Call me a party pooper if you want to, but I didn’t leave my room on New Year’s Eve. The music from the town square wafted (more like pounded) into my room all night until 4AM. I could hear the crowd all night long. Kind of like they brought the party to me… and I didn’t even have to look. Been there, done that. It’s pretty much the same everywhere. Folks trying really hard to celebrate an event that happens every year… just like clockwork.
Time marches on… Really? Who taught time how to march? What is time? Ever since the popularization of Einstein’s theories (special theory 1905… general theory 1915) the story is that only PhD level physicists are qualified to answer that question.
(By the way, Einstein would probably be mildly dismayed if he were alive today. Here’s why: In 1933 a Dr. Dayton Miller did some homework that was confirmed in 1998 by Nobel laureate Maurice Allais. —Allais wrapped it up thusly: “Consequently, the Special and General Theory of Relativity, resting on postulates invalidated by observational data, cannot be considered as scientifically valid.”— Bet you never heard about that on Nova did you?)
You don’t need a degree to have common sense. Time, is nothing other than a relationship between material objects (big or small) and their relative positions in geography or space. If matter did not move, there would be no sense of time at all. If there were no such thing as ‘distance’, there would be no sense of time. For a sense of time to occur there must be movement of objects (physical things) through the medium of geography (space). The concept of time is a convenient way for humans to express that relationship. There is no such ‘thing’ as time. There is no such ‘point in space’ as time. There is only a relationship between a ‘thing’ and it’s relative location in space as it changes location (movement).
Somehow, I don’t think any of the other creatures aboard planet Earth give a hoot or a howl how humans keep track of time.
We sure are an interesting species, I’ll give us that. Not sure how it all turns out, though. Humans are not the only creatures on the planet, even though most folks don’t spend much time pondering the implications of that fact. Our (human) history would lead one to speculate that the more knowledge that human creatures acquire, the more arrogant they seem to become. It is that very arrogance that may limit our potential tenure here.
In the early days of our development… or so the evolution story goes, humans were dumb brutes. Our ‘ancestors’, so we are now encouraged to believe, bore a slight resemblance to modern day gorillas or chimps. According to the scientific classifications of life forms, humans are primates.
The problem with knowing any ‘truth’ is in the way that we think we ‘know’ it… and in the way we transmit or communicate a ‘truth’.
Language is apparently a tool that humans invented in an attempt to enlarge our capacity to survive. It is an imperfect tool used by imperfect critters. The ‘language problem’. Oh, God, are we back to that again? Yes, indeed, we are.
You see, just because the human creature matches a specific sound (spoken language) to a perceived phenomenon, it does not mean that the human creature comprehends anything about the phenomenon. It is only that the phenomenon now has a ‘name’, and that name is meant to be distinct, so that a specific ‘word’ describes a specific thing. Does it necessarily follow that we ‘know’ anything about the phenomena? No, It means only that we have ‘defined’ something.
Is it really a ‘New Year’? Only by our agreed definitions of what a year is. Is the concept of time useful? Maybe, it depends on one’s frame of reference. To a person who’s survival depends upon being at work at a specific time or they get fired, yes, time is ‘useful’. For human ‘progress’, the idea of keeping track of time seems to be useful.
Do other creatures aboard planet Earth require the concept of time to survive? First off, we must deal with the word ‘concept’. Are other creatures capable of ‘conceiving’? How can we know for sure? Back to language again. It’s ALL in the manner in which we define: objects (nouns) or behaviors (verbs) and the finer descriptors of those parts of speech (adjectives and adverbs). All we can say with any degree of certainty is that it appears to humans as though many other creatures do not have the ability to create devices (calendars, clocks, collections of decaying cesium atoms) that keep track of time. Other critters seem to have survived using only their senses to note the movement of objects in space… (time)
Do other creatures have a ‘sense’ of time? Most creatures do seem to be aware of the movement of objects through space. We know that most creatures have a relationship with the cycles of light and dark caused by the rotation of our planet, known as day and night. The sun is always ‘on’, which is a good thing for us. All creatures aboard planet Earth are affected in some way by the movements of the Earth in relationship to the sun. (probably one of the earliest ways humans calculated/defined time)
Humans have only recently begun to investigate the ‘forces’ or ‘energies’ that exist in our reality. That is the real Einstein breakthrough. Newton let us linger in materialism. In the Newtonian paradigm it was ‘stuff’ that was predominant feature. Sure, gravity was a force, but it was what it ‘did’ to the apple or other ‘things’ that was the focus of the investigation. Einstein taught us to pay more attention the energetic realities in which we swim. Emphasis on the ‘forces/energies’ and less focus on the ‘stuff’. That he didn’t get it all perfectly correct is normal, acceptable and understandable. He was a human.
The truth is, that human beings know very little. Just because it appears that the human creature is now the dominant critter aboard our planet does not make it so for ever. It could be a very temporary condition. It could be, and appears more and more so, that our very dominance has allowed us to create a biological imbalance aboard our home planet such that the conditions necessary for our survival are being incrementally diminished. If this is so, then human creatures must be willing to relinquish some ‘control’ and/or ‘domination’ of our planet to allow the biological forces, upon which our survival depends, to balance themselves.
The natural forces of our planet will indeed seek to balance themselves. That is a certainty. The manner in which that balance is achieved is the issue for us. Are humans necessary for the existence of the millions of other life forms aboard planet Earth? Or, rather, are the other life forms necessary for the existence of humans? We had better answer those questions correctly if the human creature is to continue as a viable life form here on planet Earth.
Which brings me to the Amazon. I am about to experience a way of life that is as close as humans can be to the forces of nature. There is little disagreement, that the Amazon rainforests contain the highest diversity of LIFE aboard our planet. Human activity has been very limited there, until recently.
It is my intention to witness the current conditions there, firsthand. I want to experience real primary forest. The world as it was before humans acquired the knowledge that allows us to build machines that can destroy scores of thousands of acres of thousand year old trees… in a generation.
I want to see for myself how humans are impacting what may be the last remaining expanses of terrain where LIFE had opportunity to expand itself and exists in a state of what appears to be maximum symbiotic liberty. The liberty of LIFE itself is being severely impacted by ‘civilized’ human creatures. There continues to be human creatures who are not so ‘civilized’ who have lived there for thousands of years.
I do not know what I shall learn from this journey. It is my intention to learn something useful for my species. I am, after all, a human being myself. It is part of my ‘nature’ to want to see my species continue to exist. What can I do? I do not know. Maybe my job is to simply observe and to report so that others may be inspired to alter their behavior in ways that will increase our mutual survival quotient.
Perhaps there is more to LIFE than any of us have yet gleaned. Who can know the truth of things? Adventures are explorations into the unknown. Certainty is a myth.