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Encyclopedia > Ontological paradox

An ontological paradox is a paradox of time travel that questions the existence and creation of information and objects that travel in time. It is very closely related to the predestination paradox and usually occurs at the same time. A physical paradox is an apparent contradiction relating to physical descriptions of the universe. ... Time travel is a concept that has long fascinated humanity—whether it is Merlin experiencing time backwards, or religious traditions like Mohammeds trip to Jerusalem and ascent to heaven, returning before a glass knocked over had spilt its contents. ... A predestination paradox, also called either a causal loop, or a causality loop and (less frequently) either a closed loop or closed time loop, is a paradox of time travel that is often used as a convention in science fiction. ...

Because of the possibility of influencing the past while time travelling, one way of explaining why history does not change is by saying that whatever has happened was meant to happen. A time traveller attempting to alter the past in this model, intentionally or not, would only be fulfilling his role in creating history, not changing it. The Novikov self-consistency principle proposes that contradictory causal loops cannot form, but that consistent ones can. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

However, a scenario can occur where items or information are passed from the future to the past, which then become the same items or information that are subsequently passed back. This not only creates a loop, but a situation where these items have no discernible origin. Physical items are even more problematic than pieces of information, since they should ordinarily age and increase in entropy according to the Second law of thermodynamics. But if they age by any nonzero amount at each cycle, they cannot be the same item to be sent back in time, creating a contradiction. The second law of thermodynamics is an expression of the universal law of increasing entropy. ...

The paradox raises the ontological questions of where, when and by whom the items were created or the information derived. Time loop logic operates on similar principles, sending the solutions to computation problems back in time to be checked for correctness without ever being computed "originally." In philosophy, ontology (from the Greek , genitive : of being (part. ... Time loop logic is a system of computation that requires the computer to be able to send data backwards through time, and relies upon the Novikov self-consistency principle to force the result of a computation sent backwards through time to be correct. ...

It is sometimes called the bootstrap paradox, in reference to its appearance in Robert A. Heinlein's story By His Bootstraps (see below). Robert Anson Heinlein (July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988) was one of the most popular, influential, and controversial authors of hard science fiction. ... By His Bootstraps is a science fiction short story by Robert A. Heinlein that plays with some of the inherent paradoxes that would be caused by time travel. ...



On his 30th birthday, a man who wishes to build a time machine is visited by a future version of himself. This future self explains to him that he should not worry about designing the time machine, as he has done it in the future. The man receives the schematics from his future self and starts building the time machine. Time passes until he finally completes the time machine. He then uses it to travel back in time to his 30th birthday, where he gives the schematics to his past self, closing the loop. Time travel is a concept that has long fascinated humanity—whether it is Merlin experiencing time backwards, or religious traditions like Mohammeds trip to Jerusalem and ascent to heaven, returning before a glass knocked over had spilt its contents. ...

Another example, involving more than one person:

A professor travels forward in time, and reads in a physics journal about a new equation that was recently derived. He travels back to his own time, and relates it to one of his students who writes it up, and the article is published in the same journal which the professor reads in the future.

Examples from fiction


  • Robert A. Heinlein's stories "By His Bootstraps" and All You Zombies— involve the predestination paradox, but also play with the ontological paradox. In "By His Bootstraps", the protagonist is asked to go through a time portal by a mysterious stranger, a second stranger tries to stop him, and all three get into a fight which results in the protagonist being pushed through anyway. Ultimately, it is revealed that all three are the same person: the first visitor being his future self and the second an even older future self trying to prevent the loop from occurring. The ontological paradox here is in where and how the loop started in the first place. "All You Zombies—" involves an even more convoluted time loop involving kidnapping, seduction, child abandonment and gender reassignment surgery, resulting in the protagonist creating the circumstances where he becomes his own mother, father, son, daughter, and kidnapper.
  • Isaac Asimov's novel The End of Eternity has an ontological paradox resulting from the source of the technology of time travel, which is given to its creator by time travelers from the future, who were able to time travel thanks to this.
  • In a storyline in the daily comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin attempted to create an ontological paradox by travelling two hours into the future to retrieve a story he had to write for homework and did not want to do. He reasoned that by that time it would be done and he could then bring it back to the past and spend the time goofing off instead of working. Of course, the future Calvin didn't have the homework either, having decided two hours previously to time-travel instead of doing it. Calvin eventually ended up fighting with two of his future selves, while Hobbes and his future self wrote a story based on the whole predicament. The story (which was about Hobbes saving the day) received an A+.
  • In The Time Traveler's Wife, Henry DeTamble is visited by an older version of himself, who teaches him various skills such as picking pockets and lockpicking. As an adult, he then visits his younger self to teach himself these skills. Additionally, during his journeys through time to visit the young Clare Abshire he provides her with a list of dates when he will be visiting her; a list which the adult Clare subsequently gives to him so that he can pass this information on to her younger self.
  • In Jasper Fforde's novel The Eyre Affair, a time-travelling character goes to Elizabethan times to discover who wrote Shakespeare's works. After discovering that neither Shakespeare, Marlowe, Bacon or anyone else seems to have written them, the character must give Shakespeare a copy of his own Complete Works and a rough timeline to ensure their existence in the future. (Confusing things further, however, the sequel revealed that the plays given to Shakespeare only included three comedies. The characters speculate that they proved so popular he wrote new ones himself. Fforde rather makes a point of not having his time travel follow any particular set of rules.)
  • Similarly, in Tim Powers' novel The Anubis Gates a time traveller attempts to visit the enigmatic 19th century poet William Ashbless, of whom he is a fan. The time traveller is unable to locate him and eventually realizes that he himself is destined to become Ashbless, "writing" Ashbless' works from memory.
  • The ontological paradox is mentioned in the Doctor Who Virgin New Adventures novel Happy Endings, in which, after taking the Isley Brothers to the 21st century, the Doctor warns them not to listen to any of their songs they haven't written yet, explaining that such information is "written by Time herself, and they contain messages".
  • In Harry Harrison's novel The Technicolor Time Machine, Barney Hendrickson travels back in time to present his earlier self with a note explaining how to resolve a seemingly insurmountable difficulty. The younger Barney carefully folds the note and puts it in his wallet, expressing his intention to leave it there until he reaches the point in his life where he travels back in time to hand it to his younger self. This prompts some discussion of how the note actually got written, and by whom, which the older Hendrickson dismisses by saying that the note was written by "time" because it needed to exist to allow the predestination paradox to play out. At the close of the novel, Hendrickson also discovers that by travelling back in time to film the Viking settling of America, he actually caused it to occur.
  • In the climax of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, a series of events leading up to the apparent execution of Buckbeak and Sirius Black's imprisonment are revealed to be the doing of Harry and Hermione, who travel back in time to prevent the deaths of both. A true paradox is created when Harry realizes that the mysterious wizard who saved his life (and who Harry mistook to be his father) was actually his future self. He is able to create the life-saving Patronus because he knew he'd "already done it."
  • In the web-comic Cat and Girl, in the installment entitled "Cat and Girl Settle In," the two main characters travel back in time to the early 1990s and engage in a discussion of various undesirable trends which have taken place since, thus inspiring passersby to start these trends. Sadly, their attempt to make intentional use of this phenomenon is foiled by a falling grand piano. [1]
  • In Stephen Baxter's novel, The Time Ships (which is the official sequel to H. G. Wells "The Time Machine" ) we learn that the narrator and time traveller from H.G. Wells original novel, was given a mysterious element by a strange man, which made the construction of the time machine possible. This strange man turns out to be an older version of the time traveler himself.
  • David Gerrold's novel The Man Who Folded Himself must be one of the most complex examples of the paradox. The protagonist inherits a time travel device (timebelt) from his late uncle. In his travels he meets various versions of himself. He cohabits with a female version of himself, and has a child with her. In some vesions of the timeline the child is a boy, in others it is a girl. Eventually he realises that the child is himslf, and he is his own father and mother. He poses as "uncle" to the child. Eventually he dies, bequeathing his timebelt to his "nephew", that is his younger self. But where did the timebelt come from, and how did he get born in the first place?
  • In Terry Pratchett's novel Pyramids, the immortal High Priest Dios has been advising a line of kings for thousands of years. At the end of the book, Dios falls backwards in time where he becomes advisor to the first king of the line. His life is thus a closed loop.

Robert Anson Heinlein (July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988) was one of the most popular, influential, and controversial authors of hard science fiction. ... By His Bootstraps is a science fiction short story by Robert A. Heinlein that plays with some of the inherent paradoxes that would be caused by time travel. ... All You Zombies— is a science fiction short story by Robert A. Heinlein, written in a single day, July 11, 1958, and first published in the March 1959 issue of Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine. ... Isaac Asimov (January 2?, 1920?[1] – April 6, 1992), IPA: , originally Исаак Озимов but now transcribed into Russian as Айзек Азимов) was a Russian-born American Jewish author and professor of biochemistry, a highly successful and exceptionally prolific writer best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. ... The Red Queens Race is a short story by Isaac Asimov that uses the Red Queens race from Lewis Carrolls Through the Looking-Glass as the final plot twist. ... Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) – believed to be a self-portrait Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (IPA: ) (January 27, 1832 – January 14, 1898), better known by the pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican clergyman and photographer. ... The Red Queens race is an incident that appears in Lewis Carrolls Through the Looking-Glass and involves the Red Queen, a representation of a Queen in chess, and Alice constantly running but remaining in the same spot. ... Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871) is a work of childrens literature by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson), generally categorized as literary nonsense. ... The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov is a science fiction novel, with mystery and thriller elements, on the subjects of time travel and social engineering. ... Listen to this article (3 parts) (info) Part 1 â€¢ Part 2 â€¢ Part 3 This audio file was created from an article revision dated 2006-01-29, and may not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ... For the Daft Punk album, see Homework (album). ... The Time Travelers Wife (ISBN 0-15-602943-X) is a novel by Audrey Niffenegger. ... Jasper Fforde (born in London on 11 January 1961) is a novelist and aviator living in Wales. ... The Eyre Affair, published in 2001, is the first novel published by Jasper Fforde. ... The frontispiece of the First Folio (1623), the first collected edition of Shakespeares plays From 1593 to 1637, a number of plays and poems were published under the name William Shakespeare or, in many cases, hyphenated as Shake-Speare. The company that performed most of these plays, the Lord... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Christopher (Kit) Marlowe (baptised 26 February 1564 – 30 May 1593?) was an English dramatist, poet, and translator of the Elizabethan era. ... It has been suggested that Idols of the mind be merged into this article or section. ... Tim Powers at the Israeli ICon 2005 SF&F Convention Timothy Thomas Powers (born February 29, 1952) is an American science fiction and fantasy author. ... The Anubis Gates (1983) is a time travel fantasy novel by Tim Powers. ... William Ashbless is a fictional poet, invented by fantasy writers James Blaylock and Tim Powers. ... Doctor Who is a long-running award-winning British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The series depicts the adventures of a mysterious time-traveller known as the Doctor who travels in his TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension(s) In Space) time ship, which appears from the exterior... The Virgin New Adventures (often referred to simply as NAs within fandom) were a series of novels from Virgin Publishing based on the British science-fiction television series Doctor Who, which had been cancelled in 1989, continuing the story of the series from where the television programme had left off. ... Happy Endings is an original novel written by Paul Cornell and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. ... The Isley Brothers are an American pop, R&B, funk and soul group who began their musical career in Cincinnati in the early 1950s. ... At the 63rd World Science Fiction Convention in Glasgow, August 2005 Harry Harrison (born Henry Maxwell Dempsey, March 12, 1925 in Stamford, Connecticut) is an American science fiction author who has lived in many parts of the world including Mexico, England, Denmark and Italy. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Joanne Rowling OBE (born July 31, 1965 in Chipping Sodbury, South Gloucestershire), commonly known as J.K. Rowling (pronunciation: roll-ing; her former students used to joke with her name calling her the Rolling Stone), is a British fiction writer. ... Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film) or Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is the third novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling. ... Sirius Black is a fictional character in the Harry Potter book series written by J. K. Rowling. ... This article is about the Harry Potter series of novels. ... It has been suggested that Crookshanks be merged into this article or section. ... Cat and Girl is a webcomic by Dorothy Gambrell which began in summer 1999, and is still published every Tuesday and Friday. ... Stephen Baxter (born in Liverpool, 13 November 1957) is a British hard science fiction author. ... The Time Ships is a 1995 science fiction novel by Stephen Baxter. ... Herbert George Wells (September 21, 1866 – August 13, 1946), better known as H. G. Wells, was an English writer best known for such science fiction novels as The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, The First Men in the Moon and The Island of Doctor Moreau. ... David Gerrold, born Jerrold David Friedman (January 24, 1944), is an award-winning science fiction author who started his career in 1966 as a college student by submitting an unsolicited story outline for the television series Star Trek. ... The Man Who Folded Himself is a 1973 science fiction novel by David Gerrold. ... Terence David John Pratchett OBE (born April 28, 1948, in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England[1]) is an English fantasy author, best known for his Discworld series. ... Pyramids is the seventh Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett, published in 1989. ...


  • An episode of the radio show X Minus One featured a near ontological paradox. A historian from the future time-traveled to the present to visit a man who would become a famous artist. The artist and his work are hugely and widely revered in the future, after his death. The historian explains that once time travel is developed in the future, traveling to the time of an event to observe it firsthand is a common method of researching history. The would-be artist lives with a roommate. The historian is soon puzzled that the would-be artist shows no signs of creativity, and has produced none of his famous works. The would-be artist steals the historian's time machine and travels to the future to enjoy the fame that his works earn him. The historian is stranded in the present with no identity and no personal history with which to live his new life. The roommate suggests he take the would-be artist's name and identity, and the historian does. Years later, the historian has taken up painting, and it is noted that his paintings resemble those of the famous artist. It becomes clear to the roommate that the historian is actually the famous artist. The historian vehemently disagrees, saying that such an idea is impossible because the designs of the paintings would then have no origin. The ontological paradox is avoided because the roommate reminds the historian that the historian has begun to forget his former life in the future, and indeed what the famous paintings look like.

Some listeners to Robert Heinleins Universe had previously read the story in Dells 1951 paperback edition. ...


  • In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Admiral Kirk receives a pair of antique eyeglasses from Doctor McCoy in the 23rd Century. Kirk subsequently leaves them in the 20th Century in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, implying that they would be a gift again. Although presumably the screenwriter's intent in Star Trek IV was to suggest a causal loop involving the glasses, the additional problem of the glasses aging by three centuries with each loop is never addressed.
  • Also in Star Trek IV, Scotty and McCoy also trade the formula for transparent aluminum to an engineer for materials needed to build a whale tank. Scotty eases McCoy's concerns about changing history by asking, "How do we know he didn't invent the thing?"
  • However, neither movie presents direct evidence of a loop; the characters merely assume it. It is possible that the eyeglasses that Kirk leaves behind do not "go forward" to become the pair that McCoy gives to Kirk, or that the engineer might fail in his attempt to invent transparent aluminum. (However, in the novelization of Star Trek IV, Scotty recognizes the engineer's name as that of the inventor.)
  • In the film Somewhere in Time, an elderly Elise McKenna gives Richard Collier a pocket watch which he then takes in time to hand it to her younger self, who will then, decades later, return it to him. As in Star Trek IV, in addition to the paradox, the problem of the watch aging with each loop is not addressed.
  • Also in Back to the Future, in the stairwell after the dance and the Johnny B. Goode performance, Marty says goodbye to his 1950's parents who have just had their first kiss. After he leaves, his mother absentmindedly says "Marty - what a nice name..." implying that he inspired her to name her future son Marty. (However, in the third movie, Marty discovers that one of his ancestors' names was Martin, which could have been the "original" inspiration for his name)
  • Also in The Terminator, Kyle Reese, having traveled forty-five years into the past, gives Sarah a message from his commander John Connor, subsequently fathering John with Sarah. In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, John says that his mother made him memorize the message — which, ironically, says that the future can be changed — in order to give it to his father, so that his father might then pass it on to her. At no point do we learn when or how the message was originally composed. Similarly, Kyle shows Sarah how to fight Terminators. Sarah teaches the same methods to John, who trains Kyle in the future.
  • In A Chinese Odyssey, Stephen Chow's character, Joker, is abducted by demons who have taken him to a place called "Spiderweb Cave". At one point, he discovers a relic called the "Pandora's Box" which allows him to travel through time. He uses it several times in the movie until he accidentally sends himself back further. Joker then spots a woman passing by and he warns her not to go further because it's the Spiderweb Cave. The woman replies "Do you think I'm blind? The sign says Waterfall Cave". Which shocks Joker. The woman continues "Although, Spiderweb Cave does sound fitting". The woman is a demon who uses her magic and changes the sign to read Spiderweb Cave.
  • In Spaceballs, Dark Helmet tracks down Lonestar by watching the 'instant cassette' version of the movie. This creates an ontological paradox in that the movie hasn't been finished yet, as Dark Helmet correctly points out, "How could there be a cassette of the movie? We're still in the middle of making it!"

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Paramount Pictures, 1982; see also 1982 in film) is the second feature film based on the popular Star Trek science fiction television series. ... James Tiberius Kirk, played by William Shatner, is the main character in the original Star Trek television series and the films based on it. ... Dr. Leonard H. McCoy (nicknamed Bones), played by DeForest Kelley, is a character in the original Star Trek series, and the first six Star Trek films. ... Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (Paramount Pictures, 1986; see also 1986 in film) is the fourth feature film based on the popular Star Trek science fiction television series. ... Scotty redirects here. ... Transparent aluminum is a material described in the Star Trek universe which was introduced in the movie Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986). ... Somewhere in Time is a 1980 time-travel romance film starring Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour and Christopher Plummer. ... Back to the Future is a 1985 science fiction–comedy film directed by Robert Zemeckis and produced by Steven Spielberg. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Charles Edward Anderson Chuck Berry (born October 18, 1926 in St. ... Music sample Johnny B. Goode ( file info) Problems? See media help. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Year 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link displays 1985 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1955 Gregorian calendar). ... Back to the Future is a 1985 science fiction–comedy film directed by Robert Zemeckis and produced by Steven Spielberg. ... The Terminator (also known as Terminator in some early trailers and posters) is a 1984 science fiction/action film featuring former bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger in what would become his best-known role, and also starred Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn. ... For other uses, see Cyborg (disambiguation). ... Sarah Connor in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. ... Garry Kasparov playing against Deep Blue, the first machine to win a chess game against a reigning world champion. ... SkyNET, also known as The Terminator: SkyNET in Europe, is a computer game based on the Terminator film series. ... Kyle Reese (2008–2029/1984), played by Michael Biehn, is the main fictional character and hero of the first Terminator film, father of John Connor, and brief lover to Sarah Connor. ... John Connor (February 28, 1985–July 4, 2032?) is a major fictional character in the science-fiction Terminator franchise. ... Terminator 2: Judgment Day (commonly abbreviated T2) is a 1991 movie directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, and Robert Patrick. ... Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure (1989) is a comedy/science fiction film based on the idea of time travel. ... A Chinese Odyssey: Pandoras Box (大話西遊) is a 1994 film, directed by Jeffrey Lau, and is one of actor Stephen Chows most famous movies. ... For other uses, see Spaceball. ...


  • One scene in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations" shows Miles O'Brien and Julian Bashir, having travelled into the past, attempting to blend in with crewmembers on the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701). At one point, an attractive female crewmember, Lieutenant Watley, joins them in the turbolift. She is obviously interested in Bashir and tells him to meet her later. After she leaves, Bashir remembers that Watley was the name of his great-grandmother - and that nobody ever knew his great-grandfather. He thinks he might be destined to fall in love with Watley and become his own great-grandfather. However, he only suspects this is the case - we never find out whether Bashir and Watley followed through on their attraction.
  • The series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation, episode titled All Good Things... contains an example of the paradox. Captain Picard, at three different times in his life investigates a temporal anomaly. At each of the three times he sends a tachyon pulse into the anomaly. He discovers that the meeting of the three pulses caused the anomaly to occur.
  • In the Red Dwarf episode "Stasis Leak", Rimmer encounters the future holographic version of himself who tells him that the future crew had traveled back in time through a stasis leak found on one of the lower levels of the ship. He writes this in his diary. In the future, Lister reads Rimmer's diary and looks for the leak, which the crew finds and uses to travel back in time, where future Rimmer tells past Rimmer about the leak. The paradox not only involves the knowledge of the leak, but also the fact that the phenomenon itself is called a "stasis leak".
  • In an episode of Quantum Leap, the time traveler Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) gets a TV host, Captain Galaxy, to share his theories of time travel to a young Sam watching the program, which in turn greatly influences Sam in his own theories of time travel.
  • In the 2002 Doctor Who webcast Real Time, Dr. Reese Goddard, a Cyberman from an alternate 1927 where the Earth had been infected by a virus that turned people into Cybermen, came to the planet Chronos to stop the Doctor from giving the Cybermen the virus in the first place. Goddard brought a modified version of the virus deadly to Cybermen, which the Cybercontroller captured and reverse engineered to create the virus which infected Earth. It also transpired that the Cybercontroller infected the Doctor's companion Evelyn Smythe with the virus, so that when she travelled into the past she would begin the infection and eventually become the Cybercontroller herself.
  • In the 2005 Doctor Who episode "The Parting of the Ways", Rose Tyler, who had absorbed the time vortex from the TARDIS and gained god-like powers, scatters the words "Bad Wolf" throughout time and space. The words would follow her through her travels with the Ninth Doctor, and would eventually motivate her to save the Doctor when they had seemingly been separated forever, and absorb the time vortex, closing the loop.
  • In the 2006 Doctor Who episode "New Earth", the Doctor sends Lady Cassandra (her consciousness in her dying clone servant Chip's body) back in time to meet her younger self. "Chip" tells the younger Cassandra she is beautiful and dies in her arms. Earlier in the episode, Cassandra had stated that she cloned Chip after her favorite "pattern", implying that she got it from the man who died in her arms so many years before and leaving the origin of Chip's pattern open.
  • In the 2007 Doctor Who episode "The Shakespeare Code", set in 1599, has a running joke where the Doctor, in the presence of William Shakespeare, quotes lines from plays that Shakespeare has not yet written. In each instance, Shakespeare comments that he "likes that" and might use the line in a future work. The true origin of these lines form an ontological paradox.
  • In the 2007 Doctor Who episode "Blink", the Doctor records a message on film in 1969 in the form of half a conversation. The other half is filled in when Sally Sparrow views the film on DVD in 2007, which her friend Lawrence Nightingale transcribes. The full transcript, including the Doctor's portion, is eventually handed to the Doctor in 2008, but before he is sent back to 1969 from his subjective viewpoint, so he can use it in creating the message later. The contents of the conversation form an ontological paradox.
  • In the anime series Generator Gawl, the genetic code that led to the creation of the generators is taken from Gawl, a generator who had traveled back in time to change the past.
  • In another anime series, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, a slightly older Mikuru goes back in time to convey a hint to Kyon regarding a future crisis involving Haruhi. During the conversation, in order to prove that she is Mikuru, she shows off a star-shaped mole on her breast, something which she learned of from Kyon. However, Kyon had no idea up to that point of its existence. Afterwards, Kyon confirms this via photographs, and tells the present-day Mikuru of the star-shaped mole, which she exclaims she had never noticed.
  • In the Stargate SG-1 episode "1969", SG-1 accidentally travels back in time to the year 1969, where they are aided by Lt. Hammond because of a note his future self gave to Carter before they left, spurred by a familiar cut on Carter's hand. Recalling the memory of the future SG-1 visiting him early in his career, Gen. Hammond had ordered research into using the Stargate for time-travel and was subsequently able to provide them with the information they needed to get home—before they left.
  • In the Futurama episode "Roswell That Ends Well" the crew travel back in time and Philip J. Fry manages to become his own grandfather. As he is his paternal grandfather, the origin of Fry's Y chromosome is an ontological paradox.
  • In The Mummy: The Animated Series when they go back in time in order to fix something, their son Alex' O'Connell mentions to a boy that he had learned his fighting skills from the warrior group called The Medjai. After returning to the future, the Medjai mention that the boy he had met in the past had founded their group.

Space station Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (ST:DS9 or STDS9 or DS9 for short) is a science fiction television series produced by Paramount and set in the Star Trek universe. ... Trials and Tribble-ations is a fifth season episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine that was written as a tribute to the original series of Star Trek. ... Miles OBrien Miles Edward OBrien is a character in the fictional Star Trek universe, played by Colm Meaney. ... Julian Subatoi Bashir, M.D., (played by Alexander Siddig) is a character in the fictional Star Trek universe. ... The USS Enterprise, (NCC-1701) is a fictional starship in the television series Star Trek, which chronicles the vessels most famous assignment, its Five-Year mission. ... The title as it appeared in most episodes opening credits. ... All Good Things. ... For the type of star, see Red dwarf. ... Quantum Leap is a science fiction television series that ran for 97 episodes from March 1989 to May 1993 on NBC. It follows the adventures of Dr. Samuel Beckett (played by Scott Bakula), a brilliant scientist who after researching time-travel, and doing experiments in something he calls The Imaging... This article is about the TV show. ... Scott Stewart Bakula (born October 9, 1954) is an American actor who played leading roles in two science fiction television series: Quantum Leap and Star Trek: Enterprise. ... Doctor Who is a long-running award-winning British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The series depicts the adventures of a mysterious time-traveller known as the Doctor who travels in his TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension(s) In Space) time ship, which appears from the exterior... Real Time is a webcast based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who which was then subsequently released on CD. It was produced by Big Finish Productions for BBCi, the interactive television service arm of the BBC and was originally webcast on the BBC Doctor Who... The Cybermen are a fictional race of cyborgs who are amongst the most persistent enemies of the Doctor in the British science fiction television series, Doctor Who. ... Dr. Evelyn Smythe is a fictional character played by Maggie Stables in a series of audio plays produced by Big Finish Productions based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. ... The Parting of the Ways is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on June 18, 2005. ... Rose Tyler is a fictional character played by Billie Piper in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. ... The TARDIS in the vortex. ... The current TARDIS prop as seen at the BBC Wales reception in 2005. ... In both the original run and since the 2005 revival, long-running British science fiction television programme Doctor Who has featured a number of story arcs. ... The Ninth Doctor refers to the ninth official incarnation of the fictional character known as the Doctor, in the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. ... Star Trek novels, see Pocket Books Star Trek novels. ... Lady Cassandra is a fictional character from the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. ... The Shakespeare Code is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Blink is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. ... Size comparison: A 12 cm Sony DVD+RW and a 19 cm Dixon Ticonderoga pencil. ... “Animé” redirects here. ... Generator Gawl (ジェネレイター ガウル ) is an anime series about three young men, Koji, Ryo and Gawl, who traveled back in time to the year 2007 to prevent Professor Takuma Nekasa from discovering a gene code which would start a devastating war. ... The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya[1] ) is the first Japanese light novel in the Haruhi Suzumiya series written by Japanese author Nagaru Tanigawa and illustrated by Japanese artist Noizi Ito. ... Stargate SG-1 (often abbreviated as SG-1) is a science fiction television series, part of the Stargate franchise. ... 1969 is an episode from Season 2 of the science fiction television series Stargate SG-1. ... Also: 1969 (Stargate SG-1) episode. ... George S. Hammond is a fictional character in the Stargate SG-1 television program, played by Don S. Davis. ... Samantha Sam Carter (born December 29, 1968)[2] is a fictional character in the science fiction television series Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, played by English-Canadian actress Amanda Tapping. ... This article is about the television series. ... Roswell That Ends Well is the nineteenth episode of the third production season of the TV show Futurama. ... Philip J. Fry is the protagonist of the animated television series Futurama and is voiced by Billy West. ... The Medjai were an ancient people of Nubia. ...

Video games

  • In a section of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the player character, Link, enters a windmill where he meets an organ grinder who tells him that seven years ago, a child came to the windmill and played a song, causing the windmill to go out of control (and opening a gameplay area). He teaches Link the Song of Storms, after which Link goes back in time and becomes his younger self, who goes to the windmill and plays the song, causing the effects and planting the melody in the organ grinder's mind.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages, the player befriends a Goron who gives the player a vase, his family heirloom. Then the player travels back a few hundred years, finds the Goron's ancestor, and gives him the vase, to be used as a family heirloom.
  • In the computer game TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, there are many examples of an Ontological paradox, and they all involve the main character of Cortez. On one occasion, Cortez is walking along and sees another version of himself who gives him a key. Later on, the present version of Cortez finds the same grate where he saw the last version of Cortez, only to see another version who he passes the key to. In addition, the villain, Jacob Crow, gives his younger self a copy version of his time machine after he has completed it, and the younger self in turn gives the older self a copy in the future.
  • In the computer game Escape from Monkey Island, Guybrush travels through a marsh where time flows differently and encounters his future self on the other side of a gate, who gives him the gate's key and several other items. Unconvinced, the present Guybrush asks what number he's thinking of, and opens the gate when his future self gives the correct answer. Later in the marsh, Guybrush must go through the gate from the other side, and so has to give his past self the key and the miscellaneous items, then pass the number-guessing test by recalling what his future self told him. The question of where the key and items originally came from is thus never resolved. True to the game's humor, failure to repeat everything precisely will cause a "temporal anomaly" that sends Threepwood back to the start.
  • In the interactive fiction game Sorcerer, the player is given the combination to a safe by his future self. He then has to give the combination to his past self to prevent a temporal paradox.
  • In the interactive fiction game Spellbreaker, the player finds a spell in a moldy book. Later in the game, the player puts his spell book into the same room, where it becomes moldy.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was a video game released in 1998, and the first Zelda game for the Nintendo 64. ... The Legend of Zelda series is a classic series of video games from Nintendo. ... This article or section should include material from Like like ring, Moblin ring Oracle of Ages title screen (GBC original) The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (also known as OoA) is a video game published by Nintendo and developed by Nintendo in conjunction with Capcom. ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... TimeSplitters: Future Perfect Categories: 2005 computer and video games | GameCube games | PlayStation 2 games | Xbox games | First-person shooters | Computer and video game stubs ... Escape from Monkey Island (EMI) is a computer adventure game developed and released by LucasArts in 2000. ... Zork I is one of the first interactive fiction games, as well as being one of the first commercially sold. ... Zork universe Zork games Zork trilogy Zork I Zork II Zork III Enchanter trilogy Enchanter Sorcerer Spellbreaker Wishbringer Beyond Zork Zork Zero Return to Zork Zork: Nemesis Zork Grand Inquisitor Encyclopedia Encyclopedia Frobozzica Miscellaneous Timeline   Calendar   Magic Double Fanucci Companies Infocom   Activision This article is about the computer game. ... Zork I is one of the first interactive fiction games, as well as being one of the first commercially sold. ... Zork universe Zork games Zork Anthology Zork trilogy Zork I   Zork II   Zork III Beyond Zork   Zork Zero   Planetfall Enchanter trilogy Enchanter   Sorcerer   Spellbreaker Other games Wishbringer   Return to Zork Zork: Nemesis   Zork Grand Inquisitor Zork: The Undiscovered Underground Topics in Zork Encyclopedia Frobozzica Characters   Kings   Creatures Timeline   Magic   Calendar...

See also

  Results from FactBites:
Predestination paradox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (5906 words)
A predestination paradox, also called a causal loop or causality loop, is a paradox of time travel that is often used as a convention in science fiction.
This paradox is in some ways the opposite of the grandfather paradox, the famous example of the traveller killing his own grandfather before his parent is born, thereby precluding his own travel to the past by cancelling his own existence.
A humorous reference is made to the predestination paradox when Julian Bashir suggests that he is meant to have sex with a Lieutenant Watley (whom he thinks is one of his ancestors) so that he can become his own great grandfather, lest he cease to exist.
  More results at FactBites »



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