Timeline……cause and effect, chaos theory, butterfly effect etc.

First of all Dabs got me looking into the various theories listed above. So thank you.

So bare with me a moment….imagine if you will a timeline set up like an essay with bullet points.
There are specific moments in time that are predetermined (bulleted points). Humans are given the chance to effect events in the filler moments of the timelines but not the “bullet points” those never change. So to say that you cannot change the future would be slightly wrong in that you can change events, but the outcome remains the same. Like chapters of a book, they are there to denote an event and the pages between are how we came to this point. I think, IMO, this would explain some of what we have seen on the island. Daniel says you cannot change things because they have already happened, but maybe you can affect them. That is why he tells Desmond that he needs to find Eloise and tell her to help her son. That small change didn’t change the events but affected some future events.

So this is just an evolving thought and I welcome all comments whether you don’t understand, or you completly disagree. That is how theories get better. Thank you in advance and I look forward to your comments.

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22 thoughts on “Timeline……cause and effect, chaos theory, butterfly effect etc.

  1. WORST THEORY EVER! just kidding. In my opinion, I agree with you sort of… I think the scope of the unchangeable events are bigger, and one can only change details and insignificant things about it in between.

    have you heard the theory about desmonds original flash back changing events slightly, and proof being with the frieghter people’s flashbacks, especially miles’? when he goes up the stairs to talk to the ghost at the womens house and then comes back down, the pictures on the wall were different. and this was basically the exact time des turned the failsafe key. i read it on a theory site that is now down.

  2. Now that I think about it maybe Desmond got the flashes because he was told how Charlie was going to die and then he only saw the flashes because those were not the ways in which Charlie was supposed to die. Maybe that explains the visions Desmond saw, like the one he saw when Desmond told him to find his mother. Somewhere someone tells Desmond how Charlie dies.

  3. You are welcome, and thanks for the ‘shout-out’ LostHead.

    You make some excellent points, and have grasped the overall concept extremely well!

    I really like the use of the ‘bullet points’ to illustrate what is pre-determined.

    In this equation, there are ‘variables’. In order to fully grasp the concept, you have to allow for them.

    You have explained it perfectly, IMO.

  4. No problem Dabs! I was intrigued by the post you had and started looking into it. I think that this could explain a lot of what they have shown. I will be curious how it all plays out from here. I am glad to see that you like my theory though and hope we can expand. I know it needs some work, but that is why i posted it. I knew that everyone here could help make it a better theory.

  5. Losthead, I think we were writing out theories around the same time. Sorry for the duplication of ideas and discussion. Good line of thinking.

  6. Good post. This reminds me of something out of a theory that was on LTtheories where someone compared the Island to a puzzle. They if you picture the Island as a big puzzle it’s like they are handing us a lot of pieces but not enough to get a real good grip. Also the pieces tend to change form. It’s Lost.

  7. Losthead, your theory has inspired me to respond with a different perspective.

    I am going to reference one of my favourite real-life analogies to depict fate.

    John Walsh of AMW is a prime example of one mans’ fate. Were it not for the kidnapping and vicious murder of his young son, he would never have hosted this show.

    This man was living an ordinary life, with his family. His wife’s trip to the mall, on that fateful day, with their young son, changed their lives forever.

    I believe he was destined to become a ‘child activist’. His unconditional love for his son, and outrage over his death, delivered him to this fate.

    There were so many variables on that fateful day, that any small change could averted fate. However, if this happened, the Universe, (which works in perfect harmony) would have found another way, on another day, to re-direct him to the same fate.

    I have used a real-life analogy because fate operates the same way in real life that it does on Lost.

    It may be hard to ‘cheat fate’. The end result as you have pointed out, remains the same.

    I believe the writers of Lost, are asking us to open our minds, and consider all of the options and possibilities, we presently ponder in our own lives.

    Can you really change fate? Can you, through the use of ‘free will’, impact and effect change. Lastly, how does faith impact that belief system?

    If, we are open to miracles, why would we not be open to subscribing to the notion that fate can somehow be changed?

    These are all very good questions. None of them are new. They are they age old debates, which I suspect will continue, long after Lost ends.

    Your thoughts are right on the money! Good work!

  8. The question is though, could John Walsh go back in time, knowing what he knows now, and change any of the variables that led up to the events of that day. My argument is that he could not. Would course correction take place? No, it wouldn’t. He simply could not change any of the variables because from his point of view they’ve already happened.

    If he were like Desmond he would be in a different situation. He would have knowledge of the events BEFORE they happened and he could try to change future events. In that case there would be course correction. He could change future events but not future outcomes.

  9. You missed the point Highbrow, the fact that he was going to work as a ‘child activist’ regardless of the circumstances surrounding his son. The events that led to him becoming a ‘child activist’ are as we know it. The idea is that it doesn’t matter what the circumstances he would have eventually become a ‘child activist’. So by those set of standards if he was able to course correct and save his son, then another set of circumstances would have led to him becoming a ‘child activist’. The idea is that if he goes back in time his memories don’t change, so he could affect the events that lead up to him becoming a ‘child activist’.

  10. highbrow, you missed the point I was making, as it directly applied to FATE, not to time travel. I’m not sure how you arrived at that conclusion.

  11. Dabs, I wasn’t trying to speak for you, but I am glad I could illustrate the point properly. I just tried to show the point as I see it. Thank you again.

  12. The point made in the post is that “bullet points” cannot be changed but the minor stuff surrounding them can. I disagree which is the point I was making.

  13. highbrow, unless it is your intent to be disagreeable for the sake of it, I believe LostHead illustrated and articulated his point, beautifully, IMO.

  14. I agree. He did a good job of making his point. My intent is to disagree because I disagree. I’m not being disagreeable. If I agree with something I’ll come right out and admit it.

  15. Yeah but why do you disagree? If you can tell me why then that will help the theory. I like the dialogue, thats how we get places with our theories.

  16. You can’t change the past. I can’t prove that because obviously I can’t test the theory. But I believe that “whatever happened, happened” as Daniel said. I can’t see how that would be applied to major events but not to minor ones.

  17. Daniel even proved it when he told Desmond to contact his mother when he gets off the island. It shows that things done in the past can affect the future. When he ‘changed’ the past by talking to Desmond in the first place the future was changed. So I think it shows how a minor change made a big impact in the future.

  18. That depends on how you look at it. He did that in the past so he never didn’t do that in the past…

    And the fact that he did that without creating a new timeline (it would have been completely pointless if it didn’t affect the timeline Daniel is currently in) supports the One Timeline theory.

  19. What’s important to know is that we as an audience still don’t know all the “rules” to this fiction-based Time Travel. Daniel keeps saying ‘Whatever happened, happened.” But is it really that simple. Even he termed Desmond as a “uniquely miraculous” and some to which “the rules don’t apply.” I happen to believe that in fiction, it is much more compelling that you can change things and keep really bad things from happening. And that’s where we’re going….

  20. ….D………………………….D…..
    ^ ^
    . .
    . < . . < . . . < . . . < .

    Ok, Highbrow, so imagine if you will, If Daniel (signified by D above)was removed from the timeline (signified by the points above). He actually has left the present time and appeared in the past (during a flash). So having done this he has, presumably, knowledge of the events up to his time in the future. Having that knowledge affords him the opportunity to speak to Desmond, in the past, to affect events in the future. I provided the illustration to show that he actually,IMO, left the future so that he no longer was ‘physically’ in the future and was flashed into the past. So by looking at the circumstances by these terms, I think it very possible that one could essentially make changes to future events. One distinction may be that, his timeline up until he flashed back may have been recorded onto an LP (I use that metaphor because so many on this site have as well), but that events post Daniel time flash have not and therefor can be changed. Because they havn’t been recorded onto the LP, again if you will. I hope maybe this makes sense and you can see where my train of thought is Highbrow. Thank you for the dialogue as well.

  21. I supposed it’s possible that we could all log into this site to talk about Lost and find that we all agree on everything but, as John Locke would say, “Where would be the fun in that?”.

    I understand what you’re saying. I just have a different opinion of what is actually going on. I think what you’re explaining is a bit overcomplicated (if that’s even possible on this topic).

    I agree that Daniel, no matter what year it is, has knowledge of all of the things he’s experienced through the course of his life, even if it technically happens in the future. However, if he’s in the past then whatever he does is what he did. He might think he’s changing things but really he’s just doing whatever he did and maybe even contributing to bringing about the events that he knows will take place.

    The past is written. The present is being written. The future is a question mark. Is it any wonder that through all of this time travelling we’ve never (that we know of anyway) been to the future?

    This is how Desmond is special. He has successfully changed the future (maybe not Charlie’s fate but he has changed things). He did it in the present with knowledge of the future though, not bu going to the past. He can change the future but not the past.

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