I love a good science fiction precept. One of the classic precepts is time travel. Books have been written. TV shows aired. Movies released. I can’t get enough of it, especially if some fresh nuance concerning time travel is postulated.
Despite that, I totally disbelieve time can be traversed, or indeed that it is anything other than one-dimensional and forward moving. I have a few reasons for feeling so. The last one I present represents for me the final sword thrust, the coup de grâce, for time travel.
Time Travel – My First Difficulty
The first concept of time travel is doubtless the age of dinosaurs. The notion of travel to the past is abundant in classic printed media. But in visiting the past, one is advised—cautioned—against modifying history for fear it will disrupt the here and now.
But what does it mean to modify history? Does history not incorporate anything and everything? The presence of an extra person increases the population. His respiration modifies the atmospheric gas concentrations, including oxygen, carbon dioxide, and water vapor.
Time Travel – My Second Difficulty
Suppose a man from 2200 goes back to 1500, then returns to 2200. When he returns to 2200, he is not the same age as he would have been had he never left. If he could be the same age, this would suggest he could travel to the distant past, spend many years there, then return and be the same exact age. In effect, the principles involved would allow the man to achieve everlasting life.
If people were able to travel in time, many might do so, and the past, the present, and the future would be in a constant state of flux. Yet such is not the case. History, once written, remains history.
Time Travel – My Third Difficulty
The third line of reason relates to the Bible. The Bible promises all the wicked will be destroyed. (Psalm 37:10) But if they still exist in the “stream of time,” would they truly have been destroyed? One could simply travel into the past and communicate with them.
And going back to the second difficulty, in order to have everlasting life, one must, the Scriptures inform us, exercise faith in the Son of God… not engage in exotic time travel. (John 17:36)