How our brains create time (Humans)

by David Turell @, Saturday, July 06, 2019, 15:34 (131 days ago) @ dhw

TONY: Now, imagine are you are focused intently on something small, reading, writing, tying a fishhook, your brain has to optimize. One by one it will shut down every unnecessary system until the task itself will become something akin to another reality. However, in doing so the time frame of the real world, and our awareness of it, disappears.
The most interesting thing of this though, is that it means the start of time COINCIDED with, or was the product of, an awareness that makes the passage of time possible.

dhw: I don’t buy this at all, but everything depends on your concept of time. Consciousness and measurement of time are clearly only possible for a conscious, measuring mind. How fast or slowly it seems to pass will also depend on that mind and on the conditions in which that mind finds itself. But in my view, time manifests its existence by the passage from before to present to after, and from cause to effect. I have absolutely no doubt that the Earth and the sun had a beginning (and a cause), and that every single development entailed that passage. Time, then, for me is real and did not start with awareness. Only awareness of time started with awareness.

DAVID: Your answer avoids the question which is, why does space-time as a concept work, as if time is built into the workings of the universe, requiring an underlying mind?

dhw: Please note the subject of this thread. Your comment avoids the question of how you define time. Totally mindless energy and matter constantly forming and reforming entails a before and after, and a cause and effect. That to me is time. What do you mean by something working? Billions of stars, suns and galaxies come and go. What is “working”? I would agree with you 100% if you wished to argue that life requires fine tuning, and so you can certainly make out a case that in our galaxy something is working. But that does not change the concept of time. There was a before and after, and a cause and effect, long before life arrived.

I agree with you, but if time is simply before and after, what is space-time?


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