In a paper recently published on SSRN, Dr. Craig S. Wright described a new theory (philosophy) of time which offers a separate quantum universal timeframe as well as an understanding of the universe as an information system. See the full paper by Dr. Craig S. Wright: The Philosophy of Time (39 Pages, 3 Oct 2022, editor-reviewed but not peer-reviewed).
“Einstein noted that time is relative when considering the perspectives of different observers. Yet, I argue that it is mathematically possible to have a more Newtonian concept of time. There can be a notion of universal time…” – Craig S. Wright.
This being from the inventor of Bitcoin blockchain is both intriguing and unsurprising.
In view of his theory of time, the universe operates like a timechain under a universal clock storing in memory of all existence (or existential states) in quantum time pockets. The universe, therefore, is viewed as an information system.
Placed in this striking picture of the universe, the Bitcoin blockchain is like a toy experimentation of the universe to mimic its informational nature as a timechain, as the blockchain also operates under a universal clock storing in memory of all existence (or existential states) in quantum time pockets.
The difference is that (1) the blockchain is a man-made system, while the universe is a much greater system made by God; (2) the blockchain is a digital information system that has to be supported by external material and energy, while the universe is intrinsically embodied with the real material and energy; and (3) blockchain’s time pocket is measured by 10 minutes (600 seconds), while the universe’s time pocket is measured by a much smaller time unit (see below).
When asked whether he thought the theory of time before he created Bitcoin, or his work on Bitcoin blockchain inspired the theory, Wright said “I have worked on time for decades, but physics does not pay the bills.”
Planck time, the quantum of the universal time
Although not specified in the paper, I postulate that the quantum of time must be Planck time (about 10^-43 sec) which is the time it would take for a photon travelling at the speed of light across the Planck length. This is the necessary ‘shortness’ of a time period In which light can be viewed as holding a single static state, which is necessary for the universe to be linked and synchronized within a snapshot of the universe in a single unchanging existential state.
This makes the quantum entanglement easier to understand. The biggest puzzlement about the quantum entanglement is how the information of the state of one particle travel to the state of another entangled particle without any obvious medium and a limit on the speed. Under Wright’s theory, however, the quantum entanglement does not require any traveling of information under the observable physics, because such traveling only arises in the continuum of time.
Rather, it is simply that, within the Planck time, the quantum state of the universe has to be synchronized to maintain a single state.
How the synchronization is accomplished within the single state of Planck time is conceptually beyond the realm of science. Science can study entropy exchanges from one universal state to another, but cannot reach what happens within a single state of the Planck time.
The absolute viewpoint of the universe – The God Hypothesis
Although quantized (discretized) time as a concept is not new, Wright’s theory of time provides a viewpoint that takes the universe as an external entity, and could open up an opportunity to unify the observational sciences (including the theory of relativity and quantum physics) without philosophical and mathematical contradictions.
One might say, this is an old concept because prior to the theory of relativity, there was a theory about something called ‘ether’ being an absolutely static medium so that every motion is measured against ether, serving as an absolute reference point.
But there are fundamental differences. The old ether theory is purely a scientific theory that can be tested. It supposes the existence of ether as an actual material, which is a falsifiable theory, and in fact, has been falsified (proven wrong) with high-level certainty.
And more important, ether is supposed to be a part of the universe and, therefore, must be included and explained by physics itself.
In contrast, Wright’s universal timeframe views the whole universe as an external entity and assumes the existence of a universal time that is independent of observable motions of the material in the universe but, at the same time, provides a universal framework in which the whole universe operates.
In this sense, the existence of the universal time itself cannot be tested experimentally and therefore is not science but a philosophy. But at the same time, the theory is subject to a test of consistency with the existing observations of the universe. Because such observations have been well explained by existing physics, including the theory of relativity, the new theory (philosophy) of time must be mathematically consistent with the existing theories of space-time. Wright’s 39-page article contains an extensive review of the theory in light of the scientific literature.
However, philosophically, the viewpoint that ‘takes the universe as an external entity’ is that of God.
I argue that science must be at least ready to accept such an absolute viewpoint provided that certain principled conditions are met, rather than arbitrarily and categorically reject it.
Science can’t prove or disprove God but must accept the ‘God hypothesis’ as the most fundamental hypothesis, as long as the hypothesis does not contradict the observational science. This is the only position that is both morally and intellectually justifiable.
Wright’s theory of time shows that infinite amount of information (which suggests infinite intelligence behind it) is contained in the universe. In any given universal state, there is an almost infinite number of possibilities. Even just looking at the atomic level (i.e., without going to a much smaller Planck length scale), one estimate is that the universe has 10^82 atoms, and each atom, even if restricted to a small space reachable by the atom, has a very large number of possible states, especially in relation to other atoms nearby. Whatever that number is, the total number of all possible states of the universe is that very large number to the power of 10^82 (not 10^82 times, but the power of that, and the base of the power is not 10 but itself a very large number).
In any practical sense, the total number is infinity.
And the state of the universe is updated every 10^-43 sec, or 10^43 times every second, about 10^48 times every day, and 3×10^53 times every 1000 years. But even at such high frequency of updates, the total states of the universe that have actually existed in any given finite period of time would count only an infinitely small subset of all possible states.
It means that whatever the contemporary states of the universe are, there only count for an infinitesimally small part of all theoretical possibilities. The universe is not merely mathematical but also physical, clearly not presenting every theoretically possible state as being equal but being rather manifested on the selected special trajectory, which is an extremely small subset of all theoretical possibilities.
The particular arrangement (structure) of the universe is a special one, most specifically, a meaningfully selected one out of an infinite number of possibilities.
And just think about the fact that we the human being, who are a tiny part of the universe, should be even privileged to reflect upon such infinite wisdom, despite the fact that our brain’s ability to process information is infinitely small if measured by the amount of information contained in this universe!
It is, therefore, necessary for us to be humble and take a position that is both morally and intellectually justifiable, which is to acknowledge the God hypothesis.
The typical objection to the God hypothesis is that it is nonfalsifiable, therefore, not scientific. That’s true, but what is the alternative when we reach the ultimate questions that by definition, go beyond the realm of the falsifiable and provable science?
It is a matter of choice.
One problem of modern science is that it is willing to accept all kinds of hypothetical presuppositions as long as they do not violate human imaginations, but with one exception: the God hypothesis, which acknowledges the universe’s Creator and therefore is immediately rejectable.
This has led to absurd choices in order to satisfy human imaginations.
For example, facing the question of the origin of the universe, which belongs to a non-observable realm, scientists would rather choose nonfalsifiable imaginations of parallel universes rather than the Creator as a single source of the universe’s both origin and meaning; and facing the genetic and mathematical impossibility of macroevolution of life, scientists would choose to believe and origin of life from an extraterritorial higher intelligence as long as the name of God is not invoked or involved. See Science & Faith.
It is, therefore, a matter of choice. But when one has to choose between two equally nonfalsifiable hypotheses, how can it be justifiable if his choice is resolutely and always the one that denies the Creator of the universe? Doesn’t that in itself tells something about the condition and the motivation of man’s heart?
This anomaly is a symptom of an ill combination of two opposite isms, namely humanistic authoritarianism (which dictates that God must be out of science) and religious authoritarianism (which dictates that science must be determined by religious authorities in the name of God).
Historically, the anomaly is a result of an overreaction by humanism to religious authoritarianism.
But Truth finds itself in a far better position that escapes both humanistic authoritarianism and religious authoritarianism.
If science is not allowed to consider God’s intervention in the existing universe, it must at least allow God’s viewpoint that views the universe as an external entity, for otherwise, Gödel’s incompleteness theorems dictate that our theories of the universe can never be self-consistent. See, Gödel’s incompleteness theorems and artificial intelligence (Why AI will never replace human).
With that advantage viewpoint, however, Wright’s philosophy of time makes sense. It does not contradict the observational science and may even provide a better unified mathematical framework to the existing physics.
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