What Time is It?

—Jada Williams, Staff Writer—

It should be clear to most people that time is a manmade construct. We accepted the idea into our everyday lives, and now it’s apart of us, and without time, we’d probably feel lost, but what if time didn’t really exist? This theory has fueled many debates and researchers have gone out of their way to prove if it’s true.

According to the author of Time Reborn, Lee Smolin, “There is no timeless world, and there are no timeless laws. Time is real and nothing can escape it. We live in and through time, but to physicists, time’s fundamental reality is an illusion.” More simply, Smolin says that time is real, but the reality of it is not. Physicists are the main debaters of this argument since a main topic they study is time. Referring to Quanta Magazine, the laws that underlie these theories are time-symmetric. They have this thing called “block universe” which is a static block of spacetime in which any flow of time, or passage though it, must presumably be a mental construct or other illusion. Supporters of this statement claim that the task of the physicist is to describe how the universe appears from the point of view of individual observers. However there are some who disagree, arguing that the task of physics is to explain not just how time appears to pass, but why.

Therefore, it comes down to the main question once more: “Is time real?” When discussed among peers here at Cosby, the answer is varied. For most, they answered an unequivocal yes, not giving the topic much thought, but for some, they answered no. When asked why, freshman Amiya Crawford says, “It just doesn’t feel real. How in certain situations time goes by fast and other times it goes slower. Shouldn’t it all be at the same pace? It makes no sense.”

Humans will probably never truly know if time exists or if it’s all an illusion, but it is something to keep in mind. Playwright Eugene O’Neill says, “There is no present or futureonly the past, happening over and over again, now.”

Header Photo Courtesy of Jada Williams