What Happens If New Physics Theory Rules That Time Does Not Exist?

Future developments in the field of physics may lead to time itself being regarded as non-existent, at least in the context of some theories, says Sam Baron, associate professor in philosophy at the Australian Catholic University.

What Might Happen If New Physics Theory Rules That Time Does Not Exist 1

While declaring time to be non-existent “would seem to bring the entire world to a grinding halt” Baron claimed that causation could provide “a way out of the mess”

According to Baron, physics is in crisis, and physicists are looking for a substitute for general relativity and quantum mechanics, which, although “work extremely well in their own right” are also “thought to conflict with one another”

He observes that “a number of other approaches also seem to remove time as a fundamental aspect of reality,” including the so-called loop quantum gravity theory, which aims to substitute general relativity and quantum mechanics “while capturing the extraordinary success of both.”

So, what happens if a new physics theory that ignores time turns out to be right, Baron wonders, noting that people’s entire lives are “built around time”

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“We plan for the future, in light of what we know about the past. We hold people morally accountable for their past actions, with an eye to reprimanding them later on. We believe ourselves to be agents (entities that can do things) in part because we can plan to act in a way that will bring about changes in the future”, he ponders. “But what’s the point of acting to bring about a change in the future when, in a very real sense, there is no future to act for? What’s the point of punishing someone for a past action, when there is no past and so, apparently, no such action?”

While the revelation that time doesn’t really exist “would seem to bring the entire world to a grinding halt” Baron thinks that there could still be “a way out of the mess” observing that physics seems to leave causation – “the sense in which one thing can bring about another” – intact.

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“Perhaps what physics is telling us, then, is that causation and not time is the basic feature of our universe”, he postulates. “If that’s right, then agency can still survive. For it is possible to reconstruct a sense of agency entirely in causal terms.”


  1. If time does not exist, ‘they’ can delete God’s wonder of 6 days of creation and a seventh day of rest. All holy days of all religions could become meaningless fairy tales. Seems ‘They’ will stop at nothing to recreate a world in their own image, butting the Creator entirely out of reality. Won’t happen.

  2. ” The good qualities given to the negro by the bounty of nature, have served only to make him a slave, trodden down by every remorseless foot, and to brand him for ages with the epithet of outcast; the marked unceasing proof of a curse, as old as the origin of society, not even deserving human forbearance ! And true it is, that the worst slavery is his lot, even at home, for he is there exposed to the constant peril of becoming also a victim, slaughtered with the most revolting torments. Tyrant of his blood, he traffics in slavery as it were merchandise ; makes war purposely to capture neighbors, and sell even his own wives and children.” Smith’s Natural History of the Human Species, page 197. ” High prices are a great temptation to the cupidity of the African, who, having, by custom, rights of property in his children, often does not hesitate to sell these where other produce is lacking. He finds that one of his children is not bright, that it has no sense, or that it wants to bewitch the father. Then a consultation en-sues with the relatives of the mother ; they are promised a share in the produce of the sale, for they have rights also in the child, and, when they are brought to consent, the unhappy child is sold off.” Du Chaillu’s Equatorial Africa, page 381.
    ” It would be a task of many pages, if I attempted to give a full account of the origin and causes of slavery in Africa. As a national institution, it seems to have existed always. Africans have been bondsmen everywhere, and the oldest monuments bear their images linked with menial toils and absolute servitude. . . . Man, in truth, has become the coin of Africa, and the legal tender of a brutal trade. . . . Five-sixths of the population are in chains.” Canot’s Twenty Tears of the African Slaver, page 126.

  3. It is amazing how any idiotic “thinking” as this, gets the attention and this web site make us waste time reading it.

  4. I respectfully disagree with Adrian. While human beings need time, investigations of the kind cited may show holes in our understanding of the concept. The author poses the possibility of replacing time with causation. But what if one event doesn’t cause another, like sneezes on opposite sides of the world? Can we still decide which sneeze happened first?

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