Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Time Travel

A conversation with my 5 year old son:

Son: "I wish we could go in a rocket ship back to the beginning of the universe."

Me: "Yes, that would be neat."

Son: "But nothing was invented then! [with an air of wonderment] So I guess we would be naked!"

Me: "Hmmm."

Son: "And humans didn't exist then! So I guess we would just disappear!"


He actually had a good point: Even if time travel was physically possible, who says that you would be able to carry back things (including yourself) that didn't exist in the time you were traveling to?

2 Comments:

Anonymous anomdebus said...

I don't follow... Certainly you would not be able to buy new clothing at the beginning of the universe (note to self: set up Big Bang Clothing Store).
I could see perhaps not being able to exist at the beginning of the universe as there may not be any place to be ... and live at the same time.
I suppose this view is predicate on time being a dimension not wholly different than the three we see all the time. With this view, you would not say, 'how can something go in a direction something like it has never gone?'.
If there were some strict deterministic quality about existence, something can only be if there is something before it making it be, then time travel would be impossible, excepting forward in a way consistent with the theory relativity.
Don't ask me how those two concepts would come together, thoug (determinism and relativity)

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Lauren said...

I recently read a very interesting and entertaining book (I won't pretend it's great literature) called The Time Traveler's Wife. In the book, the time-traveling husband has a genetic mutation which causes him to randomly-- and involuntarily-- travel back (and occasionally forward) in time. But it's just him that travels; his clothes don't make it (and neither do eyeglasses-- and I think he even loses some fillings as he travels). Obviously, randomly showing up naked in another time and place leads to some stressful situations . . . .

3:39 PM  

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