Talk:Mathematics in medieval Islam

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    Discussion required[edit]

    There appears to be something of an edit-war in progress in this article. Could both sides please pause with the editing of the disputed passages, and discuss the situation here, civilly, stating clearly the case for both sides, with suitable sources, and we can arrive at a reasoned consensus by one means or another. Only then can we sensibly update the article. Thank you all in advance for your co-operation. Chiswick Chap (talk) 10:08, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

    Chanakya Volume 2 is a typical Hindutva POV-pusher who appears allergic to any outside influences on India (especially Greek). So he just goes around removing anything to his liking, even though it is well sourced. This type of disruption is very common in these topics, nothing new here really. Athenean (talk) 06:15, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
    I am literally an atheist, white guy from Maryland, and have never been to India. I could say the same for your Eurocentric, European chauvinism, if I wholly based your sociopolitical views on your username and barrage of editing. The information was far from well-sourced, and what Athenean is engaging in is far more common than what he's wrongfully accusing me of. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chanakya Volume 2 (talkcontribs) 07:57, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
    You would have a better case if you were not removing cited material, then. Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:28, 17 September 2016 (UTC)
    • @Ian.thomson Hi, please take a look both at the edit history in the article, at the discussion above, and at the confirmed sockpuppetry investigation. Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:28, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
    Ah, ok. I'll semi the page due to CV2's IP socking. Just saw the message his last IP left at Jim1138's talk page. Ian.thomson (talk) 08:50, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

    Supposed Indian "discovery" of irrationals[edit]

    Before learning that the editor responsible for some recent edits is apparently a serial Hindu nationalist sockpuppeteer, I went to the trouble of checking the sources cited for a passage of the article disputed by one of the edits, and for one of the purported facts added by another. I record my findings here for future reference.

    • This first of these edits removed the following text from the article:

    "This method had been used by the Greeks,[11] but they did not generalize the method to cover all equations with positive roots.[10]"

    on the grounds that a supposed check of the sources found that "this fact was not detailed". The Internet Archive contains versions of both sources (though both are earlier editions than those cited in the article). The text removed from the article is very clearly supported by the material on page 94 of the Internet Archive's edition of Dirk Struik's A Concise History of Mathematics, and pages 147 and 264-5 of its edition of Carl Boyer's A History of Mathematics. In view of this, I haven't bothered trying to track down copies of the precise editions cited by the article.
    • The second of the edits altered the text:

    "The Greeks had discovered irrational numbers, but were not happy with them … " ,

    which had been in the article, to read:

    "While the ancient Indians had originally discovered irrational numbers, the Greeks were not happy with them … ".

    The source supposedly justfying this alteration, subsequently added by a later edit, is available online. Nowhere in this source does its author either say or imply that irrational numbers were "originally discovered" by Indians, although he is a little sloppy in the way he throws around the term "irrational number" to refer to the surds which he documents as appearing in the Sulbasutras. The fact that the authors of these texts, along with the Babylonians long before them, named and manipulated quantities which we recognise today as being irrational, and obtained the very good rational approximation of 577/408 for √2, in no way implies that the irrationality of these quantities was recognised by them. The reason why the Greeks are credited with discovering irrational numbers is that they did recognise, and prove, to their own consternation, and, as far as we know, before anyone else, that the square roots of non-square integers are irrational.

    David Wilson (talk · cont)