PeteKoziar wrote:Another option is the "split timeline" approach that Star Trek dabbles with sometimes, but it would be a stretch for Christian SF - that would imply that God had a potentially infinite number of universes all working in parallel. Now, I've had some fun with aliens, but that's a far cry from God being so indecisive that he kept different possibilities running.
Going off on the worldview aspect here, I feel like a "past can't be changed" view almost requires
belief in a God of some sort. Because you know if time travel were invented, some moron would try to go back and kill Hitler or create some other sort of paradox just to see what would happen. And without God being in control, what's stopping something like that from actually succeeding? (Probably a rather irrelevant comment to the conversation, but it made me think.)
Anyway, more on track: time travel is fascinating but it's difficult to have a satisfying (for me) theory for if you're changing how things happened, fulfilling what always happened in the past, or creating an entirely new timeline/universe. If you change what happened, what happens to everyone who existed before the change? Do some people stop existing because now they were never born? Do some people just appear? If you fulfill what always happened in the past, there's the depressing aspect of the "Red Queen's Race"; running and running just to get to where you always were. You can't change things no matter how badly you want to. If you create a whole new timeline or universe or whatever...well, it's like the other one, where you can't actually change the past. Somewhere, everything you went back in time to fix still happened. Maybe things are better for you now, but on one level, you didn't fix anything.
...of course, all of that is an incredibly pessimistic view of time travel. IT'S ALL FUTILITY!!
Heh. Okay. Final thoughts. The inability to change the past makes things much less complicated, which is both good and bad, depending on the story you're writing. It's nice to be able to avoid the paradoxes, but the paradoxes and potential to screw things up are also pretty interesting.