iSoul Time has three dimensions

Category Archives: Knowing

epistemology, science, kinds of knowledge, methodology

Observers in motion

A rigid rod or other device that measures length is at rest relative to itself, even if part moves such as a measuring wheel, because it moves relative to other objects, not relative to itself. A concept of simulstanceity enables an observer to determine length at other times (e.g., they are the same point on the stance line).

A clock measures time, but what is a clock? It is a device with a part that moves relative to a part that is at rest. So a clock is an object in motion relative to itself (yes, this is possible). The part that moves indicates the time. A concept of simultaneity enables an observer to determine time at other places (e.g., they are the same instant on the time line).

Let there be a rigid reference frame associated with each observer or object (e.g., they are attached). An observer may be at rest or in motion relative to their frame. If the observer is at rest, then their frame is a length frame and what they observe is in space. Time is the independent variable and length in three dimensions is the dependent vector variable.

If the observer is going somewhere, they are not at rest but in motion. Their reference frame for rest is not their own frame but a different frame, such as one located on the surface of the earth. In this case the observer and rest frame system are like a clock, that is, a clock frame, and what is observed is in time. A clock frame is moving in the opposite direction of a rest frame. Length is the independent variable and time in three dimensions is the dependent vector variable.

Frames in motion

For Galilean inertial frames the observer is at rest and the moving frame transmits the current stance in an instant of the time line, instantaneously. For contra-Galilean inertial frames the observer is in motion and the rest frame transmits the current time in a point of the stance line, punctstanceously.

The rest frame observer has three dimensions in space. The observed frame in motion is effectively reduced to the one dimension of its motion in time. The moving frame observer is like a clock with space and time exchanged: the dimensions of the observer’s frame are in motion so the three dimensions are in time. The rest frame that is observed appears to move and is effectively reduced to the one dimension of its path in space.

Time and simultaneity

There are several ways of understanding the time of remote events. What follows is a summary of the basic ways of determining simultaneity.

As a way of comparing the different ways consider transmitting a light signal to a remote location where it is reflected back. What is the time when the signal is reflected back?

Observation time is an extension of ordinary perception. When we observe an event, we say that it is happening at the time of observation. So when a light signal is reflected and received back, the reflection observed is considered to have happened when it was observed. In effect the light observed is instantaneous. By implication the one-way speed of light transmitted is c/2 in order for the two-way speed of light to equal c.

Observation time is thus the projection of the time of observation to the entire observable universe. This way of understanding time is characterized by the Galilean transformation.

Transmission time is an extension of the ordinary transmission of light. When we shine a light on an event, we say that it is happening at the time of transmission. So when a light signal is aimed toward a reflector, the event of reflection is considered to have happened when the light was transmitted. In effect the light transmitted is instantaneous. By implication the observed one-way speed of light is c/2 in order for the two-way speed of light to equal c.

Transmission time is thus the projection of the time of transmission to the entire transmittable universe. This way of understanding time is characterized by the contra-Galilean transformation.

Probe time is an extension of measurement by a probe (a “small, unmanned exploratory craft”) to the entire probeable universe. See previous post here. An event is said to occur when intersected by a probe that measures the duration of probe movement since a reference event. So when a probe comes upon the reflection of light, the probe measures the time of reflection as the time of the probe. If the probe is not moving at the speed of light, there may need to be multiple probes.

Consider a series of probes moving at a speed v over a distance d to the reflection event. The probe that leaves at time (d/c) – (d/v) is the probe that intersects the reflection event. If v = c, then the time is zero.

Because probes can measure the length or duration of motion, probe time is characterized by the Lorentz or contra-Lorentz transformation.

Reference frame time measures time by a rigid reference frame that has clocks which were previously synchronized spread throughout. See the Relativity of Simultaneity and Einstein Synchronisation. These synchronizations are characterized by the Lorentz transformation.

Reference probes and systems

A reference frame is in principle a rigid structure embodying a 3D coordinate system. It represents an observer at rest with complete access to rods and clocks to measure length and duration in any direction:

Such a reference frame may be the framework or infrastructure for a reference probe moving like a miniature aerial tram in any direction. A probe is a “small, unmanned exploratory craft”. Such a reference probe compared with a target motion can measure either the extent of the framework crossed by the target, which is the length, or the extent of the framework crossed by the reference probe, which is the duration. The rate of the target motion is the ratio of the length to the duration or the ratio of the duration to the length.

Alternatively, the reference frame may be the framework or infrastructure for a reference system of probes jmoving in all directions. The motion of such a system can be given by a table of changes, which are the intersections of consecutive trips, called “times”, and consecutive stations, called “stances”:

Table of Changes


Trip 1

Trip 2


Location 1

change 1,1 change 1,2

Location 2

change 2,1 change 2,2

A target motion can be measured as the number of stances, which is the length, or as the number of times, which is the duration. The rate of the target motion is the ratio of the length to the duration or the ratio of the duration to the length.

What if one reference framework is moving with respect to another reference framework? The motion of a framework is no different than the motion of an object as observed by a reference framework. How can one compare the observation of an object from one framework with that of another framework? That requires applying the appropriate transformation, Galilean, contra-Galilean, Lorentz, or contra-Lorentz.

God the Creator and Designer

The Christian doctrine of creation declares that the reason there is something and not nothing is because God created something ex nihilo, out of nothing, and that is what it means to say that God is the Creator. This is the primary creation, since the secondary creation such as the birth of new organisms occurs ex aliquo, out of something.

Did God create a mere something, that is, an entity with no identity, a thingless whatever, a primordial blob? Or did God create and design a particular something, an entity with identity? Read the first verses of Genesis again:

1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

Creation ex nihilo gets us to verse 3, with its deep, formless void and nonspecific light. After that, God is the Designer, separating and naming.

Some theologians consider design to be beneath God, as if the Divinity were merely a Platonic demiurge. But God created a particular something, which is described in terms of creating and designing rather than a single create-and-design action. We should accept the distinction between Creator and Designer, whether we separate them or not.

The theological significance of Design has been underappreciated. But it makes a difference whether the creation is made into distinct entities and kinds or is only a mass differentiated by degrees. The differences between plant and animal food and sacrifices, for example, only make sense if plant and animal are different kinds of organisms. Above all, the difference between humans and other creatures is essential to the impact of the fall and redemption of mankind.

Classical creationism underestimated the extent of within-kind variation. Modern evolutionism makes the opposite error and vastly overestimates the extent of variation. A middle position is being developed, despite much opposition, that combines fewer kinds with greater variation and adaptation. Such a moderate view is quite consistent with the biblical Creator and Designer.

Einstein exchanged

Albert Einstein’s book Relativity: The Special and General Theory was originally published in German and translated into English in 1920. In the second chapter he introduces “The System of Co-ordinates”. The following post gives Einstein’s text followed by a revision that exchanges length with duration and space with time. First, Einstein’s text, with alternative wordings in square brackets:

End of Chapter I – If, in pursuance of our habit of thought, we now supplement the propositions of Euclidean geometry by the single proposition that two points on a practically rigid body always correspond to the same distance (line-interval), independently of any changes in position to which we may subject the body, the propositions of Euclidean geometry then resolve themselves into propositions on the possible relative position of practically rigid bodies.

Chapter II – On the basis of the physical interpretation of distance which has been indicated, we are also in a position to establish the distance between two points on a rigid body by means of measurements. For this purpose we require a “distance” (rod S) which is to be used once and for all, and which we employ as a standard measure. If, now, A and B are two points on a rigid body, we can construct the line joining them according to the rules of geometry; then, starting from A, we can mark off the distance S time after time [again and again] until we reach B. The number of these operations required is the numerical measure of the distance AB. This is the basis of all measurement of length.

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Intellectual hierarchies

Societies have an intellectual hierarchy reflected in their academic hierarchy that exhibit their scale of concepts and values. There are basically three groups of intellectual disciplines: the study of divinity (theology), the humanities, and the sciences. There are six possible ways of ordering these three, which shows the intellectual state of a society.

(1) Theology, humanities, sciences: This is the medieval and Renaissance order.

(2) Theology, sciences, humanities: This is the early modern order, which is deistic with scientific realism.

(3) Humanities, theology, sciences: This is the conservative Catholic order, which is humanistic and traditionalist.

(4) Humanities, sciences, theology: This is the liberal Catholic order, which is humanistic with scientific realism.

(5) Sciences, theology, humanities: This is the conservative Protestant order, which is scientistic with theological realism.

(6) Sciences, humanities, theology: This is the late modern order, which is scientistic and humanistic.

Order number (1) is the proper one because it places the highest truth (God) first, then humanity second, then the world after these are properly understood.

Deep time postulate

This subject was previously mentioned, e.g., here.

James Hutton proposed introducing deep time into modern science in 1788. In the early 19th century it was accepted for the geologic time scale. Biologists followed with Darwinism in the late 19th century. Astronomers accepted it to explain cosmology.

What’s wrong with the deep time postulate (DTP)?

The DTP is a large expansion of explanatory resources. It may be compared with explaining crimes by assuming that everyone has access to a large amount of cash. That may make it easier to explain crimes, but such an assumption leads to poor quality explanations.

Similarly, the DTP makes scientific explanations easier, but not better. The more time there is, the more time that one has to fit all the events that might have happened to bring about some state of affairs. But easier does not make better.

This is most egregious in evolutionary biology, in which the possibility of the extremely unlikely happening becomes seemingly more likely the more time there is. It leads to the evolutionary imagination running riot with possibilities. Such a science turns away from what actually occurred.

The DTP invents a whole history that is discontinuous with history based on documents and testimonies. Such a time is not the time of memory but of calculation. It obscures the difference between science and history. History seeks key particulars, whereas science looks for universals. It will not do to replace history with science, as the 19th century ideologues tried to do (Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer, Karl Marx).

Science is based on induction, not explanation. The slow accumulation of evidence, the incremental formation of hypotheses and laws, and experimental testing are the hallmarks of science. Grandiose postulates are contrary to this careful effort. The DTP should be rejected.

Objects and subjects in motion

An object is stable. A rock is an object. Water is an object if it is in a container. A rigid rod is an object.

A subject changes. A person is a subject. Air is a subject since it keeps moving. A clock is a subject.

The grammatical subject and object are distinguished in a sentence, though they both may be things. For example, “The rock rolled down the hill.” Both the rock and the hill are things, that is objects, but in the sentence the rock is the subject and the hill is the object.

Objects are acted upon. A predicate is required to go with an object. An object apart from a sentence is a thing, something passive.

Subjects are active. A verb is required to go with a subject. A subject apart from a sentence is still a potential change agent.

Space is like an object and time is like a subject. If we start with objects and then discuss their motions, we are beginning with the passive objects of space and then adding the active subjects of time. If we start with subjects, we get their motions, too, and may then bring in the objects of space. That is beginning with an active time and adding the passive objects of space.

A reference motion must be active and so include a subject. A comparative motion is passive in relation to the reference motion and so must include an object.

Bodies and things may be subjects or objects, though many are usually one or the other. The difference is in whether they change or move. An object need not move. A subject is usually moving.

Objects are in space. Subjects are in time. Space never moves. Time always moves.

Moving bodies in space and time

Let us compare the motions of two bodies. Let the motion of one body be the reference motion. Let the motion of the other body be the comparative motion. Let the two bodies begin together at one place.


A place is the general term for an answer to Where? A point-place, or simply a point, is the smallest place. A translation is a vector from one point-place to another. Travel distance is the arc length of the trajectory of a motion, which includes any retracing of the trajectory.

Space and time refer to different perspectives of the universe of motion.

Space is the locus of all potential places for the comparative motion, which is said to be “in space.” Displacement is a translation vector from one point to another point of the comparative motion. The travel distance from the beginning point to the ending point of the comparative motion, is the travel length for a motion in space.

Time is the locus of all potential places for the reference motion, which is said to be “in time.” Distimement is a translation vector from one point to another point of the reference motion. The travel distance from the beginning point to the ending point of the reference motion, is the travel time for a motion in time.

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Balancing contraries

Other posts on contraries include this.

Contrary opposites entail one another. There is no north without south or tall without short, for example. Some things such as sex are contraries in some respects but not in all respects.

Contrary opposites are symmetric. Contraries can be reversed or inverted, and they are still there. Since mirror opposites do not necessarily exist, mirror images are not contraries, though they exhibit a symmetry.

Because contraries entail one another and are symmetric, it is arbitrary to always prefer one to the other. One could just as well prefer the opposite contrary.

Contrary opposites can be unified into a higher perspective that contains them both. Unification is an expanded position that incorporates contraries.

Contrary opposites can be balanced in a duality that resists unification. A static equilibrium or dynamic harmony favors contrary opposites equally.

Ancient science prefers static contraries in balanced duality. Modern science prefers dynamic contraries in progressive unification.