What Is The Grandfather Paradox In Time Travel?

By Antonia Čirjak on April 9 2020 in Society

Simply put, the paradox lies in the fact that if a person travels back in time and kills his/her grandfather, it would be impossible for them to be born.
Simply put, the paradox lies in the fact that if a person travels back in time and kills his/her grandfather, it would be impossible for them to be born.
  • Einstein’s explanation of space-time (and the very fact that he created a single thought frame from two concepts that seem separated) allows for bends and curves. If time can bend, well, maybe loopholes and time travel are not impossible.
  • As there is still no proof that somebody actually did invent a time-machine, every discussion on time travel is highly speculative. Therefore, inconsistencies are new facts because time-traveling abandons the linear concept of time.
  • DeLorean is a car manufactured by a US car manufacturer DMC. It became globally famous after it was used as a time machine in

The grandfather paradox is a specific problem that is associated with time travel. Simply put, the paradox lies in the fact that if a person travels back in time and kills his/her grandfather, it would be impossible for them to be born. Although this sounds almost like a sci-fi movie plot, it is worth knowing how to approach your grandparents if you ever get a real-life DeLorean. 

Grandfather Killed - Paradox Born

Now, the first thing you might ask yourself is - why is traveling to the past and killing your grandad the one thing you would choose to do? Well, your grandfather serves as an example only, and the past version of him is safe. At least for now. However, if time-travel becomes a thing in the future, it is your best bet to avoid this contradiction. 

Whatever you choose to do, this logical problem is the one that speaks about many issues that come into question when we speculate about time travel. This is, with varying degrees of details and plausibility, still a purely theoretical field of thought, but one worth exploring further. 

Leaving Determinism In The Past

First of all, the grandfather paradox does not suggest how time-travel is impossible. In essence, it only pin-points the logical disparity that disrupts the way we approach the notion of time. One concept that comes into question when we face it with this temporal paradox is the linearity of time, or more precisely, the inability to change past events.

For time-travel to be a viable practice, even when discussed in hypothetical terms, it allows the indication of how backward causation is possible. By setting time-travel prerequisites like this, we are changing laws of physics that most of us do not question ever, and only a few brave scientists attempt to shake the foundations of deterministic approach in science.

Time is one of these ever-escaping thought categories, it is tough to mess with, as you inevitably feel it fly as you think about it. Time-travel changes the deterministic view on time and switches to a more of a probabilistic outlook on what happens in this dimension. Deterministically speaking, it is impossible to alter future events by changing the past. Probabilistically speaking - maybe it can be done, but not without inconsistencies.  

Changing The Notion Of Time

If you want to imagine the possibility of time-travel, you have to leave the idea that time is a straight line that does not ever stray away from its path. Everything that happened in the past is located somewhere before on that line, and the present moment is only a temporary freeze, a meaningless dot in the dimension of time.

If we, just temporarily though, embrace a probabilistic view on this phenomenon, it means that our trips back in time can have different outcomes. In the world of time-travel, many other shapes and forms that represent time exist, and they are not just a straight line. There are loops and circles - meaning there are not only changing the way time goes by but allow the concepts of multiple past and future to exist.

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