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Another Look at the Grandfather Paradox

April 16, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 169

As it appeals to the general opinion, we'll make the essential statement that the Universe abhors a paradox. In addition to this, we'll, for the sake of simplicity, assume the universe is conscious. That is, it will use every means within its disposal to root out a paradox. What happens afterwards we'll guess.

Let us, for the sake of argument, suppose Steve has accidentally cobbled a time machine and is fully capable of moving as far back in time as is desired. Let us also make the assumption that Steve isn't the brightest emitter of thermal radiation.

So thus having his time machine and basically put in control of the destiny of the human race, Steve decides to go back in time and kill his grandfather out of spite. So Steve goes back 20 years, and naturally he succeeds after a few tries.

In essence this is the most well-known paradox to time travel currently extant. If Steve goes back in time to kill his grandfather, neither Steve nor his father can ever come into being, thus making Steve insubstantial and saving his grandfather, thus allowing Steve to go back in time to kill his grandfather.

As logical as that is, there is an error in this sort of thinking.

Reduce Steve to molecules and atoms. What we witness is then the transportation of molecules and atoms to another point along the traditional time dimension. What we then see is the impact of molecule with molecule, and the destabilization of the organic structure formerly known as Steve's grandfather.

If we see it in this sense, there is no paradox. The universe cannot be expected to follow the simple logic necessary to form a family structure. It is in itself a fallacy to assume that the nature of reality is itself conscious that Steve has a direct ancestor, and thus Steve cannot exist if this jumble of matter were to scramble.

Essentially, the universe allows no paradox, but not because such a paradox is illogical, but simply because such a paradox is impossible. If Steve's grandfather dies, then he dies and Steve is promptly arrested. There is no logical rule dictating the nature of reality, there is simply a list of impossibilities which itself may or may not exist. What we saw, although we think illogical, is completely natural and repeated countless times on a moment by moment basis. Kinematics occurred. Nothing else. If there is a human contract the universe obeys, I have yet to hear of it. Family and heredity does not exist in this sense, merely matter and the more inconspicuous pieces of reality.

If this is the case though, then look again at Steve's time machine. Steve cannot change history. He can merely move into it and adopt it. If Steve is the movement of atoms and energy, then we can assume there exists both a starting point (His time) and the destination (His Grandfather's time), but simply because Steve moves, unless it's a condition of time travel, his old time need not be necessity disappear or cease to exist. As leaving a house does not typically involve burning the house down, so leaving a period of time does not necessarily involve its non-existence. We simply transferred mass. The universe does not therefore perhaps obey logic, but merely performs the outer image of it in its inability to progress beyond certain laws, to step outside of some framework.

However an alternate viewpoint could be expressed that the old time is destroyed entirely. Assuming the universe is both continuous and singular in nature, as it outwardly appears to be, then the act of moving back in time, although it transports matter and energy merely to another point of reality (when reality is considered to be all that was and is) the universe is still the same as it was, dictated by physical laws and outwardly deterministic. Thus, the action of Steve, or any action at all, has irreversibly removed any possibility of Steve's original time existing, as such an action had not previously occurred.

Any errors noticed should, if possible, be sent directly to the author at, and corrections will be made as quickly as possible. Or if you have questions/desire to speak with the author directly, the above mentioned email works for the same purpose.

There are also some very interesting and imaginative works on time-related subjects that are open to the layperson, among which I inevitably number. The ideas expressed therein are usually much more interesting than has been thus far usually presented to the public. Merely to state.

Source: EzineArticles
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