World Geniuses

This page was split off from BumblebeeSociety, where the list first appeared. Its purpose then was as part of an argument against drugs like Ritalin. Its focus has changed.

Some of the people listed below might not belong here, for two reasons. Firstly, their achievements might not have been great enough. Secondly, their great achievements might not indicate genius. Perhaps there should be a list of WorldContributors?, to include people who changed the course of history whether or not they were geniuses.

Perhaps also to be truthful we should indicate are attributed with personally making the discovery that changed the course of history.


The list

[ long list of things from prehistory that weren't "invented" in the usual sense moved to bottom of page; nobody "invented" fire, for instance, and the needle was part of a gradual evolution of tools over thousands of years (there is an obvious discontinuity between cutting and puncturing, hence the invention), etc. Things should only be at the top of the page if there's a person's name to go with them. ]

Tool use and tool evolution is literally millions of years old.

Engineers Political, social and economic innovators and activists Biologists and medics Chemists Physicists Mathematicians Philosophers Theologians Musicians Writers Artists People in more than one category Others Some Computer Geniuses
Dubious entries

If you think someone in the list above is badly misplaced, move them here and, if you like, explain why you don't think they belong. If you think someone here should be in the list above, explain why.

I would put the whole list here. My entries are the obvious ones under philosophers. If you find my thoughts offensive to the spirit of this page, go ahead and argue by deletion. I promise not to cry. The legion of people without scientific knowledge but with the wisdom to back Marie Curie with blood and sweat, are the real enabling candidates for a page list like this, Without them, a genius is a waste of space.

These physicists are not of the same order as the above Not a genius mathematician Oh please... -- HowardFear
I felt there was so much to say about this list that I took the liberty of moving the discussion section of the original page to WorldGeniusesDiscussion. -- DaveEveritt

This seems to be mostly WesternGeniuses?. Broadening the list to other cultures might make it more of a challenge... Maybe, too, "genius" is a quintessentially Western label.

I'd agree with that. The concept itself may even highlight a flaw in Western thinking.

The flaw is thinking via the "use of labels", or thinking we can classify or label characteristics of achievement?, or something else - I'd like for you to elaborate on the flaw you refer to in "western thinking".


[ Moved from top of page, because although they are undeniably important, still these things were not invented by a single person, quite aside from "lost in the mists of time". ]

Innovators probably lost in the mists of time

Can a single person really be credited with such momentous innovations? Has no-one heard of the HundredthMonkeySyndrome (even if it was the result of sloppy research?)

How about: The sail appears to have been reinvented in many places in many times, mostly in pre-history.

The screw began as a water wheel/pump, actually, before it was used as a fastener, and all three can be lumped together with Hero of Alexandria circa 100 A.D...except that he wasn't truly the first (except for the steam engine, which perhaps he did outright invent). Hmm, this is interesting along these lines: http://www.greece.gr/ENVIRONMENT/ScienceAndTechnology/ancientyetsomodern.stm


See also WikiGreatFoobarLists, SoftwareGeniuses.
Actually, I'm starting to think this should go into CategoryJoke...

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