Of course, when you see people that claim they’re smart, then the first thing you ask them is probably:

What’s the square root of 196?

What’s the gnarliest thing you know in algebra?

Do you know calculus?

Of course, the stereotype for smart people is clearly being good at math. But looking at math in the past, was it really still there even before people started counting the stars and multiplying algebraic expressions?

Of course, when you claim math is invented, then who invented math? Many people point to the Greeks, Romans, and other old empires. Some people think that Pythagoras, a Greek mathematician, started math as a whole by teaching the Greek society about numbers, and what you can do with them. He is also credited for being the first mathematician. If you look back to the times before Pythagoras, can you really think that you could do anything without numbers?

Ask a Greek, then: What’s the time?

The answer will probably be a face of confusion (because you either spoke the wrong language or time wasn’t a word back then).

Looking at that, maybe math was discovered, not invented.

If you know math well, this is Fibonacci in nature. The Fibonacci sequence is 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144…

The rule for the Fibonacci sequence is to look back at the previous two numbers and add them up to get the next number (The first to second number is the exception, but the “zeroth” number is technically zero, so, yeah, the second number is one, no matter how you think about it).

There are many examples of the Fibonacci sequence in nature. Just look up “Fibonacci spirals in nature” and you’ll get what I mean.

Going back to how math was discovered, many of the different kinds of sequences and laws existed before they were discovered. Like Newton’s law of gravity, gravity existed before he discovered it. It’s not like the world was anti-gravity until Newton came along (Newton would be hated by kids that want to go to space if that was true. “;)”). This is the same with math. Even if numbers weren’t invented and a kid picked out four peach seeds, then you still have four peach seeds. These, among many reasons, is why

These, among many reasons, is why I and many other mathematicians think that math was discovered, not invented. Sorry, Greeks or whoever invented numbers. The glory of inventing the vast subject of math may be out of your reach.

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