Were natural numbers really redefined to be the same as whole numbers? When I was in school, it was very explicit that natural numbers begin with 1. Whole numbers added 0, and integers included negatives. Does anyone know why/when this changed if it did? Learn together 19:47, 22 August 2007 (EDT)
- I did a quick google check, and there seem to be conflicting definitions. Integers are fairly clear though. They can all be evenly divided by one with no remainder.
- "Counting numbers" start at one, because you count with them.
- We all seem to regard zero as special. If you tack it in to the set of counting numbers, you seem to get an Entirely New and Wonderful Thing. :-)
- And let's not neglect your friend and mine, the negative numbers. How would I be able to read my bank balance without them? (see bounced checks).
- The hardest one to define is the set of "natural numbers". I guess it depends on how comfortable you feel with zero. Is it "natural", or is it some kind of heathen Islamic plot to undermine Christianity? Anyway, it rounds out the ten digits and makes addition and multiplication a lot easier. --Ed Poor Talk 20:37, 22 August 2007 (EDT)