"A giant tortoise." joke

This joke is from the opening paragraph of Stephen Hawkings book,
"A Brief History of Time."
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!"

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