How our brains create time (Humans)

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Friday, July 05, 2019, 00:49 (77 days ago)

How our brains create time


I can't read the entire article, because it's behind a paywall, but the premise seems sound.

--
What is the purpose of living? How about, 'to reduce needless suffering. It seems to me to be a worthy purpose.

How our brains create time

by David Turell @, Friday, July 05, 2019, 01:18 (77 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

Tony: How our brains create time


I can't read the entire article, because it's behind a paywall, but the premise seems sound.

Here is the article's beginning:

"SOME time ago, students at the University of Tennessee were handed an unusual assignment. Imagine yourself as a Lilliputian, they were told, as they stared at a miniature model of their communal lounge, complete with furniture and figurines. The students were asked to put themselves in the little people’s shoes, relaxing on the tiny chairs with minuscule cups of coffee. Then they had to say when they felt 30 minutes had passed.

"For the notionally shrunken students, time flew. Their estimates fell well short of clock time. Even more curiously, the acceleration in their felt time was proportional to the scale of the model lounges in which they were immersed.

This bizarre result, reported in Science in 1981, is occasionally invoked by neuroscientists to suggest that space and time are folded together in the brain as they are in the universe. It is also one of many intriguing demonstrations of how malleable our perception of time is – and how mysterious.

"Time’s passage is perhaps the most fundamental feature of our experience, and yet modern physics can’t decide if it is a fundamental property of the universe. So what is time, and why does it flow? How come it seems to slow and surge? And what, if anything, does the time we experience have to do with the time defined by the laws of nature?

"The search for answers takes us into the strange borderlands between neuroscience and physics – a foggy, treacherous place that exposes the limits of our ability to see reality as it ….....

I read the same article-beginning, and also would not succumb to the pay wall, but I looked at the earlier paper abstract:

Phenomenological space-time: toward an experiential relativity:

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/213/4508/681

Abstract
Subjects observing differently scaled environments undergo systematic shifts in the experience of time. The experience of temporal duration is compressed relative to the clock in the same proportion as scale-model environments being observed are compressed relative to the full-sized environment. This research suggests that spatial scale may be a principal mediator in the experience of time.

Comment: our brain learns from our surrounding reality in advance of our understanding what we see and experience, and is demonstrated to fill in bits and pieces, which is part of the argument against free will. I think you are completely correct. Our brain adapts to a smaller environment and shrinks time perception as an adaptation.

How our brains create time

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Friday, July 05, 2019, 02:49 (77 days ago) @ David Turell

Tony: How our brains create time


I can't read the entire article, because it's behind a paywall, but the premise seems sound.


Here is the article's beginning:

"SOME time ago, students at the University of Tennessee were handed an unusual assignment. Imagine yourself as a Lilliputian, they were told, as they stared at a miniature model of their communal lounge, complete with furniture and figurines. The students were asked to put themselves in the little people’s shoes, relaxing on the tiny chairs with minuscule cups of coffee. Then they had to say when they felt 30 minutes had passed.

"For the notionally shrunken students, time flew. Their estimates fell well short of clock time. Even more curiously, the acceleration in their felt time was proportional to the scale of the model lounges in which they were immersed.

This bizarre result, reported in Science in 1981, is occasionally invoked by neuroscientists to suggest that space and time are folded together in the brain as they are in the universe. It is also one of many intriguing demonstrations of how malleable our perception of time is – and how mysterious.

"Time’s passage is perhaps the most fundamental feature of our experience, and yet modern physics can’t decide if it is a fundamental property of the universe. So what is time, and why does it flow? How come it seems to slow and surge? And what, if anything, does the time we experience have to do with the time defined by the laws of nature?

"The search for answers takes us into the strange borderlands between neuroscience and physics – a foggy, treacherous place that exposes the limits of our ability to see reality as it ….....

I read the same article-beginning, and also would not succumb to the pay wall, but I looked at the earlier paper abstract:

Phenomenological space-time: toward an experiential relativity:

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/213/4508/681

Abstract
Subjects observing differently scaled environments undergo systematic shifts in the experience of time. The experience of temporal duration is compressed relative to the clock in the same proportion as scale-model environments being observed are compressed relative to the full-sized environment. This research suggests that spatial scale may be a principal mediator in the experience of time.

Comment: our brain learns from our surrounding reality in advance of our understanding what we see and experience, and is demonstrated to fill in bits and pieces, which is part of the argument against free will. I think you are completely correct. Our brain adapts to a smaller environment and shrinks time perception as an adaptation.

Which makes me wonder about how we measure speeds that are on scales smaller than our own. I mean, our universe, even our planet is REALLY whizzing along through space, and our perception, because we exist on a smaller scales, comprehends the time in accordance with our comprehension of the scale relative to ourselves. Basically, its bigger so it appears to be moving far slower, while atoms appear to be moving far faster.

Perhaps it is tied to visual framerate. If you can, imagine your brain as a camera set to take a snapshot roughly 60 times a second. Then imagine it has to string those images together constantly, in real time, in order for you to move and act in the world at the scale which we exist. The brain does this constantly, analyzing each frame and using predictive algorithms and complex target identification (that we have no clue how to replicate yet) to enable to you respond, at times with 'cat like reflexes'. This is your 'Awake' mode where you are alert and aware of your environment.

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.

--
What is the purpose of living? How about, 'to reduce needless suffering. It seems to me to be a worthy purpose.

How our brains create time

by dhw, Friday, July 05, 2019, 12:43 (76 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

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.

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.

How our brains create time

by David Turell @, Friday, July 05, 2019, 18:47 (76 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.

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?

How our brains create time

by David Turell @, Friday, July 05, 2019, 14:37 (76 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

David: Comment: our brain learns from our surrounding reality in advance of our understanding what we see and experience, and is demonstrated to fill in bits and pieces, which is part of the argument against free will. I think you are completely correct. Our brain adapts to a smaller environment and shrinks time perception as an adaptation.


Tony: Which makes me wonder about how we measure speeds that are on scales smaller than our own. I mean, our universe, even our planet is REALLY whizzing along through space, and our perception, because we exist on a smaller scales, comprehends the time in accordance with our comprehension of the scale relative to ourselves. Basically, its bigger so it appears to be moving far slower, while atoms appear to be moving far faster.

Perhaps it is tied to visual framerate. If you can, imagine your brain as a camera set to take a snapshot roughly 60 times a second. Then imagine it has to string those images together constantly, in real time, in order for you to move and act in the world at the scale which we exist. The brain does this constantly, analyzing each frame and using predictive algorithms and complex target identification (that we have no clue how to replicate yet) to enable to you respond, at times with 'cat like reflexes'. This is your 'Awake' mode where you are alert and aware of your environment.

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.

Which raises the issue: if space-time is real and we know the concept works, was time present before humans with brains appeared? Or does that mean God's mind m ust become a necessary part of space-time's existence?

How our brains create time

by dhw, Saturday, July 06, 2019, 07:45 (75 days ago) @ David Turell

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?

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.

How our brains create time

by David Turell @, Saturday, July 06, 2019, 15:34 (75 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?

How our brains create time

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Saturday, July 06, 2019, 20:48 (75 days ago) @ dhw

TONY

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]

In order for time to be a concept, someing must be able to conceptualize it. From quantum physics to time, science is showing over and over that consciousness is a prerequisite requirement for the state of existence we inhabit to even exist. It doesn't just depend on your definition or time, but also of life. There is nothing that points to their being no apriori intelligence except our arrogant claim to being the most complex beings in the universe.

--
What is the purpose of living? How about, 'to reduce needless suffering. It seems to me to be a worthy purpose.

How our brains create time

by David Turell @, Saturday, July 06, 2019, 21:40 (75 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

TONY

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]

Tony: In order for time to be a concept, something must be able to conceptualize it. From quantum physics to time, science is showing over and over that consciousness is a prerequisite requirement for the state of existence we inhabit to even exist. It doesn't just depend on your definition or time, but also of life. There is nothing that points to there being no apriori intelligence except our arrogant claim to being the most complex beings in the universe.

I agree. Time, as we view it is a sequence of experiences. Animals who are conscious are aware of a series of events, but they cannot recognize it as 'time' which is a concept of the series. Hawking stated years ago there is no physical 'before' before the big Bang. Time started with the Bang. Guth et al. confirmed it in a mathematical paper at Hawking's 60th birthday celebration. But that doesn't mean the BB came from nothing. Einstein uses space-time as the basis of his theories about the mechanics of the universe. If time is a mental concept, it suggest strongly a mind made the universe.

How our brains create time

by dhw, Sunday, July 07, 2019, 11:12 (74 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

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.

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

Do tell me.

TONY: In order for time to be a concept, someing must be able to conceptualize it. From quantum physics to time, science is showing over and over that consciousness is a prerequisite requirement for the state of existence we inhabit to even exist. It doesn't just depend on your definition or time, but also of life. There is nothing that points to their being no apriori intelligence except our arrogant claim to being the most complex beings in the universe.

Part of that arrogance is the idea that if we were not here, nothing else would be here either. Of course concepts are impossible without someone/something to do the conceiving. That does not mean the thing being conceptualized does not have an independent existence of its own! “Concept” can mean how something should be done, or how something is done, and “time” is our concept of how things are done, namely in a sequence of before and after, cause and effect. I truly believe that our planet and our solar system and billions of solar systems and galaxies existed long before we did. If you wish to argue that they could not have existed without some “a priori intelligence” (i.e. your God), I shan’t argue with you, just as I shan’t argue with the atheist who says that intelligence could not have existed without some a priori combination of materials to engender it. Neither of these arguments, in my opinion, alters the fact that everything we know about reality indicates that there is a sequence of before and after, cause and effect, and that constitutes time whether there is anyone to observe it or not.

DAVID [referring to Tony’s post above]: I agree. Time, as we view it is a sequence of experiences. Animals who are conscious are aware of a series of events, but they cannot recognize it as 'time' which is a concept of the series. Hawking stated years ago there is no physical 'before' before the big Bang. Time started with the Bang. Guth et al. confirmed it in a mathematical paper at Hawking's 60th birthday celebration. But that doesn't mean the BB came from nothing. Einstein uses space-time as the basis of his theories about the mechanics of the universe. If time is a mental concept, it suggest strongly a mind made the universe.

I do not accept that time is a mental concept. I see “time” as the word we have invented to describe something which has an objective reality of its own. See above.

How our brains create time

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Sunday, July 07, 2019, 14:50 (74 days ago) @ dhw

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.

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

Do tell me.

TONY: In order for time to be a concept, someing must be able to conceptualize it. From quantum physics to time, science is showing over and over that consciousness is a prerequisite requirement for the state of existence we inhabit to even exist. It doesn't just depend on your definition or time, but also of life. There is nothing that points to their being no apriori intelligence except our arrogant claim to being the most complex beings in the universe.

Part of that arrogance is the idea that if we were not here, nothing else would be here either. Of course concepts are impossible without someone/something to do the conceiving. That does not mean the thing being conceptualized does not have an independent existence of its own! “Concept” can mean how something should be done, or how something is done, and “time” is our concept of how things are done, namely in a sequence of before and after, cause and effect. I truly believe that our planet and our solar system and billions of solar systems and galaxies existed long before we did. If you wish to argue that they could not have existed without some “a priori intelligence” (i.e. your God), I shan’t argue with you, just as I shan’t argue with the atheist who says that intelligence could not have existed without some a priori combination of materials to engender it. Neither of these arguments, in my opinion, alters the fact that everything we know about reality indicates that there is a sequence of before and after, cause and effect, and that constitutes time whether there is anyone to observe it or not.

DAVID [referring to Tony’s post above]: I agree. Time, as we view it is a sequence of experiences. Animals who are conscious are aware of a series of events, but they cannot recognize it as 'time' which is a concept of the series. Hawking stated years ago there is no physical 'before' before the big Bang. Time started with the Bang. Guth et al. confirmed it in a mathematical paper at Hawking's 60th birthday celebration. But that doesn't mean the BB came from nothing. Einstein uses space-time as the basis of his theories about the mechanics of the universe. If time is a mental concept, it suggest strongly a mind made the universe.

I do not accept that time is a mental concept. I see “time” as the word we have invented to describe something which has an objective reality of its own. See above.

Quantum physics shows us that matter exists in a state of superposition until observed. So, no, matter does not exist in a defined state without consciousness, and now it appears that time does not either. I suspect that what will be found in the final analysis is that information and energy will also follow this trend, all needing something to process their meaning prior to being made real and locked into our reality

--
What is the purpose of living? How about, 'to reduce needless suffering. It seems to me to be a worthy purpose.

How our brains create time

by David Turell @, Sunday, July 07, 2019, 15:22 (74 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

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.

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

dhw: Do tell me.

TONY: In order for time to be a concept, someing must be able to conceptualize it. From quantum physics to time, science is showing over and over that consciousness is a prerequisite requirement for the state of existence we inhabit to even exist. It doesn't just depend on your definition or time, but also of life. There is nothing that points to their being no apriori intelligence except our arrogant claim to being the most complex beings in the universe.

dhw: Part of that arrogance is the idea that if we were not here, nothing else would be here either. Of course concepts are impossible without someone/something to do the conceiving. That does not mean the thing being conceptualized does not have an independent existence of its own! “Concept” can mean how something should be done, or how something is done, and “time” is our concept of how things are done, namely in a sequence of before and after, cause and effect. I truly believe that our planet and our solar system and billions of solar systems and galaxies existed long before we did. If you wish to argue that they could not have existed without some “a priori intelligence” (i.e. your God), I shan’t argue with you, just as I shan’t argue with the atheist who says that intelligence could not have existed without some a priori combination of materials to engender it. Neither of these arguments, in my opinion, alters the fact that everything we know about reality indicates that there is a sequence of before and after, cause and effect, and that constitutes time whether there is anyone to observe it or not.

DAVID [referring to Tony’s post above]: I agree. Time, as we view it is a sequence of experiences. Animals who are conscious are aware of a series of events, but they cannot recognize it as 'time' which is a concept of the series. Hawking stated years ago there is no physical 'before' before the big Bang. Time started with the Bang. Guth et al. confirmed it in a mathematical paper at Hawking's 60th birthday celebration. But that doesn't mean the BB came from nothing. Einstein uses space-time as the basis of his theories about the mechanics of the universe. If time is a mental concept, it suggest strongly a mind made the universe.

dhw: I do not accept that time is a mental concept. I see “time” as the word we have invented to describe something which has an objective reality of its own. See above.


Tony: Quantum physics shows us that matter exists in a state of superposition until observed. So, no, matter does not exist in a defined state without consciousness, and now it appears that time does not either. I suspect that what will be found in the final analysis is that information and energy will also follow this trend, all needing something to process their meaning prior to being made real and locked into our reality

I see this comment as being correct for whole organisms and for the universe, while single cells can use information they are given by processes they are given,.

How our brains create time

by David Turell @, Sunday, July 07, 2019, 15:28 (74 days ago) @ dhw

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.

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

dhw: Do tell me.

Einstein's invention which works to understand relative related motions in the universe


TONY: In order for time to be a concept, something must be able to conceptualize it. From quantum physics to time, science is showing over and over that consciousness is a prerequisite requirement for the state of existence we inhabit to even exist. It doesn't just depend on your definition or time, but also of life. There is nothing that points to their being no apriori intelligence except our arrogant claim to being the most complex beings in the universe.

dhw: Part of that arrogance is the idea that if we were not here, nothing else would be here either. Of course concepts are impossible without someone/something to do the conceiving. That does not mean the thing being conceptualized does not have an independent existence of its own! “Concept” can mean how something should be done, or how something is done, and “time” is our concept of how things are done, namely in a sequence of before and after, cause and effect. I truly believe that our planet and our solar system and billions of solar systems and galaxies existed long before we did. If you wish to argue that they could not have existed without some “a priori intelligence” (i.e. your God), I shan’t argue with you, just as I shan’t argue with the atheist who says that intelligence could not have existed without some a priori combination of materials to engender it. Neither of these arguments, in my opinion, alters the fact that everything we know about reality indicates that there is a sequence of before and after, cause and effect, and that constitutes time whether there is anyone to observe it or not.

DAVID [referring to Tony’s post above]: I agree. Time, as we view it is a sequence of experiences. Animals who are conscious are aware of a series of events, but they cannot recognize it as 'time' which is a concept of the series. Hawking stated years ago there is no physical 'before' before the big Bang. Time started with the Bang. Guth et al. confirmed it in a mathematical paper at Hawking's 60th birthday celebration. But that doesn't mean the BB came from nothing. Einstein uses space-time as the basis of his theories about the mechanics of the universe. If time is a mental concept, it suggest strongly a mind made the universe.

dhw: I do not accept that time is a mental concept. I see “time” as the word we have invented to describe something which has an objective reality of its own. See above.

No organism but humans see time. It exists only for us and is real only for us. It only exists in our heads.

How our brains create time

by dhw, Monday, July 08, 2019, 10:23 (73 days ago) @ David Turell

Dhw: Part of that arrogance is the idea that if we were not here, nothing else would be here either. Of course concepts are impossible without someone/something to do the conceiving. That does not mean the thing being conceptualized does not have an independent existence of its own! “Concept” can mean how something should be done, or how something is done, and “time” is our concept of how things are done, namely in a sequence of before and after, cause and effect. I truly believe that our planet and our solar system and billions of solar systems and galaxies existed long before we did. If you wish to argue that they could not have existed without some “a priori intelligence” (i.e. your God), I shan’t argue with you, just as I shan’t argue with the atheist who says that intelligence could not have existed without some a priori combination of materials to engender it. Neither of these arguments, in my opinion, alters the fact that everything we know about reality indicates that there is a sequence of before and after, cause and effect, and that constitutes time whether there is anyone to observe it or not.
And:
Dhw: I do not accept that time is a mental concept. I see “time” as the word we have invented to describe something which has an objective reality of its own. See above.

TONY: Quantum physics shows us that matter exists in a state of superposition until observed. So, no, matter does not exist in a defined state without consciousness, and now it appears that time does not either. I suspect that what will be found in the final analysis is that information and energy will also follow this trend, all needing something to process their meaning prior to being made real and locked into our reality.

DAVID: I see this comment as being correct for whole organisms and for the universe, while single cells can use information they are given by processes they are given.

I don’t know, Tony, what you mean by “a defined state”, and I don’t know what either of you mean by “time”. I have explained above precisely what I mean – namely, the sequence of before and after, cause and effect. Do either of you seriously believe that the Earth did not exist before we arrived on it and gave names to all the realities we observe, and formulated concepts to try and explain them?

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

dhw: Do tell me.

DAVID: Einstein's invention which works to understand relative related motions in the universe.

How does this invalidate the concept of time as a sequence of before and after, cause and effect?

DAVID: No organism but humans see time. It exists only for us and is real only for us. It only exists in our heads.

So you really do believe that there is no such objective reality as before and after, cause and effect? Try standing in front of a moving bus.

How our brains create time

by David Turell @, Monday, July 08, 2019, 14:57 (73 days ago) @ dhw

Dhw: Part of that arrogance is the idea that if we were not here, nothing else would be here either. Of course concepts are impossible without someone/something to do the conceiving. That does not mean the thing being conceptualized does not have an independent existence of its own! “Concept” can mean how something should be done, or how something is done, and “time” is our concept of how things are done, namely in a sequence of before and after, cause and effect. I truly believe that our planet and our solar system and billions of solar systems and galaxies existed long before we did. If you wish to argue that they could not have existed without some “a priori intelligence” (i.e. your God), I shan’t argue with you, just as I shan’t argue with the atheist who says that intelligence could not have existed without some a priori combination of materials to engender it. Neither of these arguments, in my opinion, alters the fact that everything we know about reality indicates that there is a sequence of before and after, cause and effect, and that constitutes time whether there is anyone to observe it or not.
And:
Dhw: I do not accept that time is a mental concept. I see “time” as the word we have invented to describe something which has an objective reality of its own. See above.

TONY: Quantum physics shows us that matter exists in a state of superposition until observed. So, no, matter does not exist in a defined state without consciousness, and now it appears that time does not either. I suspect that what will be found in the final analysis is that information and energy will also follow this trend, all needing something to process their meaning prior to being made real and locked into our reality.

DAVID: I see this comment as being correct for whole organisms and for the universe, while single cells can use information they are given by processes they are given.

dhw: I don’t know, Tony, what you mean by “a defined state”, and I don’t know what either of you mean by “time”. I have explained above precisely what I mean – namely, the sequence of before and after, cause and effect. Do either of you seriously believe that the Earth did not exist before we arrived on it and gave names to all the realities we observe, and formulated concepts to try and explain them?

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

dhw: Do tell me.

DAVID: Einstein's invention which works to understand relative related motions in the universe.

dhw: How does this invalidate the concept of time as a sequence of before and after, cause and effect?

It doesn't


DAVID: No organism but humans see time. It exists only for us and is real only for us. It only exists in our heads.

dhw: So you really do believe that there is no such objective reality as before and after, cause and effect? Try standing in front of a moving bus.

Of course I do, but we are again discussing apples and oranges. Of course there is sequential time, but it is an immaterial concept of the human mind as it analyzes a real sequence.

How our brains create time

by dhw, Tuesday, July 09, 2019, 09:58 (72 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: No organism but humans see time. It exists only for us and is real only for us. It only exists in our heads.

dhw: So you really do believe that there is no such objective reality as before and after, cause and effect? Try standing in front of a moving bus.

DAVID: Of course I do, but we are again discussing apples and oranges. Of course there is sequential time, but it is an immaterial concept of the human mind as it analyzes a real sequence.

If the sequence is real, then it is clearly absurd to say that “our brains create time”! Our brains name, describe and try to explain realities of all kinds, and the sequence of time is one of them.

How our brains create time

by David Turell @, Tuesday, July 09, 2019, 14:39 (72 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: No organism but humans see time. It exists only for us and is real only for us. It only exists in our heads.

dhw: So you really do believe that there is no such objective reality as before and after, cause and effect? Try standing in front of a moving bus.

DAVID: Of course I do, but we are again discussing apples and oranges. Of course there is sequential time, but it is an immaterial concept of the human mind as it analyzes a real sequence.

dhw: If the sequence is real, then it is clearly absurd to say that “our brains create time”! Our brains name, describe and try to explain realities of all kinds, and the sequence of time is one of them.

Our brain names the sequence as time. That is still a concept. Of course the sequence is real. The real question still is: is 'time' in space-time real or use of a concept entering it as a fourth dimension?

How our brains create time

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Tuesday, July 09, 2019, 21:04 (72 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: No organism but humans see time. It exists only for us and is real only for us. It only exists in our heads.

dhw: So you really do believe that there is no such objective reality as before and after, cause and effect? Try standing in front of a moving bus.

DAVID: Of course I do, but we are again discussing apples and oranges. Of course there is sequential time, but it is an immaterial concept of the human mind as it analyzes a real sequence.

dhw: If the sequence is real, then it is clearly absurd to say that “our brains create time”! Our brains name, describe and try to explain realities of all kinds, and the sequence of time is one of them.


Our brain names the sequence as time. That is still a concept. Of course the sequence is real. The real question still is: is 'time' in space-time real or use of a concept entering it as a fourth dimension?

Or is it a higher consciousness that is defining time?

--
What is the purpose of living? How about, 'to reduce needless suffering. It seems to me to be a worthy purpose.

How our brains create time

by David Turell @, Tuesday, July 09, 2019, 22:53 (72 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

DAVID: No organism but humans see time. It exists only for us and is real only for us. It only exists in our heads.

dhw: So you really do believe that there is no such objective reality as before and after, cause and effect? Try standing in front of a moving bus.

DAVID: Of course I do, but we are again discussing apples and oranges. Of course there is sequential time, but it is an immaterial concept of the human mind as it analyzes a real sequence.

dhw: If the sequence is real, then it is clearly absurd to say that “our brains create time”! Our brains name, describe and try to explain realities of all kinds, and the sequence of time is one of them.


David: Our brain names the sequence as time. That is still a concept. Of course the sequence is real. The real question still is: is 'time' in space-time real or use of a concept entering it as a fourth dimension?


Tony: Or is it a higher consciousness that is defining time?

Of course a greater consciousness started time with creation of the universe

How our brains create time

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Tuesday, July 09, 2019, 21:03 (72 days ago) @ dhw

TONY: Quantum physics shows us that matter exists in a state of superposition until observed. So, no, matter does not exist in a defined state without consciousness, and now it appears that time does not either. I suspect that what will be found in the final analysis is that information and energy will also follow this trend, all needing something to process their meaning prior to being made real and locked into our reality.

DAVID: I see this comment as being correct for whole organisms and for the universe, while single cells can use information they are given by processes they are given.

I don’t know, Tony, what you mean by “a defined state”, and I don’t know what either of you mean by “time”. I have explained above precisely what I mean – namely, the sequence of before and after, cause and effect. Do either of you seriously believe that the Earth did not exist before we arrived on it and gave names to all the realities we observe, and formulated concepts to try and explain them?

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

dhw: Do tell me.

DAVID: Einstein's invention which works to understand relative related motions in the universe.

How does this invalidate the concept of time as a sequence of before and after, cause and effect?

DAVID: No organism but humans see time. It exists only for us and is real only for us. It only exists in our heads.

So you really do believe that there is no such objective reality as before and after, cause and effect? Try standing in front of a moving bus.

So, again, you miss the point. I never said that it was OUR consciousness holding things together. Some consciousness that must have been available to observe prior to the big bang.

--
What is the purpose of living? How about, 'to reduce needless suffering. It seems to me to be a worthy purpose.

How our brains create time

by David Turell @, Tuesday, July 09, 2019, 22:51 (72 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

TONY: Quantum physics shows us that matter exists in a state of superposition until observed. So, no, matter does not exist in a defined state without consciousness, and now it appears that time does not either. I suspect that what will be found in the final analysis is that information and energy will also follow this trend, all needing something to process their meaning prior to being made real and locked into our reality.

DAVID: I see this comment as being correct for whole organisms and for the universe, while single cells can use information they are given by processes they are given.

I don’t know, Tony, what you mean by “a defined state”, and I don’t know what either of you mean by “time”. I have explained above precisely what I mean – namely, the sequence of before and after, cause and effect. Do either of you seriously believe that the Earth did not exist before we arrived on it and gave names to all the realities we observe, and formulated concepts to try and explain them?

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

dhw: Do tell me.

DAVID: Einstein's invention which works to understand relative related motions in the universe.

dhw: How does this invalidate the concept of time as a sequence of before and after, cause and effect?

DAVID: No organism but humans see time. It exists only for us and is real only for us. It only exists in our heads.

dhw: So you really do believe that there is no such objective reality as before and after, cause and effect? Try standing in front of a moving bus.


Tony: So, again, you miss the point. I never said that it was OUR consciousness holding things together. Some consciousness that must have been available to observe prior to the big bang.

Of course dhw misses the point

How our brains create time

by dhw, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, 10:13 (71 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

DAVID: No organism but humans see time. It exists only for us and is real only for us. It only exists in our heads.

dhw: So you really do believe that there is no such objective reality as before and after, cause and effect? Try standing in front of a moving bus.

DAVID: Of course I do, but we are again discussing apples and oranges. Of course there is sequential time, but it is an immaterial concept of the human mind as it analyzes a real sequence.

dhw: If the sequence is real, then it is clearly absurd to say that “our brains create time”! Our brains name, describe and try to explain realities of all kinds, and the sequence of time is one of them.

DAVID: Our brain names the sequence as time. That is still a concept. Of course the sequence is real. The real question still is: is 'time' in space-time real or use of a concept entering it as a fourth dimension?

Sorry, but that is not the “real” question for me. I object to the statement that the brain creates time. You agree that the sequence is real and therefore exists independently of the brain, just like every other reality that we name, describe and try to explain, so I don’t know why you are trying to muddy the waters with space-time and the fourth dimension. Do you agree or not that the brain does NOT create time?

TONY: Or is it a higher consciousness that is defining time?

DAVID: Of course a greater consciousness started time with creation of the universe

I suggest that time is the sequence of before and after, cause and effect. Even if you believe your God started time, you will still have to admit that our brains do not create it. Our brains only define it.

Dhw (as above): So you really do believe that there is no such objective reality as before and after, cause and effect? Try standing in front of a moving bus.

TONY: So, again, you miss the point. I never said that it was OUR consciousness holding things together. Some consciousness that must have been available to observe prior to the big bang.

You started this thread with the title “How our brains create time”. My point is that our brains do not create time, but it has a reality of its own. You may believe that the universe required a consciousness to “hold things together”, but that is a completely different subject. However, it might help to clarify your views if you would give us your own definition of time, assuming it is NOT the sequence of before/after and cause/effect.

How our brains create time

by David Turell @, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, 14:46 (71 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: No organism but humans see time. It exists only for us and is real only for us. It only exists in our heads.

dhw: So you really do believe that there is no such objective reality as before and after, cause and effect? Try standing in front of a moving bus.

DAVID: Of course I do, but we are again discussing apples and oranges. Of course there is sequential time, but it is an immaterial concept of the human mind as it analyzes a real sequence.

dhw: If the sequence is real, then it is clearly absurd to say that “our brains create time”! Our brains name, describe and try to explain realities of all kinds, and the sequence of time is one of them.

DAVID: Our brain names the sequence as time. That is still a concept. Of course the sequence is real. The real question still is: is 'time' in space-time real or use of a concept entering it as a fourth dimension?

dhw: Sorry, but that is not the “real” question for me. I object to the statement that the brain creates time. You agree that the sequence is real and therefore exists independently of the brain, just like every other reality that we name, describe and try to explain, so I don’t know why you are trying to muddy the waters with space-time and the fourth dimension. Do you agree or not that the brain does NOT create time?

I've agreed and so I'll repeat: "Our brain names the sequence as time. That is still a concept. Of course the sequence is real."


TONY: Or is it a higher consciousness that is defining time?

DAVID: Of course a greater consciousness started time with creation of the universe

dhw: I suggest that time is the sequence of before and after, cause and effect. Even if you believe your God started time, you will still have to admit that our brains do not create it. Our brains only define it.

Of all organisms, only our brain recognizes it.


Dhw (as above): So you really do believe that there is no such objective reality as before and after, cause and effect? Try standing in front of a moving bus.

TONY: So, again, you miss the point. I never said that it was OUR consciousness holding things together. Some consciousness that must have been available to observe prior to the big bang.

You started this thread with the title “How our brains create time”. My point is that our brains do not create time, but it has a reality of its own. You may believe that the universe required a consciousness to “hold things together”, but that is a completely different subject. However, it might help to clarify your views if you would give us your own definition of time, assuming it is NOT the sequence of before/after and cause/effect.

How our brains create time

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Thursday, July 11, 2019, 05:18 (70 days ago) @ dhw

TONY: Or is it a higher consciousness that is defining time?

DAVID: Of course a greater consciousness started time with creation of the universe

I suggest that time is the sequence of before and after, cause and effect. Even if you believe your God started time, you will still have to admit that our brains do not create it. Our brains only define it.

Dhw (as above): So you really do believe that there is no such objective reality as before and after, cause and effect? Try standing in front of a moving bus.

TONY: So, again, you miss the point. I never said that it was OUR consciousness holding things together. Some consciousness that must have been available to observe prior to the big bang.

DHW You started this thread with the title “How our brains create time”. My point is that our brains do not create time, but it has a reality of its own. You may believe that the universe required a consciousness to “hold things together”, but that is a completely different subject. However, it might help to clarify your views if you would give us your own definition of time, assuming it is NOT the sequence of before/after and cause/effect.

That was the name of the article. However, if consciousness at our scale produces the perception of time at our scale, but time also exists at a higher scale, then it stands to reason that a higher consciousness is required for that.

--
What is the purpose of living? How about, 'to reduce needless suffering. It seems to me to be a worthy purpose.

How our brains create time

by dhw, Thursday, July 11, 2019, 10:09 (70 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

dhw (as above): So you really do believe that there is no such objective reality as before and after, cause and effect? Try standing in front of a moving bus.

TONY: So, again, you miss the point. I never said that it was OUR consciousness holding things together. Some consciousness that must have been available to observe prior to the big bang.

dhw: You started this thread with the title “How our brains create time”. My point is that our brains do not create time, but it has a reality of its own. You may believe that the universe required a consciousness to “hold things together”, but that is a completely different subject. However, it might help to clarify your views if you would give us your own definition of time, assuming it is NOT the sequence of before/after and cause/effect.

TONY: That was the name of the article. However, if consciousness at our scale produces the perception of time at our scale, but time also exists at a higher scale, then it stands to reason that a higher consciousness is required for that.

What is “a higher scale” if time is a sequence of before and after, cause and effect? Your argument is tantamount to saying that if there is a reality we humans cannot observe, then it needs a different sort of consciousness to observe it. Nothing to do with the creation of reality anyway (“How our brains create time”). But once again, your thoughts would perhaps be easier to understand if you gave us your own definition of time and also of a “higher scale” of time.

DAVID: Our brain names the sequence as time. That is still a concept. Of course the sequence is real. The real question still is: is 'time' in space-time real or use of a concept entering it as a fourth dimension?

dhw: Sorry, but that is not the “real” question for me. I object to the statement that the brain creates time. You agree that the sequence is real and therefore exists independently of the brain, just like every other reality that we name, describe and try to explain, so I don’t know why you are trying to muddy the waters with space-time and the fourth dimension. Do you agree or not that the brain does NOT create time?

DAVID: I've agreed and so I'll repeat: "Our brain names the sequence as time. That is still a concept. Of course the sequence is real."

Thank you. It’s nice that we can agree for a change!

How our brains create time

by David Turell @, Thursday, July 11, 2019, 16:41 (70 days ago) @ dhw

dhw (as above): So you really do believe that there is no such objective reality as before and after, cause and effect? Try standing in front of a moving bus.

TONY: So, again, you miss the point. I never said that it was OUR consciousness holding things together. Some consciousness that must have been available to observe prior to the big bang.

dhw: You started this thread with the title “How our brains create time”. My point is that our brains do not create time, but it has a reality of its own. You may believe that the universe required a consciousness to “hold things together”, but that is a completely different subject. However, it might help to clarify your views if you would give us your own definition of time, assuming it is NOT the sequence of before/after and cause/effect.

TONY: That was the name of the article. However, if consciousness at our scale produces the perception of time at our scale, but time also exists at a higher scale, then it stands to reason that a higher consciousness is required for that.

dhw: What is “a higher scale” if time is a sequence of before and after, cause and effect? Your argument is tantamount to saying that if there is a reality we humans cannot observe, then it needs a different sort of consciousness to observe it. Nothing to do with the creation of reality anyway (“How our brains create time”). But once again, your thoughts would perhaps be easier to understand if you gave us your own definition of time and also of a “higher scale” of time.

DAVID: Our brain names the sequence as time. That is still a concept. Of course the sequence is real. The real question still is: is 'time' in space-time real or use of a concept entering it as a fourth dimension?

dhw: Sorry, but that is not the “real” question for me. I object to the statement that the brain creates time. You agree that the sequence is real and therefore exists independently of the brain, just like every other reality that we name, describe and try to explain, so I don’t know why you are trying to muddy the waters with space-time and the fourth dimension. Do you agree or not that the brain does NOT create time?

DAVID: I've agreed and so I'll repeat: "Our brain names the sequence as time. That is still a concept. Of course the sequence is real."

Thank you. It’s nice that we can agree for a change!

You are welcome

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