13 June, 2012

The Titanic effect of retrocausality

Time travel is impossible, unless we consider the fact that it has already happened, ergo: it can only happen if it has already happened. This is the theory proposed by Atkinson as he menacingly lambasted Einstein's EPR theory (Einstein- Podolsky- Rosen scenario). It is seemingly anti-intuitive that someone could go back and murder their grandfather and therefore return to find themselves non-existent (referred to as the grandfather paradox). Prof. John Thaler argues that that the Theory of Relativity might permit 'closed timelike curves' that allow time travel, but the famous 'grandfather paradox' proves the whole thing is impossible. The movie 'The Butterfly Effect' made famous the notion that if you go back to change a past event (backward causation), it causes fractures in the time-space continuum, resulting in new outcomes which are totally unpredictable (see quantum foam). However, backward causation implies a static account of time in the sense that there is no objective becoming, no coming into being such that future events exist on the par with present and past events. It means that the future is real, the future does not merely consist of unrealised possibilities or even nothing at all. Unfortunately, reality is far different and more complex. Time is nonlinear and non-local. Everything is in a flux; time, space as well as energy.

How it could work?
At the subatomic level of quantum weirdness, time-travel is highly plausible. One of the more persistent and logically-cohesive arguments is that there is a physical signal being sent between two photons (the theory of photon entanglement) that are entangled which allows them to operate as they do. What Albert Einstein called 'spooky action at a distance', others 'passion at a distance', which involves not going faster than the speed of light but going backwards in time. It is believed that photon entanglement happens not only in isolated physics experiments in the lab but in every living thing in the universe, including the human brain.  Jack Sarfatti remarks in the Journal of Cosmology that different parts of the brain can locally decode messages from other distant parts without having to wait for classical electrical and chemical signal keys to move slower than light. This would give the brain a capacity to hold two types of records; one based on sensual perception and the other on anamnesia (memory).

As Sedgwick remarked back in 1916, 'Science proceeds as if the past was the home of explanation; whereas the future and the future alone holds the key to the mysteries of the present. When that first cell divided, the meaning of that division was to be discovered in the future, not in the past; when some pre-human ancestor first uttered a human sound, the significance of that sound was to be interpreted by human language, not by apish grunts; when the first plant showed solicitude for its seed, the interest of that solicitude lay in the promise of maternal affection. Things must be judged in the light of the coming morning, not in the setting stars.'

Where is the evidence?
Does evidence exist to imply the existence of time travellers in the past? If there was such a thing, wouldn't we expect physical traces of changes, or memories that conflict with past events, such as was hypothesised by people who remember the 9/11 event, or those who believe it was known about long before it happened. If time travel existed, wouldn't we expect chrononauts to go back and remove such nasty things as genocide and world wars? Doesn't this imply the huge assumption that the chrononauts are benevolent when it is more likely that they are probably just ordinary scientists (like the ones who worked on the Manhattan Project)? Some whistleblower testimony exists about purported chrononauts, ones as famous as the current president of the USA. However, verbal testimony can be disputed, slandered, suppressed or even eliminated. Concrete physical evidence still fails to exist, unless we consider such anomalous evidence as 20,000 year old screws, a 100,000 year old plug and modern watches in archaeological ruins.
A stone embedded with a three-pronged plug,
 approximately 100,000-year-old.

The new science of quantum cryptography, which attempts to decode the signals between photons which are entangled, uses code-names of Alice, Bob and Eve, where Eve is the codebreaker attempting to spy on Bob and Alice. The theory of quantum cryptography  utilises the notion that even if Eve can eavesdrop on all communication between Alice and Bob, the messages will be disturbed and Alice and Bob will notice. This theory is the background behind existing quantum key distribution networks (QKD). In other words, photon entanglement and time travel do not exist, but their applications in mainstream science are, ironically, commercially available.

Evidence for Psychological Retrocausation (PR) evidence has also been reported, where patients believed the past has happened different from what they perceive with their senses. Daryl J. Bem (Cornell University) notes recently that the cause of psychological retrocausation may be due to a phenomenon known as 'psi', which involves unknown processes of information or energy transfer that are currently unexplained in terms of known physical or biological mechanisms. Bem showed that students were able to guess at future events in a frequency that was well beyond mere chance, in others, it appeared that the future was directly influencing the present. The existence of 'psi' phenomenon is backed by other experiments such as changes in heart-rates in remote viewers during experiments between two isolated patients. Psi may well underpin transtemporal phenomenon throughout the universe.

Commonly reported time changes include:

1) Celebrities who were once dead but are now alive.
2) Changes in recent historical events.
3) Changes in movies , books etc.
4) Changes in the location of or sudden appearance of buildings , roads etc.
5) Changes in location of landmasses.

If time travel were possible, one could argue that the past would have been re-written and the Titanic would have been saved from disaster by benevolent chrononauts. Of course this assumes that the Titanic was an accident rather than a premeditated act of sabotage, and that intention vs. premeditation affects time passage via time portals. To quote the Buddhists, 'things are not what they appear to be: nor are they otherwise'. Time must be viewed as a polynomial phenomenon, i.e. time has infinite lines of possibility that co-occur at once, in symphony and are changed by personal intent, choice or non-choice. It is interesting to muse that if the Titanic had been saved from sinking, the passengers would have had an uneventful sail to America, would have disembarked and White Star Lines would have pulled J.P.Morgan (underwriters) with it into insolvency. No one would have recorded the sinking of the Titanic, and the event would have been wiped from the historical records. We would have no record of the anomaly and therefore it would not have existed. Thus, on this new timeline, we would be none the wiser about insurance scams, chrononauts and the whole mystery of retrocausality.

A nice fictional short-film