Consistent Time Change Theories


Temporal Novice
I would like to solicit comments regarding the following situation. I wish to use it as a springboard for discussion, because I see many possibilities:

How is any change due to time travel possible if it involves knowledge of objects that come from a future portion of the time stream that is wiped out by a change?

For example:
#1 In a trip to the future, I find out that tomorrow I will break my leg in a freak car accident, ending my career as a long-distance runner. So I don't leave the house tomorrow, and avoid the accident. But the knowledge of the accident is in a timeline that no longer exists.

#2 I go back in time and accidentally kill the inventor of the time machine before it is invented. But without the invention of the time machine, I cannot go back in time to kill the inventor.

Are these logically equivalent to the grandfather paradox? To each other?

#3 I go back in time and, after I am born, give my dad a tip on buying Microsoft stock. I return to the present and I'm rich (yay)!

This is for the purposes of a somewhat consistent time travel theory for FICTION. For the sake of drama, I would like to allow the possibility of changes that the time traveler can see. I am also allowing real changes, not minor changes that will be fixed by the timestream, and nothing about fate or the inevitibility of the future. I also don't want parallel timelines or alternate realities. I am attempting this with a single linear timeline that can be changed.

For the sake of what I want, I would like to allow for #1 and #3, but say #2 would like cause the destruction of the universe or something.

Thanks for any help,

<This message has been edited by Yankee (edited 31 May 2001).>
I wanted to separate some of my thoughts on the question with the question...

Is there a difference in acting in the past to change the present *AS* acting in the present to change the future, assuming that knowledge through time travel is used to precipitate the action?

To solve for allowing #1 and #3 but not #2, what if the "present" is actually the PRESENT and the future is actually only a projected possible future? I feel a little slimy trying to slip that in, though.

I would like to say that you can change the future any way you want with knowledge of the future, BUT you are constrained in the changes you make to the past such that you cannot eliminate your time travel experience.

Sometimes, I think that fiction has mistreated the future. It places limits on what actions can be taken in the past to change the present, but does not consider what changing the present does to the future. It seems to me that it should just be a matter of perspective, that my future is someone else's present.

Unfortunately, I am attempting to fit a new theory into what is kind of an already existing fictional entity. To continue without selling out my consistency, I must justify having #1 and #3 exist while disallowing #2. Bad way to do things, putting band-aids on a story. Maybe I should just do what Star Trek (after Kirk) did and invent a new particle to explain it all.

As you mentionned about the grand-father paradox, many attempt to the past would create the same situation, where the famous question come: what appends? At that point comes many ideas (that you've readed about I'm shure). I'm not shure to believe in parrallel world, but I believe we can conceive many possibilities, that are going to append, or not.

All the possibilities of parradox demonstrate that today "time travel" is still not popular (or possible) because that would create his non-existence.

(I'll tell you a secret, I know somebody actually who have that machine, hihi! It have to be a secret, it's comprehensible isn't it?)

It's possible that we're living "stuff" time over time without knowing it, the indice would be for those who are in the case of seing (or already seen) something appening right now. Ok, there's medical explanation for many cases but some are indertimined.
I think I may have already answered this question on another thread, however since it appears you are asking similar questions here as well, I shall repost my reply.

O.K. let's just say for the sake of argument, you "did" go back in Time, with the intent to kill your Grandparents (as a test)
First of all, because you were not even born yet tells us clearly that you have killed somone elses Grandparents that may resemble your own, but are not.

Also the fact that you are still alive afterwards clearly tells us that they are not "Your" Grandparents, so the question remains if this scenario ever were to take place, "Who's Grandparents did you kill then?

Truly this is indicative that what you are participating in is an "Alternate" or "Parallel" Universe, regardless, threfore in spite of the question as to wh's Grandparents you have killed, it is very possible that your "Meddeling" has set forth a cosmic chain reaction in the Time-Line directly associated to that of your own, therefore it is contemptious to believe that after comitting such an act while Time~Travelling, that you would be capable of returning to your original World from whence you came from.

What I am proposing here is that if you were only observing that Time-Line, without creating any "Drastic" alterations as such, it is possible that you may be more capable of returning to your original point of origin with little, or no divergences, however when you participate in such alterations, I believe that this action
for every action, there is an equal, or greater opposing)...action creates a seperation that prohibits your ability to return to your original world, instead, you end up returning to the one that you altered.

Don't take my word for it though, you can see that I am not the only one out there that shares this view, including one of our world's leading physicists "Dr. Michio Kaku". Check out his website & see for yourself how he negates those paradoxes!
But, Time02112, if you were able to travel back to the past (I will say "If" again) it would be
impossible not to make alterations, because even the simplest of actions would alter the
future. The slightest bending of a blade of grass would change the wind direction slightly,
which would stop the apple which was supposed to fall on Newton's head from falling. Thus severely
changing history as we know it.
Its impossible to observe without interacting in the slightest of ways. And the smallest of
interactions can lead to the largest of alterations. Thet’s just common sense.
As you said Time02112, for every action there is an opposite but equal reaction. Your
action is suddenly appearing in a world that is not of your time. You automatically find
yourself in a field with a single flower. You pick the flower and keep it. That flower
played a significant part in an artist to draw the flower. That picture would of changed a man's mind of divorcing his wife, but now the idea never seemed clear enough to consider.
The woman in despair of her husbands decision kills herself, and all that she would of done to somehow change the future in little ways never happens. Each small change she would of made would of had more reactions, and so on, and so on. Thus you totally changed history just by picking a flower that wasn't originally picked by you.
The world is based on mathematics, and solely on that. Every little action done in this world has a huge outcome over all. It's like numbers. For every 1 there is automatically a 2, and so on. For every action there is another to go with it. A never ending sequence.
actually in referrence to the molecular suggestions, we would be examining potential methods to break down the molecular components of the body, and reasemble it into the buble via a means of quantum injections that are sent in packets vey much like the data that is being transmitted to deliver this message over the internet.
This quantum bubble, would be shielded to withstand any outside influences from interacting with the contents (the traveller) and be connected by a series of broadband quantum Time~Streams which contain all the information connected to the orginating world-Line from whence it departed, as to ensure zero divergence, thus enabling the traveller to return to their original worldline from any given point in Time of their coordinated destination.

(CCS-Q-S) = "Closed Curcuit,-Quantum-Time Stream"

you can read more about this here...
I'd like to guide this discussion back to the request I posted by clarifying:

I am looking for a consistent time travel theory that would allow my situations #1 and #3 but not allow #2. Pure speculation is okay, and perhaps I should be asking speculative fiction writers rather than time travel enthusiasts. The theory for which I am searching does not have to be one that is currently entertained as possible. Because this is for fiction, it can be false, so long as it is consistent.

I want to allow for minor changes to the past, and any change to the future, but no change in the past that would jeopardize the time travel event.

Thank you,
But Hank, thats physically impossible to do. Predictions of the future are impossible past a certain point. Because of the chaos theory. Tiny imperfections are all around. Just a slight change could, and most certianly would make a giant difference in your prediction.
The easiest way to explain thisi is the pool table affect. When you hit a pool ball along the pool table. Mathematicly its possible to predict where it will end up by using the balls weight, mass, the velocity you hit it, and so on. But tiny imperfections in the ball and the table will gradually set the ball of course of where you iinteded. Now predicting where it will end upover a short period, say a bankshot is fairly easy to predict which whole it will end up in. However a long hit of the ball, will be much harder to predict, not only for its lengthyness, but its imperfections as well. The longer you go the harder it is.
The same way is with the future. If we had the mind capacity to take into consideration all the imperfections, we could predict the future (to an extent) today. But it would be the same way if you were to travel back to the past and change one thing. Initially it might not make a paradox, but inevitably it will. Whether it's directly initialed at you, or it just somehow flows into contact with you at some point or another. It might be improbable to travel back a day before, and make a paradox unknowingly (as long as you don't kill yourself or anything of the sort), but it's still possible.
I don't think you can be logically consistent while allowing #1 but disallowing #2, because I think they're logically equivalent. Perhaps it would be better in your story to have the inventor of TT protected by some sort of force field or some such, which prevents TT to his viscinity. As for allowing #3, I think to be believeable you have to take a multiple-universes tack; so that you end up in a different timeline when you return. I can't offhand think of another logical way to do this.