• No this isnt a thread about getting drunk, although they should start calling that “Time Traveling”.  This is a thread about the ficticious subject of traveling back in time.  This isnt meant to be a serious subject, so just have fun with this one guys.  😉

    Now with that said, heres what I want you guys to debate.

    In most movies/comics/tv shows/etc., whenever the main character goes back in time, ANYTHING that he/she does in the past will change and affect the outcome of the future.  So in those kinds of storys, say if like someone went back in time and killed Hitler, there would be a different future.  However in other movies/comics/etc., the main character that goes back in time can do whatever he wants, because according to the author/director, anything he/she does was meant to happen in the past in order to have the future that we have today.  So if someone went back in time to attempt to kill Hitler, he/she would be unsuccessful because it never happened in the past.

    Now heres the main question.  Which one seems more “probable” if time traveling existed, being able to change the past and have a different future or you cant change the past because its already set in stone?

    Also I another question that has been bugging me for awhile.  If a werewolf lived on the moon, will he always be a werewolf?  I mean he would be very close to the moon!  Well anyways, ill check on this thread later.  😉


  • Ah…a good topic.

    Around the time of Terminator 2, I started getting interested in the time travel theme.  I even went on to start a short story that involved an idea of mine (which I’ll explain), which has evolved recently into two short stories that I might actually go on to submit somewhere.  Anyway, this idea is that to balance the time travel load, for as many people that travel to one point in time, just as many people have to travel from that point to the original travelers time period (get it?).  So, in the example of T2, with two “people” travelling back, I was making a short story about two humans that went to the time of Skynet, and getting involved with the human resistance.  I liked this idea quite a bit…

    Anyway, this is a huge topic.  Like you said, there a proponents that a possibility of shaping current time or the future is possible in the past.  Then there are others that the “butterfly effect” would be incurred in that every little thing you did would have drastic effects in the future.  Or that it’s impossible to change anything.

    One idea I’ve entertained is that it’s all possible and not possible.  Hard to explain… if you think about time as a line, then you are limited to the cause & effect type situation.  However, if you consider what time travelling would do… in the sense that we imagine it, then someone travelling from the future to the past can do and can’t do anything because he/she has already done it, but hasn’t… get it?  That the future has incorporated the past and present AND future, same for the past…and there really isn’t a thing such as NOW, because it has already came and went…etc., etc.  Maybe someone has gone on this already, but I love making myself loopy thinking about this, yet it’s so hard to convey.

    Watch 12 Monkeys to kind of catch my drift.  The beginning and the end are tied…it’s more like a circle.  And while he thinks he’s travelling back to do things (there’s also some hints that it all might be his imagination) and seems to have an effect, nothing matters in the end - it still happens.  In that way, you could consider it “set in stone,” but if you think about it differently, it’s not so set…but it is…

    Anyway, I like this topic.

    Also, the werewolf thing.  It’s supposed to be a FULL moon, not just the moon.  And by full moon we mean the moon relative to the Earth & Sun, so…I don’t think it can be determined.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    I say you could only change the past because the future does not yet exist…so how could you travel to it?

    And, btw, Butterfly Effect was a good movie…i was bored silly when I watched it, and had no expectations and was pleasently surprised.


  • I don’t think time travel is possible on a linear scale.  If it were, why aren’t we being inundated with tourists from the future? (in the words of Stephen Hawking)  But then again, maybe that’s where aliens come from…  Anyway, in the case of Terminator 2, you end up with the time travel paradox, in which John Connor’s father comes from the future and knocks up Sarah Connor.  But on a linear timeline, how is Sarah Connor knocked up in the first place, if John Connor’s dad hadn’t even been born yet?  My guess there is that symbolism comes into play, in that James Cameron’s “Christ-like character” of John Connor (initials J.C.) is born out of God’s will, otherwise humankind would be exterminated.  After Connor’s dad is born and sent back in time, then there’s nothing more to worry about.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Okay, look, disclaimer, I do NOT personally espouse this belief…that means’ I do NOT believe it is true.

    (No one’s going to care, people are gunna come outta the wood work to call me a loon for believe in this anyway…but at least now I can go back and point to the original post…)

    A scientific theory has it that aliens are humans from teh future that look funny because of genetic experiments and DNA tinkering, however science screwed up again and now they are all sterile which is why they come back to our time to examine our genitalia and collect “samples.”

  • 2007 AAR League

    what about the sliders theory.  an infinite number of diminsions.  each diminsion could be a like a sliver in time.  so going through diminsions would take you back in time, or forwards, but in another diminsion.

    infinite diminsions would be weird, cause you could have infinite diminsions for a poker game.  each different one something just a little bit is different.  in others lots are different.  the possibilities are infinite.

    the ending of twelve monkeys is crazy, he watches himself die, and likewise he watches himself watching himself die, that would suck.


  • Well, given the fact that travel to the past is impossible (you’re there before you left, so you haven’t gone yet…), I’d have to be the unpleasant person here, and say the whole issue is moot :-P.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Nah, you can travel to the past all you want, you just can’t get back to report that you did it!

    Common!  Explains Romulus and Remus.  Ghenghis Kahn.  Alexander.  Caesar.  The Founders.  King Aurthur!

  • 2007 AAR League

    @Jennifer:

    Nah, you can travel to the past all you want, you just can’t get back to report that you did it!

    Common!  Explains Romulus and Remus.  Ghenghis Kahn.  Alexander.  Caesar.  The Founders.  King Aurthur!

    Actually all you would have to do is accept that its a one way trip and leave a note in a specific area designated before you leave that is untouched and then the second after you leave they will have the report


  • @MechanizedWarfare:

    Now heres the main question.  Which one seems more “probable” if time traveling existed, being able to change the past and have a different future or you cant change the past because its already set in stone?

    The Dragonlance Saga (Weis/Hickman) utilized this topic very well, in which one of the main characters goes back in time in order to acquire godhood. What he discovers when he gets there was time was like a “river” and his actions a “pebble”, so that he was essentially locked into events that occurred the “first” time.

    However, through a strange quirk (another unexpected time traveler), he actually becomes able to change things.


  • I am more of a mind of the infinate varitions of any given “point” in time.

    If Time is indeed the 4th dimension, then that 4th dimesion has an infinite number of “points” added in that 4th dimension, just like converting a line to a square to go from 1 to 2 dimensions adds infinite points to the line (which was already infiinite).

    So… Every possible action has occured in every possible combination, in every instant of time.  And in the next instant, every possible combination of events in each of those infinite starting places also occurs.  Infinity squared, from one instant to the next.

    And “time travel” is simply movement in the 4th dimension to another “point” of contact between the 4th and 3rd dimensions.


  • I think that if time travel were possible, it would be impossible to detect any changes you made in the past, because you would have lived to the point of your time travel departure knowing about the change as history.  An impartial and spatial time removed observer would be the only intelligence that would notice any time line change.

    Since you’re from the timeline that you’re affecting, as soon as the change is made, to you it would always have been that way.

    As for the werewolf question the individual would never become a werewolf, because he would have no moonlight (full or otherwise) to be the change catalyst.

    By the way…How does Stephen Hawkings know that we aren’t flooded with future tourists?  It stands to reason they would try to blend in with society.  We probably wouldn’t know a future tourist if we spoke with one.


  • Firstly timetravel is possible we are all doing it. Except it is only forward and at 1 second a second :D.

    Time is defined as a change, any change.

    What would happen if we could travel back in time without undoing the changes that where made ( otherwise you dont have memories and you would be at the exact same spot )

    There are 2 possible theories both equaly plausible.
    A 🙂 multiple planes of existence. Every time you make a choice there is a split where both choices are made in a parrallel universe. So you went right and left on that intersection. Althought this would lead to verry many universes. Yet is is the only option that does not create a paradox.

    B 🙂 changes affect everything that happened after the change is made. This in itself might create a paradox because if it was done in the past why go back to do it. But if you did not go back to do it it was not done and therefore you would go back to do it.
    So this would not be verry plausible at all. Since the paradox would create a impossible situation.
    What if you killed your parents before you where born ? Who would come back in time to kill them, and if nobody that means they would be allive. But if they are alive you will be born meaning you can go back in time, so you will kill them leading to the former situation.

    BTW watch the movie “the butterfly effect” it is on this subject.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    I had heard a threory that time was a line and we could only look at it length-wise while God could look at it from the side and see the entire line.

    It was an interesting theory.


  • I never saw “Butterfly Effect” the movie - I was referring to the phenomenon (theorized) rooted in chaos theory that came up in meteorology - that a butterfly in Japan could possibly help cause a hurricane in California…or something like that.  I don’t know what the movie does with that theory, but it’s used somewhat well in the Simpsons on a Halloween special where Homer makes a time-traveling toaster.  He’s warned not to mess with things too much, and every time he goes back, he gets more and more frustrated and does more damage…leading to quite a few variations of his family and present environment.

  • Official Q&A 2007 AAR League

    I like the all time exsists at once version. See Parrallels in ST:TNG 6th or 7th season. It is essentially ShadowHawks multiple planes version. There are an infinite number of events possible at this particular time. They are all occuring.

    How much power does thought have in that? Does a collective will influence the flow from a particular moment?

    If all time exsists at once mustn’t there be some flow between the moments? Won’t some currents be stronger than others?

    On another note there is a tendency it seems for fiction to concentrate on “big” moments. Things that are deep in the collective conscious. Kill Hitler, stop Pearl Harbor, Keep the Titanic from sinking. What if it is smaller moments that need altered if you want to change where time is going? Stuff less known? What descion that is unknown and undocumented if changed changes the world?

    In the comic Sandman there is Destiny’s garden. You walk the paths of Destiny’s garden an you must chose many times as the paths diverge and reconnect and diverge again. But after a lifetime of walking you look back and see only one path behind you.


  • Wow I cant beleive that my thread has gotten such a response.  😮

    I kind of like the Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure way of time traveling.  Why?  Cause its excellent thats why!!

    [attachment deleted by admin]


  • Jermo- The Butterfly effect is like you said- A butterfly beating its wings in China could cause a hurricane in the Caribbean (places may be different). I dont know that it came up in meteorolgy per se (unless you happen to know that it did), I think its just more of a metaphor, that seemingly insignificant actions can have massive effects, unforseen and seemingly unrelated.

    Jen- thats an interesting theory. More useful, in my opinion,  as a way to describe God, than as a way to describe time.

    It is essentially ShadowHawks multiple planes version. There are an infinite number of events possible at this particular time. They are all occuring.

    I like this idea. See below

    How much power does thought have in that? Does a collective will influence the flow from a particular moment?

    If all time exsists at once mustn’t there be some flow between the moments? Won’t some currents be stronger than others?

    My theory (not really a theory, more the beginnings of a theory) is that at any given point in time, literally ANYTHING is possible. There are infinite possibilities (hence, infinite universes), and at any moment, anything could happen (e.g. You could be talking to a person, when all of a sudden they turn into a pink elephant). What keeps reality from looking like the result of a random number generator is probability. The chances of the person I am talking to suddenly becoming a pink elephant are almost zero, as are the chances of most things that could happen at any moment to that person. Chances are, they will stay a person, and nothing out of the ordinary will happen. This is what controls the flow of time. Yes, there are an infinite number of events possible at any particular time. And sure, maybe there are infinite universes where all possibilities are happening at every moment. But probability keeps things functioning in a rational way.

    The implications of this theory are interesting, since if infinite possibilities are playing out in infinite dimensions simultaneously forever, then either there is one universe (ours) where rationality governs, or all universes are rationally governed, but whats rational changes from universe to universe. The latter would make more sense, since it would then keep each universe running rationally, just the result of that rationality would be something entirely different then what we are used to.

    (Btw: If anyone notices a certain similarity to the Hitchiker’s Guide series, you arent crazy, I got the idea of a universe governed by probability from the series)


  • MechWarfare, you gotta be careful - I almost spit cereal all over my screen when I saw your Bill & Ted pic!  :lol:

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    @Janus1:

    Jen- thats an interesting theory. More useful, in my opinion,  as a way to describe God, than as a way to describe time.

    To be honest, we were having a debate of how God could know the future and the past and be ever present and omniscient while still giving us free will.  The “Straw Theory” as we called it (because we used a drinking straw as a visual aid) was what we came up with.

    It allowed for the future to have already been complete and for God to know all the actions that will be taken, while still allowing us free will as we travel down the length of the straw.


  • @AgentOrange:

    MechWarfare, you gotta be careful - I almost spit cereal all over my screen when I saw your Bill & Ted pic!  :lol:

    Excellent!!  :lol:


  • Superman speeded himself up past a time barrier so he could save Lois.

    Dr. Evil (in Austin Powers) makes it groovy fun!

    Star Trek plays with time travel quite frequently.

    From that show, we could envision time as not a line, but rather a growing cone, shaped by multiple event outcomes and decisions.

    As a Christian, I tend to think of time as more of a river.  From the book of Esther we understand that if the Almighty called me for some action, and by my choice (lack of faith) I did not do it, He can punish me and call someone else to that action.  He holds all time in His hands so what He wants done eventually gets done.  This would be the one universal time path (out of the multitudes that make up the time cone) we all currently share.

    We can see this played out in the rise of the Internet.  Small at first, but now almost everyone has it.  We even purchase books, toys, tickets, and other stuff on it too.  Did you know we are just coming back from a recession?  Internet purchase volumes were up over 10+ fold from 1998 - 2005.  It did not matter which dot.coms went bankrupt during that time.  This unstoppable force has the blessing of the Lord.  The growth way outpaces bricks and mortar.

  • Official Q&A 2007 AAR League

    @Linkon:

    As a Christian, I tend to think of time as more of a river. From the book of Esther we understand that if the Almighty called me for some action, and by my choice (lack of faith) I did not do it, He can punish me and call someone else to that action. He holds all time in His hands so what He wants done eventually gets done. This would be the one universal time path (out of the multitudes that make up the time cone) we all currently share.

    We can see this played out in the rise of the Internet. Small at first, but now almost everyone has it. We even purchase books, toys, tickets, and other stuff on it too. Did you know we are just coming back from a recession? Internet purchase volumes were up over 10+ fold from 1998 - 2005. It did not matter which dot.coms went bankrupt during that time. This unstoppable force has the blessing of the Lord. The growth way outpaces bricks and mortar.

    Perhaps the growth is destroying Brick and Mortar? No one can afford to operate a “small” business i.e. mom and pop shop these days. Who can compete with Wal-Mart?

    The internet has the Blessing of the Lord? Perhaps it is stronger than the Lord? Perhaps in this current of the river he is letting it pass to see whether he should allow it in other currents? Perhaps we are the aberration and all the other currents choose to not allow the internet to grow?  What if no one can perform the action no matter how strong their faith? What would happen to the river then?


  • I was just on the Ebay site and they now sell Sears and Roebuck vintage catalogs.  898 pages!  I think I saw one at a neighbors back in the 70’s.  Thick as the yellow pages for a major city.

    That may have been in the bricks and mortar era prior to the highways that got us shopping malls.  Big Box and superdiscount stores then took the blessings away from the anchored mall stores.


  • It allowed for the future to have already been complete and for God to know all the actions that will be taken, while still allowing us free will as we travel down the length of the straw.

    my own way of reconciling this (just because i dont believe in god doesnt mean i dont have theories on how he functions) is to see time as a something like a family tree, in the sense that each moment has infinite possibilities branching off from it, with infinite possibilities branching off from each possibility, and so forth. God, in his omniscience, knows at any given time everything that has happened (past) everything happening (present) and every potential occurrence (future) along with the possibilities that arise from those possibilities. free will allows us to move from the present to the future however we choose (obviously within the limits of what our physical world allows us to do), and God knows what will happen at each stage whatever you decide, as well as what is the most probable occurrence (its more likely that i will choose to finish this post, submit it, and move on then that i will be suddenly gripped by a burning desire to go to Colorado, and leave right now without finishing), but God doesnt make the choice for you (though he could, but that would violate free will).

    if you want to abstract it further, the universe is like a computer program, and God is the programmer. The program is extremely comprehensive, to the point that it seems complete (here i use “complete” to mean accounting for all situations, and rationally dealing with every possibility within the rules of the program), and God has a comprehensive knowledge of how the program functions, what has happened so far in the program, and what is happening, as well as all possible outcomes of the program. He knows what is most likely to happen, but free will prevents him from knowing for certain what will happen. free will is the AI of the people created in the program. God can certainly remove our free will (like the Free Will toggle in The Sims) but he doesnt, because he allows the program to work itself out. the program runs on its own, requiring no input from God, but functions better when God is actively involved, even in small ways, because he can direct the proceedings rather than allowing them to unfold. since he is programmer, he can rewrite the rules of the program at will, and do anything he wants, thus the omnipotence and omnipresence.

    I hope you were able to follow that, it was basically focused stream of conciousness.

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