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[REBOL] Re: Natural numbers

From: joel:neely:fedex at: 4-Jul-2001 7:00

Hi again, Alek, Alekk wrote:
> I think You have gone to far. ;) > It is not my opinion - natural numbers are with us from very > past (fact is that there was not number 1 in those numbers > in greek mathematic). When You say that natural numbers > starts with 0 because one man (i agree - great) in XX century >
XIX, actually. (The axioms date from 1891. ;-)
> made axioms about it - it sounds like "there was no world > before 1796". > When is 0 or not in natural numbers, is matter of context. >
As you correctly point out, the ancient Greeks didn't even consider 1 as a "number". Many of them also believed that the world was flat, that the sun rode on a chariot, and that air, earth, fire, and water were the basic physical elements. It hardly seems fair to restrict our science or mathematics to what they understood... :-} Perhaps I didn't express my point sufficiently clearly (if so I apologize): "natural number" is a mathematical concept, and the standard model in mathematics is Peano's axioms. In the same sense as the statement: "quark" is a physical concept, and the standard model in physics (quantumelectrodynamics IIRC) uses that concept. In neither case do we limit ourselves to the boundaries of knowledge of the past. -jn- ------------------------------------------------------------ Programming languages: compact, powerful, simple ... Pick any two! joel'dot'neely'at'fedex'dot'com