I Want to Fit In

Politically Incorrect Social Studies

Time Travel: The Convoluted Part

Posted by iwanttofitin on April 4, 2007

This is the second part of my theory(?) that time travel is impossible. I’m really only dealing with traveling to the past because aren’t we all traveling forward every second? Also, some morons have pointed that out so I feel compelled to state that traveling backwards in time is my focus. Ok, on with the important stuff. I’m going to try and make this as easy to understand as possible using the least amount of words I can.

Traveling to the past won’t work. Got it? That’s it. I’m kidding. No, but seriously, that’s it. Now I’ll explain.

Imagine you have an egg in your hand that you painted red only two days ago. You’ve got this red egg and a time machine at your disposal. Dangit! You really wanted a green egg. So you decide to hop in your time machine to go back in time to make sure you paint the egg green (this is much easier than actually painting a new egg). But wait! If you were to make sure you painted it green in the past, wouldn’t the egg already be green?

Another example: Let’s say someone decides to prevent Abe Lincoln from getting assassinated. Well, if the past is changed then the assassination could never have taken place and there would never have been a need to go back in time to change it.

Think of it like this. What is currently happening in the present is effected directly by what occurred in the past. If the past is different, everything leading up to the present is different too. If you change something in the past and it effects the present, the present is no longer needing to be changed so you would not need to go back to change it to begin with.

I swear it makes sense. If I say anymore it will just get even more confusing. A little feedback would help on what is hard to understand (if it is. it may make perfect sense to all).

One last thing. If traveling to the past were indeed possible, wouldn’t we know by now? Someone surely would have come back at least this far.


2 Responses to “Time Travel: The Convoluted Part”

  1. This is like the grandfather paradox. I always thought of it in another way.

    I never liked the idea that I would somehow cease to exist if I killed my grandfather before he met my grandmother. I imagined it would be more on the lines of you killed your grandfather, you return to the present, but nobody knows who you are because you were never born.

    There’s also something called the Novikov self-consistency principle. It says that while traveling to the past, it is only possible to do things that are consistent with the timeline. In other words, anything you do in the past must have been part of history all along. You can see this theory at work in Twelve Monkeys.

  2. I’m aware of the “Novikov self-consistency principle.” In my mind it doesn’t work. Twelve Monkeys worked because they didn’t know how the virus was spread or who started it. It was almost Sherlock Holmes type movie. Who did it and how do we change it. By the time they figured it out, it was too late.

    What if you wanted to change something specific? Why wouldn’t you be able to do it according to Novikov?

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