- Speculations on the science and fiction of dying to get to the future
by Jim Walker
How would you like to visit other worlds, the stars and planets on the other side of the galaxy? Or how would you like to live in the future, say several thousand years from now? The impenetrable light-speed barrier and the brief life span of humans appears to prevent any entity from achieving these goals. In spite of the life span and light-speed barrier, I will describe, not only how one might get to the stars and to the future, but that one can travel there, not by traveling close to light speed, not at the speed of light, but much quicker. Instantly. Instantly.
Before you commit this idea to pseudoscience, what I will describe does not violate any known laws of physics. Nor will I appeal to scientific speculations on superliminal loopholes, anti-gravity, wormholes, tachyons, quantum tunneling, curved space, etc. I will, however, resort to a thought experiment using fiction as a method to explain the concept.
Time travel occurs in such a facile and straightforward manner that nature has already done it for millions of years. Natural time travel occurs so simply that we tend to overlook it because of its seeming banality. Science fiction authors have expounded on this in its mechanical manifestation for many years, but always in the wrong context. In Sci-Fi terminology it goes by the term „suspended animation.“ If you can stop and preserve your information carriers (the molecules, genes, and cells of your body) and restore them to full function at a later time then, in effect, time travel occurs. Regrettably Sci-Fi authors regulate suspended animation simply as a means to preserve human bodies rather than promoting its time jumping properties. In science fiction, the spaceship always gets the credit for the journey but the suspended animation device never receives full due its time & distance travel capacity. To break this impasse requires a shift of perspective, a paradigm shift, to use Thomas Kuhn’s phrasing.
Even with the simplicity of the physics involved, unfortunately, the technology does not yet exist to achieve practical time travel for large biological life forms like humans. In spite of this temporary limitation, the technology already exists for preserving small living things such as cells, embryos, and even small animals. In this respect, one can show that, in principle, suspending a large living being falls well within the range of foreseeable technology. To demonstrate just how time travel works requires the use of a thought experiment. Once you undergo this thought experiment, you will understand that instant time travel, indeed, can work, albeit, only in forward time.