Astrophysics question for fun (time, matter/energy)

I have an astronomy question I was wondering if you could answer, or could point me in the right direction to getting the answer.

Hypothetically, if the past still exists and the future already exists – what would that say about matter/energy?

Scenario A:

The matter/energy of the past stays in the past, the matter/energy of the future is already there, and there is unique matter/energy in every moment. The matter/energy of each moment is not created in the “present” if the future already exists. Each moment (the universe, from beginning to end) must be created from beyond time.

Scenario B:

If the matter/energy of the past is the same matter/energy of the present and future, and the past/future exists (but outside the present) – then the past/future is empty of matter/energy (doesn’t that mean it doesn’t exist?)…. so then, the past/future doesn’t exist outside the present, or the matter/energy of the past is not the same matter/energy of the present/future (see scenario A).

But:

If prophets genuinely receive the future, then doesn’t that mean the future already exists? And being that prophets exist in the past of the foreseen future… doesn’t that mean the past still exists? If so, then scenario A must be true, or it must be possible for there to be a past/future (concept?) in God’s mind that is empty of matter/energy.

Do you see any kinks in my thinking?

“Now,” if scenario A is right, from God’s perspective, includes the whole universe from beginning to end. Say you represent that with a line. To us, we see one dot on the line at a time, moving from left (beginning) to right (end) (’cause that’s how we read our books…). God sees all the dots at the same time — He sees the line. His “now” is a line, our “now” is a dot.

My question is — is matter/energy preserved in the line (scenario B, where the past/future is an immaterial concept in God’s mind), or in the dot (scenario A)? If B, time travel is impossible. If A — time travel is possible. You just switch some matter/energy between dots. But, that’s a major tangent, now, isn’t it? Makes me want to write sci-fi, haha. But, in the case of prophecy, no matter/energy switches around — God just makes the necessary impressions on the prophet’s brain so that s/he experiences the past/future as if it were present (that’s one way of God’s communication… He also just “tells” them Himself or through an angel).

I may have been (was in fact) wrong about that part in bold (or… right for the wrong reasons). If the past still exists, and the future already exists, then the dots are unchangeable (besides the fact that we co-created/-create them in the present, thanks to God), and any mixing between dots is preserved in the line (but, that mixing may not involve the exchange of matter/energy between dots, it could just be the communication of the future to the mind of a prophet, from beyond time). This means time-travel is impossible unless it is designed into the line from beyond time (God’s perspective) (it could be either scenario A, where matter-energy is switched between dots, or scenario B, where there is no switching of matter-energy between dots, because only the present is material… but then that would mean that traveling out of the present is traveling into a mere concept of past/future, rather than into the material reality of past/future… and what would that be like?).

I was thinking… how do you switch matter/energy between dots (scenario A)… you’d have to have cooperation between people (or instances of your mad-scientist self) from two different dots. Simply, Sam Monday would have to switch places with Sam Friday (but it isn’t that simple, because by the time Friday roles around, Sam’s matter-energy is no longer identical to Sam Monday, and the switch wouldn’t work). But, ultimately, it would take God’s cooperation, for the reasons mentioned above. Maybe you wouldn’t even need any scientific equipment to perform this. And… maybe… just maybe… you’re doing this right now, and you just don’t know it! Hahahahahaha! :lol: Reminds me of K-Pax.

To me, the universe could be “not deterministic” because it is “predetermined” (and so scenario A would fit, or it would fit that God has a concept of the past and future that are not ‘material’ — a concept which includes emotions, reactions, experience, etcetera) — have you read my “predestination and free will” thread?

For anyone wondering what this (the future already being predetermined by God) all might imply about free will…

The past has already happened and yet you had free will before it had already happened, right?

Why not apply the same reasoning to the future?

Whether or not it has already happened (scenario A), or God already knows how it is going to happen (modified scenario B), we still have free will, because He creates with our free choices in mind from beyond time.

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About Maryann

Maryann Spikes is the past President of the Christian Apologetics Alliance. She blogs at Ichthus77, and loves apologetics and philosophy. In particular she loves to study all things Euthyphro Dilemma and Golden Rule. A para-educator (autism) for five years, she holds a Certificate in Christian Apologetics from Biola University, an AA in Humanities via Modesto Junior College, and moonlights as a freelancer on Upwork. You can follow her on Twitter @Ichthus77, connect with the Ichthus77 community on Facebook, or look her up on Google+.
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3 Responses to Astrophysics question for fun (time, matter/energy)

  1. Ichthus says:

    Russell’s book didn’t answer the original post for me, and there were a few parts I chuckled at, like “…it is very likely that the universe evolved from a highly condensed state, and it is even more likely that such a highly condensed state represents the earliest time about which there will ever be any scientific information. Whether such a state actually occurred is not at present under dispute. Unfortunately, some people are inclined to refer to the highly condensed state as ‘the beginning of the universe’ or ‘the time when the universe was created’ or something of that kind. These phrases mean no more than ‘the earliest time about which there is ever likely to be any scientific information’, and it is better to avoid them, because they carry undesirable metaphysical implications,” (122). Where naturalists fear to tread? lol jkSo… I shrinked/modified the original post down to this, if any one would like to take a stab at it:<>[quote]Is there a copy of all the matter/energy in the universe in every moment — is that how it is possible to travel back/forward to the matter/energy that is in the past/future?Otherwise, if once “now” passes, its matter/energy moves into the next moment, then the past no longer exists, and the future does not exist (physically) until it is filled with matter/energy.That, or the matter/energy in now is destroyed and replaced with a new copy (its parts slightly arranged differently) the next moment and the past/future are still empty … but who does the destroying/creating?There is also a scenario that would end up with a build-up of matter, but I forgot what I was thinking about that. I think it was the idea that a new set of matter/energy is created for each new now, and the old matter from the old nows doesn’t move into the past, but sort of… accumulates (we don’t observe this, right?). I mean — if you add up all matter/energy in each moment, is it more than the sum of the matter/energy in now? If not — doesn’t that mean the past/future is empty?Also — what is the ‘size’ of a moment in time? I know there are moments smaller than a second (a milisecond) and there must be moments smaller than that — what is the smallest moment (what is a unit of “now”?)?[/quote]<>When discussing simultaneity, Russel says, “There is no difficulty about the simultaneity of two events in the same place,” and goes on to say, “when we are defining simultaneity between distant events, we have no right to pick and choose among different bodies to be used in defining the point halfway between the events. All bodies have an equal right to be chosen. … The universal cosmic time which used to be taken for granted is thus no longer admissable. … For electrons in laboratories, quite different times would be wanted…” This makes me wonder–if two events observed by a human can be simultaneous–what about the electrons in that event? It seems that, to electrons, the events we witness are quite distant–so who are we to say they are simultaneous? In the next chapter, he continues with, “There is no longer a universal time which can be applied without ambiguity to any part of the universe; there are only the various ‘proper’ times of the various bodies in the universe…” and here’s the punch-line… Russell is giving his take of Dr. A.A. Robb’s “Theory of Time and Space” (granted, he says it may not be ‘philosophically fundamental’ — I’d say maybe that applies to the entire theory?) — “one event can only be said to be definitely before another if it can influence that other in some way.” ba dum bum pshh! That tells me Robb and Russell (and Einstein?) must be guessing on this one! Still, his conclusion includes, “it was thought that we could describe the topography of the universe at a given instant in purely spatial terms. But now that simultaneity has become relative to a particular observer, this is no longer possible.”Let me ask you a question: is he saying there IS a “given instant” in the universe — a “now” — at which all the events of that little snapshot can be considered as… yes… “simultaneous”?????????If so, please answer the questions in my quote above with that in mind. And have a groovy day.

  2. Ichthus says:

    A) Does God sustain only the matter/energy in “now” and leave the past/future empty of matter/energy (though every moment is known to Him) [and does that mean a) the matter/energy is carried over into each new now rather than being destroyed so that it is not necessary to create a whole new set for each new now, or does it mean he b) destroys the old matter/energy of the past to prevent build-up, and creates a whole new set for each new moment [if you were comparing all moments as if they were all “nows” (filled with matter/energy) you wouldn’t be able to tell ‘a’ and ‘b’ apart], or does it mean c) the old matter/energy is not destroyed and carries over into every now, but he does create a whole new set for each new moment, and so the sum of matter/energy is always increasing twofold with every passing moment, which seems frivolous? ‘a’ seems more… conservative] — or B) is there a copy of all that matter/energy (though arranged differently) in every single moment, not just in “now” (would that mean the sum of all the matter/energy in every single moment is more than the sum of all the matter/energy in “now”? ‘A’ seems more conservative…)?And what is a unit of now–what is the smallest slice of time?Capslockf9 said, “In order to manifest that bus you had to create all fifteen billion years it took it to get there.” If “you” was a general “you” and caps actually meant God—then caps could be saying that it was complete before it started (which is what I agree with), or caps is implying some sort of backward-causality when he says you have to create what has already passed (which, from God’s perspective, is sort of the situation, since He knows the whole story from cover-to-cover… but it isn’t ‘really’ “backward” causality, since He doesn’t really have to go back… He’s already there… I am reading C.S. Lewis’ “Miracles” and he speaks of this as every moment being complete before it all began, as well as God’s creativity being active in every moment)… I just wonder… is every moment filled with matter/energy/creativity–or just “now” (though all other moments are known to Him)? It seems they are filled, no? Otherwise… “He doesn’t have to go back… He is already there” makes absolutely no sense, ’cause if they aren’t filled, there’s no “there” (if it’s only His idea and not yet filled) (maybe “there” would mean the same as when we say “go there in your mind” — you don’t actually go anywhere… you just imagine… and so the past/future would be God’s imagination, and “now” would be His imagination realized with matter/energy). I just want to know if there’re scientific observations that can tell us whether the past/future are filled with matter/energy–or only “now”–and what it says about the sum-total of all moments of matter/energy (is it equal to the sum of the matter/energy in any given “now”?).

  3. Ichthus says:

    Asked around and bought these books:<>Brian Greene’s “The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time and the Texture of Reality”Andrew Liddle’s “An Introduction to Modern Cosmology”<> after reading this excerpt: “There is no unambiguous way to define the total energy of the universe in the current best theory of gravity, general relativity. As a result it remains controversial whether one can meaningfully say that total energy is conserved in an expanding universe. For instance, each photon that travels through intergalactic space loses energy due to the redshift effect. This energy is not obviously transferred to any other system, so seems to be permanently lost. Nevertheless some cosmologists insist that energy is conserved in some sense.[2]” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_cosmology#Energy_of_the_cosmosGreene’s book and the wiki article were referred to me by Amanda at http://www.sciencebuddies.org! :-D

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