Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Since Mr. Pterodactyl apparently missed it, here's a tidbit from Tuesday Morning Quarterback:

Last spring, students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology staged what was billed as the first convention for time travelers. Cleverly, they declared it would be the only time-travelers' convention ever needed, since anyone who missed the event could just travel backward in time to attend.

The chances of time travel are vanishingly small. First there is the problem that there would have to exist an infinite number of interwoven universes, each representing an instant in time, in order for there to be destinations to which time-travelers could journey. No one can prove there are not an infinity of universes each forever locked in an instant of time, but what are the odds? Second are the obvious causality paradoxes. If you went backward in time and prevented your parents from meeting, you would cease to exist; but if you ceased to exist, then you could not have traveled backward in time to prevent the meeting. Third is the already-altered problem -- if a future person went into the past and altered history, this would have already happened from our perspectives; history would already be altered and thus the current condition would be the normal condition, that is, not altered. The clincher is the free-will problem. If any future person with a time machine is debating whether to travel into the past, he or she would have no free choice in the matter, because from the standpoint of the past the journey has already either occurred or not occurred. For the theological flip side of this argument -- God cannot know the future because if the future is already determined then God has no free will -- see my favorite philosopher, Charles Hartshorne.

3 comments:

Steve said...

1. Yeah, Mr. Pterodactyl is really off his game. (Although he has posted a couple of things lately.)

2. You post this and laugh at my unreadable, weird writing?? Sheesh!

Anonymous said...

To participants of this blog:
Sincerely hope that this vast collection of intellects spend some time and energy towards positively influencing those near to them, family and loved ones.

Much easier (and the chickens way out of dealing with realities of life) to cut down the world's cultures than it is to deal with our own yard.

Your knowledge can be expanded upon with compassion towards your neighbor and humility of self.
Then the intelligent may become wise.

Change really begins in our own small word and expands into the larger domain.

Steve said...

Anonymous,
Perhaps your suggestion needs to be taken back even one more step. Before one can positively effect neighbor, family, and loved ones, he needs to bring such changes into his own life first.