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Normally, the time line is self correcting but once it split, things became so complicated it needed help to repair the split. This is the true nature of the Valenzetti equation. Resolving the equation will rejoin the time lines and repair the hole in space-time, thus saving the world.
Once on the Island, the Dharma staff begin to notice odd events and blame it on a 'hole' in space-time - likely a hole Dharma created with their experiments - objects that change from one minute to the next, extra rabbits, station logos that switch from one background to another, Chang's missing hand reappearing years later in a video, the cut on Jack's face. These differences are moving between time lines, getting through that hole in space-time.
At some point during their existence, - the Dharma Initiative realized there was more than one time line from these events and they attempted to figure out approximately where the time-lines diverged. They knew it happened on the Island and had a pretty good idea where but they weren’t certain what the event was. For some reason, major events didn’t seem to be the cause (such as Incident I and Incident II (in the 1980’s). At last, someone came up with a means to capture the detail of the daily lives of Dharma members – using a station that was already built, The Pearl. A couple of workers are posted to that station for each shift. They filled the notebooks with details of daily life for at least one station - the Swan. This creates the capsule dump. The answer was found in one of the notebooks and the 'experiment' abandoned, leaving all the unread notebooks (and possibly the poor folks who were filling those books)in the field. I suspect this will come back to haunt the person who was told to read all the notebooks, not just a few. Recall in the Pearl Station Orientation Video, Chang's quote of Karen DeGroot: 'Careful observation is the only way to true and complete awareness'. This sounds like a hint to search for something and leave no stone unturned.
Most of the DI science personnel were removed over time as DI fell apart. Jacob and the Others may have decided DI just wasn't working on the Island, it was becoming less and less an influence for good. So, the stations fell into disuse, things got shabby, but the food drops kept coming. The Others took over some of the buildings left by Dharma. The final few people hired (for DI) were actually hired by Mittlewerk during the time he controlled the Dharma Initiative, and they were general purpose workers rather than scientists, he didn't want new scientists on the Island, they might figure out what he's doing with his vicious experiments.--Wanda 07:52, February 25, 2010 (UTC)