IN PROCESS OF TIME
WHAT THE BIBLE AND SCIENCE TEACH ABOUT TIME
Gerardus D. Bouw, Ph.D.
Presented at the Third International Conference on Absolutes
The Woodlands, Texas
16-18 July 2007
Note to the reader: This material is preliminary and subject to refinement and change. Some of it is speculative, albeit based on acknowledged entropic properties of Planck Particles.
Have you ever wondered about certain statements in Scripture that defy the imagination? Words like the firmament of Genesis 1. In it God placed the sun, moon, and stars, implying that the firmament is immense. Modern man, who thinks he is the crown of creation and the measure of all things cannot fathom such immensity, especially not if there is water beyond the firmament, and concludes that God really didn’t mean it and so concocts the notion that the firmament is the atmosphere and that there must have been some sort of water canopy above the atmosphere, even though such a canopy is impossible to maintain for any length of time according to all that is known of the creation. Others concocted the fable that the firmament is an expanse, without saying an expanse of what and totally ignore the waters above it.
Yet, though physicists discovered the firmament in the early 1930s, the “recognized” commentators still hold onto the myth that the firmament is an expanse or the atmosphere, or even the crust of the earth. We now know that the firmament is a super-dense medium that pervades all of space and dictates the laws of physics, if not all nature.
Today, I would like to consider a family of mysterious verses, some that obviously relate to time, and some that seem totally unrelated. The phrases are these:
In process of time (Gen. 4:3)
Time and chance (Eccl. 9:11)
Written in the earth & (Jer. 17:13)
The books were opened (Rev. 20:12).
Some will dismiss chance as unreasonable, as abrogating the power of God, as though God has no right or power to abrogate anything he wants (such as our sins, for instance). Others think them poetic, not literally true, as if poetic phraseology gives God and man a justification for lying. Still others, having succumbed to the 160-year old myths that only the original autographs were inspired and that no translation can be inspired, dismiss whatever they will not understand as lost in translation or to time. We shall not do so, in this paper. Such dismissals run contrary to everything this author has ever experienced about the scriptures (AV).
The phrase, “in process of time,” occurs four times in Scripture. The first occurrence is found in Genesis 4:3
And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
The remaining four are just like it (Gen. 38:12; Ex. 2:23; Jg. 11:4; & II Chr. 21:19).
What originally puzzled me was the absence of the definite article “the,” as in “the process of time.” With the definite article in front of the phrase we might assume that the procession of time is meant, even though the word “procession” is never applied to time in Scripture. Without the definite article, it seems that time is a substance that is processed. For instance, time fills up (Lu. 21:24, “fulfilled”) as if it is poured into a container.
Is the concept of time, as understood in modern science—physics in particular—at all compatible with the concept of time as revealed in Scripture? Let us take a closer look; we may be surprised.
Scientists treat time as an independent variable. It is the most independent of all independent variables.
What is an independent variable?
A variable represents a quantity. For instance, your checking account balance is a variable. The value in your account, the amount of money currently in the account, is a number. The checking account balance is a dependent variable. It can be changed by other, independent variables such as deposit amount or the amount on a check. An independent variable, such as the check amount, may itself also be a dependent variable. The check amount depends on the number of items purchased, the unit cost, and sales tax.
When we say that time is the most independent of variables we mean that time does not often appear as a dependent variable. Consider some of the ways time is used:
· It may be a constant (length of a second, Planck time length of 10-44 sec)
· It may be a dependent variable. When it does, it usually depends on speed, which itself involves time (miles per hour). E.g.,
t0 = t (1 – v2/c2)1/2
which describes how clocks slow down the faster they travel.
· It is the least understood concept in science.
· It is claimed to have magical properties
o Evolution’s hope against creationism (given enough time…)
o Unbelievers hope it will erase inconvenient facts.
o In short, time is considered to have god-like properties.
In some Protestant and even in some Baptist circles, it is reported that nothing happens by chance; that everything is predestinated, under God’s controlling hand. But this is not what Scripture teaches.
· Eccl 9:11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
· Luke 13:5 [Jesus speaking] I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
It is not hard to understand these two passages and to see how they are tied together. In Luke, Jesus is speaking of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices and the eighteen killed in the collapse of the tower in Siloam. When we repent, we put our lives under God’s protection. Paul says that doing so harkens back in time to God’s foreknowledge which predestinates the truly repentant to be conformed to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29-30; Eph. 1:5, 11). In contrast, when we decide to go our own ways, we tell God we do not want him to “interfere” in our lives. God obliges and we become subject to chance events, such as the tower’s collapse and having the misfortune to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, as was the case of the Galileans. After all, we've forbidden God to intervene on our behalf. That is why time and chance happeneth to all.
Time and chance are also tied together in science, particularly quantum mechanics.
Here, I fear, I have to take some time to explain what chance has to do with quantum mechanics, because it runs contrary to the all-is-predestinated advocates among us. Physicists find it easiest to treat objects as if they are points instead of extended objects. It views an electron as a point-particle, for example. The reality is that there are no points. The smallest created “point” is a Planck mass which is of the order of 10-33 centimeter in diameter. The smallest possible wave is of the order of 10-63 cm.
Quantum mechanics treats all objects as waves. Thus electrons and protons are waves. Sometimes these behave as particles, when one wavelength transfers its momentum to another entity, but they are always waves. That everything consists of waves is necessary for if not, we could not “move and have our being” in God (Acts 17:28). Now consider the wave. At what point is the wave to be found. There is no such point. The wave exists equally over its entire wavelength. This is why quantum mechanics considers the wave’s position statistically, because the wave does not make its presence felt equally over the entire wavelength. I accept QM because it is the best we have and it works; the physics of a truly fully-deterministic model that predestinates everything has no degrees of freedom and amounts to everyone and everything being encased in a plenum, unable to move at all.
Because there are no true particles independent of waves, the position of a “particle” (particle-wave) cannot be accurately determined. This results in a set of formulas called uncertainty principles (UPs). The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is one of those. The HUP relates position (x) and momentum (p) as follows:
Dx Dp ³ ħ/2.
In this case, Dp and Dx are the standard deviations of multiple experiments measuring their values under identical conditions. Standard deviation is a statistical term that is a measure the width of the bell curve (normal curve) in statistics. That is where chance enters the picture in quantum mechanics as well as reality.
But the above expression does not tell us anything about time. For that we have the following mysterious uncertainty expression:
DE Dt ³ ħ/2
What makes this “Energy Uncertainty Principle” so mysterious is that it is not statistical. All the other UPs have two vectors or matrices or operators on the left hand side of the principle, but here only DE can be an operator (e.g., as a Hamiltonian) but time is not an operator. Time is a parameter. Remember? time is the ultimate independent variable. If we force the issue then we end up with 0³0, which is useless.
How are we to interpret the EUP? Many proposals have been made, most without merit, but one has promise. The EUP consists of an energy operator and something that has the dimension of time, such as a lifetime of some state (i.e., |Y>, pronounced as “ket psi”) with respect to an observable Hamiltonian. Here Scripture gives us the key that can unlock this strange Uncertainty Principle.
Our usual perception of time is like a car that drives down a road. The road ahead of us is the future and that behind us is the past. In the car is the present. Thus we perceive time as flowing from the past to the future.
There is a problem with that perception of time, however. In our cars we see the future ahead of us, but we do not behold the past because it is behind us. In reality we do not see all that far into the future. Driving down a road we may see several minutes ahead of us, but it is under the assumption that nothing unexpected impedes us from arriving there, such as a flat tire or a deer jumping out in front of us. These later factors determine whether or not we can actually see into the future or whether we forecast it based on present trends and past experience, that is, on momentum. Any valid model of the future needs to consider the turns and twists that we experience in the flow of time. The problem is solved if time comes to us from the side, “around the corner,” as it were.
In this regard, too, consider Jeremiah 17:13, which has a very mysterious phrasing.
Jer 17:13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.
Let’s look at this for a moment. Those that hate the Lord, particularly those that depart from him, shall be written in the earth. This has to be literally true. The God of truth cannot write something that is not literally true, even if it is poetic. Some have proposed that the rocks contain holographic images of past events. Although that properly belongs in the realm of science fiction, it is not all that far from the truth. So, how can these things be written in the earth: literally? That is where current theories of time and memory come into play.
It may surprise the listener that cosmology is concerned with more than the structure of the universe. It is also concerned with how our minds perceive the universe, how we develop theories, and so forth. I have written about this in the past, developing a theory about theories and how those relate to the word, not only the linguistic word but the word of God (scriptures which consist of the words of God) and the Word, even the Lord Jesus Christ as the foundation of all truth (Jn. 1:1; 14:6). This theory, too, is in the purview of a branch of quantum mechanics but beyond the scope of this paper.
The theory of time we are about to look at originates from a collection of observations and experiments about attention spans. These were conducted between 1964 and 1979. By attention span I mean the amount of time it takes for one to drift off subject or to argue in a complete circle. In a paper in preparation for the Biblical Astronomer, I shall outline how the data were collected. Suffice it to say that by 1972 my research in attention spans led to the discovery of what I call time sheets.
In the early-nineties, a Finnish cosmologist named Mati Pitkanen developed a theory called “Topological Geometrodynamics.” Topological Geometrodynamics (TGD) came to be because of problems originating from the definitions of inertial and gravitational energy in general relativity. TGD views physical space-times as four-dimensional surfaces in certain eight-dimensional space. The choice of this space is determined by properties of classical physics and particle quantum physics. When I learned of Pitkanen’s theory in February of this year, I was reminded of my time-sheet theory. Are they the same?
It turns out that the TGD and time-sheet theories are not quite the same. Pitkanen’s theory tries to incorporate relativity whereas time-sheet theory throws it out. Relativity is irrelevant if space is absolute, and the firmament (Planck medium) is absolute space. So the TGD adherents, though on the right track have essentially shot themselves in the foot insofar as progress is concerned. The most significant similarity they have is that at the macroscopic (every-day reality) scale, both are rooted in perception. Pitkanen calls it consciousness; I call it attention span. I shall not go any further into describing TGD. It is couched in obscure technical language that is hard enough for an expert to decipher. Specifically, TGD is a cross product of a four-dimensional Minkowski future space with a two-dimensional complex projective space. Suffice it to say that a complex space involves imaginary numbers, i.e., involving the Ö(-1). In time-sheet theory I have projected the two imaginary dimensions into the two bottom quadrants of a regular x-y (Cartesian) coordinate system and the remaining four dimensions into the two upper quadrants. The cross product yields the interactions I shall describe next.
Figure 1: Time sheet coordinate system.
Note: the distance to the past (D) is imaginary as per the 4-D Pythagorean theorem:
D = [x2 + y2 + z2 –(ct)2]1/2
The past consists of layer upon layer of time sheets, “frozen” in place. The top surface of each sheet is light, and the bottom surface is gravity (the only two properties that have zero entropy, that is, that have perfect order and perfect information).
As the next time-sheet lands atop the “past pile,” it bounces. We call the effect of this bounce momentum. That is, it passes its energy to the next sheet, freezing into place the sense in which the energy (or information) was headed, in other words, recording what was going on at that instant.
At the instant the energy is transferred, our attention passes onto the next sheet about to land. Not only that, the vertical pressure of the bounce jolts lose the next sheet from the vertical axis in the figure, causing it to start its turn through the present.
The stack of sheets on the past-pile gets thicker and thicker. We are not aware of its rising because we are always on top sheets. In essence, time piles up the vertical axis as far as we are concerned—like filling up a container.
Figure 2: showing the details of the cross product
You will note that gravity is on the underside of the sheet while light is on the top. Our relationship with God will determine where our record falls. If we are in the light, our record is on top. If we are in darkness, working for the wages of sin which takes us to the grave, to death, our record is on the bottom. Life or death, those are the only zero-entropy choices. The gravitational field we are in is the earth’s, thus Jeremiah 17:13’s “written in the earth” is literally true.
The sheets are bound to a spine, which, for want of better words, I consider a torque plane because along it the sheets are torqued into existence and twisted through the present to be bound into the past. Each sheet is a Planck length thick, and the amount of information stored there may seem small enough, but here is where the Energy Uncertainty Principle comes into play.
Recall that the EUP required two operators, an energy operator and a time operator. The only time “operation” we know of is the time that something has its existence. Thus, if instead of looking at an instant of time—a Planck time—what if we looked at a group of past time planes a thirtieth of a second apart or thick. We would see what changed in that 30th of the second. If now we slid that 30th of a second upward in the past-pile, we would see a 3-D “movie” of what happened. Sliding the “window” down the pile would play the action backwards in time. By taking a vertical or diagonal slice through the past-pile we can follow the world-line of an individual; any individual, anywhere, anytime in the past.
I submit to you that these are the books referred to in Scripture; books that are used for judgment: ultimately the books of Revelation 20:12.
Rev. 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
The books depend on the cut taken, or the quadrant taken. Man can then be judged not only for what he has done (recorded in the fourth quadrant), but also for what he did not do, for that is recorded in the third quadrant.
It has not been my goal to teach you about time. My underlying motive, if there is one, is to teach you to take my Bible literally. My Bible is the Authorized Version. It and it only provides the precision of wording, the accuracy of revelation that made this work possible. It is the only translation in existence today that has its own, theological language—a pure language. The Masoretic text also has one, but I am not nearly as proficient in Hebrew as I am in English. Perhaps I can see this truth about the AV because English is a foreign language to me. It is the richest language in the world, with French a distant second. So, if you have learned a little bit about time, consider it a plus. If you have not learned that the AV is the word of God, consisting of the words of God, then consider the works it has produced: the richest language in the world, it evangelized the world, and it is a sure guide to learning about the nature of man, the nature of God, the nature of creation, and even cosmology. I, for one, could not have been saved by any other version in existence, no matter what language and no matter how godly its translators may have been perceived.
 Luke 21:24 — And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
 In the early ‘80s the chairman of Biology at the College took issue with me about creationism and geocentricity during lunch at the faculty lounge one day. The conversation ended on Joshua’s long day which he dismissed as a local mass hallucination that had spread around the world. When I pointed out that half of the world has a story of a long day and the other half of a long night, and that there was even a story of along sunset in between them, he paused and responded…”Well, the science of phenomenology is a new science. Someday we’ll figure it out”; that is to say, given enough time we’ll come up with a story that could explain away those facts as a mass hallucination.
 Rom 8:29-30 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Eph 1:5, 11 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, … 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.
 One electromagnetic theory popular among creationists has the smallest fiber (charge) with a diameter of roughly an order of 10-203 cm., but that is not a particle.
 The Compton wavelength of the entire universe.
 Others, not mentioned in this article are angular position and angular momentum, and angular momentum in two normal axes.
 For a definition of what a man has to do to be accounted a hater of God, see Exodus 20:5. It amounts to a total rejection of the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). Also see Daniel 3 and Revelation 20:4.
 Indeed, as far as this author is aware, the idea was first proposed in the early 1950s in a Science Fiction Theatre episode.
 Bouw, G.D., 1996. “Theory of Theories” Parts 1 and 2, B.A. Vol. 6, nos. 77 & 78, pp. 22 & 18 respectively.
 As more and more gravity is caught in the pile, less of it is available in the present, making the universe look as if there is a missing mass. The mass is not missing; its gravity is merely trapped in the past, unable to operate in the present.