Motion

David Cowles

Aug 25, 2021

Everything that is is in motion. As Thomas Aquinas pointed out, that ‘motion’ can take at least two different forms: (1) the growth and subsequent (or simultaneous) decay of an entity itself; (2) a shift in an entity’s position in space and time relative to the other entities in its frame of reference. (Ultimately, these two forms of motion may turn out to be one and the same – but that’s not what I’m thinking about today.)

Everything that is is in motion. As Thomas Aquinas pointed out, that ‘motion’ can take at least two different forms: (1) the growth and subsequent (or simultaneous) decay of an entity itself; (2) a shift in an entity’s position in space and time relative to the other entities in its frame of reference. (Ultimately, these two forms of motion may turn out to be one and the same – but that’s not what I’m thinking about today.)


Everything that is moves, constantly. Surprisingly though, everything that moves moves at exactly the same speed, c – the speed of light. So, a photon in otherwise empty space is moving at c, as is this couch potato, yours truly. But I am no photon. The difference between me and a photon is simply this: a photon moves almost entirely in space while a couch potato moves almost entirely in time. (When I’m on a plane to LAX, I’m traveling in space as well as in time but, of course, my travel in time still almost totally predominates.)


Point to ponder: if all things are moving at exactly the same speed relative to one another, how is that different from them not moving at all?

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