grandfather paradox


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Related to grandfather paradox: butterfly effect, Time travel

grandfather paradox

n.
A causality paradox speculated about in theories of time-travel in which traveling back in time would allow one to alter the conditions at the earlier time in such a way as to make current conditions impossible, as by causing the death of one's grandfather, making one's very existence impossible.
References in periodicals archive ?
Still; aside from the immense practical difficulties of achieving light speed and constructing stable wormholes, most scientists have traditionally dismissed the notion of time travel because of a problem known as "the grandfather paradox.
The schools are held in secret because of the problems related to time travel - notably what is known as the Grandfather Paradox, where someone might meet their own grandfather and do or say something to alter his life - and their own future.
Devlin, an assistant professor of philosophy at Bridgewater State College, tackles the famous grandfather paradox in time travel: is it possible to travel back in time and kill an ancestor, thus negating your own existence?