The Leap Second

By | 11:39:00 Leave a Comment

Over the weekend I sat in a discussion group concerning the leap second. A bit like the leap year the leap second added in to the year in order to keep the atomic (digital) clock in line with the solar clock, measured by the earth's spin. Our planet has begun slowing down in it's spin and like anything that does this, it's getting slower. This means that there as it takes a little longer to do one full spin, it falls out of sync with our 24 hour clock.

Over the past number of years 25 seconds have been added in to the atomic clock, but this is said to have caused disruption computer systems worldwide, and leaves systems open to fraud etc.
USA have proposed that we ditch the leap second along with the solar clock, and just measure time by the atomic clock, which will eventually (slowly) place our measurement of time out of sync with nature.

It's like having a watch that says 12:00 while the clock on the wall reads 12:05, we have to decide which one is the real time. Is the clock right, or the watch? Which do we go by, or do we just think, hey it's lunch time I need food?

There are many areas of society from astrology to navigation etc where this proposal has caused a fair bit of debate, out go the sun dials and star navigation methods and in come looking at our mobile for the time and travelling by gps (something i'm pretty sure we all do anyway).

From my perspective it was interesting to see the Christian arguments that have been placed.
Well, only one really.
"It is arrogant to think we can change God's clock."
From my own Christian perspective, looking at this issue, i'm not sure that we will be doing anything that leads us away from scripture, or that causes us to sin if we were to take this direction. We'll still have day and night, morning and evening as nature dictates, and as God set in motion in Genesis 1&2. The sun will rise, set and the moon will be in the sky as we sleep. Time measurement (the clock) will simply fall out of sync slightly with the solar clock.

My own gut reaction is to want to keep things as they are, but I really don't (so far anyway) see any legitimate reasons why the leap second can't be dropped. Likewise I haven't seen convincing arguments that it should be dropped. So I guess the debate will continue . . .