Back to School – Interesting Facts and Theories About Time (& Why you need a Wristwatch)

Back to School – Interesting Facts and Theories About Time (& Why you need a Wristwatch)

It began 14 billion years ago

According to science, time began approximately 14 billion years ago following something called the big bang, the prevailing theorised event and subsequent cosmological model for the origins and existence of the universe. This estimation (closer to 13.81 billion years) is made up from calculations of the observable universe, including observations from physics and phenomena such as redshifting (the change in wavelength of light emitted from a moving source) and background radiation.

It is linear or cyclical

Depending upon which religion and cultural beliefs you may have, time is either linear and moving towards the end of time and an afterlife, e.g. as with the Abrahamic religions, or cyclical, as with religions such as Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, and other ancient cultures, such as the Incan and Mayan cultures – leading to rebirth.

It may just be an illusion

Many philosophical views on time exist where according to some time is just an illusion where the future and past are combined and simultaneously present in an everlasting ‘now’. Two main viewpoints exist, firstly the ‘realist’ view, where time is considered a fundamental structure of the universe, a dimension which is independent of events, in which events occur in sequence. The second point of view, the anti-realist view, stipulates that time is simply an intellectual construct, designed in the minds of humans to help them understand events.

Time is felt and perceived

Our system for cognitively perceiving and conceptualising time is spread throughout areas of our brain such as the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and basal ganglia. One area, in particular, the suprachiasmatic nuclei is responsible for the daily rhythm, known as the circadian rhythm. This however often responds to environmental cues, such as the sun rising, and in many, the natural rhythm is adaptable and set to 25 natural hours per day when these cues are removed.

Time, as a skill, must be taught

As explained in our previous article, regarding children, the conceptualisation of time must be taught as a skill. Humans progress from thinking about time in an abstract, general way, to a spatial way, and one that can be organised.

The passage of time may be affected

Taking the realist view, where time ‘flows’ in its own dimension, its flow and the perception of it may be altered by various means. This includes Time Dilation, where time passes differently depending on the speed of an object, and the use of psychoactive drugs which can affect the brain.

Too much to think about? Time may exist, or not exist at all, according to many interpretations of physics and other theories and philosophies not yet touched upon. One thing is certain, however – the purchasing of your own wristwatch will help keep your time, no matter what your views are, and no matter what is happening around you! Be responsible for yourself and invest today!

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