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Turtles all the way down

Posted by Lotg (OZ) on July 28, 2004

I'm reading a Michael Crichton book - Prey - and there's a paragraph in it that reads as follows:

'The assembler looked like a sort of pinwheel, a series of spiral arms going off in different directions, and a dense knot of atoms in the centre. "It's fractal, as I said" he said "So it looks like sort of the same at smaller orders of magnitude." He laughed. "Like the old joke, turtles all the way down".'

Sorry about the large quotation, but I figured it might be necessary to keep it in context. I've never heard this joke or expression - "turtles all the way down". Has anyone else, and can you please explain? (ha ha, I sound like Pauline Hanson now - Aussie in joke.)