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Old 11-12-2013, 03:03 PM   #51
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

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Originally Posted by ProRailbird View Post
There's actually an answer to this question.

The most influential human in world history is Scipio Africanus. The Roman general who defeated the Carthaginian armies of Hannibal, decisively routing them at the Battle of Zama.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Zama

Without his military leadership Hannibal would have likely been unstoppable,
I find this premise faulty. Carthage was already pushed back to its capital at this point. Hannibal's invasion of Rome had been abandoned, and Carthage was stretched for resources.

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Rome would have been conquered, the Roman Empire would have never existed
Why? This assumes Carthage had the resources to mount a conquest when it had become patently obvious over the last decade that they did not.

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Jesus Christ and almost all of the other people mentioned on any of these lists would have never existed
Why not? How is the existence of these people wholly dependent on the Roman Empire?

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and the Western world would have developed under the reign of Carthage for likely hundreds of years.
So? How do we know it would have developed much differently? And of what consequence is that outside the Mediterranean world, which is a very small region of the globe, all things concerned? The Carthaginians through their Phoenician heritage, would have inherited many of the same cultural influences as the Romans had.
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Old 12-09-2013, 07:40 AM   #52
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

I can't believe no one has mentioned Marx. He's obviously up there, as is Hitler. More modern individuals and people like Martin luther King affected way more people than in ancient times since the population is so much more today.

Although there were wars and catastrophes throughout human history, it wasn't really until the Enlightenment and then the industrial revolution that most people didn't just live out the vast majority of their lives farming. People who created new ideas and social change have had way more influence than someone who invented the printing press for example. The printing press would undoubtedly have been developed by someone else; who can say how different the twentieth century would've been if no Marx.
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Old 12-09-2013, 07:46 AM   #53
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Also Freud and Einstein.
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:27 AM   #54
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

How bout Fleming?
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:21 AM   #55
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Guy who discovered antibiotics? Yeah I was talking about this with a friend and thy brought up Fleming. Maybe he should come top 3. Before antibiotics life was brutish nasty and short.
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Old 12-12-2013, 05:52 PM   #56
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Jenner, Fleming, Salk, Borlaug all good science/medicine/longevity-oriented choices.
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Old 12-17-2013, 04:27 AM   #57
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

This man.
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Old 12-25-2013, 07:07 PM   #58
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

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Originally Posted by Arbitrageur View Post
Way too soon to put bin laden in the top 100.

As of now, the only people from the last 50 years I would put on a top 100 list are Claude Shannon (father of the information age), Norman Borlaug (father of the Green Revolution, which saved over a billion people worldwide from starvation), Martin Luther King Jr., Bill Gates, and maybe Reagan.
Tim Berners-Lee?
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Old 01-18-2014, 03:46 PM   #59
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Hi folk's

As you can see I'm not one for posting, I am no where near you guys with regards to knowledge but I do however love reading the threads/posts and this one has been very very Interesting. I see someone has mentioned Scipio, yet no one has mentioned Hannibal.

Would he not have a place in this list ? If so,where? If not, why not?

And what about the the Battle at Marathon?

Thanks everyone and please keep up the fantastic threads for us (or maybe just me) who are not yet confident enough to get to involved ...
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:58 PM   #60
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

I think people tend to ignore big battle type events in favor of people who have a more defined influence like inventors, politicians, kings, that sort of thing.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:32 AM   #61
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Impossible to list. But I bring up 10 influential humans that comes into mind, in no specific rank:

Napoleon - didn't manage to bring up long-lasting French empire, but had lots of impact in laws, human rights etc. Code Napoleon.

Jesus (and his band of brothers) - Christianity have had it's great impact in world. Both in bad light and in good. Other major players in Christianity that might come to top10 would be Martin Luther.

Muhammad (and his followers) - much like earlier.

Octavian / Augustus - probably most important leader of Roman Empire. Laid foundations of long and strong Rome. Rival might be Alexander the Great.

Bismarck - Brought up Prussian-controlled militaristically strong Germany, which undoubtlely was most major tribute for two world wars. Attacking France in 1870-71 and starting cycle of hatred certainly brought some additional fuel to the fire.

Mao - maybe worst of a lot bad guys in 20th century. Killed X million people just before he could. Also brought up the foundations of China that we know these days.

Karl Marx - want it or not, his ideas have had great impact to world. Mainly bad impact, though.

Elizabeth I of England - only woman in list. Maybe one of greatest contributors to Englands rise to major power after turmoils of Henry VIII, Edward VI and Mary I.

From science and exploration might be safe to bet Christopher Columbus and Newton.
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:57 AM   #62
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

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Mao - maybe worst of a lot bad guys in 20th century
Nah. Mao was one of the worst, but everybody's playing for 2nd place behind Stalin.
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:13 PM   #63
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Devil's advocate on Jesus belonging in the top ten

Christianity doesn't really focus on his teachings and seems to ignore a lot of them in favor of other **** written by who knows in the Bible. He wouldn't have been remembered at all if nobody wrote **** down about him. Roman Emperor Constantine was the one who pushed Christianity to the masses.
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:05 PM   #64
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

I cant believe no one mentioned... Christopher Columbus
Definitely number one imo


Edit.. My bad, didnt see the posts about him.
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:04 PM   #65
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Saladin must make the list. A massive figure in history, Saladin took control of Palestine during the late 12th century. What makes Saladin so remarkable, was his noted treatment of Christians after taking control of Jerusalem. During the siege of Jerusalem, (1099) (allegedly) Jews and Muslims who fought side by side were for the most part, along with women and children, slaughtered wholesale w/o mercy by crusaders.

But, When Saladin took back Palestine in 1187, one could note a much better treatment of what used to be Saladins enemy, the Christians. Saladin later constructed the infamous Mosque of Omar in close quarters to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre , which was done as a message to acknowledge Umar the Great's decision to pray outside the church so as not to set a precedent and thereby endanger the Church's status as a Christian site

Jews and Christians were treated with respect under Saladins rule.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timelin...ders.29_period

Through all of Palestine/Israel's history, Saladin will go down as one of the most, if not the most just ruler in its (Palestine/Israel's) history
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:29 AM   #66
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

I will say Tesla. What he gave us in terms of technology . . . it's unreal. And he died penniless. Gotta love how the world works.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:38 PM   #67
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Charles Babbage?

His influence seems to have been lessened by the fact that he had problems securing funding for his projects.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:51 PM   #68
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

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Charles Babbage?

His influence seems to have been lessened by the fact that he had problems securing funding for his projects.
Just by quickly taking a quick glimpse through his wiki-article explains to me why we should re-define this category, for example like as follows:

1) Most influential statesman in history
2) Most influential general in history
3) Most influential scientist in history
4) Most influential religious person in history

And so on, making it even top10 each. I belive I haven't heard a thing about lots of interesting people in history (like Mr. Babbage), and I'm still quite advance student of political history in University level.
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Old 04-08-2014, 06:34 PM   #69
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Isambard Kingdom Brunel or Charles Darwin or William Shakespeare or Sir Isaac Newton or Tim Berners-Lee or Alfred the Great or Lord Baden Powell or Charlie Chaplin or Charles Dickens or Stephen Hawking or T.E.Lawrence or Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery or Florence Nightingale or P.G.Wodehouse or Spike Milligan, but probably I guess it would have to be David Beckham.
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Old 04-12-2014, 03:14 PM   #70
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

In my opinion Darwin could be included in this top 10.
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:35 PM   #71
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

some not already mentioned that are candidates:

Aristotle

Shakespeare

Thales - often regarded as the first natural philosopher

Michaelangelo

Leibnitz - possibly cleverest human ever along with Newton

Disagree with Jesus - it was Paul who was really the founder of christianity

John Locke - the inspiration for US constitution

James watt or Newcomen - originators of the industrial revolution

Descartes

Confucious - just to counter the natural western bias

Buddha - as above

Agree with Alexander and Darwin already mentioned

Charlemagne

and, of course, as already mentioned: David Beckham - who else could have scored that last-minute free kick against Greece?

Last edited by erniebilko; 04-18-2014 at 02:42 PM. Reason: important addition
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:59 AM   #72
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Hi Everyone:

Two more recent people that I would put up for consideration are John Von Neauman and Milton Friedman.

Von Neumann did many things and contributed in many areas, but two of the more important ones which still affect us today are our nuclear deterrent, the term mutually assured destruction or MAD comes from him, and modern day computers. His Wikipedia page is located here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_von_Neumann.

Milton Friedman was an economist who had a dramatic influence on my life and we actually operate these forums based on ideas that Friedman advocated. Of course, he had to do more than this to be considered one of the most influential humans in world history, and the reason I include him is that I think it;s fair to say that his great contribution was helping to bring freedom to millions of people.

Now I'm also aware that those of you with more liberal views than mine may not be be fans of Friedman, but if you look at much of what he advocated, such as the legalization of drugs, I think many of you would be surprised. His Wikipedia page is located here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_friedman

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 04-20-2014, 03:17 PM   #73
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Hi Everyone:

Two more recent people that I would put up for consideration are John Von Neauman and Milton Friedman.
+1 for von Neumann.

Friedman is certainly one of the most influential economists ever, but IDK if I'd go so far as most influential human. But if you are going to list Friedman, you'd also have to list Keynes, Galbraith, and possibly von Mises or Hayak or others.

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Milton Friedman was an economist who had a dramatic influence on my life and we actually operate these forums based on ideas that Friedman advocated. Of course, he had to do more than this to be considered one of the most influential humans in world history, and the reason I include him is that I think it;s fair to say that his great contribution was helping to bring freedom to millions of people.

Now I'm also aware that those of you with more liberal views than mine may not be be fans of Friedman, but if you look at much of what he advocated, such as the legalization of drugs, I think many of you would be surprised. His Wikipedia page is located here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_friedman

Best wishes,
Mason
I don't think one has to be a fan of somebody to acknowledge their influence. I'm no fan of Joe Stalin or Addie Hitler, but I agree they were very influential 20th century leaders. So I readily agree that Friedman was one of the most influential economists ever. However, I find the assertion that Friedman was great because he brought freedom to millions to be absurd, unless one lives in a universe where one considers Chileans under the dictator Pinochet to have been more free than under the democratically elected Allende. I'd suggest Galbraith has a much stronger claim to being the economist that brought the most freedom to people.

Q. How many economists does it take to change a light bulb?

There are at least two answers available:

A1: Two. One to assume the ladder and one to graph the rotation of the bulb.

A2: None. If the light bulb had really needed changing, the market would have already changed it.
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:53 AM   #74
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

Well, if we are talking economists, we must surely include Adam Smith.

+1 for Keynes also.

As for mathematicians, we cannot exclude Euclid, Pythagoras or Archimedes. I would also put Riemann, Poincare, and my favorite, Leibniz ahead of Von Neumann. Alan Turing also deserves a place on the list.
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Old 04-21-2014, 03:06 PM   #75
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Re: The most influential humans in world history?

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Well, if we are talking economists, we must surely include Adam Smith.
Yes of course. Without Smith the world would be a lot less dismal.

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Originally Posted by erniebilko View Post
As for mathematicians, we cannot exclude Euclid, Pythagoras or Archimedes. I would also put Riemann, Poincare, and my favorite, Leibniz ahead of Von Neumann.
As mathematicians, sure. But von Neumann influenced more fields than just mathematics.
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