Before the new episode of Terra Nova “Bylaw” airs on FOX tonight, let’s take a minute to ponder one of the questions I’ve been seeing in search engine traffic. “what do the symbols/equations scrawled on the rocks by the waterfall mean in Terra Nova”? Commander Taylor(Stephen Lang) mentioned to Dr. Shannon that his son had went missing about seven years before the Shannon family arrived on the tenth pilgrimage. Mira, the leader of the sixers (Christine Adams) later told one of her men that Taylor’s missing son had made the symbols. She described Taylor’s missing son as “that poor crazy bastard” We can assume the quest to solve the equation has driven him mad.
So what are the symbols? Equations which resolve relativity and causality in time travel?
Mira had suggested that true purpose of the colony was darker and more political than the colonists have been told. She said “Control the past; Control the future”.
When researchers in the year 2149 discovered the rift in time which lead 85 million years into Earth’s past they also determined that this ‘past’ was not part of the current timeline.
Shortly after her family’s arrival in Episode 1, Maddy Shannon (Naomi Scott) pointed out a probe which had been sent into the past through the rift. When scientists in the year 2149 could not locate the probe, it lead them to that conclusion about the fractured timeline.
This means that nothing which transpires in the colony will effect how events leading up to the present (the year 2149) will unfold. There would be no causality paradox and nothing would be changed as a result of modern humans colonizing the prehistoric past. But in order to control the future by means of altering the past, there must be causality; the colony must share a timeline with the world they left behind in 2149.
It would seem logical then to assume that the equations are related to resolving the two timelines through the rift in so that the Terra Nova Colony was in fact the past of the world they left behind.