The box universe theory says that “now” is just a random point in time and that the past, future, and present all exist at the same time.
Dr. Bradford Skow, a philosophy professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says that if we “look down” on the universe as if we were looking at a piece of paper, we would see time going in all directions, just like we see space.
So, what exactly does this mean? Well, this suggests that the way we think about time is wrong, that is, that time is not going in a straight line as we have always thought. In reality, everything is always there.
Dr. Skow isn’t the first scientist to wonder about how we all think about time.
Einstein came up with a theory of how space and time are connected in 1915. In his general theory of relativity, he says that space-time can take on more than one shape or can be continuous. And that both can be seen as a four-dimensional vector space if you look at them. “Block theory” is the name for this direction.
“The distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
The author argues that he “wouldn’t want to believe in that unless I saw good arguments for it.”
Dr. Skow further details:
“The block universe theory says you’re spread out in time, something like the way you’re spread out in space. We’re not located at a single time.”
Dr. Skow agrees that things change and it seems like time is going by, but he thinks that we are in a “scattered state” and that different parts of time may be spread out across the infinite universe.
Once you try to understand this theory, you’ll see that it could also change how we think about going back in time.
If this theory is true, we can’t just go back in time to change things. If your past, present, and future are all laid out in space at the same time, it would be impossible to make “grandfather paradoxes.”
Instead, you’ll only be able to travel through time and see things as they are and always have been.
Some scientists also call the block universe theory “Eternalism,” because it says that the past, present, and future are all happening at the same time, “now.” Presentism, on the other hand, says that the past doesn’t exist anymore and is always going away because of this annoying idea of “present” time.
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