Nephew and Maternal Uncle

Math Online Tom Circle

There is a common proverb in my Chinese dialect Fujian spoken today in China Fujian province, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia, which says
“A nephew is like his maternal uncle”  外甥像母舅
In modern Biology we know mother passes some genes to her children. Some disease like colorblind is carried by mother down to her sons, the mother herself is immune but her brothers are colorblind as the nephews.
Interesting behavior, intelligence are also similarly inherited from mother and maternal uncles.

Two greatest mathematicians in the history, Newton and Gauss, were the lucky nephews from their maternal uncles who were highly educated to spot the nephew’s genius, although the boys’ parents were uneducated.

Newton’s father died early, mother Hannah Ayscough had a brother William Ayscough educated in Cambridge. William convinced Hannah to send the talented boy Newton to Cambridge.

Gauss’s father was a bricklayer, mother Dorothy Benz had a younger brother Friedrich…

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Author: tomcircle

Math amateur

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