A Negation of the Grandfather Paradox

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In summary, the conversation discusses the concept of the grandfather paradox in time travel and whether it is possible to alter one's own fate by traveling back in time. The conclusion is that the paradox is negated by the very act of formulating the thought to travel back in time, as it means the event did not actually occur in the past. This is a subject that is largely explored in science fiction and has not been conclusively tested in physics experiments. The discussion is more suited for a philosophy forum rather than a physics one.
  • #1
jacirez
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I believe I found a solution (or a negation) to one of temporal mechanics most enduring paradox:
If you travel back in time, could you kill your own grandfather, thereby altering your future, even erasing yourself from existence?

The short answer is NO. You can't.

This is simply because the moment (present instant) you formulate the thought to travel back in time to do anything to alter your fate as you remember in that instant (past and present), the mere act of formulating the thought means that on fact you DID NOT travel back in time and altered your fate as you remember it in the first place.

This is because if you did in fact travel back in time and altered your fate (past and present), you would (in the present instant you formulate the thought) already have the memory that you did in fact travel back in time and altered your fate.

Since you do not have these memories (as you formulate the thought of traveling back in time in the first place), simply asking the question, rather than remembering past actions (remembering that you already traveled back in time and altered your future) , negates the paradox...
 
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  • #2
But the paradox is that you kill your grandfather prior to the birth of your father!

It has nothing to do with your memories; it has been explored mostly in science fiction. Makes for interesting stories! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grandfather_paradox
 
  • #3
@UltrafastPED,
I respectfully disagree. Please bear with me: If we agree that the basic definition of time is the interval between two events (i.e a complete revolution of a planet around its host star; a complete revolution of a planet around its own axis...the number of oscillation in a quartz crystal, etc.), then how do we know how much time has passed between two events? We count the number of intervals between the initial event and the moment we first formulate the idea (or remember) to measure it (for example).

This is why you know how much time has passed between the instant I first posted this reply and the instant you are reading it. But what happens if there are no records (or memories) of "the initial moment"? As far as any observer is concerned, the event did not take place between any intervals.
Conversely, if neither I nor any observer has any record (or memories) of me traveling back in time and killing my grandfather it must mean that such an event (as far as me or any observer is concerned) never took place (it did not occur between any intervals)...
 
  • #4
This is too speculative. As far as I know, there has not been a conclusive physics experiment that has tested this issue. Therefore, all answers are purely hypothetical and philosophical. Hence, this discussion is better suited on some philosophy forum instead of PF.

Thread locked.

Do read this (section 4, 5 and 6): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_travel#Time_travel_to_the_past_in_physics
Any question about this can be asked in our forum. Personal theories such as the OP cannot be allowed as such.
 
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Related to A Negation of the Grandfather Paradox

What is the "A Negation of the Grandfather Paradox"?

The "A Negation of the Grandfather Paradox" is a thought experiment that explores the logical inconsistency in the concept of time travel. It suggests that if a person were to go back in time and prevent their own birth or the birth of their ancestors, it would create a paradox in which the person would not exist to go back in time in the first place.

What is the main idea behind the "A Negation of the Grandfather Paradox"?

The main idea behind the "A Negation of the Grandfather Paradox" is that time travel to the past is not logically possible because it would create a paradox that cannot be resolved.

Is the "A Negation of the Grandfather Paradox" a valid argument against time travel?

No, the "A Negation of the Grandfather Paradox" is not a valid argument against time travel because it is based on the assumption that changing the past is possible. In reality, the concept of time travel is still hypothetical and has not been proven to be possible.

Can the "A Negation of the Grandfather Paradox" be applied to all time travel scenarios?

Yes, the "A Negation of the Grandfather Paradox" can be applied to all time travel scenarios as it highlights the logical inconsistency that arises when attempting to change the past. However, it is important to note that this is still a theoretical concept and has not been proven to be true.

Are there any proposed solutions to the "A Negation of the Grandfather Paradox"?

There are several proposed solutions to the "A Negation of the Grandfather Paradox", such as the idea of parallel universes or the concept of a fixed timeline where any attempts to change the past would ultimately fail. However, these solutions are still theoretical and have not been proven to be true.

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