For Every Science there is a Time Scale

Scott Virden Anderson Blog

One of the most dramatic features of 20th Century science is how vastly expanded our scientific time scales became.

Starting with Max Planck’s proposal on the eve of the new century of a minimum time possible (later known as the Planck time), to the realization mid century that the universe might be upwards of ten billion years old, scientific time was stretched way beyond what we can conceive.

May take us a while to catch up in our thinking.

Meanwhile, a careful look at any field of science will reveal specific kinds of time scales associated with each one.

Thus, it can be said that for every science there is a time scale (or set of time scales) that researchers in that field have found as most useful for their specific field.

Especially important for how we think about time as a whole, however, is the time scale chosen for cosmology.

Working in close conjunction with theoretical physics, cosmology is now primarily responsible for how we think of time as a whole.

Since Big Bang theory has become a major focus of both sciences, the time scale that works best for them is one that shows time beginning at the Big Bang itself—in the “Planckian Epoch”—and proceeding, ever more slowly as the universe has expanded, to the present.

This is also the specific kind of time scale currently favored by those devoted to science education for the public—from Carl Sagan’s "Cosmos" series (globally the single most widely watched PBS series ever), to massive displays at the Museum of Natural History’s Rose Center in Manhattan, to similar educational field trip destinations around the world.

This timeline is generally presented as “THE TIMELINE OF THE COSMOS”—without any fine print about how this is just one particular way of presenting time—one that works especially well for cosmology.

However, it seems no one has noticed that this specific time scale does not work well for humans in general.  Why?

Look carefully at these scales and you’ll find—as dramatized by Sagan in his series via "The Cosmic Calendar"—that “all of human history has taken place in just this last little tiny bit of time.”

At the Rose Center—the largest glass wall building in the world—after walking down the 360 foot ramp of the Heilbrun Cosmic pathway we find, at the end: “the duration of recorded human history is portrayed as the thickness of a human hair.”

What about me?  What about my life time?  Not even the tiniest bit of nothing compared to all the vast reaches of time since the Big Bang, my child.

Translated message: “you, my child, are of virtually no significance.”  Thus sayeth the Great Ones of Science.

How wrong is that!?

It doesn’t have to be this way!

We can turn that time scale around 180 degrees.

By putting the Planck time on the inside of Now—and not just “at the start of it all”—and using a logarithmic scale dramatic things happen!

We get a cosmological time scale for humans—I call it “Anthropic”—meaning specifically “for humans.”  (See details elsewhere on this website)

It has three broad domains that correspond beautifully to outer experience, experience of the body/mind, and deep inner experiences of intuition and meditation.

This is the time scale that I suggest is best suited for developing a robust science of subtle energies.

It is not “in competition” with existing time lines—every science is free to chooses a time line that works best for its field of interest.

It will be, I propose, in the context of this “Anthropic Cosmological Timeline” that scientific theories of subtle, and causal energies, and the non dual dimension of human experience can be developed.

Cosmologists can keep their time line, geologists theirs, biologists theirs, etc… no problem.

But now we have a way of at least beginning to think scientifically about the subjective and the depth dimensions of human experience that are otherwise pretty much simply “not on the map” if we confine ourselves to the one single timeline chosen by the one field of cosmology.

Pretty simple, really