Discovery or invention? (by Michelle So)

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Mathematics is the language mankind use to communicate mathematical ideas. It has been a widely debated topic whether mathematics was discovered or an invention. My first thought when I was asked this question was mathematics was discovered as the mathematics discovered in nature such as the golden ratio or tessellations were not invented by mankind; instead they were already there long before the existence of mankind. Even if humans didn’t discover these mathematical ideas, they would have still existed. Humans simpily identified the concept behind these ideas and gave it a name.

However, as it thought more about this question, I realize there are aspects of mathematics which were created by humans: algebra, number systems. If humans disappeared, these mathematical aspects would also follow. As a result of this, I came to a conclusion that mathematics is both discovered and invented.

#exploremaths

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