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View Poll Results: smartest people?
newton 49 26.06%
einstein 54 28.72%
archimedes 10 5.32%
da vinci 38 20.21%
galileo 7 3.72%
copernicus 3 1.60%
avagadro 0 0%
other (biologist) 2 1.06%
other (physicist) 5 2.66%
other (person) 20 10.64%
Voters: 188. You may not vote on this poll

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Smartest people to have ever lived? (Top 10 list)
weslinder is offline Old 04-10-2011, 11:29 AM   #41
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Guys, this is not a reliable journalistic source. Hold off on the torches and pitchforks. Who the hell even is Jeff Balke? Never heard of him. Houstonpress.com is also just a blog, not a credible source.
 
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rimrocker is offline Old 04-10-2011, 11:50 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by DonnyMost View Post
Without a doubt, Sir Isaac Newton.

When you judge them relative to their time period and their peers, it's not even close.

Dude basically invented, or laid the critical groundwork for, physics and astrophysics... he freaking invented calculus in two weeks... on a dare.
Leibniz says hello.

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Leibniz occupies a prominent place in the history of mathematics and the history of philosophy. He developed the infinitesimal calculus independently of Isaac Newton, and Leibniz's mathematical notation has been widely used ever since it was published. He became one of the most prolific inventors in the field of mechanical calculators. While working on adding automatic multiplication and division to Pascal's calculator, he was the first to describe a pinwheel calculator in 1685[4] and invented the Leibniz wheel, used in the arithmometer, the first mass-produced mechanical calculator. He also refined the binary number system, which is at the foundation of virtually all digital computers.

In philosophy, Leibniz is mostly noted for his optimism, e.g. his conclusion that our Universe is, in a restricted sense, the best possible one that a God could have created. Leibniz, along with René Descartes and Baruch Spinoza, was one of the three great 17th century advocates of rationalism. The work of Leibniz anticipated modern logic and analytic philosophy, but his philosophy also looks back to the scholastic tradition, in which conclusions are produced by applying reason to first principles or a priori definitions rather than to empirical evidence. Leibniz made major contributions to physics and technology, and anticipated notions that surfaced much later in biology, medicine, geology, probability theory, psychology, linguistics, and information science. He wrote works on politics, law, ethics, theology, history, philosophy, and philology.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gottfried_Leibniz

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dback816 is offline Old 04-10-2011, 12:06 PM   #43
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no its not. chill out, you really need to calm down. Some people ended up contributing more than others. Regarding the structure of DNA, watson and crick were not alone in their endeavors, they had a lot of help from rosalin franklin's picture using xray crystallography. The theory of evolution had been brought up many times in the past, not specifically in darwin's case, but organisms were not seen as static by great minds earlier, they just lacked the ability to go forward with their hypothesis.

Newton-
Sir Isaac Newton was most noted for his theories on the Laws of Motion as well as the idea that all bodies exert a gravitational attraction on surrounding bodies (according to legend, Newton found out about gravity when he was sitting under an apple tree and an apple fell on his head - but in reality, Newton was perfectly aware that objects fall, and didn't need to have an apple fall on his head in order to find out; bear in mind that he was among the most intelligent people who have ever lived, and was certainly capable of observing the obvious).

Other major contributions he made to the field of Classical Physics were:

The discovery of spectrum:
He allowed sunlight to pass through a prism into a dark chamber onto a white screen. He observed a band of seven colors on the screen. The colors were the same which made up a rainbow viz, violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. He thus conferred that sunlight or white light was made up of seven colors and the rain droplets in the sky acted as a prism which split sunlight to give the impression of a rainbow.

Rectilinear Propagation of Light: Newton also made a contribution towards proving that light travels in a straight line. He made a pin-hole camera for the first time with a hole on one of the sides of a cardboard box, and a tracing paper on the opposite side. One could see an upside down image of the object in front of the hole. This proved that light travels in a straight line.

The equation for the velocity of sound: Newton also made a major contribution to the calculation of velocity of sound. Since this equation was calculated taking into account that sound waves travel in the form of translational waves, there was a slight anomaly in the results. This equation was later corrected by a scientist named Laplace.


It is also worth noting that Newton was a great mathematician, and he helped invent calculus in order to have the necessary mathematical tools with which to state his theories in a precise form. This was revolutionary in itself.

Archimedes-Archimedes was a mathematician and inventor from ancient Greece. He discovered the relation between the surface and volume of a sphere and its circumscribing cyclinder (he had discovered pi). He then formulated a hydrostatic principle based on that mathmatical relationship called Archimedes' principle. He inventing the Archimedes screw - a screw-shaped machine or hydraulic screw that raised water from a lower to a higher level. Archimedes also invented the catupult, the lever, the compound pulley, and the burning mirror (a system of mirrors that burned the boots and ships of invading armies by focusing the sun's rays). Although Archimedes is credited with inventing the screw in the 3rd century BC, his screw was not like today's screw fastener but actually two other screw-type devices.


Schrodinger- schrodinger wave equation,

The Schrödinger equation is the fundamental equation of physics for describing quantum mechanical behavior. It is also often called the Schrödinger wave equation, and is a partial differential equation that describes how the wavefunction of a physical system evolves over time. Viewing quantum mechanical systems as solutions to the Schrödinger equation is sometimes known as the Schrödinger picture, as distinguished from the matrix mechanical viewpoint, sometimes known as the Heisenberg picture.

faraday- inductance, electricity

tesla-He was famous for using the concept of alternating current. He died during World War II. He was born in Europe and saved up enough money to go to America, leaving him with four cents.

His arch enemy was Thomas Edison (see "What did Thomas Edison invent?"). Edison was mean to him. For instance, Tesla agreed with Edison that he will help him to build electric generators, and will be payed money. When Tesla made the generators, Edison just said "Tesla, you don't understand our American Humor".

They were also enemies because they each tried to make a certain type of current be used in the majority of households (Tesla alternating, Edison direct current).


if you actually take a look at the contributions, its not too hard to form an opinion my friend. Just think about it in a fundamental manner.

My reasoning for newton is that his role was so broad that almost everything past his time was built upon the foundation he set.
What's the the 4th grade level Who Did What? I don't know man, I think you need to calm down with the hero worshiping.

I'm not seeing you bringing up any objective reasoning on what criteria should be used to judge "the smartest". We're not talking about accomplishments(which is also hard to judge) here, you're talking about actual intelligence.

As for Newton, once again, WHY should the foundation setters be automatically labeled as the smartest?

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Dr of Dunk is offline Old 04-10-2011, 12:09 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by rimrocker View Post
Leibniz says hello.
I think it's been proven that the beginnings of calculus was a couple of hundred years before either Newton or Leibniz is given credit for "discovering" it. Ancient Greeks, Indians, etc. were discovering the principles of calculus long before Liebniz and Newton. I guess it depends on what you consider "discovering" means.

http://discovermagazine.com/2008/jan...medieval-india

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No Worries is offline Old 04-10-2011, 01:26 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by DonnyMost View Post
Without a doubt, Sir Isaac Newton.

Dude basically invented, or laid the critical groundwork for, physics and astrophysics... he freaking invented calculus in two weeks... on a dare.
My thoughts.

I am not sure about the "dare" part. That may be mythology.

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LosPollosHermanos is offline Old 04-10-2011, 01:39 PM   #46
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Oh, hey, I got one. That caveman that discovered fire. I win.
That was purely circumstantial, he had to have already witnessed fire through nature alone, lightnijg etc. On a side note something funny i heard was people are the only species to invent fire and burn evwrything they invented with fire. (implying the pyromaniac nature that causes humans to burn everything :D

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KingCheetah is offline Old 04-10-2011, 01:53 PM   #47
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A few more...

Robert Hooke
Freeman Dyson
Robert Oppenheimer

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rimrocker is offline Old 04-10-2011, 01:59 PM   #48
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I think it's been proven that the beginnings of calculus was a couple of hundred years before either Newton or Leibniz is given credit for "discovering" it. Ancient Greeks, Indians, etc. were discovering the principles of calculus long before Liebniz and Newton. I guess it depends on what you consider "discovering" means.

http://discovermagazine.com/2008/jan...medieval-india
I threw that out there more in response to the notion that Newton was way ahead of his peers than the calculus debate.

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LosPollosHermanos is offline Old 04-10-2011, 02:03 PM   #49
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I think pretty much how you rank anyone you've never met, is dead, and may be decades/hundreds of years long gone is going to be subjective. How do you objectively do this?

For example, I thought Isaac Asimov was brilliant. Then I've read that he's stated he'd only met 2 people who were smarter than he : Carl Sagan and Marvin Minsky. So now how do I rate these people with, say, an Ayn Rand? How do I rank, Jacob Barnett, the guy who has an IQ of 170, is working on astrophysics, advanced college calculus and physics, and expanding on Einstein's works, at the ripe old age of 12? Then there are mathematical geniuses like Ramanujan who you may never have heard of and who never really got much, if any, formal training, grew up in a dirt poor village, but was given the gift of math and many rank his genius with Newton, Euler, etc.

Trying to rank these people is futile.
I see what youre trying to say but as ranking itself may be opinionated there are certain examples like newton, da vinci, tesla and others whos contributions relative to the time and knowlesge at the time are clear indications of not only an innovative side that was unparalleled but a firm belief in how correct they were despite every possible person on the planet mocking them they stood their ground. Ex: darwin's reception after publishing the origin of species, galileo and the church at the time, einstein being called mad man after presenting his thesis ,etc.

The amount of knowlege left to be unearthed is never ending imo. While i did cite famous people i took into account how the individual came to such theories given The tech and knowledge at thw time. To this day people cant underatand how einstein arrived at the theory of relativity etc based on caclulations he conducted in his basement while working as a clerk, without a lab or connections to other scientists like it is today. The world's scientists today collabarate on a regular basis from accross the globe filling gaps for one another and presenting evidence that could solidify a belief and lead to something great.

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LosPollosHermanos is offline Old 04-10-2011, 02:10 PM   #50
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Without a doubt, Sir Isaac Newton.

When you judge them relative to their time period and their peers, it's not even close.

Dude basically invented, or laid the critical groundwork for, physics and astrophysics... he freaking invented calculus in two weeks... on a dare.
I was not aware of the 2 wks bit but damn...

Plank , gauss, maxwell are great additions i just thought id keep the physicists down even though their abstract way of perceiving the world probably givea them a step ahead of most.

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LosPollosHermanos is offline Old 04-10-2011, 02:25 PM   #51
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Neat, can you do one for Turing?
Wow i was not aware of who he was. Very sad story on how he was treated and ended up , but pioneering computer programming/AI is incredible. I dont know too much about programming as i hated it, bailing after two wks but i have a great sense of respect for those that do.

Alan Mathison Turing was born on June 23rd 1912 in Paddington, London. He was educated at Sherborne School, and then went to King's College, Cambridge in 1931 to read Mathematics.
Alan Turing was a brilliant original thinker. Formally a mathematician, in his lifetime he studied and wrote papers over a whole spectrum of subjects, from philosophy and psychology through to physics, chemistry and biology. He was probably at his happiest when he could combine high-level thinking with hands-on experience with machinery or experiments.

In addition to his many other interests, for most of his postgraduate life he probably had a deeper understanding of computers and their potential in the future than anyone else.

For the full story of Turing's life, visit the Turing Web Site, from which much of this description is derived.

The Turing Machine (1934-36)

Turing graduated from Cambridge in Mathematics in 1934, and was a fellow at Kings for two years, during which he wrote his now famous paper published in 1937 "On Computable Numbers with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem", which postulated the Turing Machine. The Entscheidungsproblem was the mathematical problem of Decidability. (He had been made aware of the problem from a lecture course by Max Newman, and it was to Newman he first showed the paper.)

A Turing Machine was a specific mechanical device that could carry out some specific task in a systematic way. Each Turing Machine would work in a similar manner, using mechanisms related to the computer concepts of input, output and a program. The Universal Turing Machine was essentially a similar device, the specific task of which was to read in a description of any Turing machine in a standard format and then execute any task it was designed to undertake. The Universal Turing Machine would therefore carry out any systematic process man could devise.

The Turing Machine was a somewhat obscure device; there was no intention of building one; it was essentially an abstract concept in a paper considering logic and philosophy. However, relative to the high levels of theory in which he was operating, it was a concrete, buildable machine. It had little similarity to the classic 'von Neumann computer' of 1945, and was not well understood. However the paper anticipated many computer
-related concepts, like input, output, memory, coded programs, algorithms, compilers/interpreters, and the finite-state machine.[/B]

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LosPollosHermanos is offline Old 04-10-2011, 03:15 PM   #52
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What's the the 4th grade level Who Did What? I don't know man, I think you need to calm down with the hero worshiping.

I'm not seeing you bringing up any objective reasoning on what criteria should be used to judge "the smartest". We're not talking about accomplishments(which is also hard to judge) here, you're talking about actual intelligence.

As for Newton, once again, WHY should the foundation setters be automatically labeled as the smartest?
Unless every person in thread knows this info....i dont know i kind of seem obligated to provide reasoning for making the list as it is. And i already answered your question. The ability to construct or postulate theories on a degree of great complexity wgile taking into account how much of their own ability went into play. Not talking about the super computer sequencing the genome or how the chalk helped the person write, or the stool providing ass-rest. HOw many individuals today could sit in front of a chalkboard and propose theories such as those of relativity without a lab for greater confirmation or amything, just pure calculation and would still stand by it with the pinacle of confidence? If someone isnt fully sure of themselves i doubt you can say their reasoning stands to a concrete level. When someone acts In such a manner it speaks volumes about how they're aware of the general public even other scientists not being able to handle something so abstract, to a level of complexity they are incapable of encorporating It into the general scheme of the way they percieve the world because its on such a superficial level.

When asked to retract hos statements:
"You can kill me of you want but it wont change the fact the earth revolves around the sun." one of the boldest statements made in front of church, one of the most powerful inst. At the time.

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toby is offline Old 04-10-2011, 03:22 PM   #53
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This guy. He invented this new thing called the vacuum cleaner. Amazing.


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crash5179 is offline Old 04-10-2011, 07:16 PM   #54
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Nikola Tesla

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codell is offline Old 04-10-2011, 08:35 PM   #55
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Not only that, we are a two iPad family.


Wow! You must be rich!
 
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Originally Posted by codell View Post


Wow! You must be rich!
You wouldn't believe me if I told you....

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All of Jordan's championships are tainted, because he never had to face Michael Jordan in the playoffs.
 
WhoMikeJames is offline Old 04-10-2011, 09:57 PM   #57
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Newton was highly religious.

I'll let you decide if he was actually smart.

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Do not pass by my epitaph, traveler.
But having stopped, listen and learn, then go your way.
There is no boat in Hades, no ferryman Charon,
No caretaker Aiakos, no dog Cerberus.
All we who are dead below
Have become bones and ashes, but nothing else.
I have spoken to you honestly, go on, traveler,
Lest even while dead I seem loquacious to you.
 
tellitlikeitis is online now Old 04-10-2011, 10:00 PM   #58
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Christopher Langan
 
No Worries is offline Old 04-10-2011, 10:11 PM   #59
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It sits in the cheek of my gulf coastal mouth
-- Jimmy Buffett

Last edited by No Worries; 04-10-2011 at 10:18 PM.
 
htownrox1 is offline Old 04-10-2011, 10:32 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Behad View Post
Haha! You win. I love that show!

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