3 THEORIES OF TIME TRAVEL
If you were a time traveler and you went back in time and killed yourself (just go with me), what do you think would happen to you currently - as the person that killed your younger self?
Some people think it goes against many time laws and it creates a paradox because if you went back in time to kill yourself then you cant live on to kill yourself…right. So i’m asking how you view time:
a) The first is Fixed Timeline. History is written. Anything you do when you go back in time is how it always happened and nothing in the future can be changed. So if you go back in time and try to kill someone you loathe, stabbing them in the stomach, and then go forward in time back to present day, you realize that your attempt at killing that person was bad. Because maybe that person - in the past when you went back to kill them - was found by someone walking by and they were rushed to hospital, saving their life. And their moment was so traumatic for them that they sort of repressed it, and repressed you trying to kill them. Basically a fixed timeline is what it says it is: you can go forwards and backwards but you cannot leave that timeline - so you can’t change anything, and if you think you changed anything, it’s actually what was always supposed to happen. That person was always stabbed by you and they were always going to be found and saved. It’s what always happened - you just didn’t experience until you actually did it. Examples for this kind of time travel is seen in Lost, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and The Terminator.
b) The next way is the Dynamic Timeline. This is the one that most scientists veer to, most likely. You’ll see why. In this Dynamic Timeline the time traveler goes back to kill his grandfather, shooting him dead. The time traveler, kills his grandfather before he is able to have children. He kills the person that would eventually marry and have a child who would marry and have him - the time traveler. So he’s preventing his own birth by killing his grandfather, and if he is never born, he can’t grow up and become a time traveler, thus not being able to go back in time and kill his grandfather, which makes his grandfather stay living, which makes the time traveler born who grows up to time travel and go back and kill the grandfather. It is an endless loop and creates a paradox. This type of time travel is seen in Back to the Future.
Paradox (noun) - a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true. (via google)
For more on this type of time travel see this video of the Grandfather Paradox
c) The third is the Multiverse Timeline. This is the type of time travel where the idea of multiple or alternate timelines can exist in an infinite number of possibilities. If Jane is a time traveler and leaves her current timeline and goes back in time she is causing an opposing timeline from the first. So Jane can do anything and the only timeline that will be affected will be that current one she is changing. Which means the timeline that she left is untouched, except that they are missing Jane from it because she’s traveling. So, basically Jane can kill all her grandparents and nothing will happen because there are no paradoxes in this type of time travel. Jane just created a new timeline. However you cannot return to your current one. This type of time travel is seen in Back to the Future 2 & 3.
If you are interested more in this amazing subject, there are tons of books that you can read, as well as really good movies (listed in the three types of timelines).
- The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (1895)
- Timeline by Michael Crichton (1999)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (1999) (even though it is not a time travel book, the ending does have it)
- The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (2003)
- Time After Time by Karl Alexander (1979)
- Faces In Time: A Time Traveler Thriller by Lewis E. Aleman
…and many more
So that brings us back to my question: If you were a time traveler and you went back in time and killed yourself (just go with me), what do you think would happen to you currently - as the person that killed your younger self?
What do you think would happen if you went back and killed yourself? Some would say you would be unaffected, some would say it’s impossible and some would say you would cease to exist. But what do you think?