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Re: Does anyone know the source of this story?

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  • John Kooiman
    Dear Jack, I am no expert on this subject, but the way that I heard (read) the story goes as follows: I believe that it originated in India from an Indian yogi
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 21, 2001
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      Dear Jack,

      I am no expert on this subject, but the way that I heard (read) the story
      goes as follows:

      I believe that it originated in India from an Indian yogi / wiseman / mystic
      / guru type of person.

      >In ancient times, the wisemen of a great city gathered together to discuss
      >the nature of the universe. After a great deal of deliberation they decided
      >that the universe was composed of the earth, the heavens and a great turtle
      >upon whose back the earth rested.

      >One day a child asked, "what is the turtle standing on?". This was a hard
      >one! The wisest men in the city again spent a great deal of time thinking
      >and talking about this problem. After several days, they arrived at their
      answer.

      The answer was: "The turtle is standing on the back of another turtle."

      The child then asked, "What is the other turtle standing on?"

      To which the wiseman replied: "Another turtle."

      And the child then asked, "What is the that turtle standing on?"

      To which the wiseman replied: I'm afraid that it's turtles all the way
      down!"

      Sincerely,

      John Kooiman

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      Message: 1
      Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 10:04:15 -0800
      From: "Jack Martinelli" <jack@...>
      Subject: Does anyone know the source of this story?

      I've read:

      ---------------------------------------------
      In ancient times, the wisemen of a great city gathered together to discuss
      the nature of the universe. After a great deal of deliberation they decided
      that the universe was composed of the earth, the heavens and a great turtle
      upon whose back the earth rested.

      One day a child asked, "what is the turtle standing on?". This was a hard
      one! The wisest men in the city again spent a great deal of time thinking
      and talking about this problem. After several days, they arrived at their
      answer. "The great turtle is standing in mud!"
      ---------------------------------------------

      But I can't find where I've read it. I know it was a popular physics book.
      But I can't find the story. Anyone know the source of this story?

      Regards

      Jack Martinelli

      http://www.martinelli.org



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      Message: 2
      Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 10:58:09 -1000
      From: Rick Monteverde <rick@...>
      Subject: Re: Does anyone know the source of this story?

      Jack -

      The even-better version is in Hawking's "A Brief History of Time",
      where a woman at a lecture pulls out the turtle analogy. When asked
      what her turtle is standing on, she rebuts: "You're very clever,
      young man, very clever. But it's turtles all the way down!"
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