Math is considered to be a human discovery, as it is based on principles and relationships found in the natural world.
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Mathematics is considered to be a human discovery as it is a study of patterns, relationships, and structures that exist in the physical and abstract world. As Galileo Galilei once said, “Mathematics is the language in which God has written the universe.” It is a universal language that has been used by humans to describe the world around us, and it is constantly evolving as we discover new concepts and relationships.
Some interesting facts about the history of mathematics include:
- The oldest known mathematical object is the Ishango bone, which was found in the Democratic Republic of Congo and is believed to date back to around 20,000 BC. It contains markings that may be evidence of early counting.
- The ancient Babylonians (around 2000 BC) were the first to use a number system with a base of 60, which is the reason we measure time in minutes and seconds.
- Euclid’s Elements, written around 300 BC, is one of the most influential mathematical works in history. It includes 13 volumes and covers topics such as geometry, number theory, and irrational numbers.
- Arabic numerals (the digits 0-9) originated in India and were brought to the West by Arab mathematicians in the 9th century.
- In the 17th century, Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz independently developed calculus, which revolutionized mathematics and physics.
While mathematics may be a human discovery, the way we apply it and use it is a human invention. We have created mathematical concepts and theories to solve problems, build structures, understand the natural world, and communicate with each other. As Albert Einstein once said, “Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.” It is a beautiful and powerful tool that has greatly influenced the way we see and interact with the world.
Here is a table that illustrates some basic mathematical concepts:
|Addition||Combining two or more quantities|
|Subtraction||Taking away a quantity from another|
|Multiplication||Repeated addition of a quantity|
|Division||Distributing a quantity into equal parts|
Other viewpoints exist
And over the centuries, mathematicians have devised hundreds of different techniques capable of proving the theorem. In short, maths is both invented and discovered.
There is no definitive answer to whether math is human-made or discovered. However, mathematicians tend to side with one of several compelling theories. One theory is the Platonic theory, which argues that math is a discoverable system that underlines the structure of the universe. Another theory is that mathematical facts are discovered, not just by humans, but by insects, soap bubbles, combustion engines, and planets.
There is no definitive answer to this question, but mathematicians tend to side with one of several compelling theories. First, there is the Platonic theory. Greek philosopher Plato argued that math is a discoverable system that underlines the structure of the universe.
If mathematics explains so many things we see around us, then it is unlikely that mathematics is something we’ve created. The alternative is that mathematical facts are discovered: not just by humans, but by insects, soap bubbles, combustion engines, and planets.
Some things was invented, somethings were discovered. Math can be described as inventing abstract systems of symbol manipulation and then discovering their properties. For example natural numbers were invented and then prime numbers was discovered. That some numbers are prime is a property of natural numbers, that somebody had to discover. When natural numbers were invented nobody decided that they wanted some of them to be prime and some not. It just followed from the definition, and the definition was constructed so as to enable us to count stuff.
See a video about the subject.
This video discusses the debate between those who believe that mathematics is discovered, and those who believe that it is invented. The video provides examples of how mathematics has been used to solve problems in the real world.
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Mathematics is not discovered, it is invented.