The Problems With Retroactive Abortion
On Facebook, I had a fan make this request:
Doctor Matt, I need your help. I really want to invent a time machine to retroactively abort people in the past that are too stupid in the present.
Signed, Andy M____
Now, the topic raised by this fan is a complicated one for many people, so I did my best to give a complete answer. I said this:
I know the feeling, Mr. M___. The primary problem with your goal, as I understand it, is the difficulty of warping space-time. Now, while there may have been some great advances lately in warping space, time is a bit trickier. We think of time as a linear track like a film strip, but likely time is more like a coalescing wave pattern that affixes matter in a particular configuration, using the properties of quantum interlocking with an ambient field of dark energy and matter to hold said configuration stable. That’s my best guess anyway.
Secondly, there’s the problem of the time paradox, where a retroactive abortion might affect the timeline that you started from, thus preventing you from going back in time in the first place. However, that too seems like linear thinking to me, and the multi-verse would likely easily resolve itself regardless of our ability to conceive of a resolution in a linear fashion, perhaps by a simple destruction of the universe of origin.
So, considering how complicated it is to achieve this goal, I recommend finding another solution to deal with people who frustrate you.
If you have a question for Dr. Matt, feel free to drop by the Facebook page and ask!