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  1. #61
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by FMWarner View Post
    John Maynard Keynes
    Good call. He's definitely top-ten material.

    Sadly.

  2. #62
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Here are my opinions:

    William the Conqueror

    Pope Urban II

    Pope Gregory XIII

    Louis XIV

    George Washington

    Maximilien Robespierre

    Napoleon Bonaparte

    Klemens Wenzel von Metternich

    Winston Churchill

    Franklin D. Roosevelt

    Adolf Hitler

    Albert Einstein

    Bill Gates


    What do you think of those?

  3. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon67 View Post
    Good call. He's definitely top-ten material.

    Sadly.
    Well, that's a matter of philosophy/politics/opinion

  4. #64
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by FMWarner View Post
    Well, that's a matter of philosophy/politics/opinion
    Of course it is.

    I've always been more of an Austrian school kind of guy myself. Mises and Hayek are where it's at, baby...in my opinion.

  5. #65
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    William the Conqueror
    This man, at a stroke, brought Latin-root words to English and changed the language forever.

    There was something about having Norman French be the language of the English court for three centuries that changed the speech of England rather radically. =]

    What the material difference in today's world would be had this never happened, however, is unclear. It's arguable that, had William of Normandy never invaded, there would never have been the cross-channel warfare between England and the Norman and Angevin dukedoms, not to mention France proper. Imagine...without William the Conqueror, there would have been no Agincourt...heck, no Henry V...and therefore no Shakespeare play of the same name. Therefore, no St. Crispin's Day speech. I can't imagine having never heard the St. Crispin's Day speech.

    However, it seems likely to me that given the proximity and the vigor of England and France, some subsequent friction would have come along to make events like the Hundred Year's War inevitable.

  6. #66
    Senior Member Jasz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerpin_Taxt View Post
    I was watching a show on the History Channel today 'The 100 most influential people of the last Millenium'.

    It was made for the build up to the Millenium -- put on a little late I know -- anyway the top ten were in order.

    10. Galileo Galilei.
    9. Nicholas Copernicus.
    8. Albert Einstien.
    7. Karl Marx.
    6. Christopher Columbus.
    5. William Shakespare.
    4. Charles Darwin.
    3. Martin Luther.
    2. Issac Newton.
    1. Johann Gutenburg.

    So I guess I'll open the floor, who do you think was the most influential person of the last Millenium?
    as a publisher, it is wonderful to see gutenberg number one. i expect darwin to move up in the rankings as time passes. the exact long term effects of quantum physics on general society are hard to predict but will surely be profound.
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    INTP/5w4 sx

  7. #67
    Oberon
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    Darwin.

    Darwin should be number one.

  8. #68
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon67 View Post
    Darwin.

    Darwin should be number one.
    I don't know about that... If we go along the lines of maximum effect, I would put the developers of atomic energy (and weapons) higher than Darwin. Regardless, the end results of Darwin may be modern biology and medicine, but these, like fission and fusion, were eventual outcomes from research. The discovery and not the person is what drove the influence. If we go back far enough, the developers of statistical measurements, or even creators of seafaring boats (to allow Darwin to do his research) would be higher on the list. Both of those were also likely, if not given, outcomes from advancement.

    Not all scientists, so to speak, fall to this trap. I would say that Marx had a profound personal impact because of the revolutions he indirectly caused - that's not something that had to follow the "discovery" alone. This led to an incredible shift in the last couple hundred years... especially if you include both Russian and Chinese ramifications, along with the proliferation of the "cold war" mentality and the mass production of nuclear weapons.

  9. #69
    Oberon
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    I think Darwin should be number one with a bullet, because he almost single-handedly turned the subject called "Natural Philosophy" into "Science." Prior to Darwin, the West was mostly Theist in its thinking; Darwin provided a materialist explanation for speciation, and suddenly there was a respectable Western alternative to the Judeo-Christian creation story.

    This seems obvious and straightforward to us now, but at the time it was life-changing for many people. Darwin lent teeth to naturalist, materialist philosophy, which (despite its not really being applicable to those subjects) laid the foundations for such diverse topics as Marxism, behaviorism, entire schools of literary criticism, and so on, and so on.

    While Nazism still would have happened without a Darwin...the "will to power" will not be denied, after all...it would have had a different flavor without Nietzche to drive it, and Nietzche wouldn't have been Nietzche if there hadn't been a Darwin.

    Darwin's work helped to gut the power and influence of Catholicism in Europe. Yes, it was on the wane anyway, but Darwin struck a considerable blow.

    Darwin's work can be construed as the philosophical cornerstone of the modern secular state. Despite the fact that Darwin didn't intend Origin of Species to be a philosophical work, its impact on philosophy has been practically incalculable...as has been its influence on everything philosophy touches, such as art, architecture, music, business practices, law, medicine...the list is practically endless. Take away Darwin, and the TransAmerica Pyramid might be very different than it is today.

  10. #70
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon67 View Post
    Darwin's work can be construed as the philosophical cornerstone of the modern secular state. Despite the fact that Darwin didn't intend Origin of Species to be a philosophical work, its impact on philosophy has been practically incalculable...as has been its influence on everything philosophy touches, such as art, architecture, music, business practices, law, medicine...the list is practically endless. Take away Darwin, and the TransAmerica Pyramid might be very different than it is today.
    Hmm, now that's an argument I could see. I'll have to reflect on this. Unfortunately, that's one situation that isn't clear, because progression might of happened anyway - there are huge social factors at work and I doubt it was only this that contributed to the creation of secular views, as well as the less collective social hierarchies (ie: the fleeing of more religious and stratified societies to the US...) and more equal politics (although I can see the political part as an indicator of secular movement, as it didn't spread in the more conservative US, in terms of the rights movements).

    :confused: I'll have to see if I can eliminate any factors in my head to see if this discovery has a direct link - that the way it was presented and what Darwin did was unique relative to all the possible discoveries that follow.

    However, would knowing that Darwin wasn't the first to develop this information hurt or help the story? I believe it would hurt. There were others developing the same theories in paralell with him... that would make his influence smaller in terms of discovery, but perhaps larger in terms of strength of character.

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