Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Time is a fascinating subject. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:1, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven," then in verse 11a,"He hath made every thing beautiful in his time..." In verses 2-10 God lists the various things there is a time for, a time to "be born...to die, to plant, (to harvest), to kill... and to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh," ...etc. The Bible goes on to say in verse 11b that God set the world in man's heart, "so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end." From time immemorial we, mankind that is, have been trying to figure out where we are in time. I plucked a random article off the internet from "The Scientific American," entitled "Splitting Time from Space—New Quantum Theory Topples Einstein's Space-time" (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=splitting-time-from-space). Some of the comments following the article seem to take great umbrage at the idea that Einstein could have been wrong. One commenter said that just as Einstein's theories did not topple Newtonian physics, neither do the current theories topple Einstein's. As I understand Einstein's theory of special relativity, (and I am not sure that I do), time is relative to the position of the observer. The classical illustration is someone driving a car at 60 mph past an observer standing still, as opposed to the same car passing another car going 30 mph. To the stationary observer the car is going 60 while to the traveling observer the car is only doing 30. And time goes slower for someone traveling in a spaceship at a high rate of speed than time passes for someone standing on the earth. If that is so then a person 25 years old, traveling for thirty years at a high rate of speed, upon their return to earth would find all of their colleagues either very old or dead of old age while the traveler would be only 55 years old. (I am not sure I have this right.) I read somewhere (I can't remember where) that for an object traveling at close to the speed of light, 186,282 miles per second, time would slow almost to a stand still, at least according to Einstein's theory of special relativity. If true, then the light from those stars and galaxies at the farthest reaches of space, that appear to (us the observers) have taken 13 billion,700 million years or so to get here at the speed of light. But in reality (use your imagination) the light from those stars and galaxies have taken no time at all because for them time has stood still. The 13 billion,700 million (or so) years would only be a matter of our perception. Not really so fascinating when one is advised that in order to understand the concept of the theory of special relativity, one must have a vivid imagination. There is a website, http://www.ws5.com/spacetime/#Summary, (it is interesting reading) which quotes Einstein as having said “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” As I understand Einstein's thinking, he said there are four dimensions, three in space and one in time. For me, I don't think that time either stands still or moves. I don't think time is a dimension at all. Time was made for mankind. Time is the ever present now! What happened yesterday is history, what will happen tomorrow is yet to be decided. Today is the day of salvation. There is a time for everything as the writer of Ecclesiastes declared. The Bible says in Romans 13:11, "...that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed." In Revelation 10:5-6 the Bible speaks of an Angel that will one day stand upon the sea and the land and declare, "that there should be time no longer..." The time of the return of the Lord Jesus is at hand. Are you ready today for that (time) day?