So here is my current thinking on the subject:
Time is not a straight line. It’s more like an expanding shell. You can draw a radius from any point on the shell back to the Big Bang. Space and time (or space-time) were created at the Big Bang. There was no time or space before the Big Bang. That’s generally understood and accepted. There is no time or space beyond the shell. That’s my thought. You may accept it or not. It makes sense to me that there is no time beyond the shell, because the future hasn’t happened yet. Most likely it will happen as a consequence of present and past events, but it does not yet exist. Of course, I’m only talking about our universe, not someone else’s universe in the multiverse.
There has been a lot of speculation regarding the possibility of time travel. One argument against it that makes more sense to me than all the others I’ve read is that in order for me to travel backward in time we would have to move our entire universe backward in time, which would probably require more than all the energy in the universe. It seems to me that the same would apply to leaping forward into the future faster than our current rate of progress.
Maybe there’s not even any such thing as time at all. Maybe what we call time is nothing more than the duration of things. Maybe it’s nothing more than the artificial tick-tocks of the clock-like devices we produce. Maybe time is not a medium through which we can travel at all. All we can do is to be and then to continue to be, until we can’t anymore.
Back to the expanding shell. Look at every living thing around you: people, animals, trees, plants, fungi, and bacteria. We may also include viruses, for the sake the argument, but viruses are not really alive. They are passive. They float around until a cell’s receptor attaches them and imbibes them. Every living or proto-living thing on the expanding shell has evolved an equal amount of time to adapt to its current environment on the shell by means of its current form and content. There is no single timeline of evolution from amoebas to homo sapiens. There are a multitude of timelines expanding outward from that initial single cell some 3-4 billion years ago. Every single living thing on the expanding shell is a relatively successful adaptation to its environment.
We are no more successful an adaptation than any other living thing. We are no more exempt from the risks of extinction than any other living thing either.