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Euclid was not before pythagoras

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1159475.  Sat Nov 21, 2015 5:22 pm Reply with quote

Having just watched the Maths episode, I was astonished by the comments on why pythagoras didn't come up with the right angle triangle theorem that is usually attributed to him. Maybe it was Alan who suggested that Euclid came up with it and that he lived earlier than pythagoras. Play loud sound of general ignorance. As any fule no, Pythagoras lived 200 years earlier. Ok it may not have been Pythagoras who came up with the theorem but it definitely wasn't Euclid. I could quote you the comentaries in my edition of Euclid's Elements but life is to short.

1159482.  Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:04 pm Reply with quote

Nevertheless, Pythagoras didn't invent the Pythagorean Theorem.

The Babylonians were using it well over a thousand years before Pythagoras (and his golden thigh) was even a glint in Apollo's eye.

Don't know how that got through though. Presumably it was an off-the-cuff remark? I can't imagine the Elves slipping up that badly.

P.S. Life is never too short for geometry.

1159569.  Sun Nov 22, 2015 3:38 pm Reply with quote

I've just watched the XL version and the actual question was "who first proved the statement", the answer to which is traditionally Pythagoras. The Babylonians had lists of Pythagorean triples, but didn't actually prove the geometric theorem. A valid contender for the title would be the ancient Indian mathematicians, but I didn't hear any mention of them.

It also occurs to me that I had posted about what seemed like obviously incorrect "facts" in the Mind episode and I never got any response about that. Rather disappointed in the Elves actually.

In fact I have to say I found the whole Maths episode was really disappointing. There was basically zero maths in it, and what they did manage to fit in was incorrect or badly explained or glossed over.

Come on QI, pull your socks up.


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