One of the premises of the grandfather paradox in time travel is that of inconsistency. I.e, going back in time to kill your grandfather or grandmother prevents your birth. The solution is simple, going back in time makes YOU either your your grandfather himself, grandmother, their siblings, their parents, their children (of whom some may be your parents) or their in-laws. Or take that to represent any one alive during that time. That way you get to experience the past from another being.

Enter my new theory called inverse re-incarnation in which you become your ancestors rather than their descendants, as most major eastern religion teaches that your children may be your departed parents reincarnated. With this new idea, the question that naturally follows is: how do you control who you end up becoming in the past?

While the parallel universe theory negates some of the implications of the grandfather paradox, it isnt coherent enough (the presence of you simultaneously existing and terminating your granddad in a parallel universe doesn't sound legit). Imagine the chaos that would ensue in the universe having unknown beings spawned from nowhere. In fact my theory compliments the parallel universe theory.

What do you think? Any reason non-mainstream science fails to bring up that possibility? Or are there currently any religions espousing such views?

In my opinion, my view also supports mainstream quantum mechanic theories that reality doesn't exist until measured or observed. So basically "you are everywhere" and "everybody is everybody".

For non-conscious objects, think of the universe we live in like a great big ledger. Any increase in value somewhere must result in a decrease elsewhere. This implies objects can be swapped for another in a parallel universe. The total net offset must be zero to achieve paradox free time travel. This supports the zero-state entropy theory.

(So sorry guys, bad news is you can't bring your phone, tablet and crypto wallet with you.)

Because in order to get time travel right, we need to get the philosophy right.

  • Minor edit for clarity
    – Nederealm
    Dec 2 '19 at 12:09
  • And if you should stay in the past? Did the ancestor you became then not ever existed? Keep in mind you and your ancestors genetic and phenotypic markers would be different.
    – christo183
    Dec 2 '19 at 12:21
  • If you read clearly I said you become your ancestors. As it is. If you then decide not to have children than you enter a parallel universe
    – Nederealm
    Dec 2 '19 at 12:26
  • 6
    Existence of parallel copies "doesn't sound legit", but miraculous transformation into a grandparent, who then retraces every action of the original to avoid paradoxes, does? And how would they even know what to do? I am afraid, this is too much even for "non-mainstream science". And is there a question beyond "what do you think", which is off-topic here?
    – Conifold
    Dec 2 '19 at 12:35
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    – J D
    Dec 2 '19 at 16:47

That thought experiment can be explained by Hinduism/Shaivism as taught by the vedas see Shvetashvatara Upanishad:

God, who is one only, is hidden in all beings. He is all-pervading, and is the inner self of all creatures. He presides over all actions, and all beings reside in Him. He is the witness, and He is the Pure Consciousness

According to this philosophy/religion reality is made of different principles of reality of tattvas 25/36 ref here being kāla tattva the principle of time.

In this philosophy time, consciousness, body, mind, ego etc. are separated but interconnected entities that create the illusion of reality. We are all one but it's the veil of Maya that creates this confusion and fake idea of individuality. Killing something would be like killing yourself too because there is one driver(consciousness Siva tattva) driving all the cars in any place in distance and time.

In your thought experiment you just realize that your consciousness uses your ancestors as avatars(even their memories and personalities) as they kill their descendents. The Vedas would tell you that time, ego, mind, body, etc. and individuality are just an illusion because everything is connected to everything. Eventually we are all one.

  • Can this be experimentally verified or at least convincingly experienced? Through deep meditation or energy work?
    – Nederealm
    Dec 2 '19 at 12:08
  • Nederealm according to this philosophy time and space are parts of the illusion. if you could travel it would be similar as experiencing it in a dream or computer simulation. This reality is no different from those. All that's impermanent is impure and part of Maya. To experience that oneness is needed deep meditation practices. To experience non-ego or thoughtless states of consciousness in which the observer and what is observed become one.
    – user22051
    Dec 2 '19 at 12:12
  • @nederealm «could this be experienced in meditation etc» I am not qualified to answer this but the story of the hundred rudras from the ancient vedantic text "Yoga Vasistha" may give a clue??... Dec 2 '19 at 14:07
  • 1
    A more prosaic rendering from the buddhist perspective that you are your father youtu.be/u_yLDHcH6LI Special case of @pbxman's last para Dec 2 '19 at 15:59

First of all, you can't fix time travel by getting the philosophy right - that's a wrong understanding of the nature of both physics and philosophy.

Neither do I think there is only 'the solution': I think you'll find other solutions include simply the impossibility of time-travel, the Novikov self-consistency principle, or the many-world theory.

But, to address your question, a first problem that comes to mind is: where does the consciousness of the occupied person go?
Another one is: why would this form of time travel be genetic? Is there a physical reason lineage would ease the process?
And if there is indeed a law similar to that of the conservation of energy, how would it prevent time-travelers from taking technology? Would travel simply be inter-physical - a transposition of consciousnesses?

Finally, nothing has been won by taking your theory into account: the conscious time traveler still has knowledge and experience from life in the future, and can act on this information. E.g. even if a person is his grandparent, he can still choose not have children.

  • Addressing your 2nd point on consciousness, I guess it'd be easier to to "body swapping" than to time travel. However, like understanding time travel requires understanding reality, body swapping or some form of consciousness transfer requires us to understand the true nature of consciousness. I would also guess body swapping would be consensual and would likely be performed between 2 people who have an intimate relationship with each other
    – Nederealm
    Dec 2 '19 at 15:34
  • But how could you built up an intimate relationship with someone in the past/future, if you need to swap bodies in order to do so? Also body swapping wouldn't require a complete understanding of consciousness, that's (again) not how reality works. And in order to experience time travel, we have to be conscious of it: we might be swapping bodies all the time but since this happens simultaneously with swapping consciousness we wouldn't know, and ultimately it wouldn't matter.
    – Joachim
    Dec 2 '19 at 15:49
  • For verifiable consciousness swapping, you are right that the two people swapping bodies may not be able to realise the process has been done. That's where we may have a process like quantum entanglement to ensure verifiable conscious swap. But then again the particles responsible for consciousness need to be identified or the underlying nature of consciousness understood. We won't be able to proceed till then
    – Nederealm
    Dec 2 '19 at 15:55
  • And what then? If you are aware of the fact you have travelled in time (which is a requirement for this hypothetical time travel), you can still change your actions and you end up with the exact same problem you have had before this body swapping theory, namely that you can act on your knowledge and experience from the future. This theory only gives a physical edge to the paradoxical nature of time-travel, in that no change in matter (presumably) has been introduced within the different time frames.
    – Joachim
    Dec 2 '19 at 16:03
  • Sometimes swapping bodies with someone you envy may be the next best choice to escape your regrets. Time travel was always seen as a means to an end. Body swapping while allow you to inherit desirable characteristics of the target person, make you loose your characteristics you love about yourself. It's a fair game if you made an informed decision to make the sacrifice to swap bodies. Same goes for your swapping partner
    – Nederealm
    Dec 2 '19 at 16:08

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