Time Travel Theories

The Grandfather Paradox

     To resolve the overwhelming request from so many students inquisitive about time travel, adjunct professor Wisestien scheduled an assembly in the amphitheater classroom to present current theories about the subject. He scheduled a late morning session, and an early afternoon session after the lunch break. Wisestien kicked off the first session. For the second presentation, he had invited a theologian from Fuller Theological Seminary.

     Wisestien: “For this first session, I will begin by explaining the mysteries of the theoretical grandfather time travel paradox. Let’s say, for instance, what if you travel back in time to whack your grandfather? The following two images depict possible ways that may be possible. One is to travel back through some wormhole near the speed of light in a spacecraft. The other is to be physically transported in the nude as in the science fiction movie Terminator.


warp drive

     Wisestien: “So, if your mission was successful, one of your parents would not have been born. Therefore, you would not have been born. Moreover, if you weren’t born, then your grandfather would not die. If he didn’t die, then you would be born, enabling you to repeat the mission, which is our original position. Therefore, generating an infinite loop. Thus resulting in a paradox, . . . a time travel paradox.”


     “Since this tends to be a brain twister, I have included the following illustrated diagrams to provide some clarification. So, if you ‘were never born,’ that means the grandfather must have gotten whacked. On the other hand, if you ‘were never born’ then how could you go back and whack your grandfather?”


     “Some physicists say that the universe will not allow someone to go back and kill their grandfather. Something will surely happen that will prevent you from killing him since he lived to bear offspring such as yourself. In any event, you should pay for the crime. So the manhunt begins with law enforcement officers and bounty hunters out on the prowl.”


     “Other scientist say that when you travel back in time, you arrive in a different parallel universe—as depicted here.”

     “In this multiverse environment you can change the past without causing any paradoxes. Taking this further, and to be more specific, alternate universes allow for the multiple options available when making decisions about future events. Simply stated,” Wisestien continued, “One universe exist where the grand dad lives, and another exist where he’s been snuffed. Just think about it. If you ever get overly despondent, instead of committing suicide, it would be much easier and painless if you just go back in time and rub-out your grand daddy.”

     This statement caused an uproar of wide spread hilarity in the auditorium.

     “In any case, this could prompt diverse predicaments for those law enforcement officers and bounty hunters assigned to track you down for murder. You could wind up going free, if you’re able to avoid them altogether in some other universe—the perfect crime. Unless, however, you emerge into a universe where a similar incident occurred and you eventually get collared for being the trigger man. In any event, think about the predicament for John Walsh, of America’s Most Wanted?”

     Wisestien: “Many scientist lean toward this hypothesis plus two others: The Bootstrap paradox, and the Predestination paradox. For now we will bypass these and open up for questions, after which we will break for lunch.”

     As the students filed out for lunch, they began lolly gaggin’ and cloownin’—saying things like: “Say dude, what century are you from?” and “I’m not here. I’m still out on the lam.” and “I’d make it easier on myself by putting out a contract to hire a mafia hit man.”

To be continued