As today is Charles Darwin's 207th birthday, (he and Abe Lincoln were born on the same day) who would you say is/was THE most influential scientific mind in all of history? No wrong answers here.


6 Answers

Maurice Korvo Profile
Maurice Korvo answered

No, sorry. I don't think any scientific mind can be said to be "most influential". They all were influential in their field, but most just built on each other. True Darwin could be said to have invented a field of science, but I am sure even he was influenced by someone else.

Just my humble opinion.

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Call me Z
Call me Z commented
Indeed he was, Korvo. I also think you're on the right track. Those whose work became the basis of fields of study are exactly who this is about. The giants upon whose shoulders current science stands, they are legion.
Didge Doo Profile
Didge Doo answered
Quien sabe?

Isaac Newton famously said, "If I have seen further than others it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants."  Two of those giants were Pythagoras and Euclid. Without mathematics, so many later discoveries would have been impossible.
Call me Z Profile
Call me Z answered

Ok gang, I'm gonna throw one out there: Archimedes. Arguably the father of science. All followed him.

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Maurice Korvo
Maurice Korvo commented
But even he must have been influenced by Pythagoras
Call me Z
Call me Z commented
That's possible, Korvo. Much of what is attributed to Pythagoras is disputable, though he is identified as a renowned philosopher and mathematician of his time. He in turn was no doubt influences by Egyptian "scientists" with whom he is said to have studied with.
John McCann Profile
John McCann answered

Of course I would say that!

I do not claim to be free of bias in this regard.

ZombieE Lee Profile
ZombieE Lee answered

Saint Augustine(political science counts you guys) because he helped turn old age religions, scientific, and political scientific thinking from it's originally optimistic thinking into our modern narcissistic way of thinking.

Four Palmz Profile
Four Palmz answered

I know it's rude to answer a question with a question, I will anyway.  If man evolved from monkeys, why do monkeys still exist?

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Call me Z
Call me Z commented
It is interesting, though Four Palmz, Darwin was a Unitarian, and never renounced his religious teachings, but held his science separate from them as he was aware his faith was an obstruction to his objectivity. Interesting man, but gravely misrepresented by opponents of his discoveries. Be well, Four Palmz. -Z
John McCann
John McCann commented
@ The Z.

"In my most extreme fluctuations I have never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God.— I think that generally (& more and more so as I grow older) but not always, that an agnostic would be the most correct description of my state of mind."[85] ( from wiki)

This said by Darwin in 1879, shortly before his death. As Huxley was, Darwin was an agnostic. As you see from the quote even Darwin had a poor understanding of atheism.

It is hard to see how Darwin, if he had lived in these times, would have any religious sensibilities.
Call me Z
Call me Z commented
Agreed, John. There were social pressures in his time we are not as subjected to now, but it had to weigh on Darwin's mind how his findings (he also was into geology) so contrasted with the views society imposed in that era. It seems he gave up the ghost as he grew old. I did too, but much younger and more adamently than he.

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