Bottom Turtle. (Day 21)

An apocryphal story:

“A scientist was taking Q&A at the end of a talk about geological phenomena. An old woman stands, and politely asks “how does any of this actually affect anything, considering the Earth is flat?”

Deciding to humor the question for a bit, she responds politely “if it’s flat, what’s on the other side?”

“Well, the giant turtle, of course. What else would be carrying it through space; something *has *to be holding the world up?”

The scientist, thinking she’ll get to skillfully end the matter, asks: “Sure…but assuming that’s all true, what holds up the turtle?”

The old lady, with unflappable confidence, replies “Very tricky, but you can’t fool me that easily! Everyone knows it’s turtles all the way down.””

At some point we have to choose to believe things are true, without indisputable proof. We can build amazing structures of Truth and logic off of tiny and humble foundations of axiom and assumption, but at some point we had to pick a Bottom Turtle to base everything off of. Most of the time, we don’t even know we’re doing it.

It’s why children can [insufferably] ask “Why?” longer than anyone can answer: at some point, you either loop into circular logic, or hit “that’s just the way it is”.

Know your Bottom Turtles.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s