The answer, as best we can guess, Bryan says, is that the Sumerians (or did he say Babylonians? Azerbaijanis? I think he said Sumerians) used their fingers.
Fingers, after all, are digits and underlie the digital economy. Our having ten of them, most of us, underlies the decimal system.
(Do you seriously think that if humans had 8 fingers instead of 10 a “dime” would have 10 pennies? No, it would have 8, and there’d be 8 dimes to the dollar. That this is approximately the value of the Canadian dollar – 64 cents – misses the point entirely. Canadians have just as many fingers as we do – and there are indeed 100 cents to the Canadian dollar. Coincidence? I think not.)
But why 24 hours in the day? Why not, say, 20?
At which point Bryan crooked his right thumb to touch the base of his right index finger (please follow along and do it, too), and said, in much the same way as a Sumerian might have, 4,000 years ago . . . “One.”
He then moved up a notch – see that? Each of your fingers has three distinct segments. I never really noticed that! – and, touching now the middle segment of his right index finger with his right thumb, he said . . . “Two.”
I think you may sense where this is leading. By the time your right thumb has counted each of the three segments of his neighboring four fingers, you’re up to 12.
Long before people were reading with their lips, one imagines, they were counting with their fingers.
So a day was divided into 12 segments, called hours; and, too, the night.
The foot, meanwhile, was the length of a human foot but an inch wasn’t the length of a toe – the foot (I’m guessing) was divided into 12 inches. At least in some cultures. Others, I guess, used the “unfolding fingers” method of counting (beginning with two closed fists) and so decided to break stuff into tenths instead of twelfths.
(I know some of you wrote PhD theses in this subject, and actually speak Sumerian – probably one of you from Azerbaijan – so I am fully prepared to print errata and oblongata as necessary.)
Now, still looking at your right palm, having successfully counted to 12, make a thumbs-up sign with your left hand. As in . . . “that’s one set of 12.” Count another set of twelve with your right hand and you earn an unfolded left index finger (never mind that now your left hand is prepared to say, “bang-bang” – the Sumerians, gentle souls, had no guns). “That’s two sets of 12.”
Keep doing this until you have unfolded all five fingers of your left hand, and you’ve got 60.
My feeling is that if Sumerians had had six fingers on their left hands, there would be 72 seconds in a minute and 72 minutes in an hour. Had they had six fingers on both hands – though no one believes that they did – days and nights would have had 15 hours each (full days, 30), and each hour would have been divided into 90 minutes.
Length Breadth and Depth ( x , y , z ) are the three dimensions in which the extent of a physical object is measured. Before any objects existed in the universe, "length breadth and depth" could have no meaning.
Time ( t ) is the dimension in which change occurs, and with which rate of change is measured. If things existed, but nothing ever changed, "time" would have no meaning.
Time is a natural consequence of things changing - nobody invented it, though many people have invented methods of measuring it, likewise nobody invented the space that the universe occupies.
While our universe exists, and there are sentient beings to contemplate it, our / their universe exists as a system evolving in (at least) four dimensional space-time ( x , y , z , t )
-- Best wishes - Majikthise.
The "measurements" of time have been around for over 2000 years (obviously), and has evolved from ancient dates until now...the specific inventor is not known
yeh but i mean who invented minutes and seconds and hours because someone had to think of it
Didn't it first start with the sun dial, thing? Corey taught me how to use one, but I forget. :D
I found this on the web, but it sounds like what I learned in one of my history classes.
Nobody - it's not something that is actually in existence....
Well it is going over how they got the numbering system.
wow just wow so what is the jist of it ;)
The Big Bang