Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Doctor Dread, Oct 6, 2017.

1. ### NotEinsteinValued Senior Member

Messages:
1,725
I think you'll find that's most likely wrong, as the first known appearance of the number zero is much, much later than that of numbers 1, 2, and 3.

A handful does not mean 5.

A foot has nothing to do specifically with 12; it's a length, not a number.

How is any of this related to whether the number 2 came first? It'll repeat myself again: if you are counting, you are going to have the number one first (or at the same time). Nobody starts counting at 2.

You can believe that all you want, but you have zero evidence for it, and there are many arguments against it. But now you say: "I believe"; are you now agreeing with me that your stating it as fact in post #37 was incorrect?

Thank you for proving my point. You need 1 scratch before you can have 2 scratches. 1 came before 2.

Irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

Sure, and in fact, it's given me some additional insight. The romans didn't have a special glyph for the number 2; it was just 1 + 1. I think the ancient Egyptian didn't either. So when you're talking about glyphs, it's quite likely you are demonstrably wrong if you say that the number 2 (glyph) came before the number 1 (glyph).

I don't disagree, but that doesn't prove the number 2 came before the number 1.

Sure, but nobody starts counting at 2.

Yes, that's the idea. Once scratch a day, to indicate the passage of time.

Yes, and this process gets to the number 1 before it gets to the number 2.

An interesting observation, but we're not talking about the set-of-5, we're trying to figure out why you think the number 2 came before the number 1.

3. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

Messages:
9,434
OK, I admit that my idea came from Livio, who may have used it conversationally to indicate a symmetry or a mirror image, rather than as scientific fact.

Still the number 2 originated from the first single number representing a plurality, and indeed started from two scratches., i.e. 1 (+) 1
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2

And it does have some very special qualities, with a very long history and significance in mythology.

5. ### NotEinsteinValued Senior Member

Messages:
1,725
I think Livio would dislike you putting words in his mouth. He never stated that the number 2 came first, that was you and you alone.

Are you saying that symmetries cannot be scientific facts?

And that's not what we are talking about. Please stop dodging the actual question: do you agree that your stating that the number 2 came first as a fact was incorrect?

So one came first, in this case. Great!

While interesting, it's irrelevant for this discussion unless you can use it to support your claim that the number 2 came first.

7. ### arfa branecall me arfValued Senior Member

Messages:
6,051
This might blow your mind, but perhaps numbers always existed and until we started counting we didn't know that.
By "always existed" I mean even before the universe existed with countable things in it.

8. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

Messages:
28,025
3 would make a more logical first "number" than 2 - and there are languages that have distinct names for 1, 2, and 3, only, but no languages that that name only 1 and 2.

As far as math, or arithmetic, lots of the very early systems used base 12 (three threes and three, both fists and all fingers) (and most then used 5 X 12, 60, as the next order of magnitude - incorporating the first non-divisor of 12 into the system). Afaik none used base 2, 4, 8, or 16.

9. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

Messages:
9,434
It doesn't blow my mind at all. I am in the Tegmark camp of a Mathematical Universe.

We started counting the moment we recognized naturally occurring patterns and patterns usually come in pairs. The obvious earliest patterns were of a personal nature, which is what Livio mentioned in the previously posted NOVA presentation, i.e. two eyes, two ears, two arms, two legs, two breasts. Pairs and mirrored reflections.

That was the basis of my argument with NotEinstein.

Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
10. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

Messages:
9,434
That may be so in the time frames which you are addressing.

My debate with NotEinstein was long before there were languages or maths. I was talking about the time frame of the Cave Dwellers and possibly even before then.

11. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

Messages:
9,434
I addressed that a long time ago. The concept of zero to early homonids did not exist. There was either something or there was nothing. The earliest intuitive choice when there was a rustle in the bushes was the "fight or flight" response.

I also posited that the concept of self (1) had no particular meaning. But regularly recurring patterns are noteworthy. Sunrise and sunset, those kind of repeating patterns. No maths or calculations, just observations.

Anyway, I have conceded that one (singularity, a thing) came before two (plurality, a pattern).

Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
12. ### NotEinsteinValued Senior Member

Messages:
1,725
In that case, what did you mean by "I am confident that the first attempts to indicated a numerical value was by hand, where a closed fist would indicate 0 and one an outstretched hand would indicate some and two hand would indicate many."?

I think existence is quite important, and was also quite important to early hunter/gatherers, and to most animals. The difference between no (zero) lions and one lion is much more important than the difference between one lion and two lions.

But many of those patterns don't involve the number 2, at least not in any obvious way.

You are stating this as a fact; please provide evidence for this.

13. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

Messages:
9,434
I'll admit this comes from watching black ops movies, where commands are communicated by hand signals, in order to maintain absolute silence.
Not to the flight or fight response, that is a hardwired evolutionary intuitive asset.
True, but the most common everyday patterns come in pairs, we don't recognize a person by his body alone, but by the details of his facial configuration and body configuration. In a prinitive tribal setting, if he is missing a hand or an arm, we know instantly who it is, even if seen from a distance . His symmetry is not like a normal symmetry of a whole body. These handicaps, such as limping are the favorite prey of predators. They can observe the weakness and fluidity of movement. Tthey don't consciously decide, but just recognize the asymmetrical gait, which indicates a weakness.
No, you stated that as fact. "One comes before two", and fundamentally that would be correct as a baseline for comparison between a singularity and a plurality. To which I can agree if taken in that context of actually counting, rather than instant intuitive cognition such as is displayed in the Lemur experiments. IMO, actual counting of largernumbers (except zero) came later in the evolution of the brain.

Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
14. ### NotEinsteinValued Senior Member

Messages:
1,725
So it's irrelevant for this discussion. OK.

Where do you draw the line then? Is the hardwired pattern recognition for detecting mirror images also not an intuitive asset in exactly the same way?

How does this lead to the number 2, exactly? For example, with your example I might as well say that they go from 4 limbs to 3.

That is a lie; I never stated that as fact. Please directly quote any of my posts in this thread or elsewhere where I have made this claim.

Sure, and it's correct in many other ways too.

I don't disagree, but since we're talking about the numbers 1 and 2, and not the general concept of more and less, I don't see how that condition is relevant here.

15. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

Messages:
9,434
Basically yes, but I would assumed different sets of neurons would process that kind of information.
Because early humans were already bipedal.
Did you not say that 1 had to come before 2?
That was probably my fault for not making it clearer that I was talking from a general perspective of evolution from intuitive cognition to analytical cognition, which IMO, began with observation of regularly occurring patterns and became a first rudimentary form of scientific discovery along with the concept of time , such as day/night, seasonal changes, harvesting times of different types of fruits, etc.

16. ### NotEinsteinValued Senior Member

Messages:
1,725
So you say that the ability to recognize mirror symmetries is not enough to call that discovering/inventing the number 2. Then why did you bring this up in the first place?

That is not a response to the question I posed.

No, I said that it's much more likely one invents/discovers the number 1 before the number 2, because (as you have demonstrated multiple times) one typically needs to assume knowledge about the number 1 in order to get to the number 2.

So all of that was indeed irrelevant to the discussion about whether the number 2 came before the number 1. May I suggest you stick more closely to the discussion next time, instead of bringing up all kinds of irrelevancies?

17. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

Messages:
28,025
No, they don't.
And if they did, you still wouldn't need the number 2 - you have pattern/no pattern.
So you don't need a number concept, with a special name etc, until you get to three.

18. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

Messages:
9,434
Take that up with NotEinstein.

19. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

Messages:
9,434
What is a fundamental requirement of Relativity. Two frames of reference.!

20. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

Messages:
9,434
This may be of interest;
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/new-setup-image-recognition-ai-lets-program-think-its-feet

The same principle would hold true for two ears, arms, legs (relative pattern cognition)
Seems we are beginning to mimic the neural network of actual brain functions.

Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
21. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

Messages:
9,434
That's trolling! Give it a rest.

22. ### NotEinsteinValued Senior Member

Messages:
1,725
(S)he doesn't have to; I agree with the first part of the post, and I can see the second part work as well. For example: "None", "A", "More". It's only when you try to distinguish between "2" and "3 or more" that you need to give "2" a name of its own.

How is the theory of relativity relevant to the discussion at hand?

If you think I'm trolling, feel free to contact the moderators.
Additionally, I don't see how that's trolling. First you state something as fact, using Livio for support. I then point out Livio never said that; you (eventually) agree. Then you say there's a difference between "a symmetry or a mirror image" and "scientific fact". I ask you why you think a symmetry can't be a scientific fact, and all of a sudden I'm a troll?

23. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

Messages:
9,434
Apparently you haven't read or retained anything from my former posts. Or you are purposely trying to waylay this discussion.