Silverwall wrote:Not really, we have an equally compelling theory that is based on the needs of the author to tell a story so forcing development along for story reasons. There is no indication that they are being poked along by Merlin so he would have to be a genius greater than Newton and Leibowitz combined to make that much progress so fast. I also dispute that these ideas were already there as I don't believe that you could even comprehend the queston when you don't have a place-based number system, the concepts literally make no sense. You MUST have a place based number system for all this higher math to even begin to make sense.

At best they would be considered unsolvable problems of philosophy just like they were here on earth in similar situations. Just look at how many years people tried to square the circle becasue they didn't understand the concept of irrational numbers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squaring_the_circle it was not proved impossible until 1882! They just don't have the tools to even ask the right questions and wandered off down mathematical dead ends. This does not lead iteslf to radically fast innovation once modern numbers and zero arrive because they don't know what is true (Very little) and what is false (a lot).

EDIT: Unlike other discussions where we have to rely on RFCs word outside of the books that there is other knowledge/capability present but not shown I feel that RFC has gone to great lengths to show just how badly mangled safeholdian maths is. Assuming anything beyond the Math shown in the first book is very unwise because of the incredible limitations RFC placed on safehold by eliminating arabic numbers, all traces of the place based maths systems and removing even abacusus which are truely ancient devices that far predate zero. Even a cursory look at how math evolved/works shows that these actions PREVENT most modern maths being conceived of.

I said that Doctor Mac was working out the BEGINNINGS of higher math, not that he had already done so. And that was only after Merlin had introduced Arabic numerals to him, NOT before.

And my first paragraph said that Safehold almost certainly did NOT have even geometry even though RL Earth has had geometry since the Bronze Age. And just because we didn't work out squaring the circle until the 19th century doesn't mean geometry didn't exist; you don't need to square the circle to build the Great Pyramids or to calculate how many bricks the Great Wall of China needed. Basic Pythagorean math will suffice and that long predates Arabic numerals.

And let me repeat, prior to Merlin, I don't believe Safeholdians had knew as much math as Pythagoras or Euclid had.

AFTER Merlin however, Safeholdians took to Arabic numerals extremely quickly, to the point that Duchairn and his entire branch of the Church were using it to manage the Jihad's logistics. I think there was even a comment in one of the books by a Churchman that there was an irony in the new number systems; people couldn't even THINK in terms of such huge numbers that the Jihad's logistics required without the number system the Charisians had introduced.