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Perhaps The Problems Lay In Philosophy

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Posted by Harvey on October 10, 2001 15:13:06 UTC

Alex and Kyle,

I'm not a physicist so I cannot debate the scientific or mathematical merits of one view or another. However, knowing what I know of this debate, I can sympathize with both of you from a philosophical point of view.

I see Alex's point of view in that many presentists (those who do not believe in an existing past and an existing future) reject time as a valid dimension. They will point to the general relativity equations that involve time as only something that admits time as a coordinate. As I understand it, in quantum theory the Hamiltonian is time-dependent, and this is perhaps the most fundamental theory we have.

Then, there are those who believe like Einstein that time is another dimension (called four-dimensionalists or eternalists in the philosophy of science). Hawking, I believe, has a static view of time, and therefore he might be classified as an 'eternalist'.

Fact is, we don't have a thorough understanding of time. So, the debate is much more philosophical than anything else. Perhaps I've spoken out of turn?

Warm regards, Harv

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