Time travel is an unnecessarily complicated idea to rationalise, arising from the cause and effect principle. Now physical time travel is not the problem. The mechanics of travelling through a pathway between interconnected points in space-time, whilst mind-blogging hard to achieve, shouldn’t be impossible. Time travel to the future is possible due to the time dilation effect one experiences when approaching the speed of light. Essentially, the flow of time for you slows down. Time travel to the past is the problem!
In fiction, time travel is a common plot device. More often than not, it gets messy. Time travel requires strict rules and water-tight logical application to avoid obvious and shallow plot holes. Paradoxes easily arise because of time travel. If a character goes back in time, then it would be logical to assume they were supposed to so that history’s continuity is maintained. Ok? Sounds plausible? Well, no. Influencing one’s own timeline has drastic ramifications. Does the time traveller cease to be once the crucial event takes place? To be honest, the damage was already done the second they arrive.
Diseases evolve. The human bodies immune system develops a defence and so on and so on. A time traveller will be an inadvertent carrier of future strains of bacteria/virus to a time where the human population do not possess the antibodies to suppress infection. If that bacteria causes a fatal disease, you have an epidemic! Imagine if that bacteria strain is anti-boditic resistant? Game over!
The real world isn’t like fiction where a ‘magical’ cure can be synthesised over the course of a few days. It takes years to perfect medicine. Biological systems are some of the most complicated natural systems and medicines are sophisticated molecules with specific chemical functionalities. And then there’s the extensive, rigorous and long testing period the cure would have to pass before administration. That takes decades! No happy, go lucky scientist can pull a cure out the ether. If anything, that scientist is more like an alchemist. As a trained chemist, I laugh in the face of alchemists.
Pandemics are long-term and very plausible when you drop an apex predator into a genetically younger version of their prey it hunts. This is the literal definition of an all you can eat buffet! Even if the disease isn’t a plague or flu, people will fall ill when they shouldn’t have and people will die. This butterfly effect is subtle. The ramifications are far reaching, but takes a substantial period to witness the consequences because of incubations and transmission periods; long after the happily ever after and the last page.
In conclusion, your friendly local time traveller is an accidental bioweapon. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. And yes, I’m a nightmare to watch sci-f with.
Interested? Want more? Here’s a link to the previous content for my project, soon to be a novel: The Successor of Ramiel. (No time travel involved, but sarcastic Angels and malicious Fallen Angels. Some traditional good stuff!)
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