Star Trek: The Two Spocks

Okay, before I wrote this, I googled “time travel paradox” and a lot of what I read, I didn’t “grasp” so maybe one of you could enlighten me?

Here’s the way I always understood it:

A person travelling back in time to correct something cannot ever meet himself, since the two can’t exist in the same place at the same time. So if he stays out of sight of his younger self, maybe he’ll succeed.

This guy: contradicts me, it seems. He even has 2 bar graphs and a short story to go with it, with not one, but twoof the same person meeting their younger self.

I’m sure there’s an explanation as to how it was done in Trek so that the two Spocks could talk to each other face to face, but I may not have been paying attention, so that’s why I’m asking y’all.



First of all, that rule is true for only certain works. Definitely not true for All You Zombies by Heinlein.
Second, the new Trek is on a different time line. The Spock there is not the same as the Spock from the original timeline, will never become him, and, since the timelines have diverged, it is too late for any action by the old Spock to cause any harm,

Think multi-universe interpretation. They are not the same person.

These are Timecop rules not Back to the Future or even Bill and Ted rules.

I don’t recall the episode title but Spock went back to give some advice to his younger self in TOS.

Who says?

It’s hardly an explored area of science. All you have to go on are some random theories and the inventions of some science-fiction authors.

Certainly many sci-fi shows allow a time-traveller to meet himself. Star Trek has clearly put itself firmly in that camp. It’s just as valid as any other sci-fi science.

Not true. But we’re not allowed to talk about it while we’re here…


I really like this topic, even though I don’t understand the physics involved.

I do understand the wormhole theory a bit, though. I may be wrong in my wording, but one enters the hole and enters into a space that is pliable (and here’s where I falter) and travels across/into it’s surface to the time he wants?

In the Star Trek commentary, J J Abrams does discuss it, but only to the degree of saying “It was fated that they meet.” Correct me please, in the unlikely event:):):slight_smile: that I’m wrong!



Not in TOS, but ther was an episode of the animated series where Spock had to go back to a time in his earlier life to keep himself from being killed at a young age.

We got to see his pet sehlat.

I remember Kirk asking Spock if Spock remembers his childhood and being visited by someone who resembles him in the present.

There’s nothing special about a person meeting him/herself at a different point in time.

If you were to say that two of the same particle can’t meet itself at a different point in time, then that would pretty much make time travel impossible or at least very, very difficult.

There’s no inherent law of physics that says “one cannot meet thy self in the past,” because there’s no way to make it so we currently could send something back into the past.

And Spock did not reveal himself as being from the future. He introduced himself as a distant cousin, “Selek”.

You were indeed thinking of the TAS episode “Yesteryear,” which was written by Dorothy Fontana, one of the original series’ writers.

Memory Alpha

Thanks. I bet my brother the Trekkie was watching that and I wasn’t really paying attention.

You are in violation of…

… um, never mind. :o

Heck, if you want to see time-travel with no rules at all, check out The Man Who Folded Himself.

I never thought of it as a scientific rule, cause it wouldn’t make sense. It’s not as if they’re actually occupying the EXACT same place and time; even as a kid, it sounded like a plot device, or more optimistically, a social science fiction, a moral guideline. Scientifically, it has never made sense to me even a little.

[li]Rule 1 of time travel: Do not talk about time travel[/li]
[li]Rule 2 of time travel: Do not talk about time travel[/li]
[li]Rule 3 of time travel: Do not attempt to assassinate Hitler[/li]
[li]Rule 4 of time travel: After your first attempt to assassinate Hilter is reverted by another time travel agent, do not attempt to use other means to remove Hitler from the time line[/li]
[li]Rule 5 of time travel: After you’ve stopped attempting to use other means to remove Hitler from the time line only to have your attempts reverted by other agents, do not attempt to save JFK[/li]
[li]For rules 6 through double infinity +1, please consult your guidebook[/li][/ul]

This is exactly why I like this subject: so many differing opinions, theories and hypotheses.

Who was it that said, “To conceive of a purple cow, is essentially to have met one”?

The point being that our technology is advancing faster than ever, and who’s to say that someone, sometime won’t make time travel happen?

Just hope I’ll still be here when it does, because I’ll be the first in line as a passenger.



Rule 7- Killing Hitler only results in Worse Hitler

You should watch Primer. It explains this all perfectly.