Ok. Time to get something off my chest that I’ve been ruminating about for a while now. It’s actually about time. Not like I should just get to it “about time”, but the subject is actually time.
For as long as I can remember people, including boffins, have been saying the fourth dimension is time, as though time is an actual physical thing. This belief leads to hope for “time travel”. I use quotations because we all travel through time, just at a constant speed and always forward. The time travel that folks fanaticize about is instantaneous and in both directions.
I propose that time, rather than being an independent physical phenomenon, is a human invention useful for organizing events in our lives and history. Consider time like money. A tool created by man to track important transactions.
Let’s do a thought experiment, just like Einstein used to do. Imagine a two dimensional existence. In that reality there would be only width and depth, no height. Therefore a two dimensional creature couldn’t see my finger held one inch above the plane of their existence. They would have no concept of up and down. They can’t move in that dimension and probably can’t conceive of it since their world is complete in two dimensions. We, as three dimensional creatures, have a complete world in three dimensions. We live in three dimensions with the ability to move backwards and forwards through all three. But we also move through time, one way only, making this travel dissimilar to actual dimensional travel. Similarly, those two dimensional creatures move in a linear fashion through time. Since they can’t conceptualize up and down or point to it, like we can’t point to the fourth dimension, they would then conclude that time is the third dimension. We as three dimensional creatures know that this isn’t true. Since it’s not true for two dimensional creatures, it follows that it’s not true for three dimensional creatures. Time is not the fourth dimension.
Issac Newton proposed a force called gravity. Albert Einstein found that gravity was simply a distortion of the “space-time” grid based on mass. Similarly, I propose that our perception of time is a result of traveling through space. Different rates of travel cause different passages of time, again proven in Einstein’s relativity. Boffins have said that there is nothing in the laws of physics that prevents movement through time in both directions. My proposal that time is a result of travel through space would make backwards time travel impossible. Whichever direction you travel through space would create the appearance of time moving in the only direction it can move.
If there are eleven physical dimensions as predicted by string (or M) theory, time is surely not one of those. I’ve heard many physicists suppose that the extra dimensions are curled up on a microscopic scale and that’s why we can’t see them. That, in my opinion, is ego speaking. Not scientific ego, human ego. The thought that we must be able to experience everything rather than believing that there are things out of our ability to experience is simply that, ego. In other words, since we exist in 3 of the available dimensions, the other 8 would be not available for us to relate to, much like the third dimension to those two dimensional creatures I spoke of.
The boffins also say that during the “Big Bang” the universe expanded from a point to the size of our solar system in a fraction of a second and that is also misleading. If time, as I’ve suggested, is an offshoot of travel through space, than the time that expansion took is immeasurable from our perspective since the space was expanding and therefore time was moving at a different speed than it is today. They say that the universe expanded faster than the speed of light in those beginning moments, they say that this was possible because it was space that was expanding, not matter. I say that since space was expanding the definition of time was different and therefore we can’t know how long the “Big Bang” took because of the uncertain nature of time in expanding space.
Oh, and speaking of human ego and the fantasy of time travel. The Earth is rotating on its axis while speeding through space orbiting the Sun. The Solar System is rotating around Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. The Milky Way is speeding through the space grid relative to all of the other galaxies out there. What makes anyone out there think that if time travel were possible that it’s geocentric? If you move radically forward or backward in time you’d likely end up somewhere in space wishing you could breathe and wondering why you thought everything revolved around your planet.