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CM: Druid42 vs adjensen: Time Travelers may have influenced advances in technology. (TT Series 3)

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posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 09:51 PM
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This is the final part in this Time Travel debate series. I wish to thank adjensen for his willingness to see this debate topic to it's conclusion, the staff for their continuous approvals, and the readers who take their valuable time to peruse these debate topics. The judges get reserved a special appreciation, for their selfless participation, and for providing fair, unbiased, and completely reasonable judgments. Without the volunteer judges, these debates wouldn't excel in the manner that is afforded to them. If you are a volunteer judge, for any debate, you should know your decisions are appreciated beyond belief. That said.....

I'd like to open this debate with a recourse into human history, and follow it with a "pet" theory of mine. There have been periods in human history of stagnation, no development, then certain "blossoms" of creativity. There seem to be certain anomalies in the advancement time-line, certain "boosts", so to speak, that defy normal evolution.

The earliest I'd like to address is the evolutionary branch into Homo Sapiens. The missing link has never been discovered. Of course, there are many theories of alien involvement, but why rely upon them when a simpler explanation is available? Alien involvement is less palatable than the theory, which I'll develop during this debate, that time travelers from the far distant future has ensured our survival by basically re-setting the parameters of the supernova 3.2 billion years from now of our own sun. A comfortable existence can be had within a CTC of a few billion years.

Sumerian, Babylonian, and Egyptian architecture all have images of "anomalies", often attributed to "alien" culture. The "gods" descending from the heavens. That's firmly rooted in the historical record, stories of "gods", yielding superstitious beliefs, yet unproven. Every culture has belief in a "god" or "gods", yet none of them correlate with one another. Why is that?

I'd like to present ideas about modern interventions with technology, but I'll save that for a later point in this debate. For now, I'd like to focus on possibilities in ancient history.

We currently know that we are doomed if we continue to reside on this planet. Billions of years in the future our sun will go supernova, expand into a gas giant, and consume a radius encompassing the orbit of mars. All four inner planets will be burnt to a crisp. Our civilization will end at that point, unless we do something.

Escape to the stars? Perhaps.

Create time travel devices? Perhaps.

Both are plausible escape routes, given our current understanding of physics at this point in time.

Which direction would you prefer?

It's more plausible, for a future generation long removed from us, to consider a colony backwards in time.

Such a colony would entail taking back advanced knowledge, but only biodegradable substances, in order to not corrupt the time line, nor to introduce OOPARTs. A few centuries would ensure a lack of residuals, but also allow the colony to thrive or be reduced into more primitive states.

Not only one colony, but seven.

My "pet" theory is that there is a time loop going on now. Let me expound.

Evolution. We developed from protozoa.

Time-loop. We arrived from the future.

God created everything, We are here because we are.

Each theory is non-falsifiable. They can't be proven. Each is a feasible explanation.

The time travel theory embraces the fact that "gods" can be explained by benevolent travelers wishing to guide past humanity into something better, which has worked to a degree, but is constrained by human nature. They would be accepted as human, because they are human in form, but would be served with "supernatural" powers. It is important to note that the old gods took on other than natural forms. Each is resolved by the nature of the culture being represented.

So, there is a possibility that mankind has been influenced in the past, and has survived repeated global catastrophes, not by their own ingenuity, but by subtle intervention by our future progeny.

I'll continue with showing a trend of the same nature in modern times, an intervention perhaps in the 15th century, the 19th century, and maybe beyond.

For now, I'll yield to adjensen.


edit on 27-11-2012 by Skyfloating because: TitleEdit




posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 09:49 AM
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If I have seen further it is by standing on ye sholders of Giants.

-- Isaac Newton, 15 February 1676

As Newton noted over 300 years ago, progress and insight is not a singular activity -- we all owe a debt to those who came before us, because even when a notion is uniquely earthshaking, it is based on the previous work of others.

The question for this round is whether we are building on the work of those who came before us, or whether we are building on the work of those who will come after us, but who have graced us with knowledge from the future. In a sense, it is quite similar to arguments that I have had with proponents of ancient lost civilizations, who claim that the knowledge of our historical philosophers, mathematicians and scientists were bestowed on them by these mysterious Atlanteans and Lemurians. To say that someone like Plato or Pythagorus could not have arrived at the conclusions and insights that they did on their own is to diminish some of the greatest minds of all times, for no determinable reason at all.

When we look around at the world, do we see shocking advancements, which could only result from radical insights provided by technologists far beyond our capabilities? For some, this might seem the case… my grandmother passed away in 2000, living long enough that she could recall the days before the automobile, radio and telephone, and seeing an age of cell phones, satellite television and the Internet. When I would talk to her about innovations, it was apparent that she viewed a bit of it as "magic", at least in comparison with her youth.

But, as someone who has been intimately involved with some of this technical evolution in the past 30 years, I've seen it more for what it is -- the steady transition of one bit of innovation after the other, built out of bursts of insights by modern day "Pythagorus"s, on the framework of thinkers and inventors before them. As an example, if one is of the mind that instant messaging, email and discussion forums are fairly recent, would it come as a surprise that I was using a computer network in the mid 1970s that had all of those features? When I went to university in 1980, the computer network lacked a "chat" feature, such as I was used to, so I wrote one, based on the system I'd used earlier. For the users of that system, a "chat room" might have seemed a novel and innovative feature, but I just revamped something I already knew of and fashioned a new version of it.

And that's the way that innovation has worked throughout the ages, as we build on the good works of those who preceded us. Sometimes we make major advancements, but rarely are these advancements coming out of left field -- they owe their novelty to either the evolution from, or contrast to, prior work.

 

So, one might ask, why can not some of this "prior work" be the seeds planted by our descendants, time travelers who come back from the future to aid in our development? We have two very good reasons from the earlier debates. First, as was demonstrated earlier, there is no evidence that there ever will be time travelers who can move forward and backward in time, able to interact in a meaningful way with their surroundings.

In the second debate, we saw an experiment conducted at MIT which demonstrated that the Grandfather Paradox poses no problem to time travel, because the Novikov self-consistency principle prevents such paradoxes, and this, I think is the absolute reason that time travelers from the future cannot be introducing technical innovations to the past. As Druid42 pointed out in the first debate, a time machine would be an incredibly complex device, encompassing a number of scientific disciplines, and the MIT experiment shows that none of those disciplines can, in any way, be impacted by the influence of time travel, because it would create a paradox, which we know cannot happen.

Let's say, for example, that the microprocessor was an invention that was introduced by time travelers from the year 2112. As a microprocessor would be a certain component of any time machine, it would have to exist prior to the invention, and subsequent use, of a time machine, so we have a paradox, and we know that paradoxes cannot exist, so by inference, we know that the microprocessor was not introduced by time travelers. This can fairly readily be extended to any technology, being either directly or indirectly associated with the ability to time travel.

Druid42's "time travel colony" theory is an interesting one but presents the exact same problem -- any interaction that the time travelers had with the past which would result in anything that would effect the future would create a paradox, and thus would not happen. The colony would have to be completely isolated, without interaction with any inhabitants of the past, which negates the premise that they would be an influence.



posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 09:33 PM
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I left off my last post with the thought of "subtle" intervention. Nothing akin to a traveler from the future popping back and dropping off a phazer gun or a quantum computer, not at all. I'll continue, but allow me a few minutes to work in a few responses to my opponent.



When we look around at the world, do we see shocking advancements, which could only result from radical insights provided by technologists far beyond our capabilities?

Not inn the least, as that would violate the time-line, and create a new one, with unpredictable results. Any intervention would be done on a local level, perhaps a meeting in a coffee house or pub, a meeting to present ideas to an individual working in a particular field. Say a technician in a lab, out for a coffee, meets a stranger who presents ideas for a problem at work he has been struggling with. Would said technician say he got the idea from a stranger, and ruin his credibility, or would he merely accept the credit as his own innovation? How many times has that happened over the course of history? Quietly accepted, never talked about, but ideas which advance human knowledge.



But, as someone who has been intimately involved with some of this technical evolution in the past 30 years, I've seen it more for what it is -- the steady transition of one bit of innovation after the other, built out of bursts of insights

Perhaps you have worked on an Osborne Executive? I have, and still have one in storage. When I last checked, it still booted into DOS. I don't think the 5 1/4 floppies fared so well.




there is no evidence that there ever will be time travelers who can move forward and backward in time, able to interact in a meaningful way with their surroundings.

No evidence is required, only the subtle effects of their interactions with their past time-line.



we know that paradoxes cannot exist, so by inference, we know that the microprocessor was not introduced by time travelers.

Of course it wasn't. But the conceptual idea, perhaps? The future's history would show when and where to interject needed help.

At this point I'd like to bring up Moore's Law, which states in it's simplest form, that the number of transistor's on an IC doubles every 18 months.


What we are able to talk about now is the exponential growth of technology.


An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense “intuitive linear” view. So we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century — it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate). The “returns,” such as chip speed and cost-effectiveness, also increase exponentially.


because we’re doubling the rate of progress every decade, we’ll see a century of progress–at today’s rate–in only 25 calendar years.


Take for example, the growth of the internet:



It didn't take constant meddling from a group of time travelers to constantly needle us into submission, they simply had to introduce the idea, and humans, of course, took it from there. Does anyone know if Tim Berners-Lee liked coffee?

In fact, the less interference, the better, as the chance of creating a paradox is severely lessened by minimal involvement.

Intervention is only required to introduce new paradigms of thought. Of course, my opponent would like to say humanity struggles along just fine on their own, but periods of stagnation in the development of our species have always been sparked by a new idea, a new direction. Now, we are on an exponentially growing roller-coaster of new technology, new ideas, and there is no end in sight.

Before I run out of space, I'd like to address one more comment about my poor hypothetical colonies in the distant past:


The colony would have to be completely isolated, without interaction with any inhabitants of the past, which negates the premise that they would be an influence.

No isolation is required. As seeds for a new civilization, they would be required to interact with the "locals", with nothing but their own skills and biodegradable materials. In a few generations they would be indistinguishable from the locals, having bred and started families with the indigenous population. One of them, of course, would have wanted to carve a Sphinx, and perhaps build a pyramid or two.



posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 11:06 PM
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I think that, perhaps, I have failed to adequately explain the wall that Druid42 faces in this debate.

It doesn't matter what is introduced from the future, whether something concrete (like a specific item, like a microprocessor,) or something abstract (like the "idea" of a microprocessor,) transferring technology from a future time to the past time presents a paradox, and I have shown that, scientifically, it has been demonstrated that paradoxes are not possible. If a time traveler came from 2112 and presented an idea to an engineer today, if that idea originated with that engineer, there are only two possible outcomes:

1) The engineer came up with the idea independent of the time traveler

or

2) The engineer forgets the idea, or otherwise doesn't develop it

Both of which refute the notion that time travelers have had an impact on the technological development of our society.

The reason for this, again, falls on the Novikov self-consistency principle, which conclusively shows that, if an event would create a paradox, the likelihood of that event occurring is zero. The paradox, in this case, is where the idea originates.

Graphics are always good, even when as crudely done as this (read the red text first, then blue, then green):



In this illustration, we see our paradox -- presuming an innovation that is invented in the future, and brought back to our time by a time traveler.

1) In the current year, the innovation doesn't exist
2) In the future, the innovation is created
3) After that happens, some time traveler decides to bring it back to our time
4) Now, in the current year, the innovation exists
5) In the future, the innovation is NOT created, because it already exists
6) After that doesn't happen, some time traveler doesn't bring it back to our time, because, to him, it already exists there

Which provides our paradox, because how does the innovation get introduced in the current year if the time traveler in the future sees no need to do so?


At this point I'd like to bring up Moore's Law, which states in it's simplest form, that the number of transistor's on an IC doubles every 18 months.

Moore's Law is actually a good piece of evidence for the lack of radical innovation. As can be seen in your graph, we see simple and steady improvement in the number of transistors on an integrated circuit.


Take for example, the growth of the internet:


The problem here is that we are looking at the social adoption of the Internet, which is an aspect of sociology, not one of technology. Grandmas create Facebook accounts because that's where their kids are posting pictures of their grandchildren, not because it's some big technical innovation.


periods of stagnation in the development of our species have always been sparked by a new idea, a new direction. Now, we are on an exponentially growing roller-coaster of new technology, new ideas, and there is no end in sight.

I would propose that the innovations of the past thirty years, which represent this whirlwind of development, have been fueled by an unprecedented period of economic growth, venture capitalism, and the liberation of technical innovation from academic institutions. Everything from google to gene sequencing to big pharma has been coloured by these factors.



The colony would have to be completely isolated, without interaction with any inhabitants of the past, which negates the premise that they would be an influence.

No isolation is required. As seeds for a new civilization, they would be required to interact with the "locals", with nothing but their own skills and biodegradable materials. In a few generations they would be indistinguishable from the locals, having bred and started families with the indigenous population. One of them, of course, would have wanted to carve a Sphinx, and perhaps build a pyramid or two.

Again, this presents our paradoxical problem. Anything that the futurists bring back and introduce to the world around them would create a paradox, which we have seen is impossible, so we know by inference that time travelers have never gone back in time and interacted with their surroundings in a way that influenced the technological levels of their predecessors.



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 09:50 PM
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I fail to see the "wall" my opponent proscribes for me in this debate. He adheres strictly to the Novikov Principle, but it has an adherent flaw:


The Novikov consistency principle assumes certain conditions about what sort of time travel is possible. Specifically, it assumes either that there is only one time-line, or that any alternative time-lines (such as those postulated by the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics) are not accessible.


Earlier in this debate series, I made clear my position on the MWI interpretation of quantum mechanics, that is, the theory of a multiverse. Not just our universe that we experience in the present, but rather a variety of parallel universes, coinciding with string theory, a progression of theories that allow for a bit more diverse thinking, before ruling out the possibilities, but my opponent likes a theory that states a strict rule in it's interpretation, that is, ONLY ONE UNIVERSE. I won't put much faith in the Novikov Conjecture, until at least it can be proven there is one and only one universe, and only ONE time-line that we all adhere to.

There is no Time Travel debate that would be complete without mention of John Titor. ATS itself has a mega-thread, compiling all the Titor Fandom. That phenomena got everyone thinking about time-lines, and the meme leads towards a slant of a time-line divergence theory of reality, not one rigid inflexible path everyone must follow. Opinion tends towards multiple time-lines, leaving the Novikov Conjecture feasible, but not heavily regarded as a de-facto standard. I'd also like to add that the more rigid a theory is, the more likely it is to suffer flaws, so IMO, a theory that must try to incorporate time travel, but only allow for one time-line, is inherently flawed.

Stripping ourselves clean of the Novikov Conjecture's restrictions, I am now able to answer one of my opponent's question:



Which provides our paradox, because how does the innovation get introduced in the current year if the time traveler in the future sees no need to do so?


There is not really a paradox when you realize that the future concept that has been introduced in my opponent's language, an innovation, and in my language, is actually a divergent point, which allows for innovation in a different time-line.

I'll bring up a very interesting point at this time: Any slight changes in a time-line that are not recorded by history, are completely free of paradox in a multiverse.

I'd like to clear up a few misconceptions that my opponent believes in:


Moore's Law is actually a good piece of evidence for the lack of radical innovation. As can be seen in your graph, we see simple and steady improvement in the number of transistors on an integrated circuit.


What is shown in the graph is exponential growth. The number of transistors fit into a chip has increased on an exponential scale.

Then this graph which I presented, misinterpreted:


My opponent states,


The problem here is that we are looking at the social adoption of the Internet, which is an aspect of sociology, not one of technology. Grandmas create Facebook accounts because that's where their kids are posting pictures of their grandchildren, not because it's some big technical innovation.

but that is not true at all. Upon closer inspection of the right border, the graph I presented shows the exponential growth of the number of hosts, meaning webservers, meaning the total computational ability and information production has increased at an exponential rate. Even the rate of increase is increasing exponentially. The ratio of computers connected to the internet is increasing, regardless of the number of Grannies using them. My statistics were for hardware only.

This leads into the points I attempted in the first debate, which my opponent acknowledges:


As Druid42 pointed out in the first debate, a time machine would be an incredibly complex device, encompassing a number of scientific disciplines,

With technology increasing, the hurdles to create such an "incredibly complex device" would decrease. The LHC is helping advance our understanding of quantum mechanics, and soon, perhaps within the next 25 years, or sooner, to be optimistic given my exponential scale, we'll advance our understandings of the world around us, and breach those barriers that were left in past times to the realms of science-fiction.

Truly, if there were visionaries that stood on the shoulders of giants, it were those who dared to think beyond the realms of accepted paradigms.

Note: Thanks to adjensen, the judges, the mods, and most of all, those of you who choose to think "outside the box", to those who read, learn, and question. Thank you all for an interesting debate series.



posted on Nov, 29 2012 @ 06:44 PM
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The problem with simply throwing up the Multiverse concept as a counter to the Novikov Consistency Principle is that the Many Worlds Interpretation theory is simply that -- a theory that holds some appeal as one of the possible answers to issues with probabilities on a quantum level, but one which has no evidence of its existence, and even its supporters struggle to explain how is it practical.

This can be contrasted with the post-selected closed timelike curve, which has been demonstrated to exist and accurately prevent all temporal paradoxes. Given that we know of one, and one only, universe, it is not incumbent on opponents of the Multiverse theory to prove that there is only one, rather it would be the burden of proponents of the theory, such as my esteemed opponent, to demonstrate evidence that there ARE multiple universes. Unfortunately, not only is there no concrete evidence, there is little consensus as to whether there CAN be concrete evidence.


Fascinating as the Many Worlds theory may be, there are problems with Hawking's claim that the Many Worlds thesis offers proof that the universe remains deterministic in spite of pervasive quantum indeterminacy. First of all, valuable as the Many Worlds theory may be as a conceptual construct, there is no proof that the theory is true. For decades, scientists have speculated that alternate universes might exist, but no one has ever generated any proof that more than one universe does exist. Thus, Hawking's belief that every possible outcome of events are determined by, and play out in an infinity of alternate universes is pure speculation. I could equally well claim that an omniscient genie foresees every possible outcome of every event that takes place in the universe, but forcibly prevents all but one from actually occurring: that is why humans perceive only one set of events in one lonely universe. Hawking's unsubstantiated faith in the multiverse has no more basis in fact than my speculations about an all-powerful genie. (Source)


So, when faced with a theory that has been demonstrated to be factual (post-selected closed timelike curves) and a theory that seems interesting, but isn't demonstrably factual, science leans towards the conclusion with evidence. That doesn't mean that they both can't be true, it just means that we know one of them is -- the one I presented in the previous debate, and which directly rejects the possibility of time travelers creating a paradox by introducing technology or concepts to the past.

The remainder of his argument is that we are seeing technological advancement that might someday lead to the development of a time machine, but this is an invalid conclusion. Simply having advanced technology does not make "anything possible", and there is the paradox of technological introduction that I raised in my second posting in this final debate, which was never effectively answered.

Given that Druid42's assertions in this debate are entirely hinged on the existence of the Multiverse, I think that the lack of evidence for it inevitably leads one to the conclusion that time travelers have not influenced advances in technology. We, like Plato and Pythagorus, need no injected wisdom from mythical intellectual superiors in order to create the technically advanced world that we are a part of.

 

I would like to thank my esteemed opponent, Druid42, for a fascinating and engaging series of debates on a complex subject, and for our moderators, judges and readers for their support and interest.



posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 02:55 PM
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Judgments:




A fascinating topic and great discussion by both in this debate.

After the first two rounds, adjensen had taken the lead and left Druid42 with the critical question of the paradox. Adjensen's claim that technological progression was not sufficient evidence for intervention from the future held up throughout the debate.

In the third round, Druid42's post addresses the paradox issue with the possibility of a multiverse and multiple timelines. Adjensen responds by pointing out that multiverse is but a theory. Unfortunately for adjensen, it is a strong theory that a good number of scientists adhere to and may very well be true. We can not discount it as a possibility.

At the end of the debate, I left acknowledging the possibility that time travelers may have influenced our technology.

Druid 42 wins this debate, in my opinion.

Congratulations to both on a job well done, here and in the entire TT series.







In the end I am left feeling that the multiple-worlds-theory is adequate to overcome the paradox adjensen said is "impossible"

I dont buy Druids idea of time-traveller intervention and think his first post was weak,but his last post was very strong and makes adjensen look a little narrow-minded. Druids last post also successfully refutes some of his opponents points. So while I dont really see any evidence of time-traveler intervention, I think it was a hard position to defend and Druid did the best one might do under these circumstances.

I will therefore give this win to Druid by a very close margin, even though both deserve applause for their body of work in the three-part-series.



Druid42 wins the Debate.

adjensen wins the series.
edit on 3-12-2012 by Skyfloating because: (no reason given)





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