AI is just around the corner. Space travel is advancing at a steady, even if slower than I’d like, pace. I’m sure we’ll have a space elevator one day. I’m sure that some day, ships very much like the Enterprise will be
exploring the galaxy, and the universe.
But, as much as I love books and movies about time travel, I do not believe it is possible. There’s the grandfather paradox, of course, but that would just mean if you travel back in time, you automatically start off an alternate time line, you move into a different dimension. Which would be almost as cool as time travel, but it would not be the same. You can’t go back and kill Hitler, because that whole episode has happened and it always will have happened.
Time is not like a thing. Scientists can’t actually learn more about it because there’s nothing to learn. Time has no physical properties. It’s just a way of arranging and measuring the order in which things happened.
But, there’s another paradox, which I consider proof of the impossibility of time travel, and that is that it hasn’t happened yet. No wayback machine has suddenly appeared on the White House lawn for future beings to step out of and say “Hey, earthlings of the 21st century, you’ve got to do something about this Trump dude, he’s going to get you all killed” or anything like that. Since it hasn’t happened, it seems obvious that time travel will be just as impossible in the future as it is in the present, which is pretty darned impossible.
Sadly, it’s the one thing which also makes me skeptical about intelligent extraterrestrial life. If they were common, if there were lots of super advanced civilizations with inter-stellar travel, you’d think some of them would have visited us by now. Maybe to help us out with a few tech boosters, get us up to speed so we could join the inter-galactic federation or whatever, or maybe just to enslave us or whisk us off to alien zoos, but we’ve got no solid evidence it’s ever happened.
Unlike time travel, however, I’m convinced that some day it will. Because, if there are no space faring extraterrestrials out there, that means it’s all ours. All of it. That’s one hell of a manifest destiny, and you’d better believe we’re going.