Some Philosophical Thoughts on Time
Speculations by Donne E. Puckle
August 2000

A balance, perhaps, between the serious scientific work of Einstein and the tongue-in-cheek work of Isaac Asimov on thiotimoline. These thoughts were precipitated by a conversation about the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. Unrelated, but it brought about the speculations. First: a listing of adjectives regarding time - in the form of questions. Is time: particular, relative, flexible, hard, malleable, fluid, colloidal, crystalline, organic, neurological, gravitational, living/non-living, viral, amoebic, mathematical, topological? What are the implications given each adjective - how would that affect our understanding of the universe, our lives, etc.? Herein the fodder for the philosophical, scientific, and theological speculations and conversations.

There is not enough space available, at this point, to pursue these possibilities. Perhaps conversation via mail or e-mail can take place. At the very least one can have fun with friends. Second: Additional considerations about the nature of time. Here we'll expand on the speculations. So...time as

(1) linear. Time is one dimensional, never actual all at once, but part after part; measures before and after in changes; measures what occurs consecutively. (All this from Thomas Aquinas, Summa T.) Time moves, measures from past to present. It is past focused. Reversal is not possible. Linearity precludes time travel. The flowing stream moves in one direction only. Nothing can be "added" to time.

(2) planar. Time is wide, two dimensional. Here action/events interact on a place. Immediate events connect and interact as a network. Time is present focused. The instantaneous movement of photons from one place to another may take place. What takes place on the sub-atomic (quanta) level in fact takes place macroscopically. Planar time allows for time travel - at least in the present moment.

(3) three-dimensional. Time has depth. It is a state of being/change. It incorporates the past/present/completed events. All events are contemporary, continuing events, happenings, approaches, experience. Time having depth may be atemporal/extratemporal. Movement within depth-time is possible, and here the time travel paradox ceases to be, as all events are contemporary. What one "changes" in time becomes what it is/was/will be. No paradox therefore. Time here has no "speed" How it is "measured" is a matter of movement within itself. "Slow" may be seen in terms of geologic change, growth of the bristlecone pine, "fast" in terms of the life of the adult may-fly. But then it is a matter of perspective of the observer which is what it is within the depth of time.

So, there we are. Some speculations. The game now is to play with the ideas.

Back to Borderline Mensa