SciFi Question of the Day: What reasons are there to argue that it is more feasible to travel backwards in time than to travel forwards, or vice versa?
Elsie LiftPort Ask a baby, they have to ride backwards in the carseat all the time!
Eylat Poliner Thanks AmyBeth, I’m stealing this.
Geri Bressler It’s a look before you leap question. In moving backward there are known events/landmarks to guide you. In moving forward, you are leaping blind–not typically recommended as the landing can be catastrophic.
Perry Willis In leaping forward, you gain future knowledge, which if acted upon in the present, can change the future.
Peet McCain One of the science parts of time travel that scifi forgets is that the earth itself is moving. For example, if you went back (or forward) one day, you would be 1/365th off of the Earths path around the sun, and end up in space. Since the Solar system is also moving, as is the Milky Way, any time travel would have a very large amount of actual travel, and would almost have to be in a space ship. So I say going back is just about our only option.
Dan Bressler There are some theoretical methods of time travel that would allow you to move either forward or backward in time. The catch is that it’s a quantum kind of event. You don’t know which way you’re going to go until you get there.
Google Plus Answers:
Anna L. Walls Traveling backwards – there is something back there to go to. Traveling forwards – there’s nothing there yet. The future is too liquid to fix a location on.
Thomas Wilson Possibly because if every second the time lines are splitting caused the the multitude of different choices people made all over the planet and through out the universe that the past has already happened and the future has not. Just an thought.
David Amerland It’s a question of energy expenditure (and the 2nd law of Thermodynamics comes into play here). Travelling towards the future, however fluid that may be, is a low-cost process in terms of energy. We could sit all day on our butts and we’ll still get there. Going back into the past is a much higher-energy expenditure proposition. Hence the difficulties we face in making it happen (not to mention the potential Time Paradox it may throw up).
Joanna Staebler-Kimmel it’s easier to go to the past because the past has already happened and there was a time traveler there. You already did it, therefore you can do it.
It’s easier to go to the future because it hasn’t happened yet, so you can do whatever you like without the universe trying to constrain you to previously observed events.
I also like Anna’s idea that the future is too undefined to get a fix on, and David’s idea that traveling to the future is like swimming with the current.
I would love to hear what you think! Even if you are reading this post a year or more after publishing, I hope you will leave a comment with your own ideas on this topic.
The previous SciFi Q of the Day is Leaving the Solar System
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The next SciFi Q of the Day is ISS or TV