the run rate of the clock has been forever determined. But only after the clock has been assembled and started will it "keep time." As far as the clock parts are concerned, the time-keeping history of the clock begins when the clock starts ticking, not when the component parts are manufactured.
Although God's "wristwatch" recorded cycles of what would later be 24-hour days while He was creating the universe, time was not defined during creation week---at least by the standards we now use to measure time. This is because the universe is in fact a UNI-verse and all its parts and pieces are interlinked and interdependent. Only when all the universe was completed could the planets run properly in their appointed courses and the atomic particles begin their interactions with one another, within and around the nucleus. We can not take time as we experience it now and extrapolate it backwards in history all the way to Day One of creation week. We can, with confidence talk about historical events and their time sequence beginning with Adam's exit from the Garden. This later approach is more that sufficient to establish a universe which was only recently created. Adam One and Adam Two (Jesus Christ) are clearly linked in the Old Testament by a clear line of genealogical ties. The maximum time frame between the Two Adams is clearly only a few thousand years.
At the end of Day One space, time, matter, and energy had been brought into existence as amorphous raw materials out of which, at the end of Day One, space, time, matter, and energy had been brought into existence as amorphous raw materials out of which a finished universe would be sculpted and formed during the five days which were to follow. The ancient Greeks thought the four building blocks of the universe were air, earth, fire and water. Four is the Biblical number for the world---the Greeks weren't too far from being on the right track if we compare air/space, fire/energy, and earth/matter. They missed the "element" of time as a building material for the construction of the universe. See The Elements (Stoicheia).
Prior to this creative activity of God none of these entities existed. However God, who is Spirit, existed. In fact He has always existed and His existence is independent of time and space, and also of all created things. It was not necessary for God to create a universe. God is complete and whole in His own Being and the existence of a universe with all its life-forms and awesome extent adds nothing to God.
Although God is One God, He exists in three Persons. This we know from God's own self-revelation of Himself to us as recorded in the Bible. The Persons of the Godhead work together in Creation as they do in the sustenance and management of the universe, in the redemption of men, in judgment, and in the creation of the new world which is to come. The God of the Bible is a "personal" God. He is a living, intelligent, loving being and has created us capable of relationships with Him and with one another.
The Bible emphasizes that the universe was created in six days. "for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it. " (Exodus 20:11) The Hebrew word for an ordinary 24-hour day, yom, is used. Endless and often futile debates have raged over whether or not the seven days of Creation Week were literal 24-hour days or long periods of time.
Part of the problem in understanding creation week is that this interval of time---when God was in the process of creating everything---was truly unique and never to be repeated. I have attempted to depict this situation by the attached diagram. The time frame we live in now is represented by the broad line extending to the right, but I have shown creation week as a wheel or disk at right angles. "Eternity past"---when there was no universe at all, lies to the left of the colored disc.
Genesis One (since it is recording truth in logos format) describes the order of creation as Day 1, followed by Day 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and finally 7. After that man's history begins. However I have color-coded Days 1 and 4, Days 2 and 5 and Days 3 and 6 to show that they bear a relationship to each other (as will be described a bit later). God is outside of time, so while constructing the universe He could actually have worked on all six days at once, or built them separately as modules and put them together into one pie all at the end.
There is an "observer" present in the narrative of Genesis One, and the observer appears to be standing on the Earth as his observation platform, but the observer is clearly God Himself in Genesis Chapter One. In Jewish rabbinical legends, while creating the universe God is said to have stood on the "Foundation Stone" which would later be under the Holy of Holies of the Temples in Jerusalem."
Building a House
|Atomic Age||Geological Age|| BC - years
|AC - years after creation||Geologic Era and Notes|
| Calendar years - 2256 years long
Atomic years - (from Archean on) - 3.9 billion years long
At initial point of creation, light speed 4 x 1011 times current speed.
Closes with Catastrophe One: Noah's Flood/ "Snowball Earth"/ axis tilt of earth
At the close of this era, light speed now about 2 million times current speed.
|10 - 4.5 Billion||Azoic||5792-4531||0-1261|
|4.5 - 2.5 billion||Archean||4531-4136||1261-1656|
|2.5 Bil - 870 Mil||Early Proterozoic||4136-3656||1656-2136|
|870 -600 million||Neo Proterozoic||3656-3536||2136-2256|
|600 - 500 million||Cambrian||3536-3484||2256-2308||Paleozoic Era|
|500 -425 million||Ordovician||3484-3441||2308-2351||
Calendar years - 235 years long
Closes with Catastrophe Two: The Destruction of the Tower of Babel/ the Permian Extinction
At the close of this era, the speed of light was 1.1 million times its current speed.
|425 - 405 million||Silurian||3441-3429||2351-2363|
|405 - 345 million||Devonian||3429-3390||2362-2402|
|345 - 280 million||Carboniferous||3390-3343||2402-2449|
|280 - 250 million||Permian||3343-3301||2449-2491|
|250 - 180 million||Triassic||3301-3253||2491- 2539||Mesozoic Era|
|180 - 135 million||Jurassic||3253- 3199||2539- 2593|| Calendar Years - 296 years long
Atomic Years - 167 million years long
Closes with Catastrophe Three: Days of Peleg/ Continental Division/ Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction/ higher axis tilt
Light speed at the close of this era: about 600,000 times its current speed
|135 - 65 million||Cretaceous||3199- 3005||2593- 2787|
|65 - 58 million||Paleocene||3005- 2991||2787- 2801||Cenozoic Era|
|58 - 36 million||Eocene||2991- 2947||2801- 2845|| (to the end of the Ice Age)
Calendar years - about 660 years long
Atomic years - about 65 million years long
|36 - 25 million||Oligocene||2947- 2925||2845- 2867|
|25 - 13 million||Miocene||2925- 2901||2867- 2891|
|13 - 1 million||Pliocene||2901- 2877||2891- 2915|
|1 mil -2345 BC||Pleistocene - Recent||2877- 2345||2915- 3447|
By Barry Setterfield, 2/20/04. Revised 2/21/06 see http://www.barrysetterfield.org/timeline.htm
The Atomic Constants, Light, And Time
Constancy of the Velocity of Light
Barry Setterfield's Old Testament Chronology
Implications of a Non-Constant Velocity of Light
Selected Papers by Barry Setterfield
Barry Setterfield Web Site
The ZPE Plasma Model (Barry Setterfield)
“Why is God landing in this enemy-occupied world in disguise
and starting a sort of secret society to undermine the devil?
Why is He not landing in force, invading it?
Is it that He is not strong enough?
Well, Christians think He is going to land in force; we do not know when.
But we can guess why He is delaying.
He wants to give us the chance of joining His side freely.
I do not suppose you and I would have though much of a Frenchman
who waited till the Allies were marching into Germany and then announced he was on our side.
God will invade.
But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world
quite realise what it will be like when He does.
When that happens, it is the end of the world.
When the author walks on to the stage the play is over.
God is going to invade, all right: but what is the good of saying you are on His side then,
when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else
--something it never entered your head to conceive- comes crashing in;
something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left?
For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming
that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature.
It will be too late then to choose your side.
There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up.
That will not be the time for choosing:
it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realised it before or not.
Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side.
God is holding back to give us that chance.
It will not last forever. We must take it or leave it.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Case for Christianity
The Chariot Throne of God
Articles on Creation
Articles about Time
The Vacuum: Much Ado about Nothing
Zero Point Energy
The Light Papers
The Thunderbolts Project
The Limits of Science
The Uniqueness of Creation Week
The Ruin of Creation
What Holds the Universe Together?
Made in the Image of God
Man's Lost Dominion
World Population Since Creation
Population of the PreFlood World
The Sunny Side of Life
I can Hear the Angels Singing
There is a Balm in Gilead
Modest Mussorgsky: Great Gate of Kiev from Pictures at an Exhibition
Hallelujah! What a Savior
I Sing the Mighty Power of God
Jesus, The Light of the World
Lambert's Eclectic Music Library