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I recently read one of the Tenth Doctor novels The Stone Rose and at the end a paradox occurs that should technically be impossible. I doubt many of you will uave read the nivel recently, if at all, so I will explain the paradox below. Spoilers for the novel follow.
Rose finds a vial full of magical liquid and uses most of it up. She asks a GENIE (a kind of robot from the future that grants wishes) to refill the vial. The GENIE refills the SAME vial and gives it to Rose. She then leaves it for her past self to find. However with every loop the bottle still ages slightly. So in one of those loops after the vial is touched in the same spot millions of times it will be little mor than dust. How the Hell does this work? Presumably GENIE first discovered the liquid and that started the paradox. But again, what about the vial? Did GENIE restore it? Is it a fixed point in time, like Jack, doomed to go around and around in that loop for all eternity? Does the liquid have magical healing properties? Or does the writer of the book kniw nothing of the basic rules of timetravel? 220.127.116.11talk to me 14:05, December 31, 2011 (UTC)
There's a probability that a bottle harms and wears in each iteration, but there is also a slight probability that it doesn't. In each iteration, there is always one probability that it is left in a completely intact state at the end of the iteration, and this probability would be the pre-requisit for the paradox to be valid.
The history or information aspect of the bottle, on the other hand, is a completely different question, each iteration would imply Rose picking up a bottle with a different history. The paradox requires the universe to be unaffected by information other than physical state and also for infinity to be a valid concept, both of which we are not sure in the Universe. --18.104.22.168talk to me 23:44, December 31, 2011 (UTC)
I've not read the novel, so I can only go by what you've said, here. The writer may know the rules but simply have slipped up in respect of the vial. There's an old saying that "even Homer nods". It's also possible there was an explanation that got cut because an editor thought it was boring and unnecessary. (It wouldn't be the first time an author has been left cursing an editor for cutting something that shouldn't have been cut.) Does the novel itself say the vial ages or is that your own conclusion? If it's yours, the author may have intended the GENIE to put the vial into a true time loop, in which case the aging won't accumulate; it'll be "reset" at the start of each cycle. --22.214.171.124talk to me 23:51, December 31, 2011 (UTC)
To put the paradox from "The Stone Rose" in basic terms it's similar to a paradox like this. A man finds some blueprints. He uses tyem to build a time machine. With the time machine he travels back and leaves the blueprints for his past self. However this shouldn't work because with every loop the blueprints age by an amount more than zero. In one of these loops, which should technically be every loop, that man is just going to get a pile of dust instead of blueprints. What should happen is the man should rewrite the blue prints, amd then pass them on to his past self. So far as I can remember in the novel GENIE just uses the same vial. However as I said beforethere are possible explanations. I was just surprised the writer of such a genuinely good and intelligent book could overlook a gaping plot hole like this, and not give any explanation whatsoever. 126.96.36.199talk to me 11:32, January 1, 2012 (UTC)
Well, if the book is as good as you say, that takes us back to the two possibilities: "Homer nods" (isolated slip by good writer) or misjudged editing that removed the explanation. --188.8.131.52talk to me 12:03, January 1, 2012 (UTC)
- there is always a very slight opportunity that every atom of an object remains intact after an interaction. We expect the blueprint in your sample to have some physical degradation because the probability of otherwise is small, but the possibility exists. Much like there are almost perfectly preserved books other papers that look nothing we expect them to, teeth of older people who shows less wear than younger people despite regular brushing. The pre-requisit of the paradox is for the bottle to end up in the exact possibility where it must remain physically identical in the end of the iteration to the beginning. The probability is extremely slim, but it's there. --184.108.40.206talk to me 19:50, January 1, 2012 (UTC)
Even if interaction didn't wear away the vial, age would affect it. I doubt if you left a vial lying around in the middle ages it would be quite as intact a few hundred years later. 220.127.116.11talk to me 21:27, January 1, 2012 (UTC)
Again, extremely unlikely, but possible. This is just one of those extremely improbable things that we have almost 0 statistical possibility in observing but, nevertheless, possible.
It doesn't appear that any of you have read the book, so there's no point in me explaining the paradox any further unless one of you does. There's always a chance that I've missed the explanation, but I don't own the book, so I can't check unless I borrow it again. 18.104.22.168talk to me 12:14, January 4, 2012 (UTC)
I've just checked the Wikipedia synopsis for the novel. The Doctor actually gives the vial to Rose and asks her to leave it for a Past Doctor to find. Presumably if the age and interaction thing was threatening the paradox then the Doctor, who is an expert in the field, will have replaced the vial to prevent time from going awry. Here is a link to the synopsis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stone_Rose 22.214.171.124talk to me 13:53, January 22, 2012 (UTC)
There's another similar paradox in Autonomy - only with this one the object is a hypercard and each loop lasts about four years. It's just the BBC hiring incompetent writers, I'm afraid. There's no explanation for it. We should just count nonsensical paradoxes as mere slip ups. 126.96.36.199talk to me 18:12, February 26, 2012 (UTC)In the case of Autonomy, I'm sure the info on the hypercard could be loaded onto another. Daniel Blythe might not know the laws of time, but we can be sure that the Doctor does. He will have changed the card. To be honest, Autonomy had more problems than just the paradox, the fact that it was a sheer let - down being only one. 188.8.131.52talk to me 19:45, March 8, 2012 (UTC)