Evolution

 

The term “evolution” in mathematics, and more specifically arithmetic, was coined in the last quarter of the seventeenth century. It had gone out of favour in mathematical terminology by the first quarter of the twentieth century. It is the root of any given power, essentially the inverse of involution. For example, 5 is the cube root of 125 and 7 is the fourth root (or biquadrate root, to use an old term) of 2401. What Macdonald has written in his notebook is copied directly from Nicolas Pike’s A New and Complete System of Arithmetick.