July 12, 2012

Stuck in Time

By Andrew at 9:13 AM

Time travel is a concept that has been written about and discussed for many years. The idea of time travel has long been affiliated with the science fiction genre, especially in movies, but even in writings of fiction before movies were around. It is an intriguing idea, but one that I have come to believe that is extremely improbable. I will not go so far as to say that time travel is impossible, but unless there are extreme natural limitations on time travel, I just do not see how it could logically work.

Time travel is not a topic that I have thought overly much about, especially since I decided some years ago that it is highly unlikely that time travel would be possible for us as humans to accomplish. However, it was only recently that I considered in more depth why I thought that time travel was improbable. One argument against time travel that I have heard is that if it were possible, at some point in the future, for humans to travel back through time, why have we not seen time travelers in our own lifetimes? Much has been said about the idea of a “space-time continuum,” and the drastic consequences of such a breach. If we would consider, for a moment, that time travel did exist, and that there were a continuum to preserve, then why is our universe still intact? Any opportunity to meddle with and misuse a technology given to humankind will manifest itself, so even were a theoretical time-travel device regulated to prevent disaster, some ill-meaning individual would get┬átheir hands on it and destroy the known universe. Sure, there may be a time or two for which a hero would use that device to their advantage to prevent such an occurrence and save the known universe, as often demonstrated in stories and movies, but there would end up being an instance that they cannot stop the misuse of time travel and the inevitable alteration or destruction of our universe. If such a case were possible, my question becomes “Why are we here? Why have we not been destroyed yet?” This leads me to believe that time travel is not all that possible.
To be fair, at this juncture the parallel timeline theorizers will interject that perhaps travelers have gone back in time, but we have not seen them since we have not traveled forward to their time yet (i.e., their travel to the past is along a different “thread” through time). A possibility, I will admit, but that theory spins all sorts of questions regarding the nature of matter’s existence with regard to time, as well as whether or not we could then travel between parallel timelines. This brings us back to the original question regarding our current lack of experiences with time travelers. My assumption therefore remains that unless some immutable restriction is discovered alongside the ability to travel through time, we will not be traveling backward in time.
In reality, time travel is always possible, as we are constantly traveling forward in time, second by second. As well, it has been proven that forward travel through time may be accelerated, using aspects of physics that are light years ahead of our engineering feats. But with the lack of visitors from the future, and my inherent distrust of humans in handling something as potentially catastrophic as time travel, I believe that we are simply unable to travel backward through time. Who knows for sure, though? Only time will tell!

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