What is the Paradox of the grandfather

What is the "Parade of Grandfather"?

In general, games over time have always been interesting in literature and cinema. There seems to be logic and a lot of things are clear, but on the other hand, no one has checked and who knows how it will actually be. “Back to the Future”, “Star Trek”, “Butterfly Effect” - yes there are a lot of films where the hero gets into the past and his actions change the present. What are the laws here? A big field for fantasy.

It was in these fantasies that the “Paradox of the grandfather” was born ...

Here is the simplest version of the paradox. Jim Bob III builds a time machine and returns sixty years ago when his grandfather Jim Bob I is only 20 years old and he is not married yet. Then he kills his grandfather on the street (Jim Bob III has some problems), which means that Jim Bob II will never be born. However, if Jim Bob II is not born, then Jim Bob III too. And consequently, he will never build a time machine and will not return back, so that Jim Bob I can live a long and happy life. However, then after some time he will have a spoiled granddaughter, who is inclined to make paradoxes, and everything will happen again.

There is one solution to this paradox, which continues to occupy the minds of theorists, but it also has its own problems. It is called Novikov's principle of self-consistency, which, in essence, consists in the fact that any events occurring during travels into the past correspond and are identical to events that have already occurred “for the first time”. In other words, there is only one past, and if you eventually went there, then you are already there.

Embarrassed? In fact, you have probably already seen how the principle of self-consistency works. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry is saved when a mysterious figure calls on Patronus to help get rid of attacking Dementors. In his next journey through time, he learns that this mysterious figure was himself. And in the “Game of Thrones” Bran discovers that his actions in the present are the cause of Hodor’s unique speech defect formed in the past (we will not go into “how” because we hope to finish the story today).

These examples from pop culture do not eliminate paradoxes as such, but they still show how the paradox could be resolved.Patronus, who saved Harry, was the first time Harry had experienced this, and Hodor became Hodor, because Bran had gone back in time. In other words, you cannot go back in time and kill your grandfather because your grandfather was not killed. And if you try, you will fail because your grandfather never died in the past.

This is the main thing in the grandfather's paradox: this is a paradox only in certain versions of the space-time continuum. And until we actually manage to go back, we never know for sure how our continuum works. But there are several options.

Fixed timeline. This is how the timeline in the episode from Futurama is arranged, and this is the version that Novikov principle most clearly describes. In this version, that in the past - in the past. "The ink is dry." So when Fry thought that he irreversibly changed the passage of time, bringing his grandfather to death, he actually only reproduced the previous course of time ... which, as it turned out, meant that he was his own grandfather. Y-yes. Well, let's continue.

The dynamic time scale is the most popular concept of how time works, despite the fact that it is not particularly logical, if you think about it.This is the time that Marty McFly had to deal with. In his reality, the changes he made in the past were reflected in the present, and that was how he almost wiped himself out of life, appearing more attractive than his young father. But if the present changes, if you change the past, don't you yourself change too? And if you accidentally make it so that you are not born, then you will not have a single chance to fix it. In this time continuum, paradoxes triumph over common sense, and science fiction writers simply have to shrug and admit that this is more dramatic.

The multiple time scale is the one described in Star Trek, and it easily bypasses any potential paradoxes. Every journey into the past gives rise to a new reality in which this journey into the past took place. The past of the reality that you left is still invariable, like a fixed time scale, but the new reality that you created can develop in various ways. Thus, the villain Nero, played by Eric Bana, should not have worried about what would cause some paradoxes, since the universe he influenced had nothing to do with the one from which he came.Something like "what's happening in Vegas - stays in Vegas", only with even more lasers.


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  • What is the Paradox of the grandfather

    What is the Paradox of the grandfather

    What is the Paradox of the grandfather

    What is the Paradox of the grandfather

    What is the Paradox of the grandfather

    What is the Paradox of the grandfather

    What is the Paradox of the grandfather

    What is the Paradox of the grandfather

    What is the Paradox of the grandfather

    What is the Paradox of the grandfather

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