The link said “Time Travel: Fiction or Reality?” And I am forced to admit, I am a sucker for newsish articles on time travel. I know (rationally) that anything I find about it on msn.com is going to have less depth than a wombat’s contact lens. But I couldn’t help myself (my own knowledge is only as deep as the wombat’s reading glasses) I had to see what they said. The article was a puff piece reviewing Crichton’s new book “Timeline” and essentially said that the science he bases his story on is theoretically possible.
The article focused on Crichton’s maneuvering around the oft-used ‘grandfather conundrum’ by appealing to Everett’s many universe hypothesis. (The many universe hypothesis essentially says [great, now I am guilty of oversimplifying things too…sheesh!] that when there is an apparent collapse of a wave function, the universe actually splits [though ‘splits’ is not quite right] and there is a true (but separate) reality in which each possible outcome definitely occurs).
I have thought (or have been taught, rather) however, that Everett’s hypothesis didn’t form a coherent model of the universe for two reasons. First is a statistical reason. A good portion of our awareness of quantum mechanical conundrums stems from the statistical nature of the outcome of measurements. However, if in each measurement all results are one hundred percent guaranteed to occur, how do our observations is ‘this’ reality make any sense at all? Secondly, the number of universes that are created seems to depend on the terms of the equation, terms arbitrarily chosen by the experimenter.
So here (finally) are my questions. The article said
Why? Have there been advances to further Everett’s hypothesis, or have new logical arguments been put forth that would support the hypothesis? Or are no new logical arguments necessary, and the hypothesis can stand on its own.
Though there is a collection of theories put forth that are somewhat similar (quantum foam, etc.) I am hoping to see responses that deal mainly with Everett, because that is what I am most familiar with. Allow me to come to some understanding of one theory before I try and understand the next.
And lastly, I beg your forgiveness for my sloppy terminology, oversimplifications and for asking a question the answer to which I have little hope of truly understanding. Wish me luck.
Once in a while you can get shown the light
in the strangest of places
if you look at it right…