iSoul Time has three dimensions

Category Archives: Knowing

epistemology, science, kinds of knowledge, methodology

Synchronic and diachronic time

Synchrony or diatopy means 3D space with simultaneous events in order of increasing time. Space-time is synchronic or diatopic.

Diachrony means 3D time with simulocuous events in order of decreasing distance. Time-space is diachronic.

Chronicles and histories are diachronic. Models and theories are synchronic or diatopic.

Knowledge of the distances between objects is important in order to understand their motions. Knowledge of the modal durations between subjects is important in order to understand their movements. In history travel time matters more than travel distance. In science travel distance matters more than travel time.

For the study of history, 3D time is more significant then 3D space. What matters more is not the distance between places, but the transit time. The reason is that time is the measure of effort to go from one place to another.

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Three racisms

A previous post on racism is here.

This is a big picture, philosophical look at racism or racisms (as in Francisco Bethencourt’s Racisms: From the Crusades to the Twentieth Century, Princeton University Press, 2014). It is also historical, although that is incidental to the philosophical progression.

Racism means treating people differently (e.g., negatively) depending on their race. Here races are understood as varieties of the human species (or kind), which are often associated with ethnic and cultural characteristics. Racism is wrong in an ethical sense. However, taking ethnic and cultural characteristics into account is acceptable as a social grace or for effective communication.

Realist racism is based on the doctrine that different races are different in kind, not merely in degree. So the various associations with race are considered as characteristic of the natural or created kinds. That implies there is nothing one can do to change these characteristics. If a race is considered slaves by nature (barbarians to the ancient Greeks), then that is what they always were and always will be. From this position an equality of races makes no more sense that an equality of apples and oranges.

Eugenic racism is the doctrine based on evolutionary biology in which races are different population groups, which could interbreed to form new races or be kept separate and maintain divergent traits. In evolutionary biology a single-race population might even become a new species. Because of the evolutionary descent from primitive organisms, it is possible that different races might be earlier or later in the evolutionary tree. This is taken as a justification by eugenic racists that breeding practices applied to animals should be applied to humans as well, in order to purify or perfect a racial group.

Identity racism is based on the doctrine that different racial identities (including related ethnicities and cultures) should be allowed to flourish on their own to ensure their development without interference. Identity racism supports race consciousness and race politics. The relation between races may be viewed as egalitarian or not. What matters is that independent racial development must be maintained for the sake of civil rights and social justice. Today non-egalitarian identity racism is widely condemned, but egalitarian identity racism is not widely recognized for its own racism.

The Western ideal has been individual development, apart from race. An ideal of collective development might also be different from race. In any case, we should focus beyond race to the development of our individuality and common humanity.

Past, present, and future

This continues the post on the Arrow of tense.

Past, present, and future are characteristics of time. But they are also characteristics of places, of things, or events, etc.

Yesterday was in the past, today is in the present, and tomorrow is in the future.

Past places are remembered, present places are experienced, and future places are imagined.

Some things were in the past, some things are in the present, and some things will be in the future.

Some events happened in the past, some events are happening in the present, and some events will be happening in the future.

So past, present, and future are not time itself. They are characteristics that apply to various things.

Past, present, and future are tenses, which refer to order, not time per se. One can order events, experiences, objects, places, and periods of time in various ways. One can study which order is the right physical order.

And time has order. But order is not time.

Time is duration.

New terms for 3D time

This post highlights several recent terms or definitions added to the glossary above.

The distance is the metric of space, the shortest length between two points in space. Similarly, the distime is the metric of time, the shortest duration between two points in time.

A timeline is a linear ordering of events by distime from or to a reference event. A locusline is a linear ordering of events by distance from or to a reference event.

A clock shows the present instant in the local timeline. An odologe (o′∙do∙loje) is an app or device that shows the present point in the current locusline.

Instantaneous events occur in an instant of time. Punctaneous events occur in a point of space.

Simultaneous events occur at the same time. Simulocus events occur at the same place.

Synchronous motions are parallel in time, as in having the same period. From Greek syn+chron+ous. Symmacronous motions are parallel in space, as in having the same orbit. From Greek sym+macron+ous.

Pseudo-length is measured by time and expressed as length, as with multiplying time by the free-flow speed. Pseudo-duration is measured by length and expressed as time, as with multiplying length by the free-flow pace.

Inertia (linear) is the resistance of an object to any change in its state of motion. Facilia (linear) is the nonresistance of a subject to a change in its state of movement.

Atheist illiteracy

Antony Flew was a leading atheist who came to the conclusion that God exists. What changed his mind? “The difference between life and non-life, it became apparent to me, was ontological and not chemical. The best confirmation of this radical gulf is Richard Dawkins’ comical effort to argue in The God Delusion that the origin of life can be attributed to a ‘lucky chance.’ If that’s the best argument you have, then the game is over.” (How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind)

Robert Hutchinson writes: “Recently, I’ve begun to systematically record all of the debates on the Existence of God that I can lay my hands on and listen to them at my leisure, usually while driving.

In the process, I made a shocking discovery. It turns out that the atheists are really, really good at insults but are actually quite poor debaters. The atheists insult Christianity, Judaism and religion generally with a nastiness that is almost breathtaking. They belittle. They demean. They insinuate. But the one thing they don’t do is offer intelligent arguments that disprove the existence of God.

In fact, they don’t actually reason at all.

Reasoning, after all, is a systematic questioning of assumptions… a marshaling of evidence… a critical examination of arguments. It is not, primarily, name-calling. When I first started watching these debates, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I assumed the atheists would eventually put forward logical arguments that the Theists would be hard pressed to answer. What I wasn’t prepared for was that the atheists didn’t really marshal salient arguments at all: they merely sneered.”

Michael Egnor writes: “When I was becoming a Christian, I secretly feared reading debates about God’s existence. I feared that my growing faith would be shattered by some obvious logical flaw in theist arguments. I began to read, with trepidation, Christian vs. atheist debates (my first was Does God Exist? The Great Debate. by J.P. Moreland, Kai Nielsen and others).

I was astonished. The atheist arguments, rather than presenting formidable challenges to belief in God, were.. pitiful. The Christian arguments were well-structured logical demonstrations, basically rigorous extensions of common sense. The atheist arguments were tangential, ad hoc, absurd (‘the universe caused itself’, ‘everything came from nothing’). The best the atheists could do is play semantic games. In Does God Exist, the most capable atheist philosopher, Kai Nielsen, merely argued that ‘God’ was undefinable, and therefore arguments for His existence were nonsensical. That’s the best he could do.

As I’ve studied the arguments, my disdain for atheist arguments has grown exponentially. None of the New Atheist ‘intellectuals’ has presented an argument against God’s existence that would get a passing grade in a freshman philosophy course.

Bottom line: read good philosophers like Feser and Craig and Moreland, and you’ll see that reason and logic are Christian virtues, not atheist virtues. Atheist illiteracy on even rudimentary philosophical issues is astonishing.”

Post-Christian Posing

The following is an excerpt from John Zmirak at The Stream on July 26, 2018, here:

In the 19th century, many Christians were deeply troubled by Darwin. They accepted his theories as facts that disproved the Bible’s claim to be inspired and inerrant. But they weren’t ready to slough off Christian ethics. Or even (in many cases) quit their jobs as prominent pastors and try to make an honest living. They quailed at the ruthless atheist socialism of Marx and Engels, and the harsh “social Darwinist” movement that hoped to speed up the “survival of the fittest.”

So these men of little faith hearkened to the deeply biased methods of “Higher” biblical criticism. Pretending to be a “science,” it weeds out the miraculous and supernatural parts of the Gospel. What it leaves behind is an ethical core, derived from cherry-picking stories of Jesus’ actions and precepts. That core, they could pretend, is really the “essence” of Christianity.

Never mind all those metaphysical claims (Our Lord’s divinity) or so-called miracles (His resurrection). And certainly pay no attention to apostolic traditions, Church doctrinal councils, or historic Christian practice.

The Ten Disenchantments

No, the “real” Christianity is … well not a creed. It’s more of an emotive stance, which distills from the life of Jesus a few simplistic precepts. Since they replace supernatural faith itself, I’ll call them the Ten Disenchantments.

  1. Outsiders are always right.
  2. The underdog deserves to win, every time.
  3. Making judgments about people is evil, and it means you’re a hypocrite.
  4. Religious observance is empty ritual, only valid for building a sense of community among the disadvantaged.
  5. Rebels and dissenters are always prophetic and deserve our attention.
  6. Sexual sins are mild peccadilloes, and those who condemn them are much worse sinners themselves.
  7. Every hierarchy is wicked.
  8. All inequality is the fruit of exploitation.
  9. Suffering has no value whatsoever, and it’s our first duty to stomp it out, whatever the cost.
  10. A neurotic, extreme unselfishness, which no person (much less nation) can really practice, is nonetheless the Christian ideal.

Now this not really a comprehensive ethical system. Nor is it a fair and representative reading of Jesus’ words and actions. If it were, then He would not have been the Messiah, since the above list is utterly incompatible with the Old Testament.

Immediate motion

I recently wrote about rest in space and time here. This post is about the opposite: immediate motion, arriving at a destination instantly.

Immediate motion means an infinite speed in space. An infinite speed results in an immediate change of place: something moves from one location to another in an instant. It’s here and there at the same time. The departure and arrival are simultaneous.

A body at infinite speed is at two places at the same time, but a speed ratio has a finite time interval. If it’s the same time, how can there be a finite time interval?

For speed the time interval is fixed as the length changes. If the speed approaches infinity, then the travel length in the numerator approaches infinity, so the time interval in the denominator becomes a smaller and smaller proportion and the ratio approaches infinity. The body is at two places sinultaneously.

Immediate motion also means a zero pace in time. A zero pace results in an immediate change of time: something moves from one time to another in an instant. It’s now and then at the same location. The departure time and arrival time are at the same location. I’m calling this simulocus.

But wait, two times at the same location seems like no motion at all. What gives?

For pace the length interval is fixed as the time changes. If the pace approaches zero, then the travel time in the numerator approaches zero, so the length interval in the denominator becomes a larger and larger proportion and the ratio approaches zero. The body is at two times simulocusly.

Does immediate motion exist? Not under the Lorentz transformation, in which there is a finite maximum speed. But the Galilean transformation implicitly uses an infinite speed of light. And the co-Galilean transformation implicitly uses a zero pace of light.

Science or stories

Science has no stories. Stories have characters, plots, and narratives. Science has data, hypotheses, postulates, and theories. Science and stories are different. They should be kept separate.

Stories can refer to science or be about scientists, but that is not part of science. Science can refer to stories or collect data from stories, but that is not storytelling.

Evolutionary stories are not part of science. Evolution without stories is part of science. But evolution without stories is variation and adaptation.

The science community and its boosters confuse science and stories. They are different and should be kept separate.

History is a chronicle, a narrative, a story. But history is not science.

The Bible is a story of stories. It includes chronicles, poetry, parables, and letters. The Bible may refer to science, but the Bible is not part of science.

The stories of the Bible are not inconsistent with science as long as science is not confused with stories. If science is confused with stories, then there may be inconsistencies with the Bible. The answer is to stop confusing science and stories.

Biblical creationists follow the science community and its boosters in confusing science and stories. Creationism is about history and theology, not science.

Science or stories: focus on one or the other but don’t confuse them.

Three relativity transformations

Two transformations of inertial reference frames are well-known: the Galilean and the Lorentz transformations. There is a third transformation as well, which will be called the co-Galilean transformation. Below is a derivation of all three transformations, closely following the paper Getting the Lorentz transformations without requiring an invariant speed by Andrea Pelissetto and Massimo Testa (American Journal of Physics 83 (2015), p.338-340). Their approach is based on the work of von Ignatowsky in the early 20th century.

We wish to characterize the transformations that relate two different inertial frames. Let us consider two inertial observers K and K′. Let r = (x, x2, x3) and w = (t t2, t3) be space and time coordinates for K and = (x´, x2´, x3)´ and = (t´, t2´, t3´) be the corresponding quantities for K′.

In order to simplify the argument, we will restrict our considerations to the subgroup of transformations involving x and t only, setting x2´= x2, x3´ = x3, t2´ = t2, and t3´ = t3. This is equivalent to choosing coordinates so that K and K′ are in relative motion along the x and t directions in K and the x′ and t´ directions in K´.

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Simultaneity without clocks

Watches didn’t always exist. Neither did clocks that were transportable or manufactured in large quantities. I mention this because one way to determine the simultaneity of events is to have synchronized clocks transported to multiple locations – even an endless number of locations in theory.

How can an observer determine the simultaneous events from their frame of reference? Answer: simultaneous events are observed simultaneously by an observer. But how can this be reconciled with other observers who may observe the same events as non-simultaneous?

That is the point of relativity: applying transformations to coordinates from different frames of reference so that the equations of physics are the same in all reference frames. But relativity requires a convention of simultaneity (or a demonstration of what events are simultaneous events). Since I have defined time in terms of stopwatches rather than clocks, how can simultaneity be determined?

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