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That mysterious flow - Essay Example

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In this article, Davies compares passage of time with “flight of an arrow” and continuous “rolling stream” that bears humanity “inexorably from the past to future”. However, Davies’ conception encounters both physical and philosophical counterarguments that state otherwise…
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That mysterious flow Key Words: Passage of Time, Flow, Past, Present, Future, Summary In his famed article “That Mysterious Flow” Paul Davies claims people can only tell the passage of time using their senses (Davies, 2002). Since a person can only feel time slipping away, he or she is unable to give a tangible prove concerning its magnitude or direction similar to other dimensions, for instance, mass and distance. In this article, Davies compares passage of time with “flight of an arrow” and continuous “rolling stream” that bears humanity “inexorably from past to future” (Davies, 2002, p.40). However, Davies’ conception encounters both physical and philosophical counterarguments that state otherwise. For instance, physicists repute strongly that time cannot flow at all, whereas philosophers claim the passage of time is nonsensical. Philosophers’ argument questions the basis of Davies’ conception whereby they end up concluding his notion to be “founded on a misconception” (Davies, 2002, p.40) since they deem science has already proven almost everything that comprises humanity’s settings, which includes dimension besides offering clear explanations (Davies, 2002). To prove his argument, Davies separates time into three sections, which include past, present and future (Davies, 2002). According to him, the only reality is the present, whereas past and future represent fixed points in the passage of time, which is an illusion (Davies, 2002). The aspect of time is a mystery whereby neither the scientists nor philosophers know really what it is or explain with clarity its existence. Therefore, they conclude time is a dimension whose phenomenon is different from other quantities but not identical to space (Davies, 2002). Thus, one can hardly determine its magnitude except marking it with events, which in this sense make both the past and future (Davies, 2002). In his quest to explain the notion of time, Davies relays how the present may change with one’s location. This is evident when a person has flown to the Mars leaving his or her counterparts here on the Earth, where they will be speculating his or her actions. Mostly, this varies with the exact reality on the Mars because their speculations may be either in the future or past based on what the rocket man is doing at that moment (Davies, 2002). Therefore, this implies the only tool that can act as a measure of time is an event comprising an individual’s settings or life (Davies, 2002). This is because events or varied states characterizing humanity’s world eventually prove the passage of time mystery, which numerous scientists doubt, for instance, the physicists (Davies, 2002). Davies utilizes conventional wisdom in his experiment to expound the flow of time. He argues the present is the only reality, which the humanity has whereby the past slips away whereas the future comes into existence (Davies, 2002). Response I disagree with Paul Davies’ argument concerning time as a “mysterious flow”, which he asserts with a casual statement “passage of time” (Davies, 2002, p.40). This is because time is both a physical and basic experience that constitutes humanity’s existence; hence, it is hardly a mistaken identity (Davies, 2002). This is evident from diverse and numerous scientific breakthroughs or innovations which utilize dimension of time in their applications. Davies’ argument concerning time lacking definite distinctions to the extent of using events or past and future (to act as fixed points) is untrue (Davies, 2002). Since, this will imply a word like duration will have no meaning especially in the measurement of how long something has taken place or persisted. Davies’ argument, which states time can fly or flow, is untrue and inconsistent (Davies, 2002). This is because the concept of movement (flow or fly), which Davies attributes to time usually, applies to physical entities whereby their positions change with time. Therefore, presenting his argument of time in relative to itself will pose a contradicting statement, which is also unrealistic. Thus, the notion has to prove how fast the time has moved besides distance and direction. In addition, Davies’ argument concerning the “flow” of time will lead to deviating from its meaning scientifically (Davies, 2002, p.42). Thus, for any physical substance to flow ought to exhibit the aspect of turbulence according to fluid flow principles, which does not apply to time. Most of the Davies’ arguments concerning the “flow” or “passage of time” (Davies, 2002, p.42) do not have adequate scientific backing. This is evident from his tendency of using conventional elaborations, for instance, events to mark both the past and future. Hence, prompting numerous doubts, especially by the readers who due to lack of scientific backing may end up disapproving his study (Davies, 2002). For instance, Davies, while expounding the “flow of time” (p.43), backs his argument using conventional wisdom instead of scientific experiment. References Davies, P. (2002). That mysterious Flow. Retrieved on 21St March 2013 from: Read More
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