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Tony Grist

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Against Time Travel [Sep. 24th, 2011|10:26 am]
Tony Grist
"Freeman Dyson said a very good argument against the possibility of time travel is that we've never met any time travellers. If someone in the future had done it, someone would have come back." (Pref. Jeff Forshaw, as reported in the Indy)

No, it's a very poor argument. 

Firstly a time traveller would almost certainly be obeying some sort of prime directive- and trying to pass among us undetected.

Secondly, if they broke the directive and announced their identity (but why should they?) we'd simply disbelieve them.

Thirdly if they showed up with signs and wonders (in a UFO for example) the evidence would be placed in the file marked "paranormal" and ruled out of court. 
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: davesmusictank
2011-09-24 10:30 am (UTC)
I would have thought that the first principle is to do nothing that would upset the time line. To go back and kill your own father would be a paradox too far. If you could, then you would not even exist to go back in time to kill you dad. There does seem to be a causality barrier to rewriting history, unleess each time you travel sets up a new parallel universe.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-09-24 11:04 am (UTC)
I would imagine the first rule of time travel would be "keep your head down". You wouldn't want to do anything to rock the boat or put yourself in danger.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2011-09-24 11:25 am (UTC)
There seems a fundamental problem with Dyson's argument: absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. He should know better.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-09-24 01:36 pm (UTC)
It's a very feeble argument.




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[User Picture]From: suzilem
2011-09-24 03:15 pm (UTC)
My opinion is that *if* you could time travel, you could move forward in time, but not backward.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-09-24 04:02 pm (UTC)
I don't see why you shouldn't go either way.

Going forward would be a journey into the unknown- and into a more advanced society. They'd probably find you out- and make you feel a fool. Going backwards would be less risky.
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[User Picture]From: suzilem
2011-09-24 05:00 pm (UTC)
Going backward, you could change the present. Going forward, change wouldn't be as potential (too lazy to think of more appropriate word) :-)
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[User Picture]From: shanghai7
2011-09-24 03:31 pm (UTC)
Imagine time as a Moebius strip, you could kill Grandad and be trapped. As to Dyson, idiot! That is like saying "There are no ETs or we'd find them". Imagine the chaos if the guy on the train said "I am from what you'd call 3099".
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-09-24 04:05 pm (UTC)
These people- ETs or time travellers- are going to be a good deal smarter than we are. They'll know how to avoid detection.
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[User Picture]From: ron_broxted
2011-09-24 06:53 pm (UTC)
Not necessarily, one theory is that "ghosts" or "UFOs" are future time travellers gone back. Di's wedding anyone?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-09-24 07:15 pm (UTC)
Turning up as a ghost or UFO- things our culture refuses to believe in- is also a way of avoiding detection.
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[User Picture]From: raakone
2011-09-25 02:00 pm (UTC)
And then there's another theory.....that those who time travel....might end up in another "possibility" It also explains that "suppose you went back and killed your parents before they had you" idea....that if you were to do that, it wouldn't erase you, but when you returned to the "present", a different "possibility" would take precedence. Nobody would know you because you weren't supposed to exist, but you came from another "possibility." Or I sort of relate it to the Shroedinger's Cat.....that there's one possible reality where the cat lives, one where it dies....and at every place where things can happen more than one way....the number of these "existances" or "realities" or "possibilities" or "time-streams" multiplies. Consequently, it may very well be that everyone who goes back in time ends up not in OUR "Shroediverse".....because maybe someone else already changed things, and maybe we're technically not in the "dominant" time-stream.

If my explanation sounds confusing, I apologize....but maybe someone can go back in time and translate it! *laughs* Remember, future events will affect you in the future, if they have not already done so!
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