May 17, 2016
What Lies Beneath?
New scientific discoveries in astrophysics and archeology make the notion of “settled science” risible. They also bring to mind the wisdom of Donald Rumsfeld in stressing the vital importance of “unknown unknowns.” Of course, it has always been thus. Once, an Indian mystic was explaining to an Englishman the structure of the universe. The world sits atop a giant elephant, said the holy man. That’s all well and good, responded the Englishman with classic Anglican sense, but what does the elephant stand on? The wise-man’s eyes widened and he exclaimed, Why, it stands upon the shell of a grand and cosmic tortoise, of course! That’s all well and good, again responded the Englishman, but what does the tortoise stand on? Surprisingly, this second question startled the fakir. Scratching his head, he thought for a minute, then replied with a single Hindi word that may roughly be translated as: “Something I know not...(Read Full Article)