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The Nature of Time
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Cristi Stoica: on 12/24/08 at 16:11pm UTC, wrote Dear Dr. Foundalis, I like the explanation based on adaptation, which you...

Harry E. Foundalis: on 10/21/08 at 9:19am UTC, wrote Essay Abstract In physics, the following puzzle exists: there...


Lorraine Ford: "Georgina, 1. What “emerges” from cellular automata algorithms only..." in Agency in the Physical...

Lorraine Ford: "When will people [1] grow up and get over their absurd ideas about..." in Agency in the Physical...

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Usurping Quantum Theory
The search is on for a fundamental framework that allows for even stranger links between particles than quantum theory—which could lead us to a theory of everything.

Fuzzballs v Black Holes
A radical theory replaces the cosmic crunchers with fuzzy quantum spheres, potentially solving the black-hole information paradox and explaining away the Big Bang and the origin of time.

Whose Physics Is It Anyway? Q&A with Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
Why physics and astronomy communities must take diversity issues seriously in order to do good science.

Why Time Might Not Be an Illusion
Einstein’s relativity pushes physicists towards a picture of the universe as a block, in which the past, present, and future all exist on the same footing; but maybe that shift in thinking has gone too far.

The Complexity Conundrum
Resolving the black hole firewall paradox—by calculating what a real astronaut would compute at the black hole's edge.

July 21, 2018

CATEGORY: The Nature of Time Essay Contest (2008) [back]
TOPIC: Why Does Time “Flow” but Space Is? Answers in Evolution and Cognition by Harry E. Foundalis [refresh]
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Harry E. Foundalis wrote on Oct. 21, 2008 @ 09:19 GMT
Essay Abstract

In physics, the following puzzle exists: there appears to be a physical device, the human brain, which manages to detect properties absent from the formulas of physics; namely, the one-way direction of time and its “flowing” quality. So, either (a) these two properties are physical and physics is an incomplete theory, or (b) they are cognitive (reducible to quantum physics after several levels of reduction, i.e., the neurobiological and chemical levels) and physics is complete as far as our knowledge of time is concerned. This essay claims that (b) is true: both the directionality and the flowing quality of time emerged as evolutionary adaptations in cognitively complex animal species. The main contribution of this essay is to explain why these adaptations emerged in such species, and thus to help disengage discussions on the directionality and flowing quality of time from physics proper.

Author Bio

Harry E. Foundalis has a Ph.D. in cognitive science (2006) from Indiana University, an M.Sc. in computer science, and a B.Sc. in mathematics. He also has keen interests in physics, astronomy, biology, cosmology, philosophy, classic literature, and more.

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Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 24, 2008 @ 16:11 GMT
Dear Dr. Foundalis,

I like the explanation based on adaptation, which you provide for our EGN worldview and for the perception of time as flowing. Nice essay.

Best regards,

Cristi Stoica

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