Can Time Be Saved From Physics?

In his book, The End of Time, Julian Barbour worked out a model of physics in which time can be dispensed with. In contrast, there are other physicists who would rescue the reality of time, such as Lee Smolin, of the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario, and George Ellis, at the University of Cape Town, in South Africa. They have independently developed models in which time is preserved and a bridge can be built from the scientific time used in physics equations to the human understanding of manifest time, to borrow Craig Callender’s lingo. Callender believes these attempts to save time are too limited because physics can rarely account for human experience. He argues that a real reconciliation of manifest time with the time of science must be achieved from the other direction — starting from the human understanding of time, and utilizing all the sciences, including biology, neuroscience, psychology, and anthropology to create a more comprehensive model.

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