Showing posts with label Mathematics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mathematics. Show all posts

Myth of Pythogores theorem

Pythagoras is Ionian philosopher and Mathematician of 6th century BC , who is also called father of numbers by greek, He established a religion called Pythagoreanism. He is best known for pythagoras theorem. Let us analyze the facts behind Pythagoras theorem.

Pythagoras Legend
Pythagoras was born on Samos, a Greek island in the eastern Aegean, off the coast of Asia Minor. He was born to Pythais (his mother, a native of Samos) and Mnesarchus (his father, a Phoenician merchant from Tyre). As a young man, he left his native city for Croton, Calabria, in Southern Italy, to escape the tyrannical government of Polycrates. According to Iamblichus, Thales, impressed with his abilities, advised Pythagoras to head to Memphis in Egypt and study with the priests there who were renowned for their wisdom. He also was discipled in the temples of Tyre and Byblos in Phoenicia. It may have been in Egypt where he learned some geometric principles which eventually inspired his formulation of the theorem that is now called by his name.

Pythagoras theorem
Pythagoras is commonly given credit for discovering the Pythagorean theorem, a theorem in trigonometry that states that in a right-angled triangle the square of the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle), c, is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides, b and a—that is, a² + b² = c².

As this is the contentious topic. Let us find out the truth.
  1. Pythagores school- It is not clear whether he, or his students, have constructed the first proof. Because of the secretive nature of his school and the custom of its students to attribute everything to their teacher, there is no evidence that Pythagoras himself worked on or proved this theorem. For that matter, there is no evidence that he worked on any mathematical or meta-mathematical problems.
  2. Five centuries after death - Some attribute it as a carefully constructed myth by followers of Plato over two centuries after the death of Pythagoras, mainly to bolster the case for Platonic meta-physics, which resonate well with the ideas they attributed to Pythagoras. This attribution has stuck, down the centuries up to modern times. The earliest known mention of Pythagoras's name in connection with the theorem occurred five centuries after his death, in the writings of Cicero and Plutarch.
  3. Biography after seven centuries- Biography of Pythagoras (written seven centuries after Pythagoras's time).
  4. Pythagoras mathematicians who had an influence on the beginning of axiomatic geometry devlopment two hundred years later was written down by Euclid in The Elements not during pythagoras time.
  5. None of his works exists- Many times it is reference from secondary sources. Thales and Pythagoras brought knowledge of Egyptian and Babylonian mathematics to Greece.
  6. Classical era of Greek did not produce any mathematical lore , only after alexander 323BC and Hellenistic period and contact with Babylon and Egypt did mathematicians emerge from greek.
  7. Pioneers Thales and pythogores studied in Egypt before any contribution, raising doubts about their contribution.
  8. Rig veda(1900BC) has all the details of pythores theorem and applications, so no longer can pythagores claim authorship of the theorem.
  9. Sulbh sutras(800BC) all the details of geometric , numerals , square roots, pythagores theorem.
  10. From the Hellenistic period, Greek replaced Egyptian as the written language of Egyptian scholars, and from this point Egyptian mathematics merged with Greek and Babylonian mathematics to give rise to Hellenistic mathematics. Egyptian mathematics also built pyramids , which is proof where these theorems originated. It is not greece, it is Egypt.
From the above points we can see that pythagoras is just a legend, who was made a mathematician to suit greek superiority , which is proved by the gap between the existence and commentry on them much later. The mathematical theories like geometry , numbers , pythagoras theorem was borrowed from Indian, Babylonian and Egypt sources and has been claimed as greek own, eventhough we can say much work was done later by greeks.

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