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zeynish eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mathematics or math in short is a belief system. Though it has seemingly sound philosophical foundations and its constrained workings appear valid and helpful in almost every walk of life, its deep fundamental concepts such as axioms, undefined qualities and linguistic creations remain beyond human grasp.

Attean on the other hand is Matt's friend. Matt and Attean are two boys portrayed in the Sign of the Beaver, a children's novel by author Elizabeth George Speare. Matt is raised in a social setting defined by the Christian belief system while Attean is an Indian boy raised in a tribal setting bounded by a natural belief system.

Attean is closely tied to his tribe's natural beliefs such as Mannatou, which Matt calls a spirit. Mannatou will make Attean a man that his tribe will accept and as such is a central figure in his life. Attean cannot survive without Mannatou's help in his tribal setting. For Matt, his parents are the central figure in his life and yet without them he has shown that he can survive in his extended social setting.

Math on the other hand is more like Attean. Math cannot and will not survive without the help of us humans utilizing it in Nature's universal existence.

So what math and Attean have in common are lack of survival ability within their constrained existential setting.

Joking? Not really. That is how math and Attean are the same. They need an internal setting (not an external one) to survive.