The 100 Most Influential People - Try the Third

I don’t really know how kosher this is, but we’re trying this a third time. The original two attempts were badly organized and added a value-judgment metric that (a) was a veiled attempt to skew the results, and, (b) couldn’t be applied in any meaningful way to a number of the people (How do you argue that Euclid or Euler are in any way a negative on mankind?)

Because the original attempts were so flawed and because the concept is so perfectly suited for a forum of loud-mouthed know-it-alls (and even the quiet know-it-alls), this game deserves a chance to be played correctly.

As we know, the original list was based upon Michael Hart’s The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential People in History, and the original attempt at this game can be found [url=]here as well as the original list.

I have broken Hart’s list into 5 roughly-equal categories:

Invention and Exploration 20
Leaders 22
Philosophy and Arts 20
Religion 17
Science 21

To get these to be as equal in number as they are I did have to make some judgment calls – the most debatable is my calling Thomas Jefferson a “philosopher”. I also hoped to avoid skewing the results vis-à-vis Hart’s list by numbering the entrants within their categories by alphabetizing their first names, not by listing them according to Hart…

Rules are as follows:

For each round, you are to vote for the least-influential person in each of the five categories. The last one remaining will be considered the most influential person for their category. The categories, and the names for each, will be on post 2

of rounds: The game will be 23 rounds, each round lasting 2 days, with 1 day in between each round (which will allow me time to score each round) (Schedule on post 3). “Days” are considered the 12:00am-11:59pm period in my time zone – Central Standard Time, USA.

The winner of the Religion category will be determined by round 17, the Invention and Philosophy categories by round 20, Science by round 21, and Leaders by 22. (Obviously, this gives Religion an edge in the final as they’ll be well-rested. :wink: ).

The final round will be a one-round smack-down between the five categories, for winner takes all Most Influential Named* Person Evah!

By 12:00am on the first day of each round I will post the remaining people from each category, whereupon the process repeats itself: vote for the person in each category whom you consider the least influential.

Ties will be broken by the original Hart ranking.

How to post your votes:

Like this, without the quotation marks, but with the period (.) between the category and the name:

“Invention. Louis Dagurre
Leader. Queen Elizabeth I
Philosophy. Jean-Jacques Rosseau
Religion. John Calvin
Science. Antonine Laurent Lavoisier”

Keep the categories in alphabetical order, and try to use the name as given – it’ll save me some work.

Please keep all discussion outside the five lines needed to vote – no

“Leader. Queen Elizabeth I – I think she’s wildly over-rated!”…

… type votes. Feel free to comment within the post, but not within the votes. If that makes sense.

There is no changing of votes, except for during the editing period!

No write-in votes either.

Voting Criteria:

Criteria is simple: In each category, pick the least influential person out of those remaining. How you define influential is up to you – number of people influenced, whether the person is fictional, the “truthiness” of their ideas (whether religious, scientific, etc), whatever.


The Final Round will be a vote of the MOST Influential Person of the 5, not the least influential. Sorry, but 23 rounds is enough! (Unless somebody wants to
take over then and do the least influential for another 4 rounds – let me know).


I welcome all discussion, lobbying, denunciations (of the nominees, not the other posters!), and other banter. Just be sure to follow the formatting rules on your votes.

All right – I guess that’s it. Next post will have the categories, post after that will have the schedule.

*As opposed to the un-named people who domesticated animals, tamed fire, discovered metallurgy, invented agriculture, figured out literacy and writing, and were the true founders of human civilization, of all shapes and sizes.

Inventions and Exploration (20 people)

1, Alexander Fleming - Scientist, Invented Penicillin
2, Alexander Graham Bell - Scientist, Invented Telephone
3, Antony van Leeuwenhoek - Scientist, Inventor of Microscope
4, Christopher Columbus - Explorer, Discoverer of America
5, Edward Jenner - Scientist, Developed Vaccination for Smallpox
6, Francisco Pizarro - Spanish Adventurer, Conquered Inca Empire
7, Gregory Pincus - Scientist, Invented Birth Control Pill
8, Gugilemo Marconi - Scientist, Invented Radio
9, Henry Ford - American Industrialist, Developed Mass Production Techniques
10, Hernando Cortes - Spanish Adventurer, Conquered Aztec Empire
11, James Watt - British Scientist, Invented Steam Engine
12, Johann Gutenberg - Scientist, Inventor of Printing Press
13, Joseph Lister - Scientist, Developed Antiseptic Methods
14, Louis Dagurre - Scientist, Invented Photography
15, Nikolaus August Otto - Scientist, Developed Internal Combustion Engine
16, Orville and Wilbur Wright - Scientists, Inventor of Airplane
17, Thomas Edison - American Scientist, 1,000+ inventions
18, Ts’ai Lun - Scientist, Inventor of Paper
19, Vasco de Gama - Explorer, Discovered Cape of Good Hope
20, William TG Morton - Scientist, Invented Anaesthesia


1, Adolf Hitler - German Dictator, Started World War II
2, Alexander the Great - Macedonian Ruler, Formed Macedonian Empire
3, Augustus Caesar - Roman Princep, Founded Roman Empire
4, Charlemagne - Frankish Monarch, Founder of Holy Roman Empire
5, Cyrus the Great - Persian Emperor, Founded Persian Emperor
6, Genghis Khan - Mongol Ruler, Founded Mongol Empire
7, George Washington - American Statesman and General, Fought For Independence of United States
8, John F Kennedy - American President, Originated Manned Mission to Moon
9, Josef Stalin - Dictator of USSR, Expanded Communism
10, Julius Caesar - Roman General, Ended Roman Civil Wars
11, Lenin - Russian Leader, Founded Communism in Russia
12, Mao Zedong - Chinese Dictator, Established Communism in China
13, Menes - Egyptian Pharaoh, United Egypt
14, Mikhail Gorbachev - Soviet Leader, Liberalized and Helped Break Up USSR
15, Napoleon Bonaparte - French Emperor, Waged Napoleonic Wars
16, Peter the Great - Russian Emperor, Modernized Russia
17, Queen Elizabeth I - Queen of England, Made England a Naval Power
18, Queen Isabella I - Queen of Spain, Sponsored Columbus’ Expeditions
19, Shi Huang Di - Chinese Emperor, United China
20, Simon Bolivar - Latin American General and Statesman, Waged Wars of Independence
21, Sui Wen Ti - Chinese Emperor, Reunited China
22, William the Conquerer - Norman Duke and English King, Led In Norman Conquest of England

Philosophy and Arts

1, Adam Smith - Economist, Advocated Capitalism
2, Aristotle - Greek Philosopher
3, Confucius - Chinese Philosopher, Founder of Confucianism
4, Francis Bacon - Philosopher, Developed Scientific Method
5, Homer - Greek Poet, Writer of Epics
6, Jean-Jacques Rosseau - French Philosopher and Writer
7, Johann Sebastian Bach – Composer
8, John Locke - British Philosopher, Developed Democratic Ideas
9, Karl Marx - Economist, Founder of Communism
10, Lao Tzu - Chinese Philosopher, Founded Taoism
11, Ludwig von Beethoven – Composer
12, Mencius - Chinese Philosopher, Expanded Confucianism
13, Michelangelo - Artist, Sculptor
14, Nicoli Machiavelli - Political Theorist
15, Plato - Greek Philosopher, Developed Platonism
16, Rene Descrates - French Philosopher
17, Thomas Jefferson - American Statesman, Wrote Declaration of Independence, Louisiana Purchase
18, Thomas Malthus - Economist, Developed Malthusian Theory
19, Voltaire - French Philosopher
20, William Shakespeare - English Playwright


1, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab - Muslim Caliph, Expanded the Caliphate
2, Asoka - Indian Emperor, Spread Buddhism
3, Buddha - Founder of Buddhism
4, Constantine the Great - Roman Emperor, Tolerated and Promoted Christianity in Rome
5, Jesus Christ - Founder of Christianity
6, John Calvin - Christian Theologian, Developed Calvinism
7, Justinian I - Byzantine Emperor, Recovered Much of Roman Empire
8, Mahavira - Founder of Jainism
9, Mani - Founder of Manichaeism
10, Martin Luther - Theologian, Started Protestantism and Reformation
11, Mohammed - Founder of Islam
12, Moses - Jewish Prophet
13, Oliver Cromwell - British Ruler
14, Pope Urban II - Pope of Roman Catholic Church, Called For Crusades
15, St Augustine - Christian Theologian
16, St Paul - Christian Missionary and Apostle
17, Zoraster - Founder of Zorasterianism


1, Albert Einstein - Scientist, Physicist, Theory of Relativity
2, Antonine Laurent Lavoisier - French Scientist, Advanced Chemistry
3, Charles Darwin - British Scientist, Theory of Evolution
4, Enrico Fermi - Scientist, Developed Atomic Bomb
5, Ernest Rutherford - Scientist, Developed Subatomic Physics
6, Euclid - Greek Mathematician
7, Galileo Galilei - Scientist, Advocated Heliocentricity
8, Gregor Mendel - Priest and Scientist, Advanced Genetics
9, Isaac Newton - British Scientist, Theory of Universal Gravitation and Motion
10, James Clerk Marxwell - Scientist, Electromagnetism
11, Johannes Kepler - Scientist, Developed Theories of Planetary Motion
12, John Dalton - Scientist, Atomic Theory
13, Leonhard Euler – Mathematician
14, Louis Pasteur - Scientist, Pasteurization, Germ Theory of Disease
15, Max Planck - Scientist, Developed Therodynamics
16, Michael Faraday - British Scientist, Discovered Electromagnetism
17, Nicolas Copernicus - Scientist, Theory of Heliocentricity
18, Sigmund Freud - Psychologist, Developed Freudian Psychology
19, Werner Heisenberg - Scientist, Developed Quantum Physics
20, William Conrad Roentgen - Scientist, Discovered X-Rays, principles of radioactivity
21, William Harvey - Scientist, Developed Theories of Blood Circulation

Date, Categories, Round
14-Apr, All, 1
15-Apr, All, 1
16-Apr, All, Scoring Round 1
17-Apr, All, 2
18-Apr, All, 2
19-Apr, All, Scoring Round 2
20-Apr, All, 3
21-Apr, All, 3
22-Apr, All, Scoring Round 3
23-Apr, All, 4
24-Apr, All, 4
25-Apr, All, Scoring Round 4
26-Apr, All, 5
27-Apr, All, 5
28-Apr, All, Scoring Round 5
29-Apr, All, 6
30-Apr, All, 6
1-May, All, Scoring Round 6
2-May, All, 7
3-May, All, 7
4-May, All, Scoring Round 7
5-May, All, 8
6-May, All, 8
7-May, All, Scoring Round 8
8-May, All, 9
9-May, All, 9
10-May, All, Scoring Round 9
11-May, All, 10
12-May, All, 10
13-May, All, Scoring Round 10
14-May, All, 11
15-May, All, 11
16-May, All, Scoring Round 11
17-May, All, 12
18-May, All, 12
19-May, All, Scoring Round 12
20-May, All, 13
21-May, All, 13
22-May, All, Scoring Round 13
23-May, All, 14
24-May, All, 14
25-May, All, Scoring Round 14
26-May, All, 15
27-May, All, 15
28-May, All, Scoring Round 15
29-May, All, 16
30-May, All, 16
31-May, All, Scoring Round 16
1-June, All, 17
2-June, All, 17
3-June, All, Scoring Round 17
4-June, I, L, P, S, 18
5-June, I, L, P, S, 18
6-June, I, L, P, S, Scoring Round 18
7-June, I, L, P, S, 19
8-June, I, L, P, S, 19
9-June, I, L, P, S, Scoring Round 19
10-June, I, L, P, S, 20
11-June, I, L, P, S, 20
12-June, I, L, P, S, Scoring Round 20
13-June, L, S, 21
14-June, L, S, 21
15-June, L, S, Scoring Round 21
16-June, L, 22
17-June, L, 22
18-June, L, Scoring Round 22
19-June, Final 5, Final
20-June, Final 5, Final
21-June, Final 5, Scoring Final Round

Have fun!

My votes:

Inventors. Vasco De Gama
Leaders. Queen Isabella I
Philosophy. Nicoli Machiavelli
Religion. Mahavira
Science. Antonine Laurent Lavoisier

Thanks for putting this together JohnT!

Inventor- Fransisco Pizarro
Leaders- Simon Bolivar
Philosophy and the Arts- Michelangelo
Religion- Mahavira
Science- Sigmund Freud

Inventor. Christopher Columbus

Leader. John F. Kennedy

Philosophy. Voltaire

Religion. Constantine

Science. Sigmund Freud

Inventor - Francisco Pizarro
Leader - John F Kennedy
Philosophy - Thomas Malthus
Religion - Justinian I
Science - Antonine Laurent Lavoisier

I wanted to vote Justinian as “Leader” but he was in the wrong drawer, so I voted for him anyway. Overextended the Byzantine Empire by conquering a bunch of lands that weren’t much use anyway. Kennedy is a lightweight in the company he’s keeping; Pizarro seems relatively less important/influential among the explorers; Malthus was wrong (influential but wrong); frankly I have no very strong opinions about the bottom dozen or so scientists on the list - I’d like to see Clerk Maxwell make the final five.

Invention - Hernando Cortes
Leader - Menes
Philosophy - Francis Bacon
Religion - Zoraster
Science - Antonine Laurent Lavoisier

Thanks John T.!


Invention. Vasco de Gama
Leaders. Queen Isabella I
Philosophy. Mencius
Religion. Mahavira
Science. John Dalton

Folks, I think it’s important to remember:

It’s a period, then a space, then the name. I think. :slight_smile:


Invention. Ts’ai Lun
Leader. Menes
Philosophy. Johann Sebastian Bach
Religion. Mahavira
Science. William Harvey

Inventor. Fransisco Pizarro
Leaders. Simon Bolivar
Philosophy. Michelangelo
Religion. Mahavira
Science. Sigmund Freud

Arg, I didn’t read the instructions, sorry JohnT.

Inventors. Gregory Pincus
Leaders. Shi Huang Di
Philosophy. Thomas Malthus
Religion. Mani
Science. William Harvey

Hey John - would you prefer that people who mess up the formatting (as in, me) resubmit or just leave it as is?

Inventors. Vasco de Gama
Leaders. John F. Kennedy
Philosophers. Johann S. Bach
Religion. Mani
Scientists. William Harvey

Inventors. Gugilemo Marconi
Leaders. John F Kennedy
Philosophy. Thomas Malthus
Religion. Oliver Cromwell
Science. James Clerk Marxwell

Marconi clearly stands on the shoulders of giants, especially Tesla. Tom has summed up Kennedy and Malthus very well–rather surprised they made the list.

Missed the edit window, but I’m very surprised so many are voting for Harvey. His work on physiology represents such a drastic improvement on previous understandings as to put him in the far upper echelons of a game like this. Oh, well–guess there’s no changing votes.

We’ll keep as-is. For the first round or so, mistakes are to be expected. For later rounds, I have muscled goons hiding in the shadows, so watch it!

Stu, Maxwell? Seriously? He’s probably the second most important physicist on that list, behind only Newton. Without Maxwell’s equations, there’d be no special relativity.

Yeah, some of the categories have some low hanging fruit that are easy to pick off first, but the Scientist category is kind of hard from the get-go. I mean there are clearly giants (e.g. Newton) but there aren’t too many that you can look at and say “oh, he didn’t really make a difference.”