According to new research by MIT, Jesus Christ remains the world’s most influential figure, outshining the President, Justin Bieber, and every other major player in 2012.
Researchers from the famed university came to the conclusion that Jesus is still the world’s most influential figure by gathering data from online encyclopedia Wikipedia to rank famous figures from the present day and all throughout history in terms of their global reach.
The study of Wikipedia’s data showed a much different group than the annual list of the world’s most influential people conducted by Time Magazine, which featured pop stars, athletes and 50 Shades of Grey author E.L. James.
Instead, the Wikipedia-based top 20 list included religious figures, Greek philosophers, and scientists.
The Macro Connections group, the group that conducted the research via the MIT-based Media Lab, described its list as a “socio-cultural mirror.”
The researchers focused on influential people born before 1950, and used data from all language editions of Wikipedia.
Followed by Jesus were Chinese philosopher Confucius and English physicist Sir Isaac Newton, at two and three, respectively.
Communist leaders Chairman Mao and Joseph Stalin both made it on to the list of influential figures, at numbers 11 and 20 respectively.
South Africa’s Nelson Mandela was the only living person on the list, at number 17.
The research took into account language, cultural influence, as well as other factors.
Since the influential people in the MIT study had to be born before 1950, it is difficult to fairly compare it to the Time Magazine list, which listed the most influential people this year with an emphasis on pop culture.
Being on the Wikipedia-based list is definitely a higher honor, however, but only Mandela is able to enjoy the fruits of his labor.
Jordan Shepherd | Elite.