Sturgill Simpson

“Turtles All The Way Down”

“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 centre 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!”

– Stephen Hawkins, A Brief History of Time

“In our favored version, an Eastern guru affirms that the earth is supported on the back of a tiger. When asked what supports the tiger, he says it stands upon an elephant; and when asked what supports the elephant he says it is a giant turtle. When asked, finally, what supports the giant turtle, he is briefly taken aback, but quickly replies "Ah, after that it is turtles all the way down.”

Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court, from a footnote to his plurality opinion in Rapanos v. United States

“Every time I take a look

Inside that old and fabled book

I’m blinded and reminded of

The pain caused by some old man in the sky

Marijuana, LSD

Psilocybin, and DMT

They all changed the way I see

But love’s the only thing that ever saved my life

So don’t waste your mind on nursery rhymes

Or fairy tales of blood and wine

It’s turtles all the way down the line

So to each their own ‘til we go home

To other realms our souls must roam

To and through the myth that we all call space and time”

– Sturgill Simpson