Old_ClockWhat is time? If the image of a clock appears in your mind, reconsider. It is something we take as fundamental to our existence, a plug in a physics formula, a tool by which to schedule our day. But tell me, what IS time? Does it change? Has it always been around? Even before the Big Bang? Can we time travel? Well, yes! We’re all doing it right now as the seconds pass…

Einstein’s theory of relativity suggests time shortens or lengthens as velocity changes relative to another object. Objects… something with mass and three spatial dimensions. Mass is basically resistance as energy interacts with an external field. E=mc², Higgs Boson and all that. So if the strength/ weakness of the resistance field changes, our mass changes. Perhaps if we found a lever to control this resistance it could become the next diet fad, despite tearing apart our universe as we know it. But, back to time.

Do you believe there is a future? A past? A present? Well then, this implies time is fundamental to existence. This view is supported by many intellectuals, so you’re in good company. It implies time existed before the Big Bang, ticking away the seconds just like we experience today. The Big Bang was instead The Big Bounce, or perhaps a newly formed Bubble Universe. Quantum physics would appear to support this view of time as the wave length of particles move through space. Philosophers tag this type of time “A-theory.”

What if we shifted the term future to ‘happening after,’ past becomes ‘happening prior,’ and the present becomes ‘simultaneous.’ This is much more than semantics, it instead argues time is tenseless. It implies time is emergent, possibly didn’t exist before the Big Bang. It is more consistent with the theory of relativity, in which a human could theoretically accelerate close to the speed of light, slowing time for them relative to us, and return home to find hundreds of years have passed. This type of time is called “B -theory.” It too has many supporters among intellectuals.

This debate is woven into the fabric of Evolved, including consideration of chance, free will and determinism. Present, or simultaneous time, becomes a special point when possibility meets knowledge. In Evolved, the Big Bang can be thought of as the Big Division, when the resistance field first interacted with a singularity. This dynamic suddenly created mass (and time), splitting the singularity into the four dimensions we know and everything else we don’t. The present point holds the answers in Evolved, but proves surprisingly difficult to attain and control (are our four dimensions determinate from within our reality?). It forces the protagonist, fourteen year-old Amos, to consider higher dimensions within the universe and even spirituality in a society that has abandoned such notions.