Time Travel - A Hypothesis
I have many ideas about reality, our perception of reality, and the nature of consciousness, to name a few.
One that I've been working on lately concerns time travel and the Multiverse. It also deals with eliminating the problem of paradoxes in time travel.
I posit that the general definition of time travel is not feasible, i.e. that you can somehow move your body/consciousness back or forward in time, experience that reality, and both have the opportunity to effect change, which would affect the future, and return to your own 'time'.
Instead, what I suggest is that most 'time travel' in stories is really a person shifting to a different dimension...let me explain.
The idea of the Multiverse is not new,
but in essence it is the idea that there is no one 'reality - instead there are an infinite number of realities/dimensions, where every possible action happens. So every time you decide whether to use the knife or fork, a dimension splits into being, so that you end up doing both. You could even use a fork made of zombie bones from your last kill - every possible iteration of reality is potentially there.
So, if someone were to 'time travel' to the 'past' and leave their reality, I think that they would land, not in the past of their own time, but possibly in a new reality/dimension that seems to be the past of their own dimension, but probably with some little thing changed.
(This idea opens up the potential for 'time travelers' to totally screw up and end up in a different reality they would not choose to visit at all. I mean, you would need extremely developed high technology from today's standpoint to move through dimensions at all, let alone be able to accurately map out where you want to go.)
So, if you were to follow from the idea that a time traveler is really just visiting another dimension...if they were in what they thought of as 'the past' of their own time, any change they made would not actually affect their own time/reality/dimension. Because they would not be in that plane of existence - they would be in an entirely different reality, so any change they made would affect that reality's future, and not their own original reality's future.
Then, if they were to travel back to their own reality - nothing would have changed except that their own existence would not have been there if they chose to return to the 'future' of their own time. (If they are in fact able to return to their own reality, instead of just creating a new reality by traveling into one.)
(Now, the relativity of time between universes/realities/dimensions is not something I'll get into today.)
In the end, a time traveler with a flux capacitor wouldn't actually travel back in time, so if their mother and father didn't marry and have the time traveler as a child, he wouldn't erase from existence. He just woudn't be born in that existence later on.
(Now, what should happen if a time traveler actually met him or herself in a different reality? That's a topic for another discussion.)