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Time Travel, Impossible Again!

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Right, that is what I was implying, but apparently was not making clear. Or at least he first paragraph was. Except that the second paragraph really degenerates into useless metaphors around the mid

It may seem trivial to say that we travel through time just as time passes, but it's not quite as simple as that, as the twin paradox shows. The twin who returns after a journey through space with hig

Well, that is all fine and dandy, but I dont think anyone should need *physics* to tell them that time travel is impossible , or at least not more than the most basic physics combined with metaphysics

Well, that is all fine and dandy, but I dont think anyone should need *physics* to tell them that time travel is impossible , or at least not more than the most basic physics combined with metaphysics. :P Trust them to find a way to make this point that is about 50 times more compicated than it needs to be...

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Believe nothing that you hear or read (especially in popularized science lamestream media) without verifying it yourself unless it fits your preexisting Weltanschauung. Who fails to do arithmetic is doomed, first to nonsense, later to non-existence.

Science, if it was easy then everyone would do it.

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I think it was Arthur C. Clarke who said the best evidence for the impossibility of time travel is the total absence of time travelers.
That observation (both of them actually) demonstrates well the challenges of Objective induction.
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I think it was Arthur C. Clarke who said the best evidence for the impossibility of time travel is the total absence of time travelers.

If there weren't time travelers at Led Zeppelin concerts when they were in their prime, then either time travel is impossible or those future people are letting their technology seriously go to waste :)

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Nevermind the fact that it makes no sense to travel in/through a relational concept? :P

Distance/space is also a relational concept so that inference fails. In fact, that is the whole reason for the naive plausibility of time travel to begin with, that it is relational like distance.

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Well, that is all fine and dandy, but I dont think anyone should need *physics* to tell them that time travel is impossible , or at least not more than the most basic physics combined with metaphysics. :P Trust them to find a way to make this point that is about 50 times more compicated than it needs to be...

What metaphysical principles render time travel impossible?

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If there weren't time travelers at Led Zeppelin concerts when they were in their prime, then either time travel is impossible or those future people are letting their technology seriously go to waste :)

Not only that, but Robert Plant is a traveler of both time and space. :P

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Time is a concept derived from causality. It is a measurement of duration. A person born in 1991, today in 2011 has a duration of 20 years. Implicitly, 2011 is a duration of 2011 years since adopting that standard of measuring duration. What action could an entity take in 2011 that was born in 1991 which would allow his duration of 20 years occur anywhere else along the 2011 year continuum of keeping track of it? In a sense, the naive plausibility of time travel comes from a quasi reification of time.

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Distance/space is also a relational concept so that inference fails. In fact, that is the whole reason for the naive plausibility of time travel to begin with, that it is relational like distance.

I am not sure what you are trying to say here. Yeah, obviously both are also relational concepts, but which interference fails as a result?

Time is a concept derived from causality. It is a measurement of duration. A person born in 1991, today in 2011 has a duration of 20 years. Implicitly, 2011 is a duration of 2011 years since adopting that standard of measuring duration. What action could an entity take in 2011 that was born in 1991 which would allow his duration of 20 years occur anywhere else along the 2011 year continuum of keeping track of it? In a sense, the naive plausibility of time travel comes from a quasi reification of time.

Right. It seems to come from confusion between time and distance. Distance relates to an area to which travel is relavent. Time is a relationship between events and "travel" through time makes no sense at all....

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Believe nothing that you hear or read (especially in popularized science lamestream media) without verifying it yourself unless it fits your preexisting Weltanschauung. Who fails to do arithmetic is doomed, first to nonsense, later to non-existence.

Science, if it was easy then everyone would do it.

What're you trying to get at? You don't make any sense.

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  • 2 weeks later...

What metaphysical principles render time travel impossible?

Maybe you have a different idea for time travel (going back in time, not forward, obviously) than I, but since I don't know yours, I'll just start with mine: moving a person or object from context A (the Universe right now) to context B (the Universe X years ago) without changing him in any way. Here's the problem with that:

Let's say you invent a time machine, go back in time before you were born and kill your pregnant mother. Then these two statements:

1. you were born, grew up and went back in time, and

2. you were killed in the womb;

-should both be true. So time travel violates whichever metaphysical principles mix poorly with the notion of a paradox. I.e. the law of identity.

The other possible idea for time travel would be this: moving a person or object from context A (the World right now) to context B (the World as it was X years ago) without changing him in any way. In this second definition, we are talking about an "alternate World, just like the one we had X years ago". In this case, the above paradox doesn't exist, but what we're talking about isn't really time travel. It's just a relocation into another, disconnected from us (aside from the connection we just created) hypothetical World that's a copy of what we had X years ago.

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Maybe you have a different idea for time travel (going back in time, not forward, obviously) than I, but since I don't know yours, I'll just start with mine: moving a person or object from context A (the Universe right now) to context B (the Universe X years ago) without changing him in any way. Here's the problem with that:

Let's say you invent a time machine, go back in time before you were born and kill your pregnant mother. Then these two statements:

1. you were born, grew up and went back in time, and

2. you were killed in the womb;

-should both be true. So time travel violates whichever metaphysical principles mix poorly with the notion of a paradox. I.e. the law of identity.

The other possible idea for time travel would be this: moving a person or object from context A (the World right now) to context B (the World as it was X years ago) without changing him in any way. In this second definition, we are talking about an "alternate World, just like the one we had X years ago". In this case, the above paradox doesn't exist, but what we're talking about isn't really time travel. It's just a relocation into another, disconnected from us (aside from the connection we just created) hypothetical World that's a copy of what we had X years ago.

Yes, I'm aware of the "Grandfather Paradox," but there are theoretical ways around this. What I was questioning was the claims that one could deduce the impossibility of any form of time travel (into the past, of course) from the armchair.

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