If cultural impact were a cage fight, which historical figures would emerge victorious? This question (though phrased far more academically) captured the imaginations of two researchers—one a university professor, the other a Google engineer. They created a research pool of 800,000 names, factored for varying levels of achievement and fame, and took into account how long ago particular figures lived, and published their results in a recent book.
The amalgamated algorithm produced an impressive list.
Says Cathy Lynn Grossman at Religion News Service:
"'Bigger' is a complex collection of lists and rankings, but none is more provocative than its Top 100: Jesus is No. 1, Adolf Hitler is No. 7, everyone is overwhelmingly white and 97 are male."
The top ten? Here you go:
- William Shakespeare
- Abraham Lincoln
- George Washington
- Adolf Hitler
- Alexander the Great
- Thomas Jefferson
2000 years later, that's an achievement that seems, well, almost divine.