1. Standard memberknightmeister
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    19 Feb '09 18:47
    Someone may correct me here on the science but I have thought about a scenario that might shed some light on the current Free Will v Omniscience debate (ref-thread - God has to know)

    Please feel free to correct me if I have got the science wrong.

    Eintein's theory of relativity does say that it's possible for time travel into the future (yes?)

    Take this scenario -

    Jeff flies his interstellar ship at millions of miles per hour off to Vega and returns after 30 years travelling . Bob stays on earth not going anywhere. Due to the speed Jeff goes at on his journey relativity predicts (as I understand it) that although he would be in his ship for 30 years , when he arrived on earth he would find that more than 30 years had passed. Let's say that the difference was one hour for arguments sake.

    In theory then he would be able to kind of see into the future because if he bumped into Bob walking his dog he would be witnessing something an hour ahead of time that he would not have been able to see if he had not gone on his trip.

    In theory Jeff would be seeing Bob's future 1 hour before Bob had felt he had actually done it. His choice to walk the dog would be seen by Jeff but from earth's time perpsective Bob would not yet have walked the dog. The question is whether Bob has walked his dog yet or not or whether it's true to say he has both walked his dog ( jeff's relative view on time) and also not yet walked his dog (bob's perspective).

    If this is sound theory ( and I suspect I will be told it isn't somehow) then doesn't relativity have implications for the Free Will debate? If we cannot say for definite that an event has happened or not happened (or it's both) then it's logically possible that God could know choice X as having happened but also that it's true to say that it hasn't happened. And if it hasn't happened then the choice is still open and could be a free will choice - but if it also has then it can be known infallibly by God.

    Instinctively , I guess we all feel that it's counterintuitive to say this and that it's more logical to say that X has either happened or it hasn't.

    But actually , the more I think about it - isn't this just a Newtonian view of time ? Does Einstein help God out here?

    The objection to the "free will can include an omniscient God" idea is that if some choice has come to pass for God then it must be set in stone for us. But relativity might come to the rescue here. Could it be said that a choice is both fixed by us in a future timeline (God's view) but also not fixed as yet by us ( our view) ?

    Afterall , what really counts with free will is whether at that precise moment (when we get there) we are able to choose X or Y. If at that moment we are the ones fixing our choice and we are doing it freely , why does it matter that from a different perspective God sees us fixing it? The choice could be both fixed but also not fixed.

    Would Jeff conclude that Bob's choice to walk the dog was determined just because he witnesses it? How could he? For Bob in his relative position he has yet to fix his choice. We know he will walk his dog but that does not prove he never could have stayed at home if he had wanted to. Up until that point for Bob when he walks his dog his choice is not yet fixed , he still has to fix it in his future by making that choice. The fact that Jeff can see him fixing his own timeline via his free choice is not relevant to Bob because it's true to say that his choice has not yet been made.
  2. weedhopper
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    19 Feb '09 18:56
    I thought Einstein said that if time travel were possible, it could ONLY go backwards, into the past and never the future?
  3. Standard memberknightmeister
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    19 Feb '09 19:16
    Originally posted by PinkFloyd
    I thought Einstein said that if time travel were possible, it could ONLY go backwards, into the past and never the future?
    I think it was the other way round , but I'm sure we'll find out soon.
  4. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    19 Feb '09 19:262 edits
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Someone may correct me here on the science but I have thought about a scenario that might shed some light on the current Free Will v Omniscience debate (ref-thread - God has to know)

    Please feel free to correct me if I have got the science wrong.

    Eintein's theory of relativity does say that it's possible for time travel into the future (yes?)
    t to Bob because it's true to say that his choice has not yet been made.
    He wouldn't be seeing into the future. The time would have already passed. It would really be the future.

    In theory Jeff would be seeing Bob's future 1 hour before Bob had felt he had actually done it.

    Incorrect. Bob would have already done it, and felt himself doing it.

    His choice to walk the dog would be seen by Jeff but from earth's time perpsective Bob would not yet have walked the dog.

    Incorrect. What relativistic speeds do is change how much time affects things. Jeff lived for 30 years, while Bob lived for 30 years plus a day, both "at the same time" but with Bob having more time compressed into that "time". I'm not sure how to explain it more clearly...

    It's as though Jeff went through a minor sort of suspended animation which slowed him down, making him lose a day over the 30 years.
  5. Germany
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    19 Feb '09 20:06
    The theory of relativity does not explicitly say time travel is possible, it just doesn't rule it out. In any case, the science fiction type of time travel is impossible.
  6. Joined
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    19 Feb '09 20:082 edits
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_travel

    “…Time travel has not been proven to be possible…”

    Although relativity doesn’t say nor imply that it is impossible.

    “…Some theories, most notably special and general relativity, suggest that suitable geometries of spacetime, or specific types of motion in space, might allow time travel into the past and future IF these geometries or motions are possible…”(my emphasis)

    I happen to know that, to date, the “IF” above is an extremely big IF!
    I am afraid all we have got going for time travel at the present time is a load of totally and purely wild speculation without even the slightest shred of evidence to back any of it up although I am not saying here that it is impossible.
  7. Standard memberknightmeister
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    19 Feb '09 22:56
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    He wouldn't be seeing into the future. The time would have already passed. It would really be the future.

    In theory Jeff would be seeing Bob's future 1 hour before Bob had felt he had actually done it.

    Incorrect. Bob would have already done it, and felt himself doing it.

    [i]His choice to walk the dog would be seen by ...[text shortened]... of suspended animation which slowed him down, making him lose a day over the 30 years.
    It's as though Jeff went through a minor sort of suspended animation which slowed him down, making him lose a day over the 30 years.
    --------young------------------

    So what happens to that day when Jeff returns?
  8. weedhopper
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    19 Feb '09 22:59
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    I think it was the other way round , but I'm sure we'll find out soon.
    🙂 That much is certain.
  9. Standard memberknightmeister
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    19 Feb '09 23:001 edit
    Originally posted by Andrew Hamilton
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_travel

    “…Time travel has not been proven to be possible…”

    Although relativity doesn’t say nor imply that it is impossible.

    “…Some theories, most notably special and general relativity, suggest that suitable geometries of spacetime, or specific types of motion in space, might allow time travel into the past a ...[text shortened]... test shred of evidence to back any of it up although I am not saying here that it is impossible.
    Despite this you do agree that if Jeff had travelled at high speeds even of maybe 500,000 mph for 30 years or so , when he returned he would be likely to experience some distortion of time would he not?

    I was under the impression that experiments had been done already to prove this effect using highly sensitive time pieces in planes and such like. Just found this on wiki............



    "Time dilation has been tested a number of times. The routine work carried on in particle accelerators since the 1950s, such as those at CERN, is a continuously running test of the time dilation of special relativity."


    "Time dilation would make it possible for passengers in a fast-moving vehicle to travel further into the future while ageing very little, in that their great speed slows down the rate of passage of on-board time. That is, the ship's clock (and according to relativity, any human travelling with it) shows less elapsed time than the clocks of observers on Earth. For sufficiently high speeds the effect is dramatic. For example, one year of travel might correspond to ten years at home. Indeed, a constant 1 g acceleration would permit humans to travel as far as light has been able to travel since the big bang (some 13.7 billion light years) in one human lifetime. The space travellers could return to Earth billions of years in the future. A scenario based on this idea was presented in the novel Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle."

    WIKI
  10. Standard memberknightmeister
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    19 Feb '09 23:22
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    He wouldn't be seeing into the future. The time would have already passed. It would really be the future.

    In theory Jeff would be seeing Bob's future 1 hour before Bob had felt he had actually done it.

    Incorrect. Bob would have already done it, and felt himself doing it.

    [i]His choice to walk the dog would be seen by ...[text shortened]... of suspended animation which slowed him down, making him lose a day over the 30 years.
    Incorrect. Bob would have already done it, and felt himself doing it.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------young--------------

    True , from Jeff's perspective he would have already done it , but from Bob;s he would not ( at least I think so )

    "Part of the concept of absolute time was the assumption that it was valid to say things like, “I wonder what my uncle in Beijing is doing right now.” In the nonrelativistic world-view, clocks in Los Angeles and Beijing could be synchronized and stay synchronized, so we could unambiguously define the concept of things happening simultaneously in different places. It is easy to find examples, however, where events that seem to be simultaneous in one frame of reference are not simultaneous in another frame. In figure k, a flash of light is set off in the center of the rocket's cargo hold. According to a passenger on the rocket, the parts of the light traveling forward and backward have equal distances to travel to reach the front and back walls, so they get there simultaneously. But an outside observer who sees the rocket cruising by at high speed will see the flash hit the back wall first, because the wall is rushing up to meet it, and the forward-going part of the flash hit the front wall later, because the wall was running away from it. "

    http://www.lightandmatter.com/html_books/6mr/ch01/ch01.html
  11. Standard memberknightmeister
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    19 Feb '09 23:25
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    The theory of relativity does not explicitly say time travel is possible, it just doesn't rule it out. In any case, the science fiction type of time travel is impossible.
    So if relativity does not rule it out then it might be possible to see someone's choices before they feel that they make that choice themselves.

    If that cannot be ruled out then we also cannot rule out God being able to see our future free choices without it affecting our free will at all.
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    19 Feb '09 23:577 edits
    Originally posted by PinkFloyd
    I thought Einstein said that if time travel were possible, it could ONLY go backwards, into the past and never the future?
    No. IF time travel were possible then it would only be possible to go into the future and not back.

    BUT that is speaking of this scenario of Special Relativity's "Time Travel". That is Special Relativity style:

    A man and his twin brother are on the earth. The twin takes off in a rocket traveling near light speed. According to the twin left on earth, his brother is away say 50 years. But to the traveling brother, his clock has him away for much less time. Let us say 10 years (just to use an example).

    When the traveling brother returns to earth he has aged only ten years (due to time dilation). Time has "slowed down" for the traveling twin because of his speed near to that of the speed of light. His twin brother has aged 50 years.

    So the brother who aged 10 years because of time dilation, in a sense, has "time traveled" into the future. That is what Special Relativity theorists refer to as time travel. And it is always forward and never backwards.

    But there is another example of funny things which happen with time which I won't speak to without reviewing some notes.
  13. Cape Town
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    20 Feb '09 06:24
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    In theory then he would be able to kind of see into the future because if he bumped into Bob walking his dog he would be witnessing something an hour ahead of time that he would not have been able to see if he had not gone on his trip.
    No. You've got it all wrong, but maybe others have explained it better already. Relativity simply says that time is relative so that my time might run at a different speed from yours. There is no absolute clock ticking for everyone in the universe. Think of it as a multithreaded computer program with different threads running on different processor cores going at different speeds.
    But this in no way whatsoever affects the discussion regarding God being external to the timeframe. If God can be external to the timefame and communicate with the timeframe then it opens the possibility of time travel. Timetravel results in split timelines (or paradoxes). Either there are multiple timelines or timetravel is not possible and God cannot interact with the universe.
  14. Standard memberknightmeister
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    20 Feb '09 09:50
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    No. You've got it all wrong, but maybe others have explained it better already. Relativity simply says that time is relative so that my time might run at a different speed from yours. There is no absolute clock ticking for everyone in the universe. Think of it as a multithreaded computer program with different threads running on different processor cores ...[text shortened]... are multiple timelines or timetravel is not possible and God cannot interact with the universe.
    Timetravel results in split timelines (or paradoxes).
    --------------------------whitey-------------------

    And one of those paradoxes might be that Jeff could "know" what Bob does "before" Bob feels he has actually done it.

    If we extend and exaggerate the time dilation effect to Jeff's time frame moving ten times slower than Bob's then Jeff might arrive back on earth after 10 years had passed here (but 1 year for him). If Bob set a watch going the moment Jeff left earth and waited for that watch to run for a year , he could in theory say to himself " Jeff now knows what I am doing in 10 years time.

    This would be paradoxical because Bob would feel like he was having to live 10 years in order to do the thing that jeff "now" is seeing.

    In this sense it would seem as if Jeff knows what Bob's future choices would be , but from another perspective it would be equally true to say that Bob is still free to choose because he hasn't chosen yet.

    I am fully aware that there is no newtonian constant clock in the universe. It's my contention that God when we say "God knows ALREADY what we will do tomorrow" we are invoking a newtonian system. In reality the whole thing is more likely to be similar to the Bob and Jeff scenario.
  15. Cape Town
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    20 Feb '09 10:53
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    And one of those paradoxes might be that Jeff could "know" what Bob does "before" Bob feels he has actually done it.
    And paradoxes are a sign that something is illogical and cannot exist.

    If we extend and exaggerate the time dilation effect to Jeff's time frame moving ten times slower than Bob's then Jeff might arrive back on earth after 10 years had passed here (but 1 year for him). If Bob set a watch going the moment Jeff left earth and waited for that watch to run for a year , he could in theory say to himself " Jeff now knows what I am doing in 10 years time.
    You still haven't got it have you. Bob would be totally incorrect to claim that Jeff now knows something as they do not share a now. They are in separate but relative parts of space time.

    Think of it like this. You and I are traveling from city A to city B via two different roads. Your road is 1km long and my road is 10km long, but we adjust our speeds so that we arrive at city B at the same time. Would I be right to walk 1km and then say 'knightmeister is in City B now'? Could I phone you up and learn about City B before I get there?
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