The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59418   Message #2482420
Posted By: Rapparee
02-Nov-08 - 09:55 AM
Thread Name: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
Au contraire, mon vieux -- zero is an Arabic invention. As I am sure you are aware, there is a difference.

I am sure, of course, that you are aware of the Paradoxes of Zeno of Elea and the discussion of zero therein, that Pingala (around the 3rd Century BCE, more or less) was using zero in calculations in India (where zero had been used as early as the 9th Century BCE), that it was used in Chiapas on the Long Count stela in 36 BCE, and that as long ago as the Song Dynasty mathematicians in China understood both negative numbers and zero (although they had no symbol for it). Naturally, by 130 CE Ptolemy, as influenced by Hipparchus, was using a symbol for zero.

But why should I go on? I'm certain you know all of this and likewise certain that you chose to ignore the multinational, indeed global, roots of mathematics.