The Amondawa lacks the linguistic structures that relate time and space — as in our idea of, for example, "working through the night". The study, in Language and Cognition, shows that while the Amondawa recognise events occuring in time, it does not exist as a separate concept. The idea is a controversial one, and further study will bear out if it is also true among other Amazon languages. The Amondawa were first contacted by the outside world in 1986, and now researchers from the University of Portsmouth and the Federal University of Rondonia in Brazil have begun to analyse the idea of time as it appears in Amondawa language. "We're really not saying these are a 'people without time' or 'outside time'," said Chris Sinha, a professor of psychology of language at the University of Portsmouth. "Amondawa people, like any other people, can talk about events and sequences of events," he told BBC News.
Tag Archives | time
David Metcalfe provides a thorough look at Joscelyn Godwin’s Atlantis and the Cycles of Time: Prophecies, Traditions, and Occult Revelations:
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Existing in the liminal spaces of the cultural narrative Atlantis has been a magnet for alternative theories of history and a tool for those looking for a vision of unity in the evolutionary development of human culture. With the solidification of allegory during the Enlightenment Atlantis provided the perfect mythic capstone for rationalists in a quest for historical accuracy in their explorations of the possibilities of a perennial culture.
From the 17th century inquiries of Athanasius Kircher to the publication of Ignatius Donnelly’s Atlantis: The Antediluvian World in 1882, the empirical search for Atlantis has provided an impetus for archaeological speculation on the unification of cultures across the globe. Where present facts show disunity, the idea of an advanced and far reaching civilization in prehistory gave momentum for theorists to develop complex models of cultural evolution using Atlantean civilization as the missing link.
The future has yet to be determined, but what about the past? This recent Huffington Post piece discusses the possibility that what you do in the present shapes both future and past — “historical events such as who killed JFK, might depend on events that haven’t occurred yet.”
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Recent discoveries require us to rethink our understanding of history. “The histories of the universe,” said renowned physicist Stephen Hawking “depend on what is being measured, contrary to the usual idea that the universe has an objective observer-independent history.”
Is it possible we live and die in a world of illusions? Physics tells us that objects exist in a suspended state until observed, when they collapse in to just one outcome. Paradoxically, whether events happened in the past may not be determined until sometime in your future — and may even depend on actions that you haven’t taken yet.
In 2002, scientists carried out an amazing experiment, which showed that particles of light “photons” knew — in advance −- what their distant twins would do in the future.
Rachel Courtland asks a deep question in New Scientist:
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Ever since Arthur Eddington travelled to the island of Príncipe off Africa to measure starlight bending around the sun during a 1919 eclipse, evidence for Einstein’s theory of general relativity has only become stronger. Could it now be that starlight from distant galaxies is illuminating cracks in the theory’s foundation?
Everything from the concept of the black hole to GPS timing owes a debt to the theory of general relativity, which describes how gravity arises from the geometry of space and time. The sun’s gravitational field, for instance, bends starlight passing nearby because its mass is warping the surrounding space-time. This theory has held up to precision tests in the solar system and beyond, and has explained everything from the odd orbit of Mercury to the way pairs of neutron stars perform their pas de deux.
Yet it is still not clear how well general relativity holds up over cosmic scales, at distances much larger than the span of single galaxies.