Why is time travel a paradox

Temporal paradox

A Temporal paradox is a temporal phenomenon that can arise when traveling through time. Often cause and effect are reversed.

Known paradoxes Edit source]

Grandfather Paradox Edit source]

A classic example of a temporal paradox is the so-called Grandfather paradox:

If someone travels back in time and then kills their own grandfather before he fathered their father, that someone could never travel back in time and kill their grandfather. Then, however, he would never have been murdered and would have fathered the time traveler's father, etc.

Immutable Timeline [edit | Edit source]

Examples [edit | Edit source]

Predestination paradox [edit | Edit source]

The Predestination Paradox is a temporal causality loop in which the existing timeline only has its current state through manipulation. Temporal interference is designed to trigger a specific event in the past. (VOY:Time ship "Relativity")

Examples [edit | Edit source]

After Julian Bashir in the past aboard the USS Enterprise is invited by Lieutenant Watley to a rendezvous and notices that his great-grandmother's name is too Watley and she has also served in Starfleet, he discusses a predestination paradox with Miles O'Brien. Julian thinks he could possibly be his own great grandfather, while O'Brien thinks that is absurd. Just before Julian can chase Watley, he and O'Brien get off the Enterprise beamed away. When Julian O'Brien wants to make it clear that this could be a mistake and that he could never have existed, Julian just grins happily at Julian. In the end, it turns out that Julian will continue to exist in the future even after returning to Deep Space 9 and thus there is no predestination paradox.DS9:Always the burden of the tribbles)

A predestination paradox is created in 1968 by the crew of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) triggered. In 2268, Captain James T. Kirk is assigned to investigate an event in 1968 that nearly sparked nuclear war. An unknown extraterrestrial people abducted some people from Earth 1000 years ago and trained them to be agents. These agents are supposed to monitor humanity and what it does. In 1968 it is decided to prevent a possible nuclear war by the agent Felix Sevenrock manipulating an American nuclear missile in such a way that it goes off course. Only at the last moment is it supposed to be destroyed by Felix in order to frighten humanity. Through the influence of an away team from the time-traveled Enterprise if this plan fails and the nuclear missile actually gets out of control, flying over Soviet territory. Only through the cooperation of the agent with Kirk can the rocket be blown up at the last moment, exactly at the time and over the area, as it will later be in the history books. Thus, Kirk's influence on Felix led to the event that almost caused a nuclear war and which the crew of the Enterprise should investigate. (TOS:A planet called earth)

Pogo paradox Edit source]

The Pogo paradox is a temporal causality loop in which the temporal interference to prevent an event only triggers it. (VOY:Time ship "Relativity")

Examples [edit | Edit source]

Alternate timeline Edit source]

The change in the past leads to an alternate timeline. (TOS:Reach into history, TNG:The old Enterprise; DS9:The visionary; Star Trek)

Examples [edit | Edit source]

The Dalí Paradox [edit | Edit source]

The Dalí paradox, also known as "the melting clocks effect," is a temporal crack that slows the passage of time to a gradual stop. (VOY:Time ship "Relativity")

Examples [edit | Edit source]

A temporary fragment is a temporal anomaly that follows the Dali paradox. (TNG:Trapped in a temporary fragment)

Quotes on the topic [edit | Edit source]

about his crew's participation in the brawl in the bar


(DS9:Always the burden of the tribbles)


(VOY:Time ship "Relativity")

See also [edit | Edit source]