Humans invented how we measure time.
I've thought of time a lot since starting to write Season of the Sand Bird. Neanderthal's didn't have 'time' as we know it. Day started when the sun came up. Night started with the sun fell. No references to 'time' is in Sand Birds. There are no 'give me a sec', or 'by the end of the week...'. Everything is 'quickly' or 'in a moment' or perhaps, 'a moon later' or 'I'm 16 summers old'. Back then, time was seasons, days and nights, moments collected and separated. Not a single ticking clock, anywhere.
Well, doh, you say. But continue.
So I've had random thoughts on what time is. I suspect 'time', as we know it, was invented by the first guy who turned to the second guy, and said, I'll hire you for a full day to pull my plants. Then the Greeks likely came along and said, Dude, that's nuts. The day is longer in summer than in winter, you're getting jipped out of a lot of time from this worker. Lets figure out a way to set time in concrete. So they thought about it, and made a little widget, that marks out the seasons, larger to smaller.
It takes this long for the sun to circle the earth. That is a 'year'. And if we break up the year into parts, dedicated to the god it represents, we'll get months. And broken again, so we know when to kill something, to weeks, then days. And again to hours. And really, that's all we needed, but some guy with OCD was on the committee, so it went a bit farther, into minutes and seconds. Then some wizard created a widget that went tick, tock (well, more likely, splish, splash, as the first clocks were water based.).
And there you have it. Time as we know it.
Humans were the center of the universe. We knew this because the universe circled the earth in a very logical and repetitive way. Measure time? Easy peasy, just watch the moon. Watch how the sun wobbles around us. See the constellations rise and fall in easily predicted ways? We have clocks, measuring time as God knows it, exactly as seen by the humans watching the sky.
Moving forward a little bit, we come to why I'm writing this.
I had posted a link about Neanderthal DNA, you-all know I do like them, heh. And a guy posted a helpful link to a book on Enock. The christian Enock, not my great-uncle Enock. It was his subtle way of reminding me that human's weren't created until only 6,000 years ago. So Neanderthal's and Human's could not have been having sex, cause Neanderthals weren't human and they weren't alive any more.
Christians came to this 6,000 year mark, if I understand the theology, by counting generations. So-n-so begat whosit, who begat wassisname. I'm okay with that, so long as they remembered that some of those folks were making babies when they were 120 years old, and factored each age in, for each begat, and didn't just say '20 years for each generation', which is a rule of thumb when you're doing your ancestry. And another ancestry detail is I am begat from Adam, too, we ALL are, right? So if I said 'Adam begat Feath', this is totally right. I am his descendant. Not counting every person between the two of us is fine. This makes me wonder, how many generations did the begatting miss? Well, it doesn't really matter, its a side channel I stumbled down, and doesn't technically relate to the point I am slowly getting to. The thing I was looking at was the hard figure of 6,000 years.
6,000 years is pretty definite. No getting around that!
We know what time is. Oh, yeah, scientists are re-viewing that evaluation, but we KNOW what time is. We punch in to work, we punch out for lunch. We look at our phone which gives us the time, or the tiny clock we have strapped to our arm. As I write this, it is 09:08 AM April 11th, 2016, by my computer clock. I can't look anywhere without being told what time it is.
Because human's set time in concrete when they invented time. They watched the sun circle the earth. They watched the constellations undulate in the night sky. They knew how God made time.
The egocentricity of it leaves me breathless.
What is God's wrist watch?
In my room, I have many moving things. Some things move once a minute. Some move thousands of times a second. Each is moving to it's own sense of time and function. The universe has billions of stars, and many more billions of planets. Some are moving in their yearly cycle quickly. Some are moving slowly. Each one of them is counting time, as we count it. We've just inflicted earth 'time' to them. Such-and-such planet has a cycle of 1 and 1/2 years. No, it has a cycle of 1.5 earth years, as we count earth years. It's own year is exactly 1 year.
Now, when we are trying to figure out the true time, where one thing is moving super slow, and one thing super fast, at the same time we go to our default time keeper and say, okay, object A moved 100 times in 1 minute, and object B moved 100,000 times in 1 minute. Just cause I'm old fashioned, I'm going to say we look at our wrist watch and not our smart phone. Bare with me on that.
Our understanding of time came when we thought the sun orbited the earth. We still use it to this day. Our damn doomsday clock uses it, even.
But how can we be so self-centered to think that God has his wrist watch set to earth time? In his room, the universe, he has things that run slow and fast. What is God's wrist watch?
I say God's wrist watch is a light-year.
When I told my husband about this theory, he got the patient manly look all men get when correcting the little woman in her poor thinking skills. "But, feath, what IS a light year?" he said in that tone men have when setting a trap. "It is the amount of time light gets from point A to point B in one year." I say. He smirks, gently. "Distance. Light years measure distance, not time."
A brief wiggle, and I admit defeat. Yes, light years measure distance.
Triumphant, he sleeps the sleep of the righteous.
Which gives me time to think. What is a year? A year is the about of time it takes for the earth to travel around the sun and get back to it's starting point. The time it takes to move the distance around the sun. A day the amount of time it takes the earth to spin, to return to its starting point, the distance calculated by how wide the planet is.
Time, as we use it, is broken down into how long it takes for something to get from point A to point B and back again. A human's journey.
And so - planets spin in their yearly cycles, fast and slow. Universes are born, black holes regurgitate, things die and things explode. Fast, long and everything in between. What is God's wrist watch?
It's a light-year.
How long is a light year? I checked NASA, and here is what it said:
The light-year is a measure of distance, not time. It is the total distance that a beam of light, moving in a straight line, travels in one year. To obtain an idea of the size of a light-year, take the circumference of the earth (24,900 miles), lay it out in a straight line, multiply the length of the line by 7.5 (the corresponding distance is one light-second), then place 31.6 million similar lines end to end. The resulting distance is almost 6 trillion (6,000,000,000,000) miles!
Of course, the first thing I see is 'is a measure of distance, not time'. But we'll come back to that.
A light year is 6 trillion miles. Now lets go back to christians measurement of 6,000 years. And lets uses God's wrist watch to time that. Comes out to be about 36,000 earth years. Damn if that isn't exactly about the time modern humans were taking a step out of africa. Give or take, and bearing in mind I'm dyslexic and can't balance my check book.
Basicly, what I'm saying, is if we use God's timepiece and not ours, science and religion can walk together without fighting. And I'm NOT religious. I'm not saying this to justify religion, any religion.
Back to the 'distance, not time', NASA says. I challenge you, my boy. You got some great brains over there, but you're still working with Greek water clocks and the God Mars, in how you calculate time. Light years might be distance, but the shadow it casts is time. Just as we look at the color spectrum to see what something is made of, just as we see the dimming and brightening of a star to know what is in front of it. We can know things about things by how other things react to it. And by our ancient method of telling time, the amount of distance it takes for an object (earth) to travel from point A to point B (around the sun and back again), is time.
There for, I say in spite of all science telling me I'm stupid (get in line, mate), I disagree. A light year is a time. And I think, if there is a God, it's his wrist watch.