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  1. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retread View Post
    As indicated in the video, the problem is a unclear presentation of the equation. It needs a second set of parentheses. It should read either

    (8/2)(2+2)

    Or

    8/(2(2+2))

    For clarity.
    Exactly.
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  2. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tecate View Post
    Based on what I was taught, that equation is 4X4=16

    On edit: I was never very good at mathematics, but if you make a mistake using it in a real world application, you’ll usually know. Lol!
    That was my first response too, until I realized the fraction's denominator was 2(2+2). It's about how it's written.
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  3. #13  
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    Reverse Polish Notation (RPN) solves all ambiguity:

    8 2 2 2 + * / = 1

    No parentheses, no problem.

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  4. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by DumbAss Tanker View Post
    It's a difference of interpretation of the bracketed term. To some including me 2(2+2) must be resolved first, producing 1 as the answer, but a lot of people - who are, of course, wrong - treat the term as 2 x (2+2) which means the multiplication by 2 has no special priority in the equation and is just performed with all the other operations in order. Normal people see the absence of the operator as meaning the entire term must be be resolved completely first before proceeding. If it was supposed to be 2 x (2 + 2) it should be written that way, in which case the answer would be 16.
    And that fact is what concerns me about the mathematical explanations of the universe and the laws of nature. The fact that an equation can be resolved two ways depending on how you interpret the order of operation, what guarantee do we have that the mathematical formulas that describe the nature of reality are calculated correctly? For example, the formulas for gravity tell us that the galaxies are spinning to fast and the universe is expanding to fast so scientists explain these anomalies by inventing something called Dark Matter and Dark Energy which there is absolutely no evidence (other than the spin of the galaxies and the expansion of the universe) that these things are real.
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  5. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlaGator View Post
    And that fact is what concerns me about the mathematical explanations of the universe and the laws of nature. The fact that an equation can be resolved two ways depending on how you interpret the order of operation, what guarantee do we have that the mathematical formulas that describe the nature of reality are calculated correctly? For example, the formulas for gravity tell us that the galaxies are spinning to fast and the universe is expanding to fast so scientists explain these anomalies by inventing something called Dark Matter and Dark Energy which there is absolutely no evidence (other than the spin of the galaxies and the expansion of the universe) that these things are real.


    While I agree with you on dark matter and dark energy; they are kind of like Ptolemy's spheres used to "explain" the motion of heavenly bodies; the modern scientific community writes and evaluates complex expressions in a consistent manner. They frequently use superfluous parentheses to avoid confusion.

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  6. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by old dog View Post
    Reverse Polish Notation (RPN) solves all ambiguity:

    8 2 2 2 + * / = 1

    No parentheses, no problem.
    Now solve 8 2 2 2 + / *
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  7. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retread View Post
    Now solve 8 2 2 2 + / *
    4

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  8. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by old dog View Post
    While I agree with you on dark matter and dark energy; they are kind of like Ptolemy's spheres used to "explain" the motion of heavenly bodies; the modern scientific community writes and evaluates complex expressions in a consistent manner. They frequently use superfluous parentheses to avoid confusion.
    What if they are wrong. The historical why of evaluating the equation that is at the center of this thread yields a 1 for the result. The left to right evaluation, when all addition and subtraction is eliminated, has only been accepted since the turn of the 20th century (at least according to some math history book I read).
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  9. #19  
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    8 / 2 ( 2 + 2 )

    Well, as THAT is written at the start of the thread, it could be read to mean either 8/2 x (2 + 2), or ______8_______
    2(2+2)

    Which is even more ambiguous than the viral version.

    Let's have some algebra fun, according to that we should be able to use the distributive property on the parenthetic term:

    2(2 + 2) = 2x2 + 2x2, or 8, which produces the 1 result for the main equation.

    But yes, the bottom line is excess parentheses and not using an 'implicit' unsignified operation is the way to go to make the intent of the messy order of operations clear.
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  10. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlaGator View Post
    What if they are wrong. The historical why of evaluating the equation that is at the center of this thread yields a 1 for the result. The left to right evaluation, when all addition and subtraction is eliminated, has only been accepted since the turn of the 20th century (at least according to some math history book I read).

    So your saying we can divided by zero?
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