Quotation? (time travel's strongest counterargument)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue Sep 10 21:34:34 UTC 2013

Joel: Here is a preliminary comment. This is an old question/paradox
in science fiction. But finding the matching phrasing might be

The quotation is not mentioned on the main Wikiquote page for Hawking
(nor the Talk page). However, the excerpt below could be transformed
into the quotation.

Title: A Brief History of Time
Author: Stephen Hawking
Date: 1998, First published in 1988


[Begin excerpt]
This might explain why we have not yet been overrun by tourists from
the future, but it would not avoid the problems that would arise if
one were able to go back and change history.
[End excerpt]

Here is an instance where the quotation was attributed to Hawking by 2004

Peridocal: Popular Science
Date: Feb 2004


[Begin excerpt]
His most famous science-fiction-writer-befuddling question: If time
travel is possible, why haven't we been overrun by tourists from the
[End excerpt]


On Tue, Sep 10, 2013 at 4:51 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Quotation? (time travel's strongest counterargument)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I apologize for asking the list -- I don't do quotations, and don't
> own the reference books.
> Who first said "if time travel were possible, we would have been
> overrun by tourists from the future by now."  Stephen Hawking, or someone else?
> Joel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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