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Mathematical genius has a habit of popping up spontaneously among people, as demonstrated by the many child prodigies and untutored but distinguished contributors in the known history of mathematics.
For instance, Blaise Pascal (1623 to 1662) is said to have re- invented much of Euclidian geometry as a child, and at sixteen he came up with “what is still the most important theorem of projective geometry”[3]. The mathematical giant Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777 to 1855) baffled his parents and schoolmasters with his precocious comprehension of numbers and found at the age of ten the formula for summing up a series[4]. The mostly self- taught genius Ramanujan (1887 to 1920) came up with several thousand theorems new to the mathematics of his time[5], and the “mathematician extraordinaire” Paul Erdös (1913 to 1996) discovered negative numbers on his own at the age of four[6].
Numbers, to them, lived and acted in the same unseen world beyond ours that contained the gods and spirits, but unlike these, the numbers followed knowable laws. Numbers could therefore help those who studied them to come closer to whatever powers affected their lives from that invisible realm.
a 30,000 year- old wolf bone found in Czechoslovakia has 55 notches cut into it. These form groups of five, and a notch of double length separates the first 25 from the others, in an arrangement that suggests some rudimentary understanding of multiplying and dividing by five[9].
On the ancient Egyptians’ own continent, but still more millennia before the nation- founding Narmer than we live after him, we have the 11,000 year old Ishango bone from the Congo region around Lake Edward. This famous bone is incised on its three edges with notches in groups of 11, 21, 19, 9; then 3, 6, gap, 4, 8, gap, 10, 5, 5, 7; and on the third edge 11, 13, 17, 19.
Originally posted by Nick_X
If any prodigal children exist in this modern world, they would be ridiculed and torn to pieces by modern name calling and the other childish antics and insults typically found in the school society.
Nerd, Geek, Smartypants, Freak, Teacher's Pet, Homeschooled Freak
I think the child would ultimately supress his ability and choose to conform and have an enjoyable childhood in the schoolyard rather than focus on his mathmatical talents.
Way back then, these great mathematicians were heralded and respected. Nowadays the masses respect and follow Actors, Actresses...Musicians.
It is likely that humans are still being born with these natural mathematical abilities but they are just not being found or coming out as easily as they would have back then.
As for the origin of Math....our fingers have always been there for us to count on as long as cells have been around to divide into two
Originally posted by ipsedixit
Thanks for the star above. As I read my post again I thought that "infinity" is almost like a conceptual mobius strip that encompasses all of mathematics. It has to be the most flexible value in all of mathematics because you can fit it in anywhere.
Originally posted by Ownification
On the ancient Egyptians’ own continent, but still more millennia before the nation- founding Narmer than we live after him, we have the 11,000 year old Ishango bone from the Congo region around Lake Edward. This famous bone is incised on its three edges with notches in groups of 11, 21, 19, 9; then 3, 6, gap, 4, 8, gap, 10, 5, 5, 7; and on the third edge 11, 13, 17, 19.
" as Dominic Olivastro explains in his book “Ancient Puzzles”[10], the first group looks like an experiment in addition and subtraction: 10+1, 20+1, 20-1, 10-1. The next one presents examples of doubling in the first two pairs of the next column, and of halving in the third one. Then comes a series of primes: five and seven fill the end of this line, and the next four entries on the next edge complete the correct sequence of all primes between four and 20. "
Originally posted by spannera
i would guess a 4 year olds understands negativity when you take their sweets off them pretty well lol.