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Current time: May 28, 2022, 12:49 pm

Poll: Is zero a natural number?
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Is zero a natural number?
#1
Is zero a natural number?
I originally thought of titling this thread, "How to piss-off a group of pure and applied mathematicians in (5...15] minutes" but did not want to get any sort of PA tag.

In any case, I am going to buck the overwhelming trend among mathematicians as of late and say that zero is not a natural number and also say that the question of zero's "naturalness" is principally a question of anthropology and not of mathematics.  Some years ago I read a book, Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea, and when the concept of zero was developed in India (and elsewhere) in the 7th century (or, thereabouts) and made its way to Europe, it was not greeted warmly; people were suspicious.  Here's an example of a modern-day ("money making") scholastic denying the existence of the number zero:






The segment in question is only 2 minutes long (if you can stand such), but, clearly, Dr. Craig, who was a communications major at Wheaton College, is having difficultly understanding the fact that numbers can be used as nominal values, but, that's another post.

In any case, the number zero is, in my opinion, not "natural", in the same sense that infinitesimals, limits, convergent/divergent series and non-Euclidean geometries are not natural.  What is certain is that the professional mathematicians, both pure and applied, are going to disagree!

P.S.  The YouTube link didn't paste correctly; you have to scroll to the 1:17:50 mark if you want to hear Dr. Craig's buffoonery.

P.P.S.  To Dr. Craig, "infinity" is not a number.
And without delay Peter went quickly out of the synagogue (assembly) and went unto the house of Marcellus, where Simon lodged: and much people followed him...And Peter turned unto the people that followed him and said: Ye shall now see a great and marvellous wonder. And Peter seeing a great dog bound with a strong chain, went to him and loosed him, and when he was loosed the dog received a man's voice and said unto Peter: What dost thou bid me to do, thou servant of the unspeakable and living God? Peter said unto him: Go in and say unto Simon in the midst of his company: Peter saith unto thee, Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou wicked one and deceiver of simple souls. And immediately the dog ran and entered in, and rushed into the midst of them that were with Simon, and lifted up his forefeet and in a loud voice said: Thou Simon, Peter the servant of Christ who standeth at the door saith unto thee: Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou most wicked one and deceiver of simple souls. And when Simon heard it, and beheld the incredible sight, he lost the words wherewith he was deceiving them that stood by, and all of them were amazed. (The Acts of Peter, 9)
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#2
RE: Is zero a natural number?
The way to answer thst question is to take Craig's answer and apply the exact opposite.
Dying to live, living to die.
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#3
RE: Is zero a natural number?
(January 18, 2022 at 6:43 am)The Valkyrie Wrote: The way to answer thst question is to take Craig's answer and apply the exact opposite.

^This is a universally applicable paradigm.

Boru
‘Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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#4
RE: Is zero a natural number?
The answer depends on the class you're taking. Sometimes it's considered a natural number, sometimes it's not.

Couldn't locate the segment using the timestamp you posted. What's the argument exactly?
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#5
RE: Is zero a natural number?
(January 18, 2022 at 7:34 am)GrandizerII Wrote: The answer depends on the class you're taking. Sometimes it's considered a natural number, sometimes it's not.

Couldn't locate the segment using the timestamp you posted. What's the argument exactly?

It's at the 1 hour, 19 minute mark.
And without delay Peter went quickly out of the synagogue (assembly) and went unto the house of Marcellus, where Simon lodged: and much people followed him...And Peter turned unto the people that followed him and said: Ye shall now see a great and marvellous wonder. And Peter seeing a great dog bound with a strong chain, went to him and loosed him, and when he was loosed the dog received a man's voice and said unto Peter: What dost thou bid me to do, thou servant of the unspeakable and living God? Peter said unto him: Go in and say unto Simon in the midst of his company: Peter saith unto thee, Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou wicked one and deceiver of simple souls. And immediately the dog ran and entered in, and rushed into the midst of them that were with Simon, and lifted up his forefeet and in a loud voice said: Thou Simon, Peter the servant of Christ who standeth at the door saith unto thee: Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou most wicked one and deceiver of simple souls. And when Simon heard it, and beheld the incredible sight, he lost the words wherewith he was deceiving them that stood by, and all of them were amazed. (The Acts of Peter, 9)
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#6
RE: Is zero a natural number?
Does zero occur in nature... yes (I have zero trees outside my house) .... so zero is natural Smile
The meek shall inherit the Earth, the rest of us will fly to the stars.

Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups

Arguing with an engineer is like wrestling with a pig in mud ..... after a while you realise that the pig likes it!

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#7
RE: Is zero a natural number?
(January 18, 2022 at 7:59 am)zebo-the-fat Wrote: Does zero occur in nature... yes (I have zero trees outside my house) .... so zero is natural Smile

Yes, it does occur in nature, but, the Romans got along just fine without any numerical representation of it.
And without delay Peter went quickly out of the synagogue (assembly) and went unto the house of Marcellus, where Simon lodged: and much people followed him...And Peter turned unto the people that followed him and said: Ye shall now see a great and marvellous wonder. And Peter seeing a great dog bound with a strong chain, went to him and loosed him, and when he was loosed the dog received a man's voice and said unto Peter: What dost thou bid me to do, thou servant of the unspeakable and living God? Peter said unto him: Go in and say unto Simon in the midst of his company: Peter saith unto thee, Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou wicked one and deceiver of simple souls. And immediately the dog ran and entered in, and rushed into the midst of them that were with Simon, and lifted up his forefeet and in a loud voice said: Thou Simon, Peter the servant of Christ who standeth at the door saith unto thee: Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou most wicked one and deceiver of simple souls. And when Simon heard it, and beheld the incredible sight, he lost the words wherewith he was deceiving them that stood by, and all of them were amazed. (The Acts of Peter, 9)
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#8
RE: Is zero a natural number?
My wife's nature is to often tell me 'you get zero'.
I don't have an anger problem, I have an idiot problem




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#9
RE: Is zero a natural number?
(January 18, 2022 at 7:59 am)zebo-the-fat Wrote: Does zero occur in nature... yes (I have zero trees outside my house) .... so zero is natural  Smile

One could also argue so are fractions (e.g., pieces of a pie) and negative numbers (e.g., below sea level). Hell, what about e, the one known as the natural number also?

It all comes down to convention at the end of the day, in this case a legacy of history past.
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#10
RE: Is zero a natural number?
Sometimes nothing is a real cool hand.
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