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This book is academically flawed from the start
on 21 March 2016
What is this obsessive belief amongst scientists that Time can be explained by science??? Why write a whole book on a topic (a word, Time) that you haven't properly defined??? How can any hypothesis about Time be taken seriously if you haven't agreed what it is you mean by the word time. Academically preposterous! Unless this outside Prof Greene's your normal cognitive comfort zone.
So, I'll happily explain it to you Brian. There is no evidence that Time is "real". The only evidence (evidence being so important here) we have is of change happening - change events. Honest. There is nothing else, just change events. Zillions and zillions of quantum (and compound) change events happening, every milli-second of every minute of every day....
So if Time has no empirical evidence of Time being "real" (there's only change events to identify time) then Time must be abstract, i.e. merely a word to which we have attached meaning. And if you breakdown the uses of the noun Time, they fall into 2 distinct definitions:-
1. The abstract framework for calibrating, indexing and referencing change events (i.e. the T in maths/Physics);
2. A non-specific set of change events (i.e. 'time passes' can ONLY refer to a non-specific set of change events)
There, that's time explained. Its a watertight definition (unless you can think of a use of the noun Time that falls outside of these two?) So, there is no universal tangible "thing" called Time, its abstract in both definitions. And before you ask, when Time dilation occurs it does not do so because a tangible entity called Time gets warped or bent, but because the abstract framework that is the space-time of the theory of relativity, is (complexly) non-linear. You cant warp an abstract. Two independent events are not "joined" by some universal Time thing...so don't be surprised that two independent clocks set of on two different velocities have divergent Times...relativity explains why, and its not about a concrete thing call time 'bending".
[Oh, and hence every quantum change event has its own "time reference"...time dimension if you like. Try sticking a near infinite number of time dimensions into your quantum v relativity reconciliation.]
Science, I suggest Brian, needs to focus on the real (change events and their relationship) not on abstract words like Time. Which probably explains Einstein's dedication to Relativity, rather than bothering with explaining