Here you sit, reading this article, when suddenly you hear a jet engine from an overhead plane. Aboard this plane, someone else is reading this article. Curiously, you two are not reading it in a relevant time frame. Time is actually moving at a different speed for you on the ground than it is for the person on the plane. It’s not much of a difference, just a few fractions of a second, but it is a difference.
This phenomena is explained among Einstein’s theories of relativity. In it, he says “the passage of time on the fast-moving object is slower than if the object was at rest.” This is why it is scientifically theorized that if you fell into a black hole, all of time would pass before your eyes – the birth and death of the universe. At the black hole’s event horizon, or point of no return, you would hit a terminal velocity of shooting into the black hole, and would be traveling so fast, everything around you would appear to be going faster. This is all very convoluted, but it’s simply to demonstrate the power of the theory.
Taking this information into account, we can only assume that time is not uniform within the Universe. Rather, is it semi-subjective. Perhaps the speed of reality is different here on earth at our cosmic address than it is at another point in the universe.
Consider a star system very closely orbiting a black hole. Time would be going by much faster relative to that star system versus with the universe around it. Now if there were life in this star system, it’s only logical to assume that it would evolve quicker. We know evolution takes millions of years. But what if millions of our years were mere seconds to the life inside this star system. Anything from this theoretical star system would be more far more evolved than anything outside it.
The Drake Equation assumes that the properties capable of starting life, and the properties of a proper, hospitable planet can be broken down to a working formula. It derives that this life-sparking equation which is found on planet earth also exists somewhere else inside the Universe. I imagine the theoretical star system orbiting closely to a black hole would be far more commonplace.
The question of time passing at a different rate isn’t just limited to the scope of a black hole. Let’s examine the Big Bang Theory for a moment. The universe comes to be by exploding in every direction. That was 14 billion years ago. It’s fair to say the Universe has expanded quite a bit since, and still continues to. Things at the edge of the Universe would be moving at a much different rate than things towards the center of the Universe. Therefore, once again, the flow of time would be different throughout the entire Universe.
If time is so subjective, one can’t help but question how much it actually matters. As we understand it, time travel is impossible. Perhaps it’s not as strict a rule as we originally imagined it to be.
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