The things you learn from snooping around Zionist Facebook sites. I thought it was historically undisputed that Arabs invented algebra–especially since the word is from the Arabic “al-jabr” meaning “reunion of broken parts.” But when I read a snide refutal on a Zionist Facebook wall, I went to Wikipedia which is owned by a committed Zionist feted in Israel.
Wikipedia’s posts having anything to do with Palestine or Israel are notoriously dishonest but I figured on the question of algebra they’d play straight. Wikipedia claims algebra is from Babylonian not Egyptian mathematics–& anyway the Egyptian guy who made mathematical history was Greek.
A little more googling around & I found this gem: according to the book Mathematics Across Cultures: The History of Non-Western Mathematics, “Throughout these 3000 years, the Greeks, Indians, Chinese, Muslims, Hebrews & Christians seem to have done no more than present their own versions of solutions to linear & quadratic equations, which were well known to the Babylonians.”
I’m perfectly willing to grant Greeks, Indians, & Chinese played roles in the development of algebra invented by the Babylonians. But if Arabs played no role, why did they get to name it? Was it like a booby prize? And how does religion enter into all this? “Muslims, Hebrews & Christians” had their own versions? Not in the Bible. Does algebra show up in the Quran?