< See chapter 3 | Continue to chapter 5 > | See all chaptersAs noted at the end of the previous chapter, fixation of the future and its impact on the present are governed by the process of backward causation and are only possible within the frame of eternalism (Block universe), in which the future is as real as the present and the past. It must be emphasized that, while the model of backward causation does not allow the future to change the past, the future determines the past.
The process of backward causation has never been experimentally proven and is the subject of continuing debate in scientific and philosophic communities. In 1956 Max Black put forward an argument against backward causation also known as the ‘bilking’ argument. The essence of his argument is as follows: suppose event B occurs earlier than event A, and event B is the effect of event A. If event B has already occurred, and event A has not yet occurred and it's possible to intervene and undo the event A, then event A cannot be the cause of event B, and backward causation is impossible. The counterargument is that if event A is the real cause of event B, then event A cannot be undone by any intervention.
This is obvious in our case as nothing and no one can overturn the decisions of HaShem.
A few words about the mechanisms of backward causation. In physics the cause must somehow be linked to its effect, either by the transfer of energy or by the conservation of quantities (such as charge, impulse or angular momentum), the interaction of any forces. According to modern theories, all these interactions remain invariant in relation to the reverse flow of time. Thus, one of the potential mechanisms of backward causation is the so-called symmetric causation, which occurs in time inversely. An alternative option is the so-called asymmetric causation, which is produced by signals propagating at a superluminal speed. In the 1970’s researchers discussed the possible existence of tachyons, particles travelling at superluminal speeds.
There are also several scientific theories of backward causation:
1. The Wheeler–Feynman theory, or the Absorber Theory. Its key idea is that a source of electromagnetic waves and an absorber of electromagnetic waves emit them forward and backward in time. This theory has not been confirmed experimentally.
2. Tachyons – particles moving at superluminal speed. Not found either.
3. Quantum mechanics: the Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman postulated that electrons can travel backward in time, in which case they would be positrons. He suggested the existence of only one electron in the entire Universe moving back and forth in time. This theory has not been confirmed experimentally.
There is a theory of backward causation that describes the entangled state of two quantum particles. Let me remind the reader of the concept of 'quantum entanglement': if two photons move in opposite directions from the same source and end up at a distance almost the size of the Universe, when the spin of one of them is measured, the spin of the other is affected immediately regardless of the distance between them (if the measured spin is up, the spin of the other photon will always be down, and vice versa). This fact has been confirmed by numerous experiments. Modern science offers three possible explanations for this phenomenon: transmission of signals at superliminal speeds (not found), a certain theory with hidden variables (unknown) and manipulation of the freedom of choice of those making the measurements. As odd as it may sound, this theory is supported by the Dutch physicist Gerard 't Hooft, a Nobel Prize winner and the originator of the holographic principle.
4. The researcher Olivier Costa de Beauregard suggested backward causation as an explanation for quantum entanglement; however, this also has not been confirmed experimentally.
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