The debates have been endless. I have a headache. We’ve done so many experiments with those damn toys. Every one of them has disappeared. But I just can’t figure out how to track them. Where are they going?
Jin brought up her alternate universe theory again. As usual, she makes a lot of good points. My immediate reaction is that she’s wrong – but my bias is suspect. If she’s right, then time travel is exceedingly dangerous, and I have no right – no moral, ethical right, to pursue it.
Although even Jin acknowledges that won’t stop someone else from attempting it. Like me, she believes that ideas – that knowledge – cannot be stopped. If we set it aside now, or try to bury it, someone will simply figure it out later.
Jin described her idea quite simply. I’ll repeat it here, as I try to figure out my own thoughts and feelings on this.
We live in our universe. As far as we know, our universe began at some point in the past, and has proceeded in orderly fashion to the present, just so:
Our research has convinced us that time, like light, has more than one property. To us, who experience it within the shell of our limited senses, time is a straight line. All that we see has a beginning, proceeds to grow older, then dies, and reincorporates into the whole. This holds for fish or people, stars or galaxies. It is true, as far as we know, for our entire universe.
Yet… it is not true. Even within our universe, time has eddies. It is fluid. All time exists all at once. No, I can’t comprehend it. But I’ve learned how to use it. And for the purposes of Jin’s theory, comprehension doesn’t matter.
What happens if we travel backward along our straight timeline?
This is not to scale, of course. I want room to show what happens. I’ve chosen 1906 arbitrarily – 100 years being an easy number to work with.
Consider the line. From “0” (the beginning of time), up until 2006 the line is straight. Then we move an object, or perhaps someday, a person, back to 1906.
We have not moved EVERYTHING back to 1906. Just a very small piece of our universe. So for all that remains in 2006, the line continues on as if nothing has happened.
But in 1906, there is change. In 1906, the next hundred years must happen again. And there is no reason they must be exactly like the first timeline. In fact, because of our time traveler, there is instant change. How large or small the change is unknown. But there is no way for the coming years to follow along the exact course they did before.
So the timeline now looks like this:
A new timeline. A new… universe. Because the one hundred years DID happen, and they are not simply erased when we go back in time.
All of time exists at once. I know this from my research, even if I can’t comprehend it. But is it true, that I am creating new universes every time I send something back in time?
Jin thinks so. And I bloody well don’t want that on my conscience.