05 Oct 2011

A Personal Favorite Old Story

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A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: “What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.” The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, “What is the tortoise standing on?” “You’re very clever, young man, very clever,” said the old lady. “But it’s turtles all the way down!

Hat tip to Vanderleun.

Wikipedia tried to trace its origins.

3 Feedbacks on "A Personal Favorite Old Story"


So what is the universe perched on? Does the universe ever end or does it go on for ever? What comes after forever? It is an impossible problem without a solution. Perhaps where the universe ends it is all empty space. How long does the empty space go on? What comes after empty space? It is impossible for it to end but it is equally impossible for it to not end.


When you get to the last turtle you will discover that it all makes perfect sense.


That could be true. But if it makes perfect sense to everyone when they get to the last turtle there would be tremendous advantage in knowing the answer before that.


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