viernes, 12 de agosto de 2016

MercatorNet: Star Trek’s version of time travel is more realistic than most sci fi [ONLY FOR THOUGHT - NEW SECTION OF LOST IDEAS] while adding value

MercatorNet: Star Trek’s version of time travel is more realistic than most sci fi

Star Trek’s version of time travel is more realistic than most sci fi

A philosophical assessment of the latest Star Trek films.
Lloyd Strickland | Aug 12 2016 | comment 

Bones (Karl Urban) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) in Star Trek Beyond. © Paramount Pictures

Star Trek Beyond may not have received a stellar critical response, but it can be said that it – and the franchise’s two previous films – handle the philosophy of time travel much better than many other works of science fiction.
This is mainly because the rebooted Star Trek series is not set in the same universe as the original series, but in a parallel universe that shares a similar history – up to a point. In the first film of the rebooted series, Star Trek (2009), a number of characters from the original Star Trek universe – Spock, along with a Romulan bad guy Nero and his henchmen – fall into a black hole in the year 2387. The Romulans emerge in the parallel universe in the year 2233, and Spock 25 years later.
The Romulans’ presence in the parallel universe is felt almost immediately: they destroy the Federation starship USS Kelvin, killing Kirk’s father in the process. As Spock observes: “Nero’s very presence has altered the flow of history … creating an entirely new chain of incidents.” The parallel universe and the original universe diverge in significant ways from that point onwards. In the parallel universe the fatherless Kirk grows up bitter and directionless, Kirk and Spock meet the Spock from the original universe, and the planet Vulcan is destroyed: all events that did not occur in the universe of the original series.

The divergences between the two universes are explored further in the second film of the rebooted series, Star Trek Into Darkness (2013). Here, the crew of the Enterprise go up against the genetically-engineered villain Khan, as had the original crew in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982). But how this plays out is different in virtually every aspect, as is the way that the two crews find to defeat him.
The way time travel was used to reboot the Star Trek series is, then, quite sophisticated. This is markedly different from many other time travel movies, which typically involve a single timeline along which characters travel back and change the past. This is the model used in the Terminator films, and even in one of earlier Star Trek films, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), in which the original crew of the Enterprise travels back in time to the 20th century to pick up two whales needed to resolve a crisis occurring in their own time.
The grandfather paradox
The problem with this model of time travel is that it leads to logical absurdity. This is traditionally shown through the grandfather paradox, which goes like this: suppose you travelled back in time and killed your biological grandfather before he met your grandmother. Then you would never have been conceived, so you would not have existed to travel back in time in the first place. There are obvious contradictions in this scenario (you both existed and didn’t exist, the time travel both took place and didn’t), which tells us that it is impossible.
But a paradox doesn’t only arise when time travellers are intent on killing their grandparents, but when they seek to change the past in any way. Suppose that someone today goes back in time in order to change the past in a relatively modest way, for example by carving her name in a tree at midday on January 1 1900. Logic indicates that she cannot succeed, because if she did it would be both true that her name was carved in the tree at midday on January 1 in 1900 and false that her name was carved on the tree at midday on January 1 1900. The contradiction means that it cannot happen.

Time travel? Not a problem if we’re dealing with parallel universes. © Paramount Pictures

It is often thought that the grandfather paradox shows that time travel is impossible, but in fact it shows the impossibility of changing the past, which is not the same thing. The paradox does not rule out time travel as such, only the possibility of time travellers changing the past. In a single timeline, there is no way to change the past, even if time travel is possible. And if there are multiple timelines, played out in parallel universes, there is still no way to change the past of any of them, even if time travel is possible.
Of course, the idea that there are parallel universes is common in works of science fiction. But it is also taken seriously by many contemporary scientists and philosophers. According to some theories, parallel universes are entirely separate from each other and cannot interact, while other theories hold that parallel universes do interact, making it possible that one day we might be able to test for them. Some physicists even suggest that it might be possible to travel to a parallel universe.
And if there are parallel universes, and it is possible to travel from a particular date in one to a different date in another, then it is possible for travellers to change the events of the timeline they are visiting from what they otherwise would have been. Here, the past is not being changed, only the future. The writers behind the rebooted Star Trek franchise understood this well – and as a result have deftly handled the tricky matter of time travel without falling into the paradoxes that plague some other works of science fiction.
The Conversation
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.


How long did slavery last in America – two centuries? How long will legal abortion last there, or any place that has decided that the unborn child has no rights in the face of a woman’s desire to be rid of it? Will it take another 200 years for the powerful “reproductive rights” movement to dissolve before the plain fact that what is destroyed by abortion is a human being, with same intrinsic rights and dignity as any other?
These are the questions raised by Miles Smith’s powerful essay showing the striking similarity between the mentality of die-hard defenders of slavery in America and that of the organisations and individuals that today are urging women to “shout their abortions” and their absolute right to decide whether a child they have conceived is to live or die.
That Hillary Clinton is their flag-bearer is the reason why her probable election will be, not a victory, but a colossal moral defeat for women and America.
Also today: Michael Cook has a pointed comment on one of the crazy applications of the “my choice alone” principle shaping individual lives and society today; Marcus Roberts has an update on international adoptions; and Mary Cooney concludes hertips on sibling squabbles.
If you are American and haven't done the How will you vote? survey, you might consider doing it now. 

Carolyn Moynihan
Deputy Editor,

Abortion as a positive good: How the abortion movement echoes radical slavery rhetoric
Miles Smith | FEATURES | 12 August 2016
'Safe, Legal, and Rare' no more.
Mutilating femininity isn’t just a Third World issue
Michael Cook | CONJUGALITY | 12 August 2016
Allowing a teenager to have her breasts removed to transition to being a male is just as abusive
Star Trek’s version of time travel is more realistic than most sci fi
Lloyd Strickland | POPCORN | 12 August 2016
A philosophical assessment of the latest Star Trek films.
The rapidly declining practice of international adoption
Marcus Roberts | DEMOGRAPHY IS DESTINY | 12 August 2016
But is this best for potential adoptees?
What kids can learn from sibling squabbling
Mary Cooney | FAMILY EDGE | 12 August 2016
Each fight can be a teachable moment.
MERCATORNET | New Media Foundation
Suite 12A, Level 2, 5 George Street, North Strathfied NSW 2137, Australia

Designed by elleston

New Media Foundation | Suite 12A, Level 2, 5 George St | North Strathfield NSW 2137 | AUSTRALIA | +61 2 8005 8605 

No hay comentarios: