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Who's the greatest scientist of all time?

  1. Apr 16, 2006 #1
    Yeah, that's right

    Who's the greatest scientist of all time according to your opinion and why?
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 16, 2006 #2
    Either Sir Issac Newton or Alber Einstien
  4. Apr 16, 2006 #3


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    Bernoulli. All 27 of them.
  5. Apr 16, 2006 #4
    Me, because I say so.
  6. Apr 16, 2006 #5
    Galileo obviously, for mathematicizing science. Everything Newton, Einstein & all the rest afterwards was an example of Galileo's philosophy & nothing more. Descartes gets an honourable mention for having simialr views.
  7. Apr 16, 2006 #6


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    trick question...

    I'll say Moonbear
  8. Apr 16, 2006 #7
    might be at some points, but by the greatest I rather mean, a person who has accomplished the most for all the people and science altogether. o:)
    something like Leibniz and Newton, Thomas Edison, Alan Turing, yomamma
    and so on :rofl:
  9. Apr 16, 2006 #8
  10. Apr 17, 2006 #9
    Socrates, for his philosophy of emphasis on reasoning things through.
  11. Apr 17, 2006 #10
    Issac Newton, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking are my picks.
  12. Apr 17, 2006 #11


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    Why obnoxiously self-aggrandizing individuals like Feynman and Stephen Hawking gets onto these lists surprise me, so I'll go for either Newton or Bohr.
    Come to think of it, no one was more obnoxious than Newton, so I'll stick with Bohr..He was a nice guy
  13. Apr 17, 2006 #12


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    I'd have to say Einstein. However, I'm reading Chadwick's biography now and I'm warming to him
  14. Apr 17, 2006 #13
    I'll second that!
  15. Apr 17, 2006 #14
    Jeffrey Goldstone.
  16. Apr 17, 2006 #15


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    His "falling apple" insight unified the heavens and the earth, forever bringing both out of the dark ages of spiritualism and into the light of science.
  17. Apr 17, 2006 #16

    Why does it matter if they were nice?

    Though I will second the wonder as to why Hawking would be even mentioned.
  18. Apr 17, 2006 #17


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    Why does it matter to make all these idiotic ranking lists Americans are so pathologically fond of?
  19. Apr 17, 2006 #18

    Touché .
  20. Apr 17, 2006 #19


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    Henry Moseley
  21. Apr 17, 2006 #20
    Are we talking physicist or scientist here?

    I would choose Newton, Hands down. The only one that comes close is Galileo.
  22. Apr 17, 2006 #21
    The correct answer could be possible only after the "end of time" which hasn't happened, yet.

    At that point, one could, by looking back, be certain of all the candidates worthy of the title. Until that point, only speculation is possible.

    Rather than discuss such things in the 3rd quarter, lets wait until the 4th is complete.
  23. Apr 23, 2006 #22
    That's what I've been thinking of - that most of the people will choose Einstein or Newton.

    Fact is that all the scientific discoveries were based upon previous scientists who made all this possible. It's a tricky question because every scientists that ever lived on Earth had part in the discoveries made by all others.
    People thinking that Newton just because of calculus should also know that this was half an accomplishment of Leibniz and some others. Newton's mechanics indeed were an amazing achievement. Einstein made today's electronic technology possible, but could we actually live in a mechanical world? I think it would also be possible. People also shouldn't forget of Tesla, Edison, Marconi, Da Vinci, Montgomery and others who made the airplanes possible. A good surprise was S. Hawking. Has he actually discovered anything that makes today's people's lives easier and more pleasant?

    I think everyone was equally the greatest. :)
  24. Sep 6, 2010 #23
    The answer is clear and the responses are singularly incorrect.

    Charles Darwin represents the greatest scientist of all time. No other scientist has created a body of work that has advanced our understanding and view of practically everything including our overall position in the world. No other scientist was so challenged in his views, as advanced in his global explanations and reasoning or broadly accepted by so large a body of people. And yet amazingly, to this day, to so many, the results of his work remains so controversial 150 years or so on. Even the understanding of our political and economic world, although still primitive, controlling all our daily lives, is best understood as an extension of Darwinian theory of the ultimate survival of the successful, that is fittest; that is, where, at least we are all completely driven by Darwin's thinking here.

    This ultimate recognition is evidenced where Darwin is prominently featured currently on a major reserve currency recognizing the man who was clearly right on the money all the time.

    Surprise runners up include Ludwig Boltzmann who took statistical insight to the finest level that is appropriately recognized in the most fundamental constant in all of science. Newton, Maxwell and Einstein provided the greatest scientific insight in unifying, and ultimately 'simplifying', our understanding of nature. This advancing work has yet to be completed by the greatest scientist of all time who may not even have been born yet.

    An answer supporting recognition of any great scientist can never be as important, or as interesting, as the thoughtful understanding that goes behind it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2010
  25. Sep 6, 2010 #24


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    You baffle me. The rest of your post is insightful and correct within the boundaries that you set yourself... and yet the quoted sentence indicates a disregard for the scientific approach to questions. :confused:
  26. Sep 6, 2010 #25
    I still don't understand exactly what Hawkings has accomplished. But that's off topic.

    I'll say Marie Curie or Jane Godall just to toss some women in the mix!
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