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Resolving the "time travel paradox"

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posted on May, 21 2011 @ 06:39 PM
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I am sure I am not the first to have thought of this, becuase it seems so obvious and elegant, and it completely does away with the so-called "time-travel paradox."

What is the time-travel paradox? Most of you have probably heard it formulated in one way or another before. It is commonly put forth as follows, for example: "Time travel is paradoxical because if you could travel in time you could go back and kill yourself as a baby, or kill your grandfather as a baby. Then you'd never be born, so you would never have been able to go back in time and do the deed in the first place, so it's a paradox."

A lot of ink has been spilled over this, but all you really need to know is this: It would be a paradox if that happened, but it is still possible for there to be time travel without that paradox occurring. How? Well, suppose you went back in time on a theoretical mission to kill yourself as a baby. You could find yourself having traveled back in time, but it would be impossible for you to actually kill your childhood self. Somehow your plans would always be stymied -- the bus you were riding on would break down, say. Or you'd get close to the kid, but its/your dad would brain you over the head with a baseball bat or something. The point is, you could theoretically travel back (and forward) in time, but because of the way reality is structured, those paradoxes would simply not occur for whatever reason, and it it would all work out, a single interlocked system with no internal pardoxes.




posted on May, 21 2011 @ 06:42 PM
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reply to post by FailedProphet
 


hmmmm, good point.
idk what to say next.



posted on May, 21 2011 @ 06:42 PM
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reply to post by FailedProphet
 


That would make sense and I like the idea, but I don't really see how some unknown force preserving reality would work, and what would control that force.



posted on May, 21 2011 @ 06:43 PM
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There is also the alternate reality possibility. If you did travel back and kill yourself, you would create a new branch, a new reality where you never existed while in your current branch you still exist.



posted on May, 21 2011 @ 06:47 PM
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Originally posted by FailedProphet
I am sure I am not the first to have thought of this, becuase it seems so obvious and elegant, and it completely does away with the so-called "time-travel paradox."

What is the time-travel paradox? Most of you have probably heard it formulated in one way or another before. It is commonly put forth as follows, for example: "Time travel is paradoxical because if you could travel in time you could go back and kill yourself as a baby, or kill your grandfather as a baby. Then you'd never be born, so you would never have been able to go back in time and do the deed in the first place, so it's a paradox."

A lot of ink has been spilled over this, but all you really need to know is this: It would be a paradox if that happened, but it is still possible for there to be time travel without that paradox occurring. How? Well, suppose you went back in time on a theoretical mission to kill yourself as a baby. You could find yourself having traveled back in time, but it would be impossible for you to actually kill your childhood self. Somehow your plans would always be stymied -- the bus you were riding on would break down, say. Or you'd get close to the kid, but its/your dad would brain you over the head with a baseball bat or something. The point is, you could theoretically travel back (and forward) in time, but because of the way reality is structured, those paradoxes would simply not occur for whatever reason, and it it would all work out, a single interlocked system with no internal pardoxes.


Its a thought but its also completely unsupported conjecture. There's nothing to back this whatsoever.



posted on May, 21 2011 @ 06:48 PM
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Yep, that's been proposed before.
There are in fact quite a few proposed "solutions" to the grandfather paradox. Lots of them are located in that fount of all knowledge, wikipedia:

en.wikipedia.org...

Though you may consider it "simple" and "elegant", you're effectively assigning intelligence to natural forces, which are conspiring to prevent you from creating a paradox... which is an issue in and of itself.



posted on May, 21 2011 @ 06:58 PM
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Originally posted by FailedProphet
those paradoxes would simply not occur for whatever reason


I think that's the problem with this theory, we need to know why those things couldn't occur. We can't just say that our plans will always be stymied somehow, because that is a major assumption that needs at least some sort of proof.

I don't see how the universe can structure itself in such a way that time travelers would not be able to alter the future. Do you have any ideas on how this could be possible? In order for the universe to take counteractive measures as you proposed, the universe would have to be self-aware, and that just seems too far-fetched for my liking.

The whole time travel stuff is way beyond my comprehension so I don't even want to make an attempt at theorizing how it would be possible, but I just wanted to share my thoughts on your post.



posted on May, 21 2011 @ 07:00 PM
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reply to post by FailedProphet
 


I don't know why these physicists have to make time travel so complicated. I mean, how about go back in time and DON'T kill yourself or your family? Problem solved.



posted on May, 21 2011 @ 07:04 PM
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reply to post by FailedProphet
 


Interesting proposition. Normally, I have no interest in the science/theories/issues behind time travel but I was thinking about it the other day and I came up with the idea that even if we did invent Time Travel we would only be able to go back as far as the exact moment the invention was built.



posted on May, 21 2011 @ 07:22 PM
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Either that, or you would become that baby.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 12:44 AM
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I totally agree, but if you go back in time, and to avoid making a time-paradox, you must not interact with anyone, because that can cause different results in the future. Back to the Future is a perfect example of this.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 03:17 AM
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Thank you all for your replies.

For now I would like to address two points in particular...which are actually the same point


Originally posted by Awen24
Though you may consider it "simple" and "elegant", you're effectively assigning intelligence to natural forces, which are conspiring to prevent you from creating a paradox... which is an issue in and of itself.




Originally posted by Epiphron

Originally posted by FailedProphet
those paradoxes would simply not occur for whatever reason


I think that's the problem with this theory, we need to know why those things couldn't occur. We can't just say that our plans will always be stymied somehow, because that is a major assumption that needs at least some sort of proof.

I don't see how the universe can structure itself in such a way that time travelers would not be able to alter the future. Do you have any ideas on how this could be possible? In order for the universe to take counteractive measures as you proposed, the universe would have to be self-aware, and that just seems too far-fetched for my liking.

The whole time travel stuff is way beyond my comprehension so I don't even want to make an attempt at theorizing how it would be possible, but I just wanted to share my thoughts on your post.


OK, I don't really have the words for this so I am not sure how to explain it properly, but I guess what I would say is that the two above posts are thinking very much in terms of causality. That is, "mechanisms" and "ways of doing things..." in other words, processess, involving a cause-and-effect view of reality.

Now, consider: That is not an incorrect way of looking at reality, but there are other ways of viewing reality, just as the same landscape can be looked at from high above or from down on the ground level. The landscape would be described and experienced very differently (by all five senses) from above than it would be from on the ground, and different ways of describing it would apply. If you could only conceive of one single one of these ways of looking at the landscape, descriptions rooted in perceptions from the other way of looking at it would seem nonsensical or bizzare.

I think something analogous can be said here: We can talk about cause and effect, and mecahnisms of action, etc. on a micro-level, but those concepts lose their meaning on the macro-level, where reality takes on a more "geographical" or perhaps "topoligical" flavor. So when looking at time travel, you are kind of looking at all of reality from "outside" time, so it's more like a matter of contours that fit naturally together, like a mountain-ridge, than "mechanisms that act." Not a perfect explanation but the best I can do.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 04:38 AM
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Time is an invention of man created to quantify the natural force of existence. If time travel was possible ... you absolutely couldnt change the future. Even before you stepped into the portal your actions would have already happened.

That is to say the past present and future are only an individual's perception. minus the perception than there is no past present or future ... what your left with is just the plane of reality
edit on 22-5-2011 by conspiracyrus because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 05:19 AM
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I don't think time travel will ever be possible. And if we think about it we will see why.
If it were at all possible in the whole history of humans, (in our future) then there would be time travellers who have come back.
Also past and future, time of any sort, are only ideas, concepts. There is no past or future because it is always now.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 05:40 AM
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The way it was told to me , is, if you go back in time, from 20012 back to 1065, in 1065, 20012 does not exist, therefore, you would not be able to go back as you do not exist yet, I chose 20012 as it is far enough in the future to have time travel invented, but its not much use.
Plus, even if you could go back in time, you could not go forward as it does not exist yet! there is the paradox!



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 05:48 AM
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reply to post by FailedProphet
 


Think of space and time as one. I think that folks are basing this on a certian idea that we have figured out what the heck is going on (what space/time/existance/us are). Fact is we can guess all day long, but most of these things have not been sufficiently explained for us to theorize how the process would actually work.

I think its more of a perspective thing. Here is my example. Say we were to work out a way to make a space-craft that could travel from one galaxy to another. On our travel, time as we know it is passing at a different rate than our perspective in our little worm-hole or warp-bubble. So essentially when we get to our destination, eon's may have passed for individuals back on earth. Yet to us only a few days or hours have passed.

We stay for a time, then return to find that we are say 10 years older, yet we left in 2011 and the year of our return is 34,567.

Smell what im stepping in?



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 10:04 AM
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Trying to time travel is like having the monster in your cupboard as a pet.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 10:12 AM
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reply to post by FailedProphet
 


That's the way I see it too, if you go back in time, you went back in time, by the time you're setting out to go back, obviously if your process works, you've already been back and whatever happens while your back had already happened when you went.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 10:14 AM
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reply to post by Dendro
 


I see your point, as time moves forward you could only "loop" back to the point of invention.

Akin too a matchbox car on a track where the car "loops" back then travels forward again.



posted on May, 22 2011 @ 10:28 AM
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reply to post by FailedProphet
 


Hmmm... interesting thread. Thanks for bringing up the topic


Problem is though, aside from 'who' or 'what' would be styme-ing your attempts at changing your own future, is how far does this go? The smallest, most innocuous (is that the right word?) thing can affect your future. A decision made years ago can affect something that happens to you today, even if it seems completely unrelated. So I don't think it is as simple as preventing you from getting on a bus which takes you to your future parent's house or something like that. There would have to be lots more things that you were prevented from doing


Personally I think the idea of multiple universes ('multiverses') solves the Grandfather Paradox. You travel back in time but only in a different universe to the one you are originally from, so you can never adversely affect 'your' reality.

Although whether you could ever get back to your own reality, I'm not entirely sure. My brain isn't clever enough to think about it in that much detail



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