Life Without Googol

In a report published this week in the journal Science, researchers describe a group of indigenous peoples in Brazil called the Pirahã tribe. The scientists found that the Pirahã seem to have fewer concepts for numbers than most other cultures. Members of the Pirahã culture have words for one and two — but one, according to the study, can sometimes mean "around one." Larger numbers are "many."


Peter Gordon, associate professor of biobehavioral sciences at Teachers College, Columbia University



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.