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Today I’m feeling sciencey.

I don’t think that’s a word, but I’m feeling it. I’m also in the mood to debunk some great movies and make all of my readers mad at me. Sounds fun, right?

The thing is, the more I watch these time traveling movies, the more I think about the impossibilities incorporated in them. I mean, I’m not here to talk about Doctor Who or something clearly non-fiction, I’m talking about these new movies claiming realism while time traveling.

 

First off, let’s talk about paradoxes. I know, shame on me for jumping right into the deep of the subject.

Paradoxes occur when, for example, someone goes back in time, and sees themselves from the past. The problem with this is that when you look at yourself from the future, you’re destined to go forward in time, at the normal time, and then go back in time and look at yourself.

 If you don’t do that, you won’t create the memory of seeing yourself. Basically, you’re messing with the space-time continuum. I’m not going to go deep enough into this explanation to tell you all about the space time continuum, but imagine a time line that also has all of space incorporated onto it. It’s the physical version of a metaphorical time line, where as you move along it, as we all do, the objects and matter around you change.

So going with the seeing yourself example, if you just see yourself, you’ll still be messing with the space time continuum, but you’re not doing anything particularly harmful to yourself or anything else.

The big problem comes in when you touch something. It can be as simple as getting dirt on your shoes. Or smudging some glass.

This brings us to the butterfly effect. I’m not quite sure why it’s named as such, but I know what it is. The butterfly effect occurs when someone changes something in the past, and then returns to the future to find it has changed drastically.

To make it easier to understand, if you killed a frog, that frog might have been destined to eat a mosquito. That mosquito might have been destined to go on to pick up a disease that kills millions of people.

Or if you step in dirt. It sounds crazy, but simply stepping in dirt could affect the future like you wouldn’t ever imagine.

Okay, so maybe, just maybe, I had hopes other than debunking some silly movies. You caught me. Some of us think we’re useless. Some of us think we have no purpose on this earth. I cannot, even with my best efforts, begin to explain how important each and every one of you are. You might think yourself to be dirt. You might think of yourself as trash, meant to be used and then thrown out.

But that’s not true. You’re beautiful, every one of you. You’ll go on to influence millions and millions of people in your future. You may not realize it yet, but you, too, are a butterfly.

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