A or B Theory


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It seems like most people here assume that the past exists in a real sense. I am curious as to how you justify that. In order to travel to some place, it has to actually exist. But how do you prove the past exists?
 

mullac998

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The past exist everything is written that we do. So if you time travel to a point before you was born it would exist because its already happened
 
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I think you missed the key point of the problem. Just because the past happened does not mean that it now exists. Either there exists a university that spans time and space as a single thing (past, present, and future), or there exists a universe which is the present moment and exists in a constant state of flux. If the latter is true, then you wouldn't be able to go to the past. Traveling to the past is nonsensical in that context.
 

Apri1

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I think you missed the key point of the problem. Just because the past happened does not mean that it now exists. Either there exists a university that spans time and space as a single thing (past, present, and future), or there exists a universe which is the present moment and exists in a constant state of flux. If the latter is true, then you wouldn't be able to go to the past. Traveling to the past is nonsensical in that context.
How would you explain time dilation under a-theory of time? The two appear to contradict. I'm also curious how you would explain multiple timelines under your model. A-theory fails to explain basic observations. Whereas B-theory already has complete scientific explanations for what's observed.
 
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How would it contradict? The passage of time is relative to the observer. If you are traveling at great acceleration, then it will seem to you that people back on Earth are progressing through time very fast. Chain of causality is not broken anywhere here. If you look at it in the sense of Heraclitus, it would be as if flux itself can happen faster or slower depending upon gravity/acceleration.

As far as multiple timelines.. absolutely no evidence of that has been presented. There is no evidence of multiverses, strings, or branes, or any of that stuff. Those things are better described as applied metaphysics than physics, which is a physical science. If your model does not make falsifiable predictions that we can test with scientific instruments, and duplicate those experiments, then that's not science. Sorry.
 
Thread starter #9
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This all stems from the ancient division between Heraclitus and Parmenides. Heraclitus saw the universe as essentially a present moment that is constantly in flux. Parmenides rejected the very idea of change, and saw the universe as a static whole. To him, our experiences of past, present, and future are illusory. They all exist eternally, unchanging, and our experience of change happens because we do not experience the universe as it's whole.

The ramifications here of the Parmenides solution is that, while the past exists, nothing can really change. So.. if you could somehow travel there, everything you did in the past would be whatever happened in the past. You wouldn't be able to alter what happens because what happened still included you being there in the first place. In other words, it doesn't make any sense to posit a time traveler in period B deciding to travel to period A, where he historically was not present, and then using his machine to now be in period A. If he goes to period A, then he was there before he even decided to travel there in the first place.

The ramifications of the Heraclitus solution is that the past does not exist. Only the present moment exists. In order to travel to some place, it has to exist. You cannot travel to a place that does not exist. I cannot travel to Middle Earth. Nor can you. It does not exist. I can, however, travel to Newark or Danville. Those places are really, really shitty, but they exist, and though I have never been to either one, and hopefully never will travel to one, I know I can travel there. The same is true for time travel. You cannot logically travel to something that does not exist.
 

paradox404

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I'll start by saying that the past does indeed exist. It is a physical location within 4th dimensional space. While I understand your point that technically one has no proof it exists without observing it, which in turn alters it and becomes useless. Anyway by that logic technically nothing exists at all.

But seriously how do you believe a physical location in 4th dimensional space cannot exist?