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There is also the paradox of the man who is his own mother. (My apologies to science fiction writer Robert Heinlein.) “Jane” is left at an orphanage as a foundling. When “Jane” is a teenager, she falls in love with a drifter, who abandons her but leaves her pregnant. Then disaster strikes. She almost dies giving birth to a baby girl, who is then mysteriously kidnapped. The doctors find that Jane is bleeding badly, but, oddly enough, has both sex organs. So, to save her life, the doctors convert “Jane” to “Jim.”

    “Jim” subsequently becomes a roaring drunk, until he meets a friendly bartender (actually a time traveler in disguise) who wisks “Jim” way back into the past. “Jim” meets a beautiful teenage girl, then accidentally gets her pregnant with a baby girl. Out of guilt, he kidnaps the baby girl and drops her off at the orphanage. Later, “Jim” joins the time travelers corps, leads a distinguished life, and has one last dream: to disguise himself as a bartender to meet a certain drunk named “Jim” in the past. So,  who is “Jane’s” mother, father, brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother, and grandchild?

Learn more about:

Albert Einstein

Isaac Newton

     Not surprisingly, time travel has always been considered impossible. After all, Newton believed that time was like an arrow; once fired, it soared in a straight, undeviating line. One second on the earth was one second on Mars. Clocks scattered throughout the universe beat at the same rate.

     Einstein gave us a much more radical picture. According to Einstein, time was more like a river, which meandered around stars and galaxies, speeding up and slowing down as it passed around massive bodies. One second on the earth was NOT one second on Mars. Clocks scattered throughout the universe beat to their own drummer.

     However, before Einstein died, he was faced with an embarrassing problem. Einstein’s neighbor at Princeton, Kurt Gödel, perhaps the greatest mathematical logician of the past 500 years, found a new solution to Einstein’s own equations which allowed for time travel!

     The “river of time” now had whirlpools in which time could wrap itself into a circle. Gödel’s solution was quite ingenious: It postulated a universe filled with time that flowed like a rotating fluid. Anyone walking along the direction of rotation would find oneself back at the starting point, but backwards in time!

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