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At BigThink: Top ten greatest scientists alive today – Are Stephen Hawking and James Watson oversold?

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From filmmaker Paul Ratner:

Ranking the world’s greatest contemporary scientists may be a no-win proposition, with inevitable questions about how to evaluate one’s contribution over another. How does a discovery in one field measure up to a discovery in a different one? And what about Richard Dawkins, where is he on this list? All reasonable questions, but ultimately we need to start the discussion somewhere. So here’s a debatable list of top ten scientists from around the world who have made a great impact on our life (but not in order of the magnitude of their achievements because that just might be an unscientific exercise):More.

Spoiler: Richard Dawkins is not on the list. So far as one can see. Did I miss him?

And with radical Darwinism in ruins, what is his big achievement besides getting in Today in Anti-God News a lot?

On the other hand, what do reader think of the claims for Stephen Hawking, and James Watson? A bit oversold? Some of the others seem undersold (as a result?)

It would be interesting to come back in a decade and see how all their reputations have fared.

From two years ago: Top Ten science world-changers

6 Replies to “At BigThink: Top ten greatest scientists alive today – Are Stephen Hawking and James Watson oversold?

  1. 1
    Bob O'H says:

    Spoiler: Richard Dawkins is not on the list. So far as one can see. Did I miss him?

    Dawkins is a great communicator, but hasn’t done a great deal of ground-breaking science, so he shouldn’t be on this list.

    FWIW, I’d have David Cox on that list too. His work has had huge effects on large areas of science (if nothing else, medical statistics has been hugely influenced by his work on survival analysis).

  2. 2
    Tom Robbins says:

    The blind watchmaker is a collection of stories – BTW, I don’t find him to be a very good communicator – well he is when giving a monologue, but when give a challenge to his “comatose watchmaker” concepts, he stutters and mutters… you would think a “great scientists” in this case an indoctrinating zoologist, would have already posed some hard questions to himself and either have a decent answer already, or say they are not sure, if it was his own theory or own thoughts supporting the theory – instead he spends time telling us that a flying squirrel came from other squirrels, that over time developed a tiny mutation that magically increased the fleshy parts under the armpits. It could then survive falls above a certain height, let us call it Y. So they reproduced more and somehow the fleshiness got more lucky mutations, allowing it to now survive falls from a higher Y, and finally turned into flying wing type structures – a critical thinker who has even rudimentary knowledge of genetics, and mutations, should laugh out loud at this, but people simply nod and say, “that sounds right”… really, it what multiverse? Of course neo-darwinism is dead, but storytelling for atheists should not count as scientific research. Being a zoologists, he concentrates on external features, you should hear him respond to questions about molecular machines within cells, or the human immune system – he has nothing much to say, other than “small mutations over time” can explain it… the damn animal would go extinct trying to search through random mutations that are a trillion to one, even trying to get the first fleshy parts going… it’s laughable when you really think about it.

  3. 3
    Tom Robbins says:

    My list would be topped by Max Planck, Hawking would not even make the top 100, as what exactly has he added? He lost the black hole wars to Leonard Susskind, he seems to have been wrong saying that information could be destroyed in a black hole – now he spends most of his time claiming AI will kill us all. I feel bad for him, and as far as a comparison between myself, he has achieved a universe more than I have, but he did not steer us in any new directions, or illuminate a theory to the point of revolutionizing it. It seems his biggest achievement was to spark others into thinking about black holes, that eventually resulted in the holographic principle, which I find very compelling – Susskind gets ripped off all the time, when the media says that Hawking’s or another physicist was primarily responsible for this – makes me kind of angry

  4. 4

    Tom Robbins @ 2: “… the damn animal would go extinct trying to search through random mutations that are a trillion to one… ”

    This should be obvious to a/mats, but their blind faith in Darwinism (of every stripe) simply will not allow them to comprehend the point. Truly remarkable.

    And to think that these people were once considered the enlightened ones. Those days are long gone. Good riddance.

  5. 5
    JSmith says:

    TR:

    My list would be topped by Max Planck,…

    I wasn’t aware that he was still alive. There aren’t that many scientists who can remain active and relavent at the age of 159. 🙂

  6. 6
    Axel says:

    I don’t see Billy Bean’s name there. You know : the founder of the school of random design, who inspired naturalists with his invention of a machine, to see what it would do: the Random Universe Machine.

    “Billy Bean built a machine to se what it would do.
    He built it up of sticks and stones and nuts and bolts and glue.”

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