This is Essay XXI of Mr. Stolyarov’s series, “A Rational Cosmology,” which seeks to present objective, absolute, rationally grounded views of terms such as universe, matter, volume, space, time, motion, sound, light, forces, fields, and even the higher-order concepts of life, consciousness, and volition. See the index of all the essays in “A Rational Cosmology” here.
In “Coordinate Systems,” the necessity of a universal coordinate system for relating the positions of all entities to the positions of all other entities was made explicit. This coordinate system’s applicability was derived from the fact that entities can (and most often do) have varying degrees of spatial separation based on three mutually independent parameters.
It can similarly be claimed, through logic and ubiquitous observation, that entities can (and most often do) have varying degrees of temporal separation based on one parameter.
For example, the temporal separation between George Washington and G. Stolyarov II is of a lesser degree than that between Julius Caesar and G. Stolyarov II. Two entities need not be temporally separate, and it is conceivable (though improbable) that a given entity’s span of existence may match perfectly that of another entity. As a matter of fact, in order to be distinct, two entities need only differ along one spatial dimension, as the example given in “The Euclidean Line” of a possible linear relationship between two distinct boxes demonstrates.
However, the fact that some entities are temporally separate necessitates the existence of a scale to relate their magnitudes of separation. Just as a spatial coordinate system can relate all entities that presently exist using three dimensions, a time scale can relate all entities that ever existed using one dimension.
It must be recalled here that the measurement of time can only increase, and each entity may only have one age at any given instant. This implies that time is indeed a single dimension rather than a multiplicity of them, and can only be measured in terms of one parameter, thus necessitating a linear time scale.
This instantly refutes the common error of Oriental thought systems, which had proposed time to follow a cyclical progression. A cyclical progression, however, implies that the time scale would be circular, not linear, and a circle (or an ellipse, or any other closed curved shape on a planar surface) can only be depicted in terms of two dimensions. Since time is expressible only by one parameter, and since 1 does not equal 2, the time scale can only be depicted linearly.
A spatial coordinate system, in order to accurately depict the positional relationships between all entities and take into account their varying degrees of separation, must exhibit uniform units.
Any scale that is designed to represent inter-entity relationships must similarly be absolutely uniform, even though the span designated a unit on the scale is selected arbitrarily.
Read other parts of “A Rational Cosmology” by clicking here.