Are There Such Things As Events?

Humans throw around the term “events” as happenings within their everyday lives. The question is though, are there such things as absolutely discrete events, or is life, the Universe and everything just one long continuum?

Events may happen but what’s defined as an event depends on who or what you are. A home-run in baseball is a finite event from the point of view of humans – players and spectators and TV viewers. But for the bat and the baseball concerned and the subsequent impact made on whatever structure in the outfield stands would all have different perspectives. To the bat, the impact of the ball wasn’t a home-run event but a split-second impact event. The impact in the stands was another impact event, not a home-run event. To the baseball, it experienced two impact events. The home-run part was just part of an ongoing continuum since the baseball existed prior to the impact with the bat and after the impact with the stands.

The water cycle (ongoing motion) isn’t a unique event. The water cycle is an ever ongoing continuum. Even one rainstorm isn’t an event. When does it start? When the first drop falls or when the first drop hits the ground and didn’t it start before it reached you and didn’t it stop until after it passed you by? And the fate of one drop wasn’t the same as the fate of an adjoining drop since one drop might have been part of the runoff and another sank into the ground and was immediately absorbed by a thirsty plant and yet another drop immediately evaporated again. So, is the rainstorm an event in its own right or is the falling of each raindrop an event in its own right? If you are a person you might differ from that of a water molecule.

Is sunrise an event? When actually is sunrise? Is it when the night sky starts to lighten? Is it when the top of the Sun clears the horizon or does the entire Sun have to be above the horizon? When does sunrise stop being sunrise? And somebody to the east or west of you will see their sunrise at a slightly different time then you see your sunrise. So, can you really pin down sunrise as an event?

In fact any motion is a continuum. Motion might not always be obvious at the macro level, it’s always apparent certainly on the micro level. Only at Absolute Zero would all motion cease but that can never be achieved or happen as long as energy exists however dilute it might be.

You start and finish a drink, say a bottle of beer or whatever. To you, that was a finite event, but an event not recognized by any of the individual water molecules within.

I’ve previously suggested that life forms, like humans, are a finite event. Now I’m not so sure. At conception, a human (i.e. – you for example) actually consisted of previously not-you materials (genetic bio-chemicals mainly). At death, your stuff still continues to exist, in fact most of your body cells will still be alive and viable for a little while post your clinical death. If you refer to your consciousness as being the real finite you, then you didn’t exist for quite some time after you were conceived, and your consciousness (which is ever changing and in flux throughout your lifespan) could cease to be for all practical purposes way before your actual clinical death.

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