Time is Motion

Steve asks:

I still disagree with the statement....  Time is motion.  To be more precise, it should be worded as....   "Time is an aspect of motion."  According to almost all conventional descriptions of motion, it has three aspects -- an object, a path, and time.  To suddenly state that motion only has one aspect (time) is confusing to many readers, including me.

For example, Wikipedia gives a good description of motion at the following link:

"In physics, motion is a change in position of an object with respect to time....  Motion is typically described in terms of velocity, acceleration, displacement, and time."

When people think of motion, they tend to think this way....  the path that something follows, and the time it took the thing to follow the path.

By changing the definition of motion (it only involves time and not the path that a thing follows), then I need to know why.  In previous discussions, you insisted that time is motion, but never explained why the current definition of motion needs to exclude the distance that a thing traveled.  To continue making the statement that time is motion, it seems essential to give reasons why the object and the path are being excluded from motion.  A lot of readers of our work will want to know why, including myself.

Steve, thanks for the question. There is a wealth of detail underlying my claim that “Time is motion.” I believe that there are only two fundamental phenomena in the universe: matter and motion. Of course, with our Fourth Assumption of Science, inseparability (Just as there is no motion without matter, so there is no matter without motion), we “tie” these two phenomena together. In other words, “motion” is simply the mechanist’s shorthand for the “motion of matter.” You are essentially voicing the criticisms of Newton’s First Law of Motion, which go like this: What could we possibly say about an object in motion if there is no other object to which that motion can be measured against? Newton’s ideal object moves through a finite universe, which at some point may be thought by the idealist as “pure empty space.” That is why he uses the word “unless” rather than the word “until.” Despite the critics, Newton’s First Law was accepted as the most important law of the universe. I also consider it the most important observation ever made, making Newton the greatest scientist who ever lived.

Newton’s failure to include a referent other than his concept of “absolute space,” was always handled in classical mechanics by being very careful to include one. If you did that, you could be like Newton; you would not have to choose between finity and infinity. You could measure the distance between object A and object B by comparing it to some conventionally agreed upon standard you hoped would remain unchanged. Then, you could measure time by comparing the object’s motion to the motion of some conventionally agreed upon standard you also hoped would remain unchanged. The rest of classical mechanics followed, with rampant success throughout all of science, as noted in Wikipedia.

In neomechanics, however, we use the Eighth Assumption of Science, infinity (The universe is infinite, both in the microcosmic and macrocosmic directions). This automatically provides the referent—we assume that there always is a referent. We still have to do the measurements in the same old way, but we now can think about them differently. In the infinite universe, things are always moving toward or away from other things. There is always a path and travel over that path occurs either quickly or slowly with respect to the motion of other things. Foremost, we do not have to be there to measure any of this.

The fact is that both matter and motion are abstractions. In neomechanics, we define matter as that which contains other matter, has xyz dimensions, and location with respect to other matter. We define motion as what matter does. Abstractions are generalizations we use for thinking. Fruit, for example, is an abstraction. One cannot really eat a fruit; one only can eat an apple or an orange, or some other specific member of the category. Thus, there is no matter and no motion per se, only specific examples of matter exist and only specific examples of motion occur. Motion, like matter, has an infinite number of “aspects” or qualities. To choose one of these aspects of motion as “time” and some other aspect of motion as “not time” is illogical. Time and motion are identical. 

As I mentioned, all phenomena in the universe can be categorized as either matter or motion. When it comes to time, we have a choice; we can consider it to be matter or motion. I choose motion. Einstein chose matter. Einstein’s objectification of time makes SRT and GRT invalid, as I showed in the paper I just published (Einstein’s Most Important Philosophical Error) (  http://www.worldsci.org/pdf/abstracts/abstracts_5991.pdf ). Anyone who really understands that paper will understand that time is motion and that relativity, with all its paradoxes need not be entertained any further. In particular, the seemingly endless discussions of the Twin Paradox are a waste of time.

Universal time is the motion of everything with respect to everything else. Of course, we can only measure specific time, the motion of one thing with respect to another thing. Nonetheless, time is not a measurement. The dinosaurs experienced time (motion), but they did not measure it. Again, time is not an aspect of motion; time is motion itself, whether it be specific time or universal time. I realize that it takes a bit of time to get your head around that concept. We are all struggling to escape from the conundrum that Einstein left us with. That is why I define modern physicists as those who do not know what time is. The average person seems to think that time is a great mystery or that “it” flows or that one could go back in time, as if it was a thing like a house with receding doorways. Again, many with solipsistic tendencies believe that time does not occur unless it is observed or measured. That is our background, and it takes each of us a while to overcome the propaganda surrounding such a simple phenomenon. Half measures embodied in the term “aspect,” which characteristically strive to keep the observer in the picture, nonetheless are steps toward the escape. They might eventually satisfy Wikipedia, but they are only steps. The complete liberation comes when we finally realize that: time is motion. 


Anonymous said...

I came to this conclusion while in high school. My physics teacher was of the view that I was wrong and needed to read Einstein's theory of relativity and not disrupt the class with my outlandish opinions.

Glenn Borchardt said...

Congrats! You were way ahead of the class. I must admit that I didn't have a clue as to what time was at such an early age. It wasn't until college that I rebelled against the "time as a dimension" nonsense. Got my only "C" for my trouble too. Interesting to hear that the repression starts even earlier. Maybe we could write a book with the "Time is Motion" title. I believe that it is still available. We could start with the paper I wrote last year: Einstein’s Most Important Philosophical Error ( http://www.worldsci.org/pdf/abstracts/abstracts_5991.pdf

Becky said...

I am not a scientist or physicist, I only understand physics to the extent that it doesn't involve math (does that mean I don't understand it??). So, this isn't saying a lot, but, I came to this conclusion myself, since I am quite interested in physics- and the nature of reality- and read about it and try to understand it as best I can. I searched "time is motion" on google and came to this blog entry. So, just saying... I wish I knew and had way more training in physics so I could really assess the validity of my (and, apparently, others') reasoning on this...

Glenn Borchardt said...


Congrats to you too! You definitely understand physics a lot better than most folks do. Your realization that time is motion proves that math is not required to understand physics. Physics is simply the study of matter in motion. Math is a wonderful tool for studying physics, but it has certain critical disadvantages. For instance, it can never give a complete picture of reality. That is because the universe is microcosmically infinite as well as macrocosmically infinite. An equation describing even a tiny bit of the universe would have to be infinitely long, containing an infinite number of measurements, which, of course, would be impossible. While the finite equations we use in all of science often are adequate for understanding the three or four main factors involving a particular phenomenon, their success has produced a mindset peculiar to mathematicians. Some characteristically believe that without math, a theory cannot be tested (see Darwin for an obvious exception). Still others believe that math can be used to determine what is real and what is not real (see the nonsense called string theory for an obvious example).

Becky, sorry to disappoint, but if you had more training in modern physics, you would be trained to not know what time is. You would be better off reading "The Scientific Worldview," which is really a physics book without the math. Also, for a sometimes amusing, if not always accurate, critique of mathematics and modern physics, see Bill Gaede’s videos on “Einstein’s Idiots.”

BTW: I am always interested in finding out where ideas come from. Can you give me any hint as to when you first had the idea that “time is motion” and from whence it came?

Becky said...

Lately I've been reading some papers in the philosophy of physics that deal with the nature of time. I started to think about it. What conclusion(s) follow from the constancy of the speed of light, that is, from effects like time dilation, the supposed "twin paradox", the relative "age" differences people would see each other having were they in different frames of reference, etc.? That the effects of what we call time are all correlated with the respective motion of objects. "Time" is a term that captures how humans experience this motion. One can't infer identity from correlation (i.e. that time is motion simply because what we consider the effects of the former correlate with the latter); however, if one does infer this, it perhaps solves some apparent paradoxes.

For instance, in different frames of reference moving past one another in space, person A in RF1 would see a clock in RF2 moving slower than her own, while person B in RF2 would see precisely the same thing of the clock in RF1. Clearly (it seems) both clocks can't be going both slower and faster than one another- indeed, were the two RFs to meet, the clocks would be synchronized again;that is, when the motion of the two RFs move them closer to relative rest, the "time" on the clocks comes to coincide more and more.

It seems that a reasonable conclusion is that time is just motion. If time were another "entity", and not merely an effect in our experience, the preceding paradox appears unresolvable.

Not sure if that made much sense, but there it is, my line of reasoning. You're disagreements with Einstein appear quite heretical- I will indeed read what you and others have to say about it.

Becky said...

A note on my last comment, which reveals my mere layperson's knowledge: If one RF experiences an acceleration that the other doesn't, then upon meeting the clocks will indeed show different times. However, this still goes to show...the effects of time respectively correlating to motion...

After skimming your site some more, I realize you may not be in accord with the basis of this reasoning, being that it comes from STR... Feel free to share your thoughts if you like, regardless of whether/where they lie in disagreement. I'll get to some more reading myself...

Glenn Borchardt said...


Thanks so much for your comments. Your analysis is right on, again showing that math is not the problem. You just need to read Borchardt (2011) before continuing any further. In addition to being an objectifier of motion, Einstein was the quintessential 20th century solipsist (see Lindner, 2002). That is why he was obsessed with reference frames. He correctly emphasized that all things were in motion with respect to all other things (not really original). He realized that measurements of motion were themselves dependent on the motions of the source and observer. His mistake was to confuse these measurements with the actual motions. And, as you rightly pointed out, the confusion and all the paradoxes disappear when objects return to the solipsistic observer. This engendered the belief supported by many modern physicists that “time is a measurement of motion” or an “aspect of motion.” It is not. Time is motion, as you have realized. You are well on your way to becoming a “progressive physicist.”

You have an interesting sentence: “If one RF experiences an acceleration that the other doesn't, then upon meeting the clocks will indeed show different times.” This is correct, although it really does not lead to any kind of paradox. To understand this better, I like to substitute “microcosm” for “RF.” As explained in "The Scientific Worldview" (TSW), a microcosm is a portion of the universe; a macrocosm is everything outside of that microcosm. Suppose my microcosm is an hourglass that I move to a different part of the universe (the space station, for example). Its time keeping ability will be a function of its “univironment,” that is, the character of the microcosm and its macrocosm throughout its journey. On its way to the space station, its acceleration must be greater than the acceleration of gravity—the sand will flow faster than on Earth. On the space station, the flow will be near zero. On its way to Earth, its deceleration might be greater than the acceleration of gravity—the sand might even rise in the hourglass. I imagine some gullible folks might consider this a sort of reversal of time. All of this points out the difficulties of measuring time with a specific clock. However, no measurement difficulties can change universal time, which is the motion of everything in the infinite universe with respect to everything else. Of course, we can never really measure universal time, which is a good thing too. At least we won’t have to suffer solipsistic pronouncements about what it all means.


Borchardt, Glenn, 2011, Einstein's most important philosophical error, in Proceedings of the Natural Philosophy Alliance, 18th Conference of the NPA, 6-9 July, 2011 (http://www.worldsci.org/pdf/abstracts/abstracts_5991.pdf), College Park, MD.

Lindner, H.H., 2002, Beyond consciousness to cosmos--beyond relativity and quantum theory to cosmic theory (http://www.worldnpa.org/pdf/abstracts/abstracts_2928.pdf): Physics Essays, v. 15, no. 1, p. 113-128.

Becky said...

I read some of your essays. The ideas seem fairly reasonable. I'll be mulling things over.

I had a few questions about Neomechanics and IUT. How would they handle the observations that have led to the following explanations/ideas/entities? (Please feel free to address only some, (or only one!); I'll look forward to the answers but won't be offended if they don't all get addressed.)

1. Black holes
2. Dark energy (the aether, perhaps?)
3. Calibration of GPS systems to account for "time dilation" (ditto?)
4. Double-slit experiment (had to ask)
5. Uncertainty principle (ditto)
6. Entanglement ("spooky action at a distance")

Also, you mentioned I think somewhere that everything has a cause and an effect- what caused the first cause? (Or do you consider that an inapplicable question, like asking "why?" when considering the existence of the universe?)

Finally, how do you picture an infinite universe, both at the micro and macrocosmic levels? I.e., I find the idea of both a finite and an infinite universe logically baffling, and can't wrap my head around either one. Do you just lean towards infinite, due to laws of thermodynamics and what not?

Glenn Borchardt said...


Thanks for all your great questions. Each of them could be the subject of a Blog entry. I will give only short answers here, as many of them are answered in our books. You might find some more complete discussion by using the search functions of this Blog, the PSI website, or in electronic editions of the books.

1. Black holes [These are the extremely dense nuclei of galaxies. As with all microcosms, they exchange matter and the motion of matter with the macrocosm.]

2. Dark energy (the aether, perhaps?) [Dark energy, like energy in general, does not exist nor occur. Energy is a calculation. Dark matter exists and is in motion. In "Universal Cycle Theory: Neomechanics of the Hierarchically Infinite Universe” we speculated that much “dark matter” consisted of exoplanets that cannot be observed by instruments because they are small and are not associated with stars.]

3. Calibration of GPS systems to account for "time dilation" (ditto?) [Relativity is not used in GPS, although differential motions must be taken into account. See Ron Hatch, the expert on that: http://www.worldsci.org/php/index.php . Probably the paper you want is: Hatch, R.R., 1995, Relativity and GPS - I (http://ivanik3.narod.ru/GPS/Hatch/relGPS.pdf).]

4. Double-slit experiment (had to ask) [The double slit experiment proves that light is a wave travelling through a medium (aether). It is inexplicable to aether-deniers like Einstein. That is why they had to invent wave-particle duality.]

5. Uncertainty principle (ditto) [This was the death knell for classical mechanics and its assumption that causality was finite. Read about it as the 2nd and 3rd assumptions of science in "The Ten Assumptions of Science".]

6. Entanglement ("spooky action at a distance") [I usually don’t pay much attention to stuff that sounds “woo woo” (i.e., impossible). If you can use neomechanics to explain any of it, I would appreciate hearing about it.]

Also, you mentioned I think somewhere that everything has a cause and an effect- what caused the first cause? (Or do you consider that an inapplicable question, like asking "why?" when considering the existence of the universe?) [The infinite universe had no cause, and therefore is eternal. The folks who ask that question invariably assume finity, which is the opposite of infinity (The universe is infinite, both in the microcosmic and macrocosmic directions). Everything in our experience has a cause or beginning (a convergence of existing things) and an ending (a divergence of things). To review this, see the 6th assumption, complementarity (All things are subject to divergence and convergence from other things). Complementarity can only happen in an infinite universe. Without it, the mainstream can never avoid the ultimate conclusion that their imagined finite universe not only had a beginning, but must also have an ending in their equally imagined “heat death.”]

Finally, how do you picture an infinite universe, both at the micro and macrocosmic levels? I.e., I find the idea of both a finite and an infinite universe logically baffling, and can't wrap my head around either one. Do you just lean towards infinite, due to laws of thermodynamics and what not? [That is covered under the 8th assumption of science, infinity (The universe is infinite, both in the microcosmic and macrocosmic directions). No one can prove whether finity or infinity is the correct assumption, but your choice determines everything else in physics. It is mind boggling in either case, with infinity invariably appearing on the scene for deep thinkers. Even the religious believers get into an infinite regress when someone asks them “If god created the universe, who created god, and how come she took so long?”]

Becky said...

Thanks for your responses! I really appreciate your time and input. I will look into the material you mention. On to evermore studying and thinking...

Anonymous said...

I've realized this for a long time, probably about a year now. I've tried countless times to explain it to friends and family but no one seems to be able to comprehend that time and motion are one side of a coin. I strongly believe that the reason all of existence is here is the simple fact that everything is a cycle, thusly, everything is constantly in motion and will always be that was. All that is, will be; All that will be has been.

Shawn said...

Thanks for covering this topic. I'm not a scientist but an artist that probably spends too much time thinking. I came to the realization a few years ago that the future and past were really illusions our minds created. That led me to believe that time was motion. When I try to explain my thoughts people look at me blankly and endure my enthusiasm. I thought I was crazy for thinking different than Einstein. Thanks, I hope to learn more on this subject.

Glenn Borchardt said...


Nice to hear from artists who independently come up with assumptions that are vastly superior to those of Einstein. This is just what we need—folks who are not on the railroad track to paradox hell. I sympathize with your difficulties with those having been thoroughly indoctrinated in regressive physics. The slogan that “time is motion” comes as a shock to most people, showing how pervasive his influence was. His true genius was in getting fellow indeterminists to believe him.

Actually, I really wouldn’t say that the past is an illusion, which has the connotation that we are fooling ourselves. Instead, with everything in the infinite universe being in motion, we can use our observations concerning those motions to produce an abstraction or idealization in our heads. We can then use that idealization to predict future motions, sometimes with great, but never perfect precision. If there is a past-future illusion, it is held by those who, like Einstein, objectify motion. In extreme cases (like the physicist from Mexico) the past may seem more real than the present. Otherwise, how could he have argued (with a straight face, mind you) that the event of my birth existed, but that I did not?

Shawn, thanks for the comment and keep on thinkin’.

Gary said...

Like Becky, I found this blog by searching "time is motion" a conclusion I just arrived at, but searched, less with conviction, than for confirmation. The questions of whether time even exists, and how constant it is, has plagued me for years as I grow older and it seems to fly, while children seem not to experience the long days that I once did, but see time flying, too. So, I come here from some pseudo-philosophical, pseudo-religious and pseudo-scientific ponderings on nature and our relation to it.

Knowing that the measurement of time is dependent on the motion of one object relative to another, it seems a simple conclusion that there can be no time without motion, and as you add, there can be no matter without motion. The two must either exist together infinitely, or have come into existence together from some state of non-motion and non-matter by an input of energy from some unknown source.

Glenn Borchardt said...


Thanks for the comment. You got that mostly right. I can help with the last sentence: "The two must either exist together infinitely." As I mentioned elsewhere in PSI books and on this blog, matter exists; motion occurs. You are right that the two phenomena are never inseparable. Of course, the "connection" between matter and motion is not the same as that between one microcosm and another. Motion is what matter does. It has no existence, which is only given to matter, that which takes up an xyz portion of the universe. So, there is no "physical" connection between matter and motion.

Incidentally, Infinite Universe Theory removes the necessity of your second conjecture: "have come into existence together from some state of non-motion and non-matter by an input of energy from some unknown source." The First Assumption of Science rejects the immaterialism implied in the idea of "non-matter." With the Eighth Assumption of Science, infinity, we assume that there is always matter in motion coming from elsewhere. That is, however, no great mystery.

Zeynep Ergul said...

Today while travelling by train I discovered that 'Time is motion'. And when I wrote this sentence to the search engine and saw that there are different people that came to the same point, interestingly to the same sentence.

In addition to this, if there is no motion then time stops. In contrary to the Einstein's theory time slow as velocity goes zero.

Jeroen said...

I red the above article and your article about Einstein's Error, but i'm not sure if i grasped all of it.

So if matter 'does' motion and motion is time, then matter 'does' time?

If time and motion are the same, then could it be (theoretically) possible to eliminate one of them? And, more practical, can we change our daily utterances involving time into utterances involving motion? How sould I say that I'm running out of time? Or that the bus leaves in 5 minutes?

In other words, can you describe time in terms of motion and motion in terms of time?

Or am i taking the 'is' in 'time is motion' too literal?

I'm no physicist or native English speaker, so forgive me if i'm asking trivial, confusing or agrammatical questions!

Glenn Borchardt said...


Thanks for the questions. Here are the answers:

So if matter 'does' motion and motion is time, then matter 'does' time?


If time and motion are the same, then could it be (theoretically) possible to eliminate one of them?

No. All matter is in motion.

And, more practical, can we change our daily utterances involving time into utterances involving motion?

Yes. For instance, we often say we have “things” to do. It is better to say that we have “activities” to do.

How should I say that I'm running out of time?

Things are moving too fast for me. I may be unable to complete the paper when I said I would. I may not be able to meet you at the place that I said I would.

Or that the bus leaves in 5 minutes?

This is correct. It refers to the relative motion of Earth.

In other words, can you describe time in terms of motion and motion in terms of time?

Yes. We have no other choice because all things in the universe are in motion with respect to all other things.

Or am I taking the 'is' in 'time is motion' too literal?

No. It only seems that way because we have been taught throughout our lives to objectify motion. Einstein, of course, was not the only sinner in this regard. Indeterministic philosophers still debate the “mind-brain” dichotomy even though the brain is matter and the mind is the motion within that matter. You can have a brain without significant motion, but you cannot have a mind without a brain. Most religious folks know that the body is matter, eventually rotting in its grave. But the “spirit” demonstrated by the actions of the live person is objectified in the hypothesized “soul.” The “soul” is a kind of “matterless motion” considered impossible by the Fourth Assumption of Science, inseparability (Just as there is no motion without matter, so there is no matter without motion). With 80% of the world's population adhering to the opposing assumption, the objectification of motion will be popular for decades to come. Your questions are by no means trivial and your grammar is great. Welcome to the view that "time is motion."

Tachini Pete said...

In my native language time is motion and can only be expressed as motion. In fact the general word 'go' is time and motion. When inquiring about time only stative and locative words can be used.

Glenn Borchardt said...


Wow! That's amazing! Thanks for the comment. Would love to know what language that is.

Neil Simmons said...

I've had this idea rolling around in my head for a while now, that time and motion are the same. I'm sure I had heard it before, but I recently heard Neil deGrasse Tyson speaking about it on his podcast. This one statement seems to have thrown everything I've learned about physics and the universe out of whack. I don't think I've reached the same conclusions as Dr. Tyson, as he seems to like General Relativity, but nevertheless, it got me thinking, and for that I'm grateful.

I'm currently reading your book, and I hope to further my study in these areas. I've been having issues with mathematics recently because when my calculus professor starts talking about time and motion I want to scream at him that they are the same thing! Of coarse you can figure out where something will be, your calculating its motion relative to some other object! Sadly I find many people doing this, and I was starting to think I was alone. I'm glad I'm not, and thank you for books and reasonable words.

Science needs more dissenting views, if only to help separate the chaff from the wheat. I wish more people would question the basic assumptions of modern scientific thought.

Glenn Borchardt said...


Thanks for the comment and for your encouragement. I would love to find out exactly where Tyson said that "time is motion." That would be a breakthrough in our efforts to reform physics. If he really said that, then he has some "splanin" to do with regard to his continued belief in GRT.

Neil Simmons said...

I apologize for the confusion. His discussion on time and motion was not that they are the same, but was the impetus for my own thoughts that they are the same.

His assertion in that discussion was that the only way we have to measure time was via motion. i.e. the rotation of the planets, moon, and stars in the sky. All tools early man used to develop measures of time.

My own thoughts on the matter have been formulating since then, and just using thought experiments in my own head. This is practice that is prone to mistakes, as you point out with Einstein and GRT, but it's all I can afford for the time being!

Glenn Borchardt said...


Thanks for clearing it up and getting Tyson off the hook. He certainly wouldn’t want to be known as a mechanist!

I now call “thought experiments” “imperiments.” An “ex” periment is always done outside the body, while an “im” periment is performed within, like Einstein did it. The only problem was that he did not do a sufficient job of it. Just as there are successful and unsuccessful experiments, there are successful and unsuccessful imperiments. Imperiments that lead to paradoxes and contradictions are failures.

That is why all our books begin with and steadfastly adhere to "The Ten Assumptions of Science." One could claim that all these books are just one big imperiment (like you, we do not have billions to challenge the mainstream with the proper, but very costly experiments that would be necessary). Even so, we are proud to say that our train of logic has not uncovered any paradoxes or contradictions, at least since we gave up Lesage and developed Neomechanical Gravitation Theory. If you find any others, we sure would like to know about them.

BTW: You mentioned calculus, which amounts to the mathematical version of the Eighth Assumption of Science, infinity (The universe is infinite, both in the microcosmic and macrocosmic directions). In principle, both differentiation and integration go to infinity. If he had just finished the job he could have invented neomechanics forthwith and saved us a lot of trouble.

Anonymous said...

I have come to similar conclusions about time recently as well. Consider this thought experiment: You have two completely solid marbles in an otherwise completely empty void. These two objects can be compared to each other, so one is larger and there is a distance between them that can be measured relative to the size of each marble. When you have two objects such as these, time is possible. But time is only a measure of the motion of these two objects relative to each other. Time actually does not exist, here's why. Imagine that one marble is like the earth and it rotates on it's axis, and orbits around the other larger marble which is like the sun. Now imagine that the larger sun marble disappears. Time stops because one of our two objects is removed. Motion stops as well. There is no such thing as time because the removal of one physical object makes it impossible to measure motion. If time isn't possible when you remove one physical object, then time never was real in the first place. How can the presence or lack of one physical object create or destroy time? It can't, because a physical object is not time. It appears then, that we exist in one eternal moment called NOW.

Glenn Borchardt said...

Thanks for your intriguing comment. It brings to mind a few other points associated with your thought “imperiment” (i.e., inside instead of outside, as in “ex”). A quibble: You wrote “But time is only a measure of the motion,” but I would be careful not to say that. I don’t believe time to be a “measure of motion.” That’s why I use the slogan: “Time is motion.” Measurement is not necessary, as the dinosaurs proved when they nevertheless experienced time. Of course, as you point out so nicely, a universe with only one object in it cannot have motion and thus cannot experience time. It would also be impossible to measure motion in such a universe, but the ability to measure motion is not a requirement. The only requirement is motion, which always requires a second object for its occurrence. This is why Newton invented “absolute space,” perhaps in response to critics of his First Law who said that nothing can be said about the motion of an object traveling through empty space all by itself. Another quibble: You wrote that if the second object is removed, “then time never was real in the first place.” This, of course, depends on what you mean by “real.” I consider time to be real, since motion is one of the two fundamental phenomena. Perhaps you consider reality to consist only of matter (which has xyz dimensions and location with respect to other things). In that case, I would have to agree with you. Another quibble: I don’t think that we can exist “in one eternal moment called NOW.” We exist, instead, in an infinite universe filled with microcosms in motion within and without. There are no moments to exist in, because they do not exist, they occur. Notice how difficult it is when we begin to use time properly. Even my use of the words “moments” and “they” gives a nominative character to time, which can only be an action, not an actor.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your reply, I really appreciate your thoughts. To clarify, when I said time is only a measure of motion, I had meant from a human perspective. We do not have to measure motion to experience time, just to comprehend it better. When I said if one of the two objects is removed, "then time was never real in the first place" what I had meant was that if time exists when you have two physical objects and then one is removed, time no longer exists. Time was not a physical object, and time was not removed, only one object was removed, so how could time have been real in the first place if we only removed a physical object and not time itself? That would make time an abstraction since it can't exist with one physical object alone. Yes, time is the action of motion, I agree. If the way humans perceive time is an abstraction, then time travel is impossible because we can't travel back in motion. We can only remember the past, and imagine the future, thus we can only live in a perpetual moment called NOW. Thank you for your consideration of my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

As a follower of Marxist philosophy, I am amazed of your worldview. It is total different from idealistic and indeterministic worldview of the typical modern scientists, who only see the world as it is measured and observed but not what it really is.

But I do not think that time is motion. Time is motion is nearly correct, but not exactly.

In my opinion, time is concept that arise when we ignore all other characteristic of motion (or more exactly, motion of matter), only focus on its length (duration).

Let take an example, we often say:
365 days = 1 year.
That means:
365 motion of Earth around its axis = 1 motion of Earth around the Sun.

I think we can only put the equal sign between left side and right side when we only care about the duration of each motion. If not, how the motion of Earth around its axis equal the motion of Earth around the Sun? They are different from each other just like Bob and Tom are two different people.

Therefore, we cannot say time is slowdown like scientists usually say, it must be "motion of clock is slowdown", and it's cause isn't due to "nature of spacetime" but the interaction of matter in motion with the environment inside and outside itself.

Dark said...

I arrived at this point myself not long ago. Ease of communication obfuscates reality to certain extent. Concepts become objectified, time being a thing unto itself is a perfect case in point. The best example I've been able to come up with to illustrate this is 'three apples' communicates the reality of 'apple, apple, apple' quickly and easily. Now imagine dealing with a hundred or a thousand apples communicating this way...its inefficient. 'Three' doesn't exist, it's a concept, like all maths: A useful tool for communicating but the hammer you use to pound nails all day long isn't going to be much help when it comes time to tighten a bolt.

'Time' being conceptualized motion is easy to grasp when you look at the units used to measure it. A day is a single revolution of our planet, a year one trip around our sun. Break it down into hours, minutes and seconds or build it up into decades and centuries...it all has its basis in the motion of the planet . It's simply a measure of motion like feet and inches are a measure of matter.

Glenn Borchardt said...

Dear Anon:

Judging by the number of comments (29 as of 20130513), our understanding of time is very much a part of today’s philosophical struggle. As part of the propaganda from the indeterministic side, we are to believe that time is either a dimension, concept, or measurement. As materialists who believe that the universe consists of matter in motion, we must avoid that trap, as I reiterated in my more recent blog on “Time: Matter or Concept?” I agree with most of your comments except for: “But I do not think that time is motion. Time is motion is nearly correct, but not exactly.” That is like the indeterminists, such as Engels, who are in “complete’’ agreement with the assumption of causality as long as it still allows for freewill. My advice, as always, is to let it be. There is no theoretical advantage in assuming that time is subjective or that freewill is possible. You will be a much happier materialistic theoretician.

Anonymous said...

I rethink this problem again.
Time is not subjective, it is real and not dependent on our measurement.
It isn't "a thing", there isn't any atom of time.

But I cannot understand time is motion. To me, time is not equal motion, if it is, why we need two concept?

But it is just my idea and I still cannot answer clearly what is time. Maybe you are right about time is motion after all.

Glenn Borchardt said...


Right, time and motion are really not different phenomena. As Tachini Pete said on 20130202:

"In my native language time is motion and can only be expressed as motion. In fact the general word 'go' is time and motion."

As each microcosm has a unique motion with respect to other microcosms, each microcosm has a unique time. Universal time is the motion of all things with respect to all other things in the infinite universe. Specific time is the motion of one thing with respect to other things, as in a clock, for instance. Because all motion (time) is relative (hooray Albert!), we must invent a convention for measuring it. The rotation of Earth has suited us well, although we now have more precise atomic clocks.

We have many words for motion, with time being only one of them (e.g., process, activity, reaction, transformation, evolution, revolution, slow, fast, run, walk, fall, etc.).

Anonymous said...

Time is motion because of the fact that if there was 0 motion (Absolute Zero), time wouldn't pass. A prime example is being cryogenically frozen, because all of the cells in the body are slowed down dramatically (not completely), time seems to slow down drastically, you are able to outlive any human whose cells are moving at a much faster rate. Any time we see some kind of motion we get a sense of time, when you pause a movie u get a still frame where nothing is moving, therefore time stops for that movie. I think if something was able to have absolutely zero vibrations that we would see some really weird things, but for now that seems impossible. I am not a scientist but i understand in order to be a great one you must look past our senses that were created for survival on this planet through millions of years of evolution and rewire the 1 organ in our body that can adapt to anything and understand any concept to better understand the workings of the Universe and that takes a bold man to be different.

Glenn Borchardt said...

Wow! What a great comment! I love your observation on cryogenics. All the processes that normally lead to rapid decay slow down. The same occurs in my refrigerator and freezer.

Your still frame comment about movies is equally excellent. How we experience time is highly dependent on our ability to observe the motions of the macrocosm. For instance, a quarterback in football has only seconds to perform when the play starts. Only by focusing intently, can he “freeze-frame” the motions of the defense, taking advantage of any weaknesses that evolve. On the other hand, time for the prisoner in solitary confinement no doubt passes all too slowly—the macrocosm is nearly motionless.

Only one quibble: “I think if something was able to have absolutely zero vibrations that we would see some really weird things, but for now that seems impossible.” This is a common misunderstanding. Your earlier sentence was correct. I wrote about absolute zero on p. 58 of "The Scientific Worldview" (TSW). There may be some weird activities near absolute zero, but there is absolutely no possibility of ever reaching absolute zero. No need to qualify that statement with “but for now that seems impossible.” The reason is quite simple if you believe the Fourth Assumption of Science, inseparability (Just as there is no motion without matter, so there is no matter without motion). Even if we were able some day to break baryonic matter into its aethereal components, those aether-1 particles would still be in motion and would exhibit the vibrations we know as temperature, even though we might not be able measure them with our usual instruments.

BTW: Einstein considered intergalactic space completely empty. At best, it supposedly only had photons (massless light particles) traveling through it. Discovery of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) essentially put the kibosh on that idea—when interpreted from the neomechanical point of view. The measured temperature of 2.7 degrees Kelvin throughout the universe is the result of the vibrations of matter. Note that Big Bangers believe no such thing. They see the CMB, instead, as pure energy considered as matterless motion left over from the Big Bang. Go figure.

S V Kassie said...

Wow. I also concluded that time is motion and thought I stumbled onto something unique! LOL! I found this blog while searching time is motion cos I wanted to start one myself!!! I must confess a very slight sense of jealousy at having been beaten to that honour!
I am a medical doctor who indulges his imagination (usually while driving or attending management meetings :)) by trying to figure out the nature of the universe.
It amazes me that like myself almost every poster has stumbled onto your blog after reaching the same conclusion and seeking verification of that most profane of thoughts that time could be motion. I'm 38 and it's taken me over a decade to forget the undergrad advanced mathematics and physics I had to master to allow me to use my creative mind again. And like you mentioned to Becky...it is probably key to allowing the mind to grasp concepts so fragile and seemingly illogical.
It is also probably why your replies have been from such a variety of people.
I think the phenomenon that you may have alluded to where it seems people are increasingly troubled by the concept of time and matter stems from the freeing of the mind from the shackles that bound our species in decades past.
A facetious yet true observation is that religions seem more forgiving of the enquiring mind and less inclined to physically or psychologically behead or bemind! :)
But verbosity aside (I know when I'm becoming irritating :)), I just want to add my 2 cents worth.

I started to grasp this concept a few years back and it hit me then that ... movement ....from a state of no movement is the inception of the chronological quality of matter.
I know you know what my mind and heart feel so the precise semantics of definitions pertaining to that I hope you will cut me some slack on.
But this whole thing began to give me problems when I arrived at 0 Kelvin.
As the previous poster pointed out, and seems logical to argue, 0 Kelvin is akin to proof of the separateness of matter and motion and hence absolves matter of any wrongdoing in the crime of motion masquerading as time.
For me the problem starts here. 0 Kelvin - one end of the infinity scale...by that I mean...0 K is a state not a temperature. We may theoretically reduce the energy (the motion) of the atom/molecule to a point of no movement.
we make 2 assumptions: 1. we can. 2. the subatomic structure of the atom remains static or changes its dynamic quality.
We know the word particle is the term we CHOSE for the emanation of an energy fluctuance from a state/point/base/field/existence that allowed the disturbance of matter to arise.
We intuit that motion then occurs to give birth to time.
We conclude space is the ongoing reverberation of that fluctuant 'force' on matter that allows motion to masquerade as time and thus giving space/matter.
But 0K relates to atoms and their profane gross motion in relation to each other. What about the 'temperature' or 'state of motion' of the fluctuance AT 0 Kelvin!?
For me the Kelvin scale is not a yardstick by any measure...pardon the pun.
So for me, I still intuitively feel time may be motion, but until we (hopefully you because I'm taking flack from my wife and kids for being so abstract these days) figure out whether matter is motion too or not, considering we have no surrogate marker like temperature for the motion of finest fluctuance (aka subatomic 'particles') of the constituents of a 'totally still' atom at the theoretical 0 Kelvin mark, I think we may be a bit stuck.

S V Kassie said...

I Re-read your previous reply and am embarassed to say, I think I reworded what you had already intimated.
LOL. In my excitement at having finally found people I can toss these ideas around with, I began to rush through reading your replies. Apologies.
Nonetheless...that whole subatomic fluctuance, aetheric spanner exists.
And I just wish my damn brain had a bit more juice in it to figure this out.

Alexander said...

I wanted to chime in and say, I feel like this site is a support group for people who have had this understanding. Thanks Glenn. I've been wondering with deep frustration, how can anyone argue that motion and time are different? How could time possibly be separate from matter moving in relation to other matter? It seems axiomatic. It infuriates me to the core of my being that somebody in a position to give grades to students would be unable to understand this, and it makes me feel like this is one of the main reasons I have lacked interest in or misunderstood physics/math that has been taught to me in my academic career. It seems like it's been spoon fed to me with no rhyme or reason, but when I think about it myself, I get very passionate.
But to sum up the understanding of time as motion, the cryogenic freezing postulation has been the lynchpin argument for me. I thought of that several years ago and saw someone else relay that understanding in the comments just now. If motion is slowed down, the aging process is vetted. Aging only happens with time which only occurs when a person's matter goes through motion. Without motion, time would be at a stand still, and hilariously, without the idea of time, motion would still be occurring (so would what we call time paradoxically). Time is simply an idea that we have created around the phenomenon of motion. If freezing someone slows motion which slows aging, what more needs to be said? Why have you had to write papers and argue for this obvious phenomenon so fervently? What exactly motion is in relation to itself (possibly in relation to whatever material composes the universe around it), is what needs to be understood for us to start understanding the nature of the universe. I could be wrong, but I feel like we're so amazingly primitive compared to where we ought to be technologically.

Glenn Borchardt said...

Thanks Alexander. I especially like your cryogenic example of the slowing of motion and therefore the slowing of time. It reminds me of the remark of a friend recently visiting New York and remarking that most of the plants looked dead. Like hibernation among animals, the seasonal "hibernation" of plants in the northern latitudes in the "fall" is a slowing of motion, which amounts to a slowing of time. In the "spring" each "springs" into motion and time continues at an increased pace.

Bruce Walters said...

I search for 'time is motion' and found this blog. I should wait to read more of your thoughts, but I'm so pleased to see that others feel that time is an effect of motion - I had to leave this comment :)

A few years ago it struck me that we not only live on a planet revolving about a star, but in a revolving galaxy, within a revolving -or, at least- expanding universe (if the universe's expansion slows and then begins to collapse eventually - will time, in effect, reverse?). It seems plausible to me that this creates our experience of a single direction in time.

Glenn Borchardt said...


Thanks for the comment. You are right that everything is revolving around some other thing. See our book for the full deal: "Universal Cycle Theory: Neomechanics of the Hierarchically Infinite Universe”. While we assume that each portion of the infinite universe is either expanding or contracting, we do not believe that is the correct explanation of the cosmic redshift. There is no such thing as space-time. Even if it were possible for the observed universe to collapse, such a microcosm would behave no differently than any other. I doubt that my collapsing by losing weight would reverse many of the motions that have produced my severely aged condition.

The assumption that “time is motion” is a deduction from the Seventh Assumption of Science, irreversibility (All processes are irreversible). This implies that the motions within each infinitely subdividable microcosm (an xyz portion of the universe) and within its infinitely integrable macrocosm (the surroundings) are unique. There is no way to put an infinite number of things back the way they were in the past. The night sky is different each night. Time reversal of even one microsecond would require you to move trillions of galaxies. We express this uniqueness as the Ninth Assumption of Science, relativism (All things have characteristics that make them similar to all other things as well as characteristics that make them dissimilar to all other things). Sorry, but there will never be another Bruce Walters in the entire universe for all time. We only go around once.

Anonymous said...

I´ve been thinking about this for some time now, not really on as a deep level as you have, but a little. I really couldn´t wrap my head around it until last night when i had one of those heureka moments. But ofcourse i´m just an ordinary person so i had to get my idea confirmed by someone superior, so i searched for "time in motion" and read your article. I still don´t understand it fully, but i hope to one day do.

Glenn Borchardt said...

Dear Anon:

Thanks for the comment.

Maybe this will help: There are two basic phenomena in the universe: Matter and the motion of matter. We often shorten "motion of matter" to "motion." Things (matter) have xyz dimensions, while motion does not (despite what Einstein says). Universal time is the motion of all things with respect to all other things. Specific time is the motion of a specific thing with respect to some other thing.

AYC said...

I’ve been thinking about this all day since watching a recent episode of Cosmos last night. I was explaining to my wife that the universe doesn’t expand “into” space, because space isn’t a thing in itself, but a relationship between things. Space is the area between or occupied by massive objects. The massive bodies that make up our universe move apart and space expands with them. Space is not a measurement, but something we can measure (distance, volume).
This got me thinking about what would be analogous to the relationship between matter and space if we replaced “space” with “time”. The answer is motion! In sci-fi movies, when time is frozen, all movement stops. And I love the example a previous commenter gave that pausing a movie causes the picture, and the clock, to both freeze. To expand on that, the clock on your DVD player runs faster if you fast forward the picture, and runs slowly if you use the slow-motion feature. Time is the relationship between the motions of massive bodies. But is that the same as saying “Time is Motion”? I’m not quite ready to take that leap, although I’m close.
In keeping with the Space/Time analogy that has helped clarify things for me up this point, I have to ask the following question: If you think Time is Motion, does that mean you also believe Space is Matter? But wouldn’t it be possible to have empty space between massive objects? Would it be more accurate to say Time is a property of motion, and space is a property of matter? Maybe this is just where the analogy breaks down….

Glenn Borchardt said...


Thanks for the question. Glad to see that you are close to realizing that time is motion. You also are very astute in realizing that space is matter. That is a deduction from the Tenth Assumption of Science, Interconnection (All things are interconnected, that is, between any two objects exist other objects that transmit matter and motion). Perfectly empty space is an idealization just like perfectly solid matter. All real things have characteristics that we think of as space and characteristics that we think of as matter. Another way of thinking of it is that matter has xyz dimensions and location with respect to other things. Matter exists; motion occurs. Matter is a part of the universe but motion is not. Motion is what matter does. Another way: You can put matter in your back pocket, but not motion (i.e., time).

Realize that you are taking a big step away from current physics, which is based on the indeterministic assumption of finity. The correct assumption is the Eighth Assumption of Science, infinity (The universe is infinite, both in the microcosmic and macrocosmic directions). Folks moving away from regressive physics tend to consider time to be a property of motion and space to be a property of matter. Motion, of course, has no properties. Properties only belong to the objects that are experiencing the motion. Idealized, perfectly empty space, of course, has no properties (that is why it cannot be curved, despite Einstein claims). At PSI, we define matter as that which contains other matter.

Note that spacetime is a matter-motion term, just like momentum, force, and energy. None of these really exist or occur. They are simply calculations we use in physics to describe what things do. Each of the calculations multiplies a term for matter (e.g., mass) times a term for motion (e.g., velocity). Thus, momentum, P = mv, describes the motion of the object in Newton’s First Law of Motion. There is no such thing as momentum; there is only the massive object that is moving at a certain velocity. Spacetime is more difficult to understand because we were taught to view space as “the container for things” or “the container for emptiness.” Thus, today I sit at my desk, having a certain position in space, which will be nearly the same tomorrow. My imagined spacetime position, however, will be quite different after the rotation of the Earth gets done with me. This conception may be useful for us, but we should never get the idea that spacetime actually exists.

Anonymous said...

hi while reading your blog it came to me, you could prove your idea about time, rather dramatically...
one of the experiments that is claimed to prove time dilation, was with 2 synchronized clocks and one clock was raised higher than the other clock and over several years the 2 clocks were no longer in sync….
I would assume you’d claim that the upper clock had moved farther so that more time had passed for that clock?
And time did not dilate as a fundamental property of gravity or speed?
Since Earth’s gravity is not a constant and varies by location and if time is just a movement and there is real no time dilation, then 2 synchronized clocks at 2 different locations where movement is the same, in other words at the same height with the only difference is the gravity on one clock and not the other, the movement of both clocks would be the same so the time should always stay the same, right?
Just an idea…
I also had the idea that time is motion or there is no such thing as time, but have been stumped on the aspects of time dilation and that there is something different after something happens that can’t be undone… you can’t un break an egg, time only moves in one direction and that there is a process for all of the motion that involves time, every observation sees a cycle of begging and end, whether it be an experiment, a life, a star, or anything you can think to name, even the particles themselves are not infinite in themselves…
But you do provide some interesting ideas

Glenn Borchardt said...

Comment 20140605 Time


Thanks for the comment. With each portion of the infinite universe moving with respect to all the other portions, one must think of time being unique for each portion. Thus, the time indicated by each clock will vary. After all, that is why we occasionally have to reset our clocks to some standard. Each clock is a microcosm within a macrocosm. The time that we observe always will be a result of the interaction of that particular clock with its environment. Thus, the flow of sand in an hourglass is dependent on gravitational potential, which decreases with altitude. An “hour” for such a clock will have a greater duration than an hour at sea level. To be consistent with his equations, Einstein would have had to call that “time dilation” as well. That is silly, of course, because all we have is a bunch of flowing sand. Time is just the motion of the sand. Time really cannot dilate; only objects can dilate. Time dilation, of course, is necessary for relativists who deny aether.

The required objectification of motion is the essence of relativity and the idea of time dilation will be with us until we discard relativity. Mike, maybe you are thinking of one of the latest “proofs” of “time dilation,” which appears in this paper: Chou, C. W., Hume, D. B., Rosenband, T., and Wineland, D. J., 2010, Optical Clocks and Relativity: Science, v. 329, no. 5999, p. 1630-1633. Their clock at high altitude ran faster than the one at low altitude—just the opposite of our hourglass, which would register no time at all if we took it high enough. They called their result “gravitational time dilation” and yet another proof of relativity. Maybe we should call ours “gravitational time contraction.” Although none of this involves the fictitious “time dilation,” both examples clearly show that the motion of clocks is affected by their univironments.

Now let me set up a simple clock that demonstrates “gravitational time dilation” too. For this clock, we will count the number of bubbles of carbon dioxide gas released from soda water. At low altitude, we might get 10 bubbles per second, but at high altitude, we might get 20 bubbles per second. In other words, this clock speeded up, while the hourglass slowed down. Our soda clock is analogous to the complicated one used by Chou.

An atomic clock is a microcosm whose submicrocosms exhibit repetitive motion. For instance, the electron orbits the nucleus in the hydrogen atom. If we could count the number of revolutions per second, we would have a nice little clock. The Al clock used by Chou exhibits repetitive motions with a frequency of 1.121 X 10^15 cycles/s, which he could measure with extremely sophisticated equipment. The frequency of that clock increased by a tiny fraction (4X10^-17) when its altitude was increased by 33 cm. The increase followed this equation: gh/c^2, where g = 9.80 m/s, h=33 cm, and c was the velocity of light. Chou’s result is similar to what others have found (i.e. about 1.1X10^-16 per meter).The equation works because it relates changes in aethereal pressure (gravitation, mgh) to changes in submicrocosmic motion transmitted via aether (mc^2). Although relativists dare not admit it, such successful experiments are proofs that aether is the medium both for gravitation and for light transmission (see Blog 20140114, refs to Rebka in the Blog, our paper on “Neomechanical Gravitation Theory”, and our book “Universal Cycle Theory”).

The upshot: Two identical clocks with identical velocities, but with and without gravitation would record different times. That is why GPS satellites need to be calibrated to account for that, although it has nothing to do with relativity.

Mike, BTW, part of Infinite Universe Theory is the assumption that all events are irreversible [Seventh Assumption of Science, irreversibility (All processes are irreversible)] and that particles are infinitely subdividable [Eighth Assumption of Science, infinity (The universe is infinite, both in the microcosmic and macrocosmic directions)].

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. I reached this conclusion in college. I shared the idea with a respected adult, and they told me to stop wasting my time and do something fun like play video games, haha.


Tom Giles said...

If time is motion, shouldn't we redefine time to be based on the fastest motion we know? Which, if I am not mistaken, is the speed of light. And if the speed o flight is a universal constant, what will that imply?

Glenn Borchardt said...


Good question. Universal time is the motion of everything with respect to everything else. Wave motion is dependent on the characteristics of the medium. The medium for light is aether, which has a density that varies from place-to-place. I suppose we could use the maximum velocity we have found in the solar system for light, but I doubt that would apply everywhere in the universe. Light already has been used as a standard for time (light years, etc.) because it appears ubiquitous throughout the universe. I don't think that has any special implications for anything. In the meantime, we will still use the rotation of Earth to define what we call a day. We could just as well use an hour glass or any other clock. It does not make any difference because all time is relative. We just have to agree on which motion to use as a standard.

George Coyne said...

Hi Glenn

Since the age of 15 I stopped accepting the idea that time was a "thing" that flowed. At age 62 I thought that I had discovered that time is motion, but you worked that out first.. I use the phrase:"time IS motion". Time is just another word for motion. There is no matter that lacks motion because by definition matter is in motion.

We would have greater clarity by not even using the word time, since it often leads to the idea that time is a phenomenon in its own right. This assumption leads to massive confusion. I offer the example of a running tiger. If we assume that “running”is a phenomenon of its own, separate from the tiger, we are starting from a nonsensical idea that will prevent understanding.

A few years ago I first used the analogy of what happens in putting something in an extremely cold place such as three degrees Kelvin The reduction in the internal motion of the matter which reduces entropy gives the appearance that it has left the influence of “time”. ( Of course to a lesser extent the same thing applies in a freezer.) All that really has happened is that its motion is greatly reduced. In using this example I was trying to show how “time” could be thought of as referring to levels of entropy.

A concept that has caused massive confusion for philosophers, psychologists and people in general is “consciousness”. This confusion has arisen for the same reason as is the case for “time”. It is the result of believing consciousness exists on its own as a phenomenon in the universe, rather than seeing it as the motion of a structured matter called “brain” Other organic matter that is functioning (moving) as a whole system (i.e exhibiting signs of living) is generating some type of consciousness. Your phrase “consciousness is what the brain does” expresses this idea very well.

People have great difficulty trying to comprehend what is meant by an infinite universe. Perhaps this is due to using confused paradigms such as space-time or other traditional concepts involving "time". I have often considered that because words are by definition representing that which can be defined by its boundaries, it is only helpful to use words when talking about that which is finite. All concepts are inevitably finite because they are based on words. Having said that there are some ways of using words that, although still limiting, can be more conducive to understanding. One of these is to refer to “processing” and “moving” . This puts the emphasis on the verb rather than the noun. Using this manner of thinking/speaking, one would focus on the action (motion) taking place at different levels of organization rather than just the matter involved. Just as music is far more important than the instrument playing it, the “happening” is what is important and to have better understanding this needs to be the focus of our attention.

Your definition of time as motion and energy as "the...multiplication of a term for matter times a term for motion" is the best I have ever read.

Your work is greatly appreciated.

George Coyne

Glenn Borchardt said...


Thanks so much for your comment. You have presented an excellent summary of our realization that "time is motion." You have touched on all the important points. It is great to see yet another thinker who hasn't been a victim of the philosophical struggle. You are correct that the space-time concept is confusing. That is the way it is supposed to be. Otherwise the Big Bang Theory could not exist. The general rule is that determinism seeks clarity and that indeterminism seeks obscuration. BTW: You were 10 years ahead of me in giving up time as matter.

Anonymous said...

I am the owner of May 7, 2013 at 10:23 AM and May 18, 2013 at 4:44 AM.

After one year of re-reading Hegel, Marx, Engels, I firmly agree with your conclusion: Time is Motion.

Back then, I confused Motion (an abstraction) with Movement of a concrete object.

I didn't read your post carefully and forgot Motion is an abstraction.

Therefore, Time is Motion, or exactly, Abstract Motion. It is just like the Abstract Labor (versus Concrete Labor) in Marxian economics.

Using the same thinking, we will arrive at the conclusion of Space is Matter, or more exactly, Abstract Matter.

In Marxian philosophy, we have a saying: Matter in Motion must exist in Space and Time. So this saying must be understood as: Concrete Matter in Motion must exist in relation with other Concrete Matter in Motion (Interconnection Assumption).

So we can throw away the rubbish of modern physics. How can an abstraction bend or dilute?

Glenn Borchardt said...


I understand your need to remain anonymous. Being really old, I don't care about that stuff much anymore.

You are right that an abstraction can not bend or dilate. The key to understanding this is that time does not exist, it occurs. An occurrence is what matter does. Once an event has occurred, it is gone forever.

Timothy Takemoto said...

I also Googled "Time is motion." I am surprised to find that this notion is supported on an anti-solipsistic basis.

It seems to me that solipsism suggests that time is motion. Or at least, if one starts from a Machian sensationalism (a la "The Visual Field") as I believe Einstein did, then all there is a big ellipse about which we theorise, first entities, that they move, and that therefore there is time during which entities move but really all we have are a series of extrapolations from, or theories (and feelings) about sensations.

So....I am surprised that the same assertion should come from a non solipsist.

But then again, perhaps I am not a solipsist!

I am not sure.

On the contrary, since Einstein appears to starts from Hume and Machian solipsism (as he confessed in letters) I thought that he is only right about our world, the world of our sensations, which are limited by light.

So I was surprised and upset (!) that time dilation in clocks should have been found. It is nice to hear that the data regarding time dilation is circumspect. I see no reason why sensationalism should result in time dilation.

On the other hand, recent research to suggest that the universe is flat ("holographic") and elliptical suggests again to me that the world of science is a world of theories about the sensations.

Time is motion.

Glenn Borchardt said...


Thanks for the comment.

I sympathize with your chagrin over relativity. You are correct in your implication that Einstein was the most important solipsist of the 20th Century. That is why he denied simultaneity and emphasized “thought experiments,” which are not really experiments, but what I call “imperiments.” The “ex” in “experiment” requires an interaction with the external world, while the “im” of “imperiments” does not. Of course, a pure solipsist would not acknowledge the external world. That is why we use the First Assumption of Science, materialism (The external world exists after the observer does not) to overthrow the solipsism of the opposing assumption, immaterialism. Remember that Einstein’s fields were “immaterial,” such as in the “curved empty space” of his theory of gravity or in the “immaterial field” that holds my knives to the magnet on the kitchen wall.

Of course, no one could be a pure solipsist and a scientist at the same time, although one can include solipsistic tendencies in one’s work, as Einstein showed. That is why he was enamored with “reference frames” and the impossibility of proving simultaneity. With everything in the infinite universe moving with respect to everything else, our measurements must account for such motions, including those involved with our measuring device. Thus, it takes 8 minutes for light motion to travel from Sun to Earth, meaning that it is no longer in the exact position that its image now indicates. The upshot is that we need to assume that the Sun still exists—it could have disappeared 5 minutes ago and we would not know that for 3 minutes. We cannot “prove” simultaneity without taking into account the velocity of light and the motion of Earth. This is no big deal for univironmental determinists, those who believe that what happens to a portion of the universe is determined by the infinite matter in motion within and without.

Sorry, but Einstein’s that solipsism did not suggest that time is motion. Like other regressive physicists, he believed time to be a dimension or a measurement. Dinosaurs experienced three dimensions and were not capable of measurement, but they surely experienced time (motion). You are right that, as pointed out by Mach, “all we have are a series of extrapolations from, or theories (and feelings) about sensations.” In other words, what occurs and what we actually can measure are two different activities. None of that stops all things in the universe from moving with respect to all other things. It also does not stop us from obtaining useful data about those motions. I don’t see why you would be surprised that such an assertion should come from a non solipsist.

So, Timothy, you are correct that you cannot be a solipsist. You should have no doubts about that

You also are correct in your chagrin upon hearing “that time dilation in clocks should have been found” and “see no reason why sensationalism should result in time dilation.” The whole time dilation absurdity was a result of a mathematical error left unchecked and discussed in Steve Bryant’s forthcoming book (see his website on some hints about it: www.relativitychallenge.com). Because of his insufficient philosophical background, Einstein was not especially worried about the objectification of motion that it implied (see http://www.worldsci.org/pdf/abstracts/abstracts_5991.pdf).

You wrote “On the other hand, recent research to suggest that the universe is flat ("holographic") and elliptical suggests again to me that the world of science is a world of theories about the sensations.” You are right in implying that regressive physics, like religion, can make up all kinds of stories about what sensations can tell us about the external world. Silly mathematical brainstorms involving flatness, holography, and structure tell us nothing about the real universe, which extends infinitely in all three directions and exists everywhere for all time.

Nice to see that you agree: “Time is motion.”

dave said...

I've always thought of time as a camera recording everything coming to be and ceasing to be , the ceaseless movement of matter . The camera being this precise moment -- now - a fixed point . If there was no movement down to the atomic and sub atomic levels the very notion of time would be irrelevant.
Hope this makes some kind of sense .

Glenn Borchardt said...

Thanks Dave. I mention this in the Blog for 20150415.

dave said...

How do i find Blog 20150415 , if thats a date time is certainly mysterious, thats tomorrow.

Glenn Borchardt said...

You are right. I now use only computer dates. They are always in sequence. Unfortunately, this "time" you will have to wait for tomorrow. Sorry for the mixup.

Rita said...

I also reached the conclusion that time is motion. And motion shall be dependent on energy? Like a potential? I'm also interested in the concept of biological (time) motion, the fact that elements of the same species are are complex systems in motion share more or less the same motion/lifespan.

Glenn Borchardt said...

Rita, thanks for the comment and questions. Remember that energy is a calculation. It neither exists nor occurs. What does exist, is the thing in motion; what does occur is the motion of that thing. So, if anything, our energy calculation is dependent on motion, not the other way around. Potential is similar, being a calculation of what would happen if certain parts of the universe changed. That is, an apple on the table will be pushed to the floor if the table is suddenly shoved aside.

Biological microcosms, being infinitely complicated, share similar motions because they have evolved under similar univironmental conditions. We see this among primates, who share similar DNA and generally have similar life spans. The limit for humans is the result of our special interactions with the macrocosm. As with all microcosms, our various submicrocosms come together for awhile, tarry for a while, and then depart. The duration of the “tarry” can be altered through diet, exercise, safety consciousness, etc., but each of the submicrocosms (organs, chemical compounds, elements, etc.) is in motion, with each having its own “tarry” duration as well. Those are only half of the critical motions involved. Supermicrocosms within the macrocosm are constantly colliding with us, producing chemical and physical motions that are often inimitable to our continued existence. In the face of such infinite complication, getting as many as 100 trips around the Sun is about all we can expect.

Anonymous said...

What is time but motion? What is motion but heat? And are not heat and energy but different names for the same thing?

Glenn Borchardt said...

Anon wrote: “What is time but motion? What is motion but heat? And are not heat and energy but different names for the same thing?”

[GB: In the infinite universe there are an infinite different types of motion, with heat being only one of them. Generally, we think of heat as the motion of submicrocosms or supermicrocosms of especially small size. For example, hitting a nail on the head causes some of the motion of the microcosm (hammer) to increase the motion of submicrocosms in the nail and in the hammer. We can measure this motion, calling it heat. Some of the motion also can accelerate the motion of surrounding air molecules. Some will be transferred as wave motion in the aether medium.

In neomechanics, heat and energy definitely are not the same. While heat is motion, energy is a calculation. For instance, in the equation: E=mc2, the matter part is “m” and the motion part is “c”. We use matter-motion terms such as E to help us understand matter in motion and the motion of matter, although energy is neither.]

Bligh said...

Anon, I agree with GB but like to think of heat and other forms of energy as vibration, in a more foundational way of speaking or expressing things. Actually, I prefer oscillation, but thats another story.
And yes, it is confusing to me as well when GB says energy is neither matter nor motion. Then besides a technical answer that it is only a measurement, how else can we relate to energy things?

Glenn Borchardt said...


Remember that submicrocosmic motion can have an infinity of types. Vibrations, oscillations, etc. can increase as a result of supermicrocosmic impacts across the microcosmic boundary. That is what an increase in temperature is. For instance, when you are sick and have a fever, the thermometer measures those internal motions as the submicrocosms within your body collide with the thermometer. This causes the internal motions of the thermometer liquid to have increased motion (usually vibration) that we record as an increase in temperature (i.e., an increase in heat).

Again, there are no energy "things." Without thinking about it much, indeterminists have imagined energy to be some miraculous matterless motion that flies through the sky like the angels it is imagined to be associated with.

Anonymous said...

Consider this: A isolated mind outside of space. A incorporeal being that exists as a mental entity only. This being will not be able to experience motion, but still can experience time. If this being thinks thought A, then thought B, thought C, etc....It is thinking in chronology, the thoughts go in a definite order in time.
We experience this within our own minds.

A mental being does experience a sort of time in that one thought leads to the next in a chronological sequence. This is an example of the experience of time as flow, which is an illusion. Couldn't you say then that time is not just motion but also can be sequence of thoughts? A mental being has to experience a type of time, or else all is static like a picture.

Glenn Borchardt said...


Sorry, but “time is motion” still holds for your example. That is because thinking is the result of motion in the brain. The “flow” that you mention with regard to the chronosequence is simply cause and effect, with each cause necessarily preceding its resulting effect.

Anonymous said...

A theoretical mental entity does not have a brain, or a body. A ghost for example, or a spirit, or even God.
Outside of space, can time exist?
Yes, as a sequence of thoughts or chronology.

Glenn Borchardt said...


Anon: “A theoretical mental entity does not have a brain, or a body. A ghost for example, or a spirit, or even God.”

[GB: Sorry, Anon, there can be no such things. According to the Fourth Assumption of Science, inseparability (Just as there is no motion without matter, so there is no matter without motion). The brain is matter and mental activity is the motion within the brain.
You have hypothesized an impossibility. There are an infinite number of possibilities. Why spend your time on impossibilities?]

Anon: “Outside of space, can time exist?”

[GB: No. There is nothing “outside of space.” The infinite universe exists everywhere. Also, time does not exist, it occurs.]

Anon: “Yes, as a sequence of thoughts or chronology.”

[GB: Egads! You must be on the wrong website. I suggest that you check out Deepak. He has many more impossibilities for you. Like other immaterialists, he thinks that the entire universe was created by consciousness. Have fun with that!]

Anonymous said...

Dont agree with Deepak.
I don't care about impossibilities. I think outside the box, and can conjecture anyting I like.
A hypothetical mental realm is not impossible.
Here is an impossiblilty: A Universe coming from nothing at all. Nihil fit ex nihilo.

Glenn Borchardt said...


Glad you agree that the explosion of the entire universe out of nothing is an impossibility. Now, get rid of the tendency to hypothesize minds without matter. That is exactly what Deepak does in spades.

BTW: Back in 2008 I mentioned a particularly stupid article in the New York Times about "naked brains" floating around in space:


The follow-up comment was more detailed and especially appropriate to your thinking "outside the box" with little guidance other than the the indeterminism we are all taught in school:


Anonymous said...

Interesting, thanks.
No minds without matter.
We are made from the matter of the Universe, so in a sense we are a part of the Universe which has become conscious of itself.

Bligh said...

Anon, as far as we know minds are a process that brain accomplish. We have no evidence for any other minds. Applying consciousness to the universe is idealistic and Platonic, not science.

George Coyne said...

“Time is motion” does not mean that the definition that regressive physicists have for time in the “spacetime” concept nor the definition that most people have in the “flowing time” concept equates with motion. To use either of those definitions for time and then think these refer to the same occurrence as motion would be absurd. To understand the meaning of “time is motion” it is necessary to start by clearly defining motion,and then use that definition for time.Wikipedia states:”In physics, motion is a change in position of an object with respect to time”. The last four words of the definition are confusing and need to be replaced with the words “with respect to other objects” to accurately define motion. Using this definition one can then understand that “time” is a change in position of an object in relation to other objects. That defines specific time. Universal time, as Glenn Borchardt states, “is the motion of everything with respect to everything else”, which means a change in position of each object to all other objects.It is important to keep in mind that although time can be measured it does not refer to measurement but rather the
position change of objects in relation to other objects.

S V Kassie said...

The real question is:
If 'motion' then 'non-motion'?
I have concluded that motion implies non-motive states. If a non-motive state exists (motion is time) then it exists in the absence of time.
Motion=Time therefore non-motion=non-time.

If non-time exists then we are the abberation.

If so, then non-time is the resting state of existence.

Which makes existence a state that is independent of motion and time or their opposites.

This is illogical on many levels.

Go Live your Life, Love your Wife, and Sheath your Knife.

Glenn Borchardt said...

From SV Kassie:

The real question is:
If 'motion' then 'non-motion'?

[GB: Sorry SV, but that is not a “real” question. Motion occurs, but “non-motion,” of course, does not.]

I have concluded that motion implies non-motive states.

[GB: Sorry, but this is a non sequitur. That would be a violation of the Fourth Assumption of Science, inseparability (Just as there is no motion without matter, so there is no matter without motion). What you suggest is an idealization, which can never occur or exist. Some similar, but impossible idealizations are: nothing, empty space, nonexistence. ]

If a non-motive state exists (motion is time) then it exists in the absence of time.
Motion=Time therefore non-motion=non-time.

[GB: Sorry, but per inseparability, there can be no thing that does not experience motion (time). Everything in the universe moves with respect to everything else. In particular, each microcosm must have submicrocosms that resist the motions of the supermicrocosms in the macrocosm.]

If non-time exists then we are the aberration.

[GB: Good thing non-time does not exist. BTW: time does not exist, it occurs.]

If so, then non-time is the resting state of existence.

[GB: Sorry, but there can be no resting states in the universe (i.e., let there be no rest for the weary).]

Which makes existence a state that is independent of motion and time or their opposites.

[GB: That is pure idealism, and therefore impossible, per inseparability. That view stems from the idea of eternal life, which is only an idea and totally contradicts all the evidence that everything is in motion.]

This is illogical on many levels.

[GB: You got that right!]

Dlyaza said...

Befor realizing that time is motion... 10 years before, I asked myself is there anything in the universe that not has motion? The answer is no. As we knew now that galaxies orbits around universe and the whole universe expanding. Then there will be nothing that we can say that its not in motion... in another word, if something note move then dosent exit because its outside time (motion).

After that, I realized that time is motion itself. Motion is time for sure and I imagined because every single atom of universy in motion then without motion no time exists and realized again that motion shall be time.

Another good question: why universy still expanding? I think it must because time is infinite and motion represents it.

I am now confused with something else what if everything stopped... no motion observed and so the time ends!

Glenn Borchardt said...


You are getting there...except that the universe is not expanding and there is no chance that all motion will stop in the Infinite Universe.

AHB said...

Thank you so much for this explanation of motion. I am a simple elementary school teacher and I am reading all I can to understand it well enough to host a class discussion about it. Thank you again!

Glenn Borchardt said...


You are welcome. Your students will be super advanced. Congrats on doing such a great job!

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