Friday, January 24, 2014

Who is the Most Significant Person of All Time?

Statistically speaking, of course.  Two individuals set out to quantify the contributions of prominent individuals and come up with a list of the most significant people in the world.  From the Atlantic.  Thoughts?  Comment away.
  1. Jesus
  2. Napoleon
  3. Mohammed
  4. William Shakespeare
  5. Abraham Lincoln
  6. George Washington
  7. Adolf Hitler
  8. Aristotle
  9. Alexander the Great
  10. Thomas Jefferson
  11. Henry VIII
  12. Charles Darwin
  13. Elizabeth I
  14. Karl Marx
  15. Julius Caesar 
  16. Queen Victoria
  17. Martin Luther
  18. Joseph Stalin 
  19. Albert Einstein 
  20. Christopher Columbus
So we have four religious leaders (Jesus, Mohammed, Martin Luther, and Henry VIII), two of them in the top 5.  Protestants just can't get a break.  There is a part of me that feels that Johannes Gutenberg needs to be on this list, because without him, numbers 4 and 10 (and for that matter #17) don't have an outlet for their work. 

I would like to see how they calculated their results to have Napoleon come in at number 2.  I guess it's plausible, seeing as what he accomplished (or didn't accomplish) made number 7 and number 18 possible.  But one could also make the case that Alexander the Great begat Julius Caesar who begat Napoleon.

It's interesting the sciences are so "underrepresented," with only Darwin and Einstein on the list.  Leonardo DaVinci, anyone? Copernicus? And it's nice (for those of us living here in the Americas) for Columbus on the list, but there are other explorers out there that one could say had a greater impact on navigation and exploration.

Can you tell I have some issues with this list?

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