Evocative though these images may be, they run afoul of a deep and devastating paradox. Nothing in known physics corresponds to the passage of time. Indeed, physicists insist that time doesn't flow at all; it merely is. Some philosophers argue that the very notion of the passage of time is nonsensical and that talk of the river or flux of time is founded on a misconception. How can something so basic to our experience of the physical world turn out to be a case of mistaken identity? Or is there a key quality of time that science has not yet identified?
- Our senses tell us that time flows: namely, that the past is fixed, the future is undetermined, and reality lives in the present. Yet various physical and philosophical arguments suggest otherwise.
- The passage of time is probably an illusion. Consciousness may involve either thermodynamic or quantum processes that lend the impression of living moment by moment.