Bob and George
Wednesday, May 5th, 2004 #1479
Tales From a Parallel Universe 5½, Part 1 The Cataclysm Confusion
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This is very similiar to the "many worlds" hypothesis involving time travel. The basic idea is that if you travel back in time, your mere presence in that timeline causes it to split into a new universe. That means that any changes you make won't affect your timeline, only the future of the new timeline your presence just created. That also means that if you can't return to your own time by just traveling forward in time from your current location, since then you'd end up in the future of the timeline you just created and not your own.

If you think about this, it means that you can't go back and change time, because it won't be changing the past in your timeline, only in the new timeline you've created. It also means that you can go back in time with impunity, because nothing you do has any effect on you or your original timeline, which could easily lead to all sorts of ethical and moral problems.
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