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Lee Smolin: Time reborn

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IOP Institute of Physics The philosophy of naturalism holds that all that exists in the Universe. All that exists at all is physical existence that science studies There isn't a separate realm of mental events; there isn't a separate realm of mathematics. There's just natural stuff in nature that science describes. If you believe that you are a naturalist However, there is a big division within naturalism depending on your view of the nature of time and I am going to talk about naturalism version one, or what might be called timeless naturalism which is the presently dominant view. It is the view that Einstein was reflecting from that quote. It is the view in which time neither disappears nor exists within another dimension. In any case there is no objective reality to our experience of the present moment within naturalism version one So let's talk about naturalism version one and then I will explain what's wrong with it and then I will explain what's wrong with it. Then I will introduce you to naturalism version two which is intended to be a cure for the problems that arise in version one, so is everybody with me. Okay Naturalism version one started also with the Greeks, with the Atomists providing a conception that nature is nothing but atoms moving in the void All sensory experience that we have. All the sensations. All the colours. All the sounds. All hardness. All softness. All texture is all just a reflections of the way atoms can be arranged and moved In other words, atoms, which are according to Democritus and Lucretius eternal and unchanging. The properties of the atoms don't change In a space or a void which is also unchanging. Now that's had to be updated a little bit with general relativity but that actually can be incorporated into the philosophy. This is the picture. Atoms moving in the void that all else is secondary. Is emergent as we would say. Emergent in the present era and anything that is not a demotion of the position of an atom or a collection of atoms is emergent. Is a property which is not essential to the fundamental description of nature which only emerges from collective properties of materials of atoms on a large scale This is the philosophy that I think that we all believe in and I am not going to be challenging its essential aspects but I will be challenging it on one point which is the relationship to the notion of time as we see And to say it very simply if the laws are timeless. If the laws are not the result of some process of dynamics or some process of causation; they are inexplicable within the methods that we physicists have to bring to science

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 46 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Institute of Physics
Director: IOP
Views: 90
Posted by: liberascienza on May 27, 2013

This is an extract of a lecture given by theoretical physicist Lee Smolin at IOP on 22 May 2013. Drawing from his new book, Time Reborn, Smolin challenges the notion of time in established naturalism. He goes on to explain how the great unsolved problems in physics and cosmology may be solved by adopting the view of a real time. www.timereborn.com

Look out for the full lecture soon.

View the write up: http://www.iop.org/news/13/may/page_60223.html

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