On the Scholar-Practitioner Issue Introduction

The concept of zero has a fascinating history. Originally invented by the Babylonians to give their sequences of digits a permanent meaning, it was banned by the Ancient Greeks before it was celebrated and worshipped by Indian culture. It is difficult for moderns to imagine that such a seemingly innocuous and ubiquitous concept like zero could ever have been considered dangerous or a source of controversy, but so it was.1

Zero is synonymous with “void,” “nothingness,” and entails “infinity.” The emergence of zero led to philosophical and mathematical implications that not all cultures were ready or willing to accept. When it was accepted, it overturned Aristotelian philosophy, subverted the existing mathematical logic, and provoked a dismantling of the geocentric worldview.2In the

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