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Absolute Time: The Ultimate Premature Argument

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Posted by Whittier on October 31, 2004 02:27:14 UTC

(With apologies for words which disappeared from previous posts ith a misplaced bracket)
Absolute Time? It might seem silly now, but maybe any kind of time may serve as
absolute time in relation to all the other kinds of time.
Absolute Time might be like a role played by a type of time – anchoring two or more different, more flexible time schemes – and the flexibility is only perceived by living creatures.

One other type of time, “subjective time,” is a living creature’s experience of life’s reverie; a squirrel, for example, after eating an acorn one afternoon and going to sleep, might have no exact idea how much external time has passed during the nap. The content, if any, of its sleep reverie and its digestive chemistry/muscle repair chemistry occur on time schemes which have, with the exception of certain sleep-related hormones and neurotransmitters, no obvious connection to the time scheme of external astronomical events. But upon the squirrel’s awakening, the sun is lower in the sky, and that astronomical time is our “clock time.” The squirrel’s experience of life is hardly affected at all by atomic decay rates which help calibrate our clock time and which also help us estimate there are fewer Earth orbits around the sun in one year in our time than during the Age of the Dinosaurs.
Daylight hours and changing seasons DO matter to the squirrel but they don’t have an obvious on-the-hour time scheme.
Two time schemes have occurred which matter to the squirrel – the one related to astronomy, and the time scheme related its experience of the chemical processes of sleep. To study one in terms of the other, we have an opportunity to use a third -- “clock time” -- which is the absolute measure of astronomical time versus chemical time. The idea that “clock time” is a subset of astronomical time is not true, is it? Clock time is calibrated to atomic decay and is simply correlated to astronomical time.
If there is an absolute time, will it always be tied to physical processes?
MWP in E,W

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