# Talk:Number

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Number was a Mathematics good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There may be suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
DateProcessResult
July 9, 2010Peer reviewReviewed
July 21, 2010Good article nomineeNot listed
Current status: Former good article nominee

## Disputed: history section

I have restored the "Disputed section" tag that was placed in November 2014 and removed, prematurely, in January 2018. The original Talk page discussion is here. While a few citations have been added and a few problems corrected since the tag was placed, the section for the most part looks as it did in 2006. I'm afraid I don't know how to begin fixing the problems. It might be best to start from scratch. This is a level 2 vital article, so it seems especially problematic that the history section has remained in this state for so long.

To give but a few examples of the problems: In the subject "First use of numbers" the Mesopotamian sexagesimal place value system is dated to 3400 BC, whereas the linked article dates it to 2100 BC, which seems much closer to dates I have seen in the scholarly literature. The second half of the passage could be read as saying that the Egyptian system was also a place-value system, which it was not.

In the first paragraph on the history of irrational numbers just about every statement is either false or misleading. The opening sentence says the oldest known use of irrational numbers was in the Sulba Sutras (800 BC – 500 BC). The Shulba Sutras do contain approximations of the square root of 2, but do not mention the concept of irrationality. Furthermore, the square root of 2 had been approximated just about as accurately 1000 years earlier in Mesopotamia. The rest of the paragraph consists of an uncritical presentation of the most sensationalistic version of the Hipassus myth. The ancient sources for the myth were written more than half a millennium after the time of Pythagoras and are considered unreliable. Not all mention Hippasus; not all mention death by drowning; they don't agree that the infraction was related to the discovery of irrationality; the story of Pythagoras issuing a death sentence is, as far as I can tell, a modern invention. Furthermore, numbers for the ancient Greeks were 2, 3, 4, ... They had theories of ratios, both of numbers and of magnitudes, and had proved that some magnitudes were incommensurable, but they did not manipulate ratios arithmetically as numbers.

One could go on and on. Will Orrick (talk) 09:10, 8 September 2020 (UTC)

## "The Number" listed at Redirects for discussion

An editor has identified a potential problem with the redirect The Number and has thus listed it for discussion. This discussion will occur at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2022 July 8#The Number until a consensus is reached, and readers of this page are welcome to contribute to the discussion. TraderCharlotte (talk) 21:17, 8 July 2022 (UTC)

## Semi-protected edit request on 14 February 2023: in fig: NumberSetinC.svg, Zero is shown under Natural number please edit it under whole numbers

in above link, Zero is shown under Natural number please edit it under whole numbers — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bomanhoo19 (talkcontribs) 09:46, 14 February 2023 (UTC)

There is nothing wrong in this figure, and neither "natural number" nor "whole number" appear in the figure and in its caption. For the coverage of "whole number" in Wikipedia, please read Whole number, and the comments on this phrase in Natural number and here. Nothing more is needed for a phrase that is not in common use because of its ambiguity. D.Lazard (talk) 10:58, 14 February 2023 (UTC)