The Absence Of


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picture of a zero with hands and feet

Lexi Anchondo, Writer

The art of counting, and numbers, began in about 4,000 BC, in one of the earliest civilizations. The numbers spanned from one to infinity, and were used a lot in common day life. The first zero was recorded around 3 BC, and it has been debated if zero actually exists, or if it is just nothing.

Zero is a symbol for the absence of something, and it exists for the purpose of recognizing things not existing.

One of the reasons the zero was not developed along with other numbers is that many early number systems had no real reason for a symbol to represent nothing. However, in modern day and time, there has to be a symbol representing an empty quantity. If there was no zero, there would be no way to signify the quantity of nothing. Zero is the basis for nothing, while still being something.

If there was no way to say there was nothing, there would be no way to say “no.” No has about the exact definition of zero, and without such a representation, there can be no way to signify “no.” If someone says, for example, “I have no apples,” they are essentially saying “I have zero apples.” If there is no zero, there is no “no,” and no way for there to be nothing. Also, without the symbol for nothing, there would be no something.

Without zero, there would be no other numbers, as zero is the starting point for building our number system. Zero sits in the middle of the number line, separating the positive numbers from the negative numbers, thus making it the foundation of all things counting.  Zero is the most common single-digit number that is used in counting systems. Zero gives the additive identity of the integers, real numbers, many algebraic structures, and it is a place holder for writing numbers. Without zero, modern things, such as electronics, engineering, or automation, wouldn’t exist. Without zero, much of the modern world literally falls apart.

While it is said that zero is not a thing because it is not a counting number, and that there is no such thing as zero, only infinity, zero is the base for our entire universe. Without the zero there would be no basis for anything more than nothing, and we would cease to exist. The universe was arisen from nothing, and continues to expand from the nothingness, into more something-ness. Zero is the difference between having something, and not having anything.

Zero has use and very important purpose in modern day society, and without it there would be no way to see things that we do not have. Having no zero would unleash utter chaos in the world. Zero is essential.