11:41 PM August 7th, 2008
My mother used to tell me to “stand up straight.”
It was one of her favorite things to say: “Stand up straight!”
Many other people, I have discovered, also grew up hearing that phrase. It’s nearly universal. As if mothers were programmed to say it. In fact, I believe mothers have been telling their children to “stand up straight” longer than we realize. Perhaps even to pre-human days.
What if that were the driving force behind the evolutionary trend to walk erect?
Mothers nagging their children up the evolutionary ladder:
“Stand up straight!
“Don’t drag your knuckles when you walk!
“What’re ya born in a tree?
“You want the other families to think we’re not evolving?”
Then: “How many times do I have to tell you?”
And, therein lies the origin of mathematics:
“How many times?…well, if I put the three here and carry the one….”