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Thread: Peter Lynds and Idea of Time?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Several days ago, I came across the name Peter Lynds and the astounding(though somewhat hyperbolic) claim of being the "next Einstein." Upon reading the following article:

    After reading I became extremely incredulous. While I only have an MA in Philosophy and Literature, I plan on returning to study Physics, and considered the basic notions by Lynds just that: basic. For the most part, it reminded me of my second semester Philosophy class apropos Zeno's paradox, and truly nothing more. However, quotes by Wheeler and Dr. Andrei Khrennikov referenced Einstein and a theory on par with the theory of relativity. Connections to Einstein's patent position and Lynds' humble beginnings were being added to the whole media extravaganza. Piqued and peturbed, I found the soon to be published paper in the Dutch physics journal "Foundations of Physics Letters" titled "Time and Classical and Quantum Mechanics: Indeterminacy vs. Discontinuity" on the CERN server at the following link:

    After reading the piece, which lacks math(other than basic number theory) and general proof, and considering the ideas of momentum, charge, and spin were neglected I really became confused. Didn't Einstein already talk about the relativity of time? Didn't we cover the issue of time as a somewhat psychological phenomenon in Virginia Woolf's "Ms. Dalloway," Proust's "Remembrance of Time Past," and certainly in T.S. Eliot's "Four Quartet's," let alone in the physics domain? Heinsenberg's uncertainty unequivocally consists of these ideas, if I remember correctly? Likewise I found myself saying, "does this man know calculus?" as several passages appeared to neglect any knowledge of the putative aspects of differentiation.

    At this point I thought I was going crazy and missing the point, therefore I emailed Fraser who advised me to post the piece and links on this board. Hopefully those of you in the Physics community can reassure me I am not going completely insane, and the welter induced by this article has something to do with mass media, rather than my neophyte status in physics! Of course, I relish the possibilities for learning, and those more astute than I in this field can likely aid my knowledge thoroughly in merely discussing this point.

    Christopher Orman

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    I think he is trying to contradict some famous people. Nothing wrong with him, but he appears to be seeking fame.
    If i wanted to become known in the Science world, i would publish an article in a Science related magazine, explaining how Einstein' formula's are completely wrong. This would catch many people's eye! I'd be getting many letters of how i'm wrong or that i should explain myself again and publish another article. My fame would probably only last for a while, but that depends on how ludicrous my ideas would get.
    If everyone was walking across a bridge, and somebody decided to jump off it. People would ask that person why? Peter Lynds is the guy jumping off.

    Just my opinion, i would have liked to express myself more clearly, but its quite late, night.

  3. #3
    Dennis Guest
    This man is a conceptual thinker as Einstien was. Knowing calculus is not a prerequisite to having a fundamental understanding of the laws of nature. Common sense is. Or, at times, un-common sense. I think the difficulty, or problem, academic professionals are having is that he isn't correctly speaking "their" language. He probably doesn't know calculus. Personally, I chose to understand what is being said as opposed to how. If you don't, you tend to miss the point.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    I wholeheartedly disagree. I don't see Lynds as a conceptual thinker. His idea has been discussed in academia. If he knew Calculus or momentum theory(or uncertainty principle), I personally believe he would not have written this piece. He discusses time and the lack of "instants" of time. This issue sounds commensurate with the notion of no "frame of reference." But he then insists that if an instant in time did exist, it would lead to a static situation. I don't think it would(other mathematicians and physicists agree based on what I have read). Derivation in Calculus, which explores the issues of movement, adduces this point. Likewise, the moving entity would be "relatively static," but it would already have inherent statistical qualities, such as charge and momentum.

    Lynds tries to point to how time is merely a psychological entity, a flawed framework. No physicist would contend otherwise(as the flaw of measurement exposes). However, Lynds has attacked the pillars of the community, throwing acrid statements at Hawking, for example, when he can't "speak" in their language. Einstein could. Einstein didn't merely offer up the theory of relativity with no knowledge of past and present in physics(pun intended considering the issue of time!---sorry St. Augustine refuses to leave my mind&#33. Einstein didn't say Galileo saw "everything wrong," because Einstein knew better. Light's speed changed everything, but Galileo couldn't have known that. You can see the majority of Einstein's documents online at , which proves the point. There are many misnomers about Einstein, but him being merely a conceptual thinker who "attacked" the tried and true(when in reality he attacked the notion of "luminiferous ether," a issue many physicsts had obviated anyway---though many still could not figure out how light moved, which is where Einstein's brilliance comes into play) shouldn't be employed in relation to Lynds. I see no connection because I see no experiments. I see no adequate mathematical proofs. I see no journals pointing to a time dilemma needing a solution. Instead, I see a issue with time which cannot be completely and theoretically solved, in which time must be excepted as purely psychological or purely transmutable. Whichever you chose, a flaw exists and that flaw must be rationalized.

    The same probably goes for reality and Kant's notion of a noumenal existence. I could write pages on this topic, with Popper, Schoepenhauer and others as benchmarks. But I would be missing the point if I refused to accept the manners in which physcists have already circumvented the conundrum.

    As an aside, the MIT OpenCourseWare ( has courses and materials(for FREE&#33 on these subjects.

  5. #5
    JCS Guest
    The physics community needs to be careful not to dismiss Peter Lynds ideas too quickly. We all remember Monty Hall's 3-door fiasco of which many high powered PHD types publicly ridiculed Marilyn Vos Savant only to eat some very unpleasant crow later on.

  6. #6
    gandalf17 Guest
    From The Globe And Mail website (emphasis is mine):

    "In a press release accompanying yesterday's publication of an article in the journal Foundations of Physics Letters, Mr. Lynds quotes Princeton University physicist John Wheeler, a collaborator of Albert Einstein."

    So, he wrote a press release to mark the publication of his article. As happens so often, it was copied almost verbatim by most news organizations, who are all too gullible for something like a classic David and Goliath story...

    He probably wrote to John Wheeler who wrote a nice letter back, which now gives many people the impression he endorses Lynds' ideas. Andrei Khrennikov has his own theory on discrete time, and so would tend to be more open to ideas of this nature.

    Well, he gave me some ideas!


  7. #7
    seraphic deviltry Guest
    I see a lot of criticism of Lynds' work, yet very little discussion on exactly /where/ the flaws are. A reference to the concept of dx/dt seems to have been made earlier, but there was no elaboration.

    So, I ask: would someone please tell me why his paper is inaccurate?

  8. #8
    Mark Szlazak Guest
    Peter Lynds presents us with a pair of articles which make it seem obvious that a point or instance of time has no meaning or existence and this is contrary to whats implicit in much physics new and old ... dispite claims to the contrary. I didn't like Lynds writting style, he could have saids things in a much less redundent and simpler way.

    Media comparisons of Lynds to Einstein aren't apt. Lynds doesn't plagiarize the work of others like Albert did for SR and GR. Lynds cites some references to past work of others but the history is thousands of years older for this solution (e.g. Buddhist middle-way philosophy). Lynds paper seems logically coherent unlike Alberts which were all circular arguments. Lynds maybe a genius. Albert Einsten who was really a political toy, carreer plagiarist/theif, sycophant, adulterer, incestuous, and pedophile, was definitely not a genius. They do have in common the use of the media to hype themselves but the bull**** about Albert is in a league by itself.

  9. #9
    Jason Guest
    Anybody see Legally Blond 2?

  10. #10
    Jason Guest
    Anybody see Legally Blond 2? Timeless.....

  11. #11
    John HoaxHunter Guest
    Peter Lynds is not a fake, but it seems he is not a new Einstein

    See his letter to a Spaniard site:



  12. #12
    Johny Spasticfingers Guest

  13. #13
    Mark Szlazak Guest
    Lynds isn't a fake and I wasn't kidding about Albert Einstein.

    Check out this site for more on this juicy scandal mostly about Einsteins professional life and SR. The next book will be more on GR.

    The physics community knew about this then and have let the myth go on and the Einstein industry to flourish. I'm waiting to see if the sh*t will hit the fan on this. The fairly recent release personal writings by his estate give more on his pathologically abnormal character.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    I don't have the physics or math background to adequately poke holes in Lynds' theory. Since it's all theoretical, it's really hard to look at the numbers and recognize how they fit life. A true test of a theory is how well it explains the real world, or predicts how the real world will act in a certain circumstance.

    I usually get an email a week from someone who thinks they've cracked the code on how the Universe works. They've usually got a website, and sometimes they've even written a book about how they've analyzed the data from various research and come up with a new model for everything. That's fine, we can all have our theories.

    But the question is, what experiments can be done to prove your theory? Einstein's theories were considered genius because they predicted phenomena that people could duplicate through experimentation. Relativity predicted that gravity will bend light; and now astronomers use gravity lenses all the time to help look at distant objects.

    So, if I were Lynds, I'd get busy figuring out experiments which could help prove my theory is more correct than other models of time.

  15. #15
    Guest Guest
    We should all try to use the “Scientific Method” when tackling a problem!

    Nothing will withstand the test of a good theory better than use of the scientific method when determining it’s validity.

    Fraser is absolutely correct in his statement…

    After “Theories” are tested…

    …Then they become “Fact”…

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Well, they become better theories. There are no facts. :-)

    Interesting side-note, this page is at the top of the list when people search Google for the term, "Peter Lynds". If this is you, keep in mind that this is a multi-page discussion. Click here to go to the beginning of the thread.

    And please, join the forum and take part in the discussion. We want to know what you have to say about this. Do you think Lynds is the next Einstein or a complete fraud? Has he been caught up by a network of news organizations looking to generate controversy?

  17. #17
    SinisterMinister Guest
    There are no facts because there is no true referential for "fact." Most people rely on "imperical" evidence and suggest that this is "fact." But one finds that the foundation for evidence rests with materialism. And material, by it's very nature is subject to change. So how can you use materialism to establish solid referentials when the very core of those referentials are subjected to the terms of nature, consistent and undeniable change.

    The illusion of reality & time comes from all of our ideas, which, when looked upon as a whole system balance out with each other. A serious of small ideas, all agreeing with each other build this immense system which seems to function as a whole reality.

    Furthermore, people were laughing at or crucifying scientific pioneers at there time. So I suppose nothing has changed as far as that is concerned. For example, we can laugh at the establishment in Galileo's time, but the truth is that "we" are the establishment now. Can we shed our paradigms?

  18. #18
    Marcel LeBel Guest
    Peter Lynds is going in the right direction. The problem I believe is that
    he doesn't know yet where it is going, which leaves him open to mistakes.
    I came to the same conclusion (no moment in time) by a different route. The Sun is at 8 minutes ( universe with speed limit)
    from me and is NOT part of the moment I call now. The Moon is half a second away from me. There is time between the front and back bumper of my car. There is time between molecules, atoms and between sub-atomic particles. See where this is going? An actual moment in time, defined as a set of points at the same moment, is actually an infinitesimal point! This moment in time is too small to contain a planet, a person or for that matter the standard metre. This is what space-time really mean; space doesn't exist. Space is a tool we use to navigate and position ourselves in our reality. Conclusion: space and static dimensions do not exist. Objects as something existing entirely at one moment do not exist; there is a time difference between any two points of an object. Here you see why in an article stating the non existence of a moment in time one cannot use the concept of "frame of reference", which an extension of a moment in time, in the body of the proof.

    This basically describes the relationship between our perception and everything our science and equations.. say the universe is like. Now, I don't see anything wrong about that. This distinction may well be the explanation of the different approaches that are classical and quantum mechanics. Better, it will lead to a substance and cause that explain how the universe works by itself without us watching. You didn't think an equation actually made things move? Things were falling long before Newton and Einstein. .?? This is the first step of a theory for the understanding of everything; not the description of everything, because we are, as seen above, very much biased. WE already have plenty equations describing how gravitation works, but all fail to say logically why it works.

    At any rate, this is coming and it is THE final frontier. You may want to fight it, but if I can, I will be part of it.


  19. #19
    Jackson Guest
    If he really was a genius, he would have been able to express himself a lot clearer and reduce his point to some cute little analogy or thought experiment.


  20. #20
    Terry Guest
    I will not purport to understand all the ramifications and implications of whether time is a constant or whether it is dynamic. I do, however, agree that the possibility exists (has to exist for time travel to be possible (re:Einstein's theory of relativity)) for time to have both a defined existence and a natural reversable flow. Einstein said that time was relative to the moment and the observer (in relation to light). How would you explain time in a place where neither one exists? A black hole for instance. Light can not escape and it is so infinitely dense, all matter becomes as one and as nothing. Maybe the Buddhists have it right. Maybe there is no spoon.

  21. #21
    peter birch Guest
    I don't suppose this is a new thought, but it has often seemed to me that everyone talks about time as though it actually existed independently. It seems more likely to me that it does not - it is a way of measuring change, either in the thing being measured, or the observer. Consider an object which never changes (presumably infinitely cold) and which never moves (relative to an observer or absolutely) then time has no meaning. It will be the same 1 second from now or 1 year from now. And in fact that notion of 1 second or 1 year is only meaningful to the observer, since it is the observer which/who changes, not the object. If the observer were also similarly static, then time would again have no meaning. Thus the possibility of time travel into the future is simply the notion of reducing the speed of one's change relative to one's surroundings, and the possibility of time travel into the past is impossible since it would mean a single method of reversing every change to the point one wished to visit.

    Discussing the properties of time itself is kind of meaningless, it seems to me, but then I am a bear of very little brain.

  22. #22
    Alastair McGowan Guest
    I've always understood that time is a mathematical function, in the same way so is consciousness a mathematical function of brain factors. Yes, Lynds is challenging theory but is he really challenging the kinds of things we think time might be?

  23. #23
    Guest Guest
    I critique Lynds at

    Personally I think his reasoning is faulty. He may be reaching the right results but I do not think he is reaching them using correct methods.

  24. #24
    The Cajun Guest
    Lynds is right. You have to remember the definition of time as the amount of change in a system, e.g. the hands of a clock. For change to take place something has to be compared. The starting position of the system (the hands of the clock) has to be noted, but a starting position demands that time be stopped, that an instant in time exists. An instant in time does not have duration, it has no start and stop points, so it cannot be accurately determined.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    I joined this forum because it encourages the free discussion of ideas. It is a great opportunity to have other people reflect their perceptions back to the group so that one can find better ways to express the thoughts one has on a subject or revise them with the additional perspectives and knowledge offered. What could be more stimulating?

    That said I think personal attacks on individuals not involved in the forum or on members in the group is a barrier to the free expression and discussion of ideas. That is not part of scientific enquiry. Fear is the greatest barrier to progress.

    Mr Lynd's ideas, as far as I understand them to this point, have their reflection in other theories put forward by scientists like David Peat (chaos theory) in his book "Synchronicity" and Fritjof Capra in "The Tao of Physics". Mr Peat, especially, explores the issue of dimensions that are beyond time that have yet to be described adequately.

    I think that we assign a great deal of importance to time because, as humans, we are forced to deal with our materiality. If we had no mass - just sentience - would time matter? That's how I perceived the description of a singularity. "We" created the concrete concept of time to establish a method to describe how our bodies move through space. "We" require a beginning and end for that purpose. To me that is somewhat the same relationship of ideas as Newton's physics compared to Quantum physics. Maybe that could be a point of exploration. Does time (become) matter? Pun intended. Or is there only time when there is matter aka the tree falling in the forest.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    First of all, I would like to say KUDOS to this young man. How many 27 year olds even have world issues or the universe on their mind. A professor once explained to me that the best way to learn was through " discovery ". This young person has learned something that has added value to his life.

    Now, what did this young man discover? That is what remains to be seen. From
    my "Soap Box" I agree with most on this, that although the idea may be conceptual it must be proved mathmatically. Even some of our greatest scientists and mathmaticians would agree with that.

    So, perhaps this young man might take some advice from his elders and finish his (College Education) and stop putting the cart before the horse.

    until next time

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Originally posted by fraser@Aug 13 2003, 06:22 PM
    Do you think Lynds is the next Einstein or a complete fraud? Has he been caught up by a network of news organizations looking to generate controversy?
    I haven't read Lynds' paper (and if I did, I probably wouldn't understand it enough to have a solid opinion), so I can't say if he is the next Einstein or a complete fraud. My guess is that he is neither. The media loves labels, and they love to create celebrities. The (probably) invented the term "baby boomer." Then they invented Generation X. Then came a new generation and they didn't know what else to call them, so they called them Generation Y. (Gee, I wonder what the NEXT generation will be called...?) The media loves labels because with one or two words they can feel like they are telling you a lot about something.

    The media loves to ask, "Will this war become another Vietnam Quagmire? Is this the next Michael Jordan, the next Tiger Woods, the next Einstein?" If it is a slow news day, they have to come up with something to create a buzz. Once the first newspaper printed a story about the genius kid who may be "The Next Einstein" (because it was a slow news day and they had space to fill), every other paper had to join the pack of (news) hounds and write their story. (Hey, if he IS The Next Einstein, would YOU want to be the one newspaper that didn't print the story?) Then they get to write the story that says the guy is a fraud...

    My guess is that if Lynds' really thinks he is the Next Einstein, it is at least partly because the media told him he is. Before that, he probably just thought of himself as a guy with a different perspective. The media made him a star, so he's a star.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    I would like to begin by making the following points about the discussion so far:

    1. It is great to see such a philosophical and scientific debate going on
    2. All theories are important in our undertsanding of the universe - even those which are later discounted still further our understandings
    3. Lynds should be appauled for his creative thinking.

    having said all that i would like to make these comments aout the article itself.

    1. yes, it is VERY difficult to read,
    2. i find his ideas frightening to be honest, i am sure this is how many people felt at the turn of the last century, when the quantum picture of the universe was established.

    Perhaps Peter Lynds article is the beginning of yet another remarkable turning point in the Knowledge Base of human-kind...but i doubt it!!

    The basis for the article is that something cannot be measured at an exact instant of time. Entirely correct it would seem. But if I believe in one thing it is that mathematics is the most basic form of anything. no matter what your reference frame, no matter what the laws of physics are in the particular mulitverse you find yourself in, maths is always the same.

    IN maths we CAN measure any function, or quanitiy of any body at ANY INSTANT by taking the limit as dt->0. Fot those not mathematically inclined all this means is that we measure something over a period of time, then again for a smaller interval and continue until the interval approaches zero. this value is the instaneous value of the function or quantity. it is a mathematical construct which is the basis of calculus.

    SO mathematically, there is absolutley nothing wrong with measuring something at an INSTANT in TIME. While physically we always measure "instaneous values" over very small time intervals as Lynds points out, this does not preclude instances of time exsisting.

    and if i am wrong, i will take prde in telling my grandkinds that i was part of the geat "time debat" at the beginning of the 21st century - but that ain't gonna happen!!!

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    I have read Lynds' paper and the phrase that keeps coming to mind is "tempest in a teapot". I don't see the "newness" in what he has written.

    It appears to me that there is no structural difference whatsoever between what Lynds has offered and Zeno. He just started from the absurd conclusion rather than ending with it.

    The rest of the paper describes all of the theories that are supposedly disproved as a result. But having spontaneously accepted a contrary conclusion as true, it follows naturally that conclusions others have drawn from the non-contrary are then false. Nothing new here either.

    Can anyone show me the new ideas?


  30. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Hi Eamon.

    You ask
    Can anyone show me the new ideas?
    That is some Brief.

    Let us suppose that I tried to fulfil it up to the standard expected if I were to declare that I intended to use the method of scientific enquiry asked for by Fraser and others above and recommended by Karl Popper in his book possibly entitled logic der forschung or somesuch.

    Just for starters I would have to read and break down into single units of argument his writings which I am informed are on the subject of the nature of time or at least the concept of time as currently generally or popularly understood within a certain consensus group.

    I would then have to read all other pre-existing writings on the subject as defined by the person under scrutiny.

    I could then consider whether a statement such as ‘this guy has a novel idea’ was an inherently disprovable statement or hypothesis.

    If by a process of subtraction and comparison I was left with some statements in this newly discovered text not previously observed I could then perhaps be in a position to attempt an answer to your question quoted above.

    Let us also suppose that I might imagine my life history as a string or thread curled up within a particular time bubble of finite dimension, curled up rather analogous to the missing dimensions over and above the four familiar ones of this way, that way, the other way and time.

    I might also fancy the idea of imagining that one time bubble, after a finite momentary existence, might go pop and deposit or reincarnate my bit of history string into what I might get to think of as the next time bubble in a familiar sequence of concept cradles.

    I would then have to think if my bit of string is long enough, allowing for the way it waves up and down and side to side, to reach between these nanochronons before the branes bang together again - or not.

    Maybe you wouldn't mind if I just used normal intellectual integrity at the everyday level commonly used for discourses on political or religious aspects of cosmology in vogue at the ‘moment’ ?

    That would give me the opportunity of using a cunning plan which might give me personally an indefinite number of quasi-infinite macrochronons to use for other things (I was thinking about two weeks in terms of the Earth going round the Sun, if that is what it does). What I do is, I leave the inhabitants of this thread to come to a consensus on whether it might be either useful or maybe even fun to read this popular possibly new fragment of text on the time topic. I will leave it up to you, welcome guest, to either post a post asking me to get on with the task you have set, or one letting me know that I can stand down and get on with some of the other things to which I could otherwise be attending.

    Thanks in advance of the fast approaching future for helping me out with this one. Enjoy yourselves. Back soon I hope. Maybe.


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