Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Science & Space

Binary math first developed in Polynesia

See also

A binary number system like that used in modern computers was first developed by Polynesians on the island of Mangareva according to research reported on Dec. 16, 2013, in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Andrea Bender and Sieghard Beller, both with the Department of Psychosocial Science at the University of Bergen in Norway.

More Photos

The binary system used by the residents of Mangareva may be 1,500 years old and predates the binary system developed and refined by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz between 1646 and 1716 by a minimum of two centuries.

The binary system used in Mangareva is an addition of three binary steps to the base ten or decimal counting system developed by many cultures due to the number of fingers on people’s hands. The binary system developed by ancient Polynesians is capable of performing addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

The binary system was developed by the Polynesians as a pragmatic method of counting groups of objects quickly and efficiently. This system of numbering was determined to be culturally expedient for this small group of people.

The researchers propose the numbering systems are an innate human creation and that culture and necessity are the prime drivers of the development of different systems of numbering.

Advertisement

News

  • Mt. Everest avalanche
    Disaster strikes Mt. Everest as at least 12 people were killed in an avalanche
    Video
    Watch Video
  • Most Earthlike planet discovered
    The Kepler telescope has discovered the most Earthlike, possibly habitable planet yet
    Space News
  • Easter crosses create debate
    Easter crosses spark a debate of separation of church and state in Ohio
    Headlines
  • Chelsea Clinton is preggers
    Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child
    Headlines
  • Stanley Cup playoffs
    The battle for Lord Stanley's Cup is on, don't miss a minute of playoff action
    Sports
  • Ukraine discussed amongst U.S., E.U., Russia
    The U.S., E.U. and Russia agree on ways to diffuse the tension in Ukraine
    Video
    Watch Video

Related Videos:

  • LADEE mission ends with impact on lunar surface
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518201429" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518201429&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Kepler-186 Sol Comparison
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518200618" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518200618&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Purchase Your Pair of Google Glass Today
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518193403" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518193403&autoStart=true"></div>

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!