Understanding Time

Time – what is it? St. Augustine wrote, “What, then, is time? If no one asks me, I know. But if I want to explain it to someone, I do not know.” Perhaps we should ask: Did time have a beginning? A very old question, indeed. But how can we imagine a world before time began?

If we count backwards beyond the clock, beyond the calendar, three and a half billion years, we arrive at our own beginning – the dawn of life on earth. Science has a word for it: biogenesis. The birth of life. With life, nature created a new kind of time; more advanced, more evolved from the time of the physical world.

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