There have been a lot of discussions on the possibilities of time travel over the years. There have been books written, movies made and TV shows plots revolving around the possibilities of time travel. This just happens to be one of those topics that I like to roll around in my head from time to time.
One of the biggest hang-ups regarding these discussions is the paradox problem. It goes something like this:
“What if you went back into the past to prevent yourself from getting in a car accident? However, without that car accident in the present you would not have any reason to go back into the past. By preventing the car accident in the past, the car accident never occured thus creating no need to travel into the past to fix something that never occured.” – Direct quote from a facebook Time Travel Group
The TV Show Futurama came up with one of the most entertaining ways to fix this problem. Basically universal fate just killed the person in the timeline they traveled back to and they lived the timeline differently. While being a fun theory it seems a little ridiculous (at least to me) that universal error checking would lead to unneccesary death.
During a discussion with one of my friends on the subject, a lightbulb turned on in my head. It lead to a chain of puzzle pieces all falling into place until I had a solid theory of time travel that made paradoxes obsolete.
The most basic realization was this: What if time has a constant flow?
Think of time as a river and you are just a stick going with the flow. If that stick were to be plucked from the water and placed in a part of the river it had been in before, let’s say a mile back (the past), it would just travel down the river at the same speed as before and in the same path. Now lets say that when the stick is placed in the “past” part of the river it causes a rock to fall in the river slightly upstream that changes the path of the flow. The stick now follows a new course, but what happened to the water it was following at the beginning (the present)? The explanation is easy, the water is still traveling down the path it was going to, it just doesn’t have anymore flow following behind it. Now lets say that the stick is plucked up from it’s new path in the stream and is placed back where it came from. But there is no water there anymore! Wrong! There is water, but there won’t be eventually. The blockage happened a mile back in the stream. The flow is going to take some time to stop flowing. in fact it will take just about as long to stop flowing as the new path of the river will take to begin running parallel to that spot. meanwhile, the stick will just continue floating along the same path it was going to go with no change what-so-ever.
The common idea of most theories is that a change in the past changes the future immediatly. This is false in my theory. Since time has a constant flow any change you make in the past will not be seen if you return to the future. The only way you would be able to see a change in the past take effect would be if you stayed in the past after making the change. You would be “riding the wave” so to speak.
This theory present some interesting concept when you adapt them to the old examples. Lets take the old concept of going back in time to kill your grandfather. With my theory, you could not only go back in time and kill your grandfather, but you could then go back in time again to save him from yourself by killing yourself. You could then kill your grandpa again and then travel back to the preasent and live your life as if nothing had ever happened.
Time flows at the pace you live it. You could only see the effect of a change in the past if you stayed there and lived those moments as they were happening. after that, if you traveled even one single moment into the future, you would end up in the old timeline living things out as if what you did had not occured.
I feel as if this method to the universe correcting itself is much more efficient and make plenty more sense than previous theories.