Why Time Travel is Impossible
The Definition of Time
Before I explain why time travel is impossible, I first need to describe what this elusive word ‘time’ refers to. Well, if we look at a dictionary, then what we discover is that the word time has many conflicting definitions.
But what all of these definitions have in common is that they all ultimately refer to motion. Time is a dynamic concept, not a static one. Time is a measurement of motion. Time either refers to “past, present and future” (an abstract description of objects moving from their ‘past location’ to their ‘present location’) or to our measurements of “seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, etc, etc.” (Which is based off of the earth’s motion around the Sun). We used this concept to invent sundials, hourglasses and clocks.
Time is an extremely common word. In fact it’s one of the most commonly used words in the English language. Yet this word is actually defined very sloppily and inconsistently. Time is a vague word that has very little meaning. A much better word to use when discussing this subject is ‘motion’. The word motion refers to the changing locations of objects. Unlike ‘time’ the word motion has a very clear meaning.
Reverse Motion is Impossible
So, when someone talks about ‘time travel’ then what’s really being proposed is the idea of either ‘reversing motion’ (so-called time travel to the past) or ‘speeding up motion’ (so-called time travel to the future).
It is definitely impossible to reverse motion. In this picture let’s say that this eraser is at ‘location A’.
And now in this picture I’ve moved the eraser to ‘location B’.
The only way to get the eraser back to location A again is to pick it up and move it back there again. It’s as simple as that. The only way an object can get back to its ‘past location’ is if it moves back there again. “The past” is not recorded. There is no magic movie camera that’s filming everything.
“Past, present and future” are very misleading concepts. In reality there are just things moving around right now. Nothing else. It is our memory that confuses us into thinking otherwise. We have the ability to memorize the previous locations of objects. But the universe does not posses any such ability because the universe (as a whole) is not conscious. Memory requires a conscious observer. No memory = no past.
As for ‘speeding up motion’; well, it’s certainly possible to cause individual objects to move faster. But it is definitely not possible to cause all of the matter in the universe to move faster. No one possesses the ability to perform such a magical feat.
So-called ‘time travel’ is an irrational idea that has no basis in reality. The reason why time travel is impossible is because there’s no such thing as time. Humans invented the concept of time. ‘Time’ has nothing to do with reality. Reality consists only of matter and the word ‘motion’ refers to the changing locations of matter. No time = no time travel.
© 2013 Kevin Porter