Claudius Ptolemy was an Egyptian of Greek ancestry living in Alexandria in the 2nd Century A.D. He wrote about his idea that the world stood at the centre of the Univers in his books "Almagest", (about astronomy), and "Geography", both of which survived.

So well argued and 'proven' was his thesis that it lasted for well over 1,000 years, with any questioning being seen as blasphemous, (as Galileo Galilei found out to his cost). To prove his theory he manipulated curves and ellipses so as to make his proposition work.

In the 15th Century renaissance in Europe Ptolemy's mapping systems were revived with prints made using his books as reference. In the following centuries many ideas of our world and its place in the cosmos have come along, been established as 'fact' and then eventually been seen as myth.

Today, with the ideas of the big bang theory largely accepted there are now those who question them. Even the once inconceivable idea that Newton's theories are at least incomplete if not inaccurate is being mooted, and it is not uncommon to challenge the "laws" laid down by Einstein. Theories of multiple and parallel universes abound whilst it is acknowledged that dark matter which is well over 80% of the mass of the known univers, is something we know very little about, (if anything).

Again, whilst it is accepted that it is gravity that holds it all together, we still do not know what gravity is.

All this knowledge is a rich source of visual ideas, a vehicle for having fun and expressing my scepticism about ‘proven' fact.

Then there is the ‘Black Swan' Theory: as I understand it the idea is that some instances are almost impossible to contemplate until they are right there in front of you. All humanity ‘knew' that all swans were white, anything else was inconceivable, that is until the discovery of the Antipodes and Black Swans.

Some years ago I came across a section in a booklet on some eastern philosophy that, at the time seemed very humorous, but on reflection seems to challenge the way fundamentalists and people of conviction think about the world. Pure, very simple and funny, but very true;

“Remember, what has a front also has a back.”