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Nutty numerologists

August 3, 2021 - 11:26 -- Admin

I saw a ‘discussion’ between online fruitcakes in which some bloke said that numerology was simply geometry, and that the numerals we use are somehow dependent on the number of angles in the written numeral. To make his point he mostly had to use bizarrely written numerals. For instance, the numeral two was written like the letter Z, which has two acute ‘angles’; the numeral three was written like a sideways M and therefore had three acute angles; the numeral nine was a square attached to a vertical shaft which had an angularly coiled tail which went on as long as needed to make up the requisite number of right angles1; it was like no number 9 I have ever seen. Some people actually believe this drivel.

Some bloke with an Arabic-sounding name replied: “These numbers were made by Arabs and those who put the number zero are also the Arabs” (more about this elsewhere), to which some ignoramus replied: “that’s a lie and you know it”. The ignorant are everywhere. Anyone who was taught arithmetic in school, provided they have a functioning memory, would remember that the numerals we use (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) are termed Arabic numerals.

A couple of years ago, one John Dick, of the Civic Science organisation, put out a survey via social media which spread across the United States. The question asked was: ‘Should schools in America teach Arabic numerals as part of their curriculum?’ There were 3,624 responses over four days in May, 2019, and 56% (2,020 respondents) thought that Arabic numerals should NOT be taught in American schools; 29% (1,043 respondents) said they should be taught and 15% (561) had no opinion.2

72% of respondents who identify as Republicans were opposed to the teaching of Arabic numerals in schools, while 40% of those identifying as Democrats were opposed3. Perhaps that helps explain Republicans’ inability to understand the numerical results of the 2020 presidential election.

It seems that the Civic Science survey was a response, in part, to a story circulating a year before which stated that the California Governor, Jerry Brown, had signed an order to teach Arabic numerals in public schools; the story came from a website named America’s Last Line of Defense [sic] which describes its stories as satire designed to provoke conservatives. The story also claimed the California order would require that students in 4th grade to learn about Islam and Sharia Law, while Christianity would be taught in 7th Grade.4  Of course, mindless conservatives went berserk. One responded: “If he wants Aribic [sic] numeral [sic] in schools, he should go to a country, where they are taught. He has totally destroyed California.”5  The stupid, ignorant and gullible are everywhere.