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Consistency in Time Travel

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This is something that has always bothered me. It seems to me that no single medium has maintained a perfect consistency in a time travel story. I'll give you a for-instance. Dr. Alpha created an android that started a new wave in android technology. These androids eventually start to take over the world. Then, an android is reprogrammed to come back and stop him from building the first one. Once Dr. Alpha is convinced not to building the first android, the reprogrammed one could never exist, could never come back to stop Dr. Alpha, and Dr. Alpha wouldn't have that memory of the reprogrammed android, and would make the first one anyway. I really hope I make sense. If I don't, I'll try to restate. Thanks.

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That's the same concept as "what would happen if I go back and kill my mother before I'm born." On the one hand, you'de seize to exist. On the other hand, if you sieze to exist you couldn't possibly go back in time to kill your mother. I think the way to deal with this in a game would be to have multiple/alternative timelines (something like back to the future). That way both possibilites occur but niether one has any direct connection to the other.

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Original post by DrEvil
There's no such thing and never will be, so of course it doesn't make any sense.


I made this statement, or one similar, a while back and was called a troll for it. >_>;;

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Original post by ontheheap
I think the way to deal with this in a game would be to have multiple/alternative timelines (something like back to the future). That way both possibilites occur but niether one has any direct connection to the other.


Something about this bothered me, too. A pseudo-intellegent person I know argued that our universe "branched" into multiple more dimensions whenever there were multiple possibilities. They were, therefore, infinite universes. My thing is, this doesn't make since.

If this were true, then an atheist saying, "God doesn't exist," wouldn't be completely true. It'd mean God would exist in certain universes, the Heliopolitan gods would exist in certain universes, the Greek gods would exist in certain universes, all gods would exist in certain universes, and so on.

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Original post by orionx103
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Original post by ontheheap
I think the way to deal with this in a game would be to have multiple/alternative timelines (something like back to the future). That way both possibilites occur but niether one has any direct connection to the other.


Something about this bothered me, too. A pseudo-intellegent person I know argued that our universe "branched" into multiple more dimensions whenever there were multiple possibilities. They were, therefore, infinite universes. My thing is, this doesn't make since.

If this were true, then an atheist saying, "God doesn't exist," wouldn't be completely true. It'd mean God would exist in certain universes, the Heliopolitan gods would exist in certain universes, the Greek gods would exist in certain universes, all gods would exist in certain universes, and so on.



O...kay. Well, you just made a horrible assumption about one thing: the fact that people don't create gods, they create beliefs. Then again, one could argue that gods stem from the people that believe strongest, but that complicates things (if people created by gods create gods, then who created the people? Gods? That would suggest people existed first, completely nullifying any creation theories) to the extent that I geniunely can't comprehend, especially not at 10 PM.

So what doesn't make sense about the infinite dimensions thing?

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Original post by orionx103
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Original post by ontheheap
I think the way to deal with this in a game would be to have multiple/alternative timelines (something like back to the future). That way both possibilites occur but niether one has any direct connection to the other.


Something about this bothered me, too. A pseudo-intellegent person I know argued that our universe "branched" into multiple more dimensions whenever there were multiple possibilities. They were, therefore, infinite universes. My thing is, this doesn't make since.

If this were true, then an atheist saying, "God doesn't exist," wouldn't be completely true. It'd mean God would exist in certain universes, the Heliopolitan gods would exist in certain universes, the Greek gods would exist in certain universes, all gods would exist in certain universes, and so on.


I've read of theories which are even more bizarre than that. For instance, in a past issue of Discover magazine (not sure which one), there was an article about "frozen universes" or something like that. I'm sure that is not the right name, but the basic concept said that every single possibility is just a frozen "image," existing all at the same time. Some how the universe cycles through them so quickly that we feel as if reality is continuous. We are only aware of the current "freeze" and no other "freeze" is aware of any others. It was an interesting article but like the multiple timeline thing really doesn't make alot of sense.

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Original post by Anonymous Poster
I've read of theories which are even more bizarre than that.


The thing about this kid's theory was, he took it entirely from DragonBall Z. (Trunks Saga, to be precise.)

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Original post by ontheheap
I think the way to deal with this in a game would be to have multiple/alternative timelines (something like back to the future). That way both possibilites occur but niether one has any direct connection to the other.


Something about this bothered me, too. A pseudo-intellegent person I know argued that our universe "branched" into multiple more dimensions whenever there were multiple possibilities. They were, therefore, infinite universes. My thing is, this doesn't make since.

If this were true, then an atheist saying, "God doesn't exist," wouldn't be completely true. It'd mean God would exist in certain universes, the Heliopolitan gods would exist in certain universes, the Greek gods would exist in certain universes, all gods would exist in certain universes, and so on.



Why are you using God as your example, you wont find the answer to this that way, not to get into a religous argument here but if god existed then there would be no branches at all, it would all be linear. The starting point of time has to start somewhere, so either there is some god or none (a god created us or it didn't). Ok enough about that.

I'll refer you guys to this thread here. Take a look at 'Iron Chef Carnage' post, second from bottom. Gives an interesting example.

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Original post by orionx103Dr. Alpha created an android that started a new wave in android technology. These androids eventually start to take over the world. Then, an android is reprogrammed to come back and stop him from building the first one. Once Dr. Alpha is convinced not to building the first android, the reprogrammed one could never exist, could never come back to stop Dr. Alpha, and Dr. Alpha wouldn't have that memory of the reprogrammed android, and would make the first one anyway.


I had a phyics lecturer who was really into this stuff and he managed to explain it like this - there is never a first time! You can't have different versions of time (as in its impossible to change it) because there is never an original version. If you look at the Dr Alpha thing like this: He thinks up robots, one appears and he stops working on it, life goes on! Thats FINE! Because there was never a version of time where he did create the robots. Now some of you will state the obviouse that how could the robot exist to stop him, but your thinking about it wrong - you want cause and effect which don't have to exist. You can only every have 1 version of time and its played the same no matter what - just because cause and effect are broken means nothing.

There will only every be one time stream and it'll always play out the same ... or so the theory goes :D

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Original post by kaysik
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Original post by orionx103Dr. Alpha created an android that started a new wave in android technology. These androids eventually start to take over the world. Then, an android is reprogrammed to come back and stop him from building the first one. Once Dr. Alpha is convinced not to building the first android, the reprogrammed one could never exist, could never come back to stop Dr. Alpha, and Dr. Alpha wouldn't have that memory of the reprogrammed android, and would make the first one anyway.


I had a phyics lecturer who was really into this stuff and he managed to explain it like this - there is never a first time! You can't have different versions of time (as in its impossible to change it) because there is never an original version. If you look at the Dr Alpha thing like this: He thinks up robots, one appears and he stops working on it, life goes on! Thats FINE! Because there was never a version of time where he did create the robots. Now some of you will state the obviouse that how could the robot exist to stop him, but your thinking about it wrong - you want cause and effect which don't have to exist. You can only every have 1 version of time and its played the same no matter what - just because cause and effect are broken means nothing.

There will only every be one time stream and it'll always play out the same ... or so the theory goes :D



...You know, until I read that, I considered myself as a pretty smart individual. Now, with your brief post, you have destroyed more-or-less all of my brain. I am having hard time typing this post my skulls collapsing brain going awa.

Itchy itchy Scott came ugly face so killed him. Tasty.

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Original post by Boku SanNow, with your brief post, you have destroyed more-or-less all of my brain. I am having hard time typing this post my skulls collapsing brain going awa.


haha - my bad! I'll post a warning at the top of all future posts about that phyics lecturer!

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Original post by nts
Why are you using God as your example, you wont find the answer to this that way, not to get into a religous argument here but if god existed then there would be no branches at all, it would all be linear. The starting point of time has to start somewhere, so either there is some god or none (a god created us or it didn't). Ok enough about that.


I used God as an example to disprove his theory, as he is a Christian. That, and God is the reason I don't believe this myself.

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Original post by kaysik
I had a phyics lecturer who was really into this stuff and he managed to explain it like this - there is never a first time! You can't have different versions of time (as in its impossible to change it) because there is never an original version. If you look at the Dr Alpha thing like this: He thinks up robots, one appears and he stops working on it, life goes on! Thats FINE! Because there was never a version of time where he did create the robots. Now some of you will state the obviouse that how could the robot exist to stop him, but your thinking about it wrong - you want cause and effect which don't have to exist. You can only every have 1 version of time and its played the same no matter what - just because cause and effect are broken means nothing.

There will only every be one time stream and it'll always play out the same ... or so the theory goes :D


Okay, I'm fried. Completely, and totally, fried.

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Original post by kaysik
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Original post by orionx103Dr. Alpha created an android that started a new wave in android technology. These androids eventually start to take over the world. Then, an android is reprogrammed to come back and stop him from building the first one. Once Dr. Alpha is convinced not to building the first android, the reprogrammed one could never exist, could never come back to stop Dr. Alpha, and Dr. Alpha wouldn't have that memory of the reprogrammed android, and would make the first one anyway.


I had a phyics lecturer who was really into this stuff and he managed to explain it like this - there is never a first time! You can't have different versions of time (as in its impossible to change it) because there is never an original version. If you look at the Dr Alpha thing like this: He thinks up robots, one appears and he stops working on it, life goes on! Thats FINE! Because there was never a version of time where he did create the robots. Now some of you will state the obviouse that how could the robot exist to stop him, but your thinking about it wrong - you want cause and effect which don't have to exist. You can only every have 1 version of time and its played the same no matter what - just because cause and effect are broken means nothing.

There will only every be one time stream and it'll always play out the same ... or so the theory goes :D


Sounds like Stephen Hawking's "chronology protection conjecture," which prohibits causal loops. Einstein's famous theory allows for them though. Any links to your lecturer's theory? Sounds interesting.

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Another interesting example of the whole time-travel paradox thing is what happens if I go travel many years into the future and obtain a copy of Discover Magazine. I learn about some amazing new technology (lets say, from 35 years in the future) and then come back to my present time and several years pass by. Lets say 15 years pass by. I'm a teacher at a university and I end up explaining this future technology to a student, who eventually writes an article on it, which turns out to be the exact article I had originally read. Where does this information come from?

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This is just another case of the well-known "grandfather paradox", where a time-traveller goes back in time and kills his grandfather, thus ceasing to exist.

There are several resolutions.

One is that there are "parallel universes." You would go back into a parallel timeline, kill your grandfather, and never be born in that universe, but, 50 years later in your origin universe, you would still be born as normal.

Another is that each physical particle has its own relative timeline, and there is no one "stream." In this case, your body, and the particles it consists of would travel back 50 years, and nothing would prevent you from killing your grandfather. At the same time, there would be no mystical forces that could "figure out" that you shouldn't exist, so nothing would happen.

A third theory is that the probability of causing an event that would lead to a paradox is zero. Imagine a billiard ball that was hit into a wormhole that would lead back into the path of the ball, causing it to collide with itself. The self-consistency principle says that the billiard ball could only knock itself slightly off course, which would in turn send it into the wormhole at a slightly different angle, etc, etc. This is known as a causal loop.

Of course, it doesn't matter which you pick. It's all theoretical, for now and a long time in the future.

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Original post by ontheheap
Any links to your lecturer's theory? Sounds interesting.


Nope sorry - was a class room discussion a few years ago now. I don't think it was his own theory though, just something he was trying to explain to us! *Crazy lecturer warning* It was coupled with a discussion about time in a general sense - as in there is no way to prove that what you remember as yesterday actually happened - how do you know time didn't start when you started reading this post? He had papers on a really interesting experiment where they got lots of people to watch a short animated film and then afterwards write down what happened - everyone had a sleightly different version and almost none were actually correct. The point being that time, and reality in general, is relative (go talk to einstein if you don't believe me :D). I would've like to get into that stuff more, but time travel was ultimatly cooler so the class moved on from the relative stuff pretty quick!

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the best theory i heard yes is the paralell worlds one. in fact, when something in time is changed, u make another paralell world. in the one it did happen, in the other it didnt.
2 bad that some scientist begin to think that on every discision such a world is created...... just image, in this world i types this letter, in the next paralell i didnt. timetravel always gives me a headache thinking about it. i guess ill wait till we can go across light speed, that way they think its possible. :D

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People create and people destroy and it is human special abilites.The god has the same abilites and god is evetywhere.
Look at the mirror ,who you see? You see the god of your reality and your universe where you want to exist and where other god's reality changing your's if you want or if you don't want.
Maybe you don't have a choice but this is choice too. And there is no time there is only change that is in circle of your choices.
And there is no thing that is the same to your universe because you don't want to be bored of your universe and you want to be happy.Happy means not bored but if you will be happy all the time you will be bored for sure that's why you want to change the reality of your universe.I think there is no bound of our mind to create what you want and to change what you want because who want to be bored.And there always is now because you want that and there is no time.And who can say that know everything about yourself? Maybe only the god but we are the gods and we do not want to be bored now :) And we don't create the idea .Idea is always and we only change the idea because we don't want to be bored and we like change :)For example listen to music and there is always change.And only people can create music and other art.Open your mind and there be no bound for you is you don't create one for yourself.

I'm looking to improve? this and if any what to talk about this email me.
Micha³ Czepu³kowski Poland

I'm interesed in everything that surrounds my reality? and is in my universe? Mine is perfect and change all the time??? How is yours?

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Recently scientists are admitting to possibilities for time travel(do a google).

I think that going back to kill someone (or whatever) would probably have no impact since it would likely be another timeline identical to ours. You probably don't even "go back" in time, it just look like that. That is my 2 cents on the subject.

In any case, I think the truth is far more strange than we can possibly think of.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Its all very simple. Backwards time travel simply doesnt exists, therefore any resulting paradoxes and complications wont exist either.

Done.

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Original post by MichaelT
In any case, I think the truth is far more strange than we can possibly think of.


i guess ur right. everything is possible, but this is so theoretical, that we cant possibly think what will happen.
in the future i go back, but if i kill myself, it cant happen in the future, so how could i ever go back? the paralell world are probably the closest one to xplain this, but we dont know if its correct, simply because it isnt clear if it excists.
So i agree with you MichaelT, perhaps its even an more idiot sounding solution thats the truth.

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