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Thread: You find yourself in the cretaceous

  1. Top | #61
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Unless you travel to an alternate universe the time and place of departure must have already been shaped by your trip to the past, your trip to the past happened long before you departed. Whatever changes were caused by your travel to the past were in place before you left.

  2. Top | #62
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    A paradox is not real, it s jyst the limitaion of our nrain.

    I am sure oter ETs travel throug time all tye time.

    In fact, I expect Earth and humans are a kind of an amusement park for their entertainment.

    All those unidentified aerial vehicles are really part of an ET reality show light years away. Watch the goofy humans.

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angra Mainyu View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse
    A time traveler who doesn't want their own species to suddenly blip out of existence should be trying to minimize, not maximize, their impact on the target landscape.
    So, do you think that that is possible? How do you get out of the grandfather paradox?
    One possibility is that the time traveller actually got to a parallel universe. Humans do not exist, and I do not see why he would have an obligation to try to bring about that tens of millions of years later they come into existence. I see no good reason to suspect he has a good chance of precisely influencing the future in that manner.

    Another possibility is that it's some kind of close curve. But whatever it is, if it's our universe, humans do exist in the present.

    If you are not convinced and think there is an alternative, I would ask what you mean that humans "suddenly blip out of existence". Does it happen to present-day humans, as if Thanos snapped his fingers? When? In 2021? Maybe 1934? 1492? 2223?
    Obviously, there is no way of answering such a hypothetical with any more assurance than the thousands of scifi stories that have explored these many variants on the theme. I would see the destruction of an ecosystem as an evil regardless of whether there were direct human costs to doing so. But massively disrupting an ecosystem whose outcomes have/had a significant bearing on your own seems especially risky in any universe where time travel was a linear, closed loop affair. I see no reason to assume that meddling with the past is a safe thing to do; we know full well that time is not an absolute property of the universe, but a relative one.
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

  4. Top | #64
    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    How much lasting damage would such a trip to the Cretaceous do if the time chosen was the week before the impactor?

  5. Top | #65
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Angra Mainyu View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse
    A time traveler who doesn't want their own species to suddenly blip out of existence should be trying to minimize, not maximize, their impact on the target landscape.
    So, do you think that that is possible? How do you get out of the grandfather paradox?
    One possibility is that the time traveller actually got to a parallel universe. Humans do not exist, and I do not see why he would have an obligation to try to bring about that tens of millions of years later they come into existence. I see no good reason to suspect he has a good chance of precisely influencing the future in that manner.

    Another possibility is that it's some kind of close curve. But whatever it is, if it's our universe, humans do exist in the present.

    If you are not convinced and think there is an alternative, I would ask what you mean that humans "suddenly blip out of existence". Does it happen to present-day humans, as if Thanos snapped his fingers? When? In 2021? Maybe 1934? 1492? 2223?
    Obviously, there is no way of answering such a hypothetical with any more assurance than the thousands of scifi stories that have explored these many variants on the theme. I would see the destruction of an ecosystem as an evil regardless of whether there were direct human costs to doing so. But massively disrupting an ecosystem whose outcomes have/had a significant bearing on your own seems especially risky in any universe where time travel was a linear, closed loop affair. I see no reason to assume that meddling with the past is a safe thing to do; we know full well that time is not an absolute property of the universe, but a relative one.
    We can't change the past. It's quite likely that we also can't change the future.

    If time travel to the past will happen, then it has happened, and the consequences were and are exactly what we see. How could it be otherwise?

    If you attempt to travel back in time with the intent to kill your grandfather, or to assassinate Hitler before WWII, or to do anything else that results in a different present from that which we observe, you will fail. If you didn't fail, then the present would be, and would always have been, different. And it's not different; it's how it is.

    Whether that implies that any attempt to travel back in time will fail; Or merely that any such travel can only result in the present as we see it, is unknown. I suspect that both past and present are fixed. Our awareness falls through four (or greater) dimensional spacetime, able only to influence our velocity along three of those dimensions. If we ever worked out a way to vary that velocity, it wouldn't imply a way to change the events of the time into which we move, regardless of the direction of our motion along the t axis.

    A time traveler arriving in the Cretaceous might not have the option to bring anything but his conscious awareness along - and might well find that he is a T Rex, rather than needing to shoot one. The difficulty of transferring awareness from oneself to another individual, particularly an individual of a different species, at a different time, may well be less difficult than the task of moving ones material body (or any other object) into the past.

    Both seem to me to be sufficiently technologically difficult as to qualify as "impossible", but then, forty years ago I would have considered the latest smartphone to be impossible too, so what do I know?

  6. Top | #66
    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    ...
    I would see the destruction of an ecosystem as an evil regardless of whether there were direct human costs to doing so. ...
    Would you sacrifice the human race in order to preserve another species?

  7. Top | #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse
    Obviously, there is no way of answering such a hypothetical with any more assurance than the thousands of scifi stories that have explored these many variants on the theme.
    I disagree. One can do much better, by showing that those stories are in general contradictory if interpreted as the characters do. In other words, the characters are vastly mistaken about the nature of their reality. Sure, one can ignore that in the story, but you were making point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse
    I would see the destruction of an ecosystem as an evil regardless of whether there were direct human costs to doing so.
    Even if that were true, a single human would not destroy the cretaceous ecosystem even if he has one of these, a big pistol, plenty of ammo for both, and a machete for good measure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse
    But massively disrupting an ecosystem whose outcomes have/had a significant bearing on your own seems especially risky in any universe where time travel was a linear, closed loop affair.
    If time travel is a closed loop affair, your influence in the past is already imbued in the present as DBT pointed out. There is nothing you can do in the past to change the present.

    Furthermore, the ecosystems of the Cretaceous will be far more massively disrupted in the future regardless of what the human does, when the asteroid hits. And if the asteroid does not hit, forget about humans in that parallel universe anyway.


    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse
    I see no reason to assume that meddling with the past is a safe thing to do; we know full well that time is not an absolute property of the universe, but a relative one.
    Safe for whom? For the past: sure, it's not possible to change it. For the person in the Cretaceous? Well, they will eventually get killed, so it's not safe anyway. But whose safety are you talking about?

  8. Top | #68
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    How much lasting damage would such a trip to the Cretaceous do if the time chosen was the week before the impactor?
    In that case what does it matter what gun you bring? You'll starve to death anyway.
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

  9. Top | #69
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    ...
    I would see the destruction of an ecosystem as an evil regardless of whether there were direct human costs to doing so. ...
    Would you sacrifice the human race in order to preserve another species?
    No, of course not. How on earth would not murdering a tyrannosaur endanger the human species?
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

  10. Top | #70
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Self defense is not murder.

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