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    #1

    tower of tortoises

    Hi guys

    I have a question about the meaning of "tower of tortoises", I heard it in the movie "Theory of everything".

    This is the context :

    What is the nature of time?
    Will it ever come to an end?
    Someday, these answers may seem as obvious to us as the Earth orbiting the sun, or perhaps as ridiculous as a tower of tortoises.

    Thanks in advance.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: tower of tortoises

    The earth orbits the sun at a speed of 18.5 miles per second. Tortoises are well known as moving at a very slow speed.

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    #3

    Re: tower of tortoises

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtles_all_the_way_down

    I believe it's a reference to this.
    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!"

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: tower of tortoises

    Have you ever tried to stack a bunch of tortoises? That is all you need to know.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: tower of tortoises

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    Hmm, I'm surprised that Hawking refers to "British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic and political activist", Bertrand Russell, as a well-known scientist.
    Bertrand Russell)

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