Historian Michael Hart is best known for his ranking of the 100 Most Influential People in History.
He also wrote A View from the Year 3000, a book written under the name “Arturo Kukeni, a descendent of Michael Hart.” The book pretends to be a new ranking of the 100 Most Influential People in History, written from the year 3000. Thus, it contains many invented people of the future, such as Chang Po-Yao, inventor of brain replacement surgery, and Pridi Thanarat, a revolutionary who averted the world’s descent into global dictatorship.
A short chapter on each figure describes, from the view of the year 3000, their impact on world history. Even a thousand years from now, “Arturo Kukeni” ranks Jesus at #8 and Mohammad at #9.
Here is his view of the influence of Jesus from the year 3000:
Since there are few Christians left in the world today, some people may feel that Jesus should not be accorded such a high place in this book. But the religion which he founded had so many adherents, for so many centuries… that the only question in my mind is whether I should have ranked him even higher.
…Perhaps the most interesting thing about Jesus… are his ideas concerning ethics and morality. Naturally, he accepted the Golden Rule, which was an accepted part of the Jewish religion of the day (and has remained so). But to this, Jesus added some truly remarkable ideas, including:
But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Ye have heard… thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thing enemy. But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you…
(Whatever one may think of these ideas, they are certainly not obvious, and they stamp their author as a most original thinker.)
…At first, [the new skeptical philosophy of the later Enlightenment] had few adherents, but their numbers steadily increased. Just as Christian civilization had once replaced the classical civilization of Greece and Rome, so Christian civilization was gradually replaced by “Western civilization.” By the late twentieth century, although the majority of the population of Europe and America were still Christian, many of the intelligentsia were not. The result was a culture war… By the end of the twenty-third century the new philosophy had triumphed, and since then Christians have never comprised as much as one percent of world population.
In its heydey… critics complained that Christianity was for many centuries an intolerant ideology, and that it caused many bloody wars and cruel persecutions (a remarkable result considering the obviously pacifistic ideas of Jesus).
These criticisms are true, but they are far from the whole truth. Christianity was also responsible for a large number of very beneficial political and social reforms. For example, it was in Christian Europe that slavery was first abolished, and it was because of Europea influence that slavery was abolished in the rest of the world.
…Christianity has long since ceased to have any political influence. However, for over a millenium and a half it had enormous political effect, and throughout that time it profoundly influenced the personal lives of one-quarter of the world’s population. All in all, that young Judean who was executed thirty centuries ago – a young man who had no money or political power, and who left behind no writings – must still be considered one of the most significant figures in history.
And, his view of the influence of Mohammad from the year 3000:
The prophet Muhammad was the founder of Islam, one of the world’s great religions. Although Islam is of minor importance in today’s world, for roughly fifteen centuries it was a major force in human history, and there were periods during which the Moslems… outnumbered the adherents of any other religion.
…At the time of Mohammad’s birth [in 570 A.D.] the Arabs were a backward people, dwelling on the fringes of the civilized world. However, they quickly learned from the more developed nations that they conquered, and by 800 A.D. the Arab empire was not merely the largest in the world, it was also the most prosperous and culturally advanced…
Eventually, though, Arab civilization declined. By 1200 A.D., the Moslem world was stagnating culturally, while European culture was advancing rapidly… By 1900, the Moslem world had fallen far behind Europe: so far behind that many parts of it had become European colonies…
…The results of the relative inflexibility of Islamic thought were profound. In the long run, the Christian world was far better able to adjust to changed circumstances and to adopt new social and political arrangements when needed. It was the Christians who first abolished slavery, and who first granted equal opportunities for women; it was in Christian Europe that modern democracy developed, and it was in the Christian world that modern science and mathematics were created.
Today, of course, we live in a highly secularized world, and few people belong to any organized religion…
The process of secularization eventually engulfed the entire world; however, it started in Moslem lands about 150 to 200 years after it began in Europe [and] by 2050 Christianity had declined so severely that Islam had become the leading religion in the world.
Moslems were jubilant over this turn of events, but their joy was short-lived. In the interval 2050-2200, Islam declined just as rapidly as Christianity had in the previous century and a half.
It was difficult for me to decide where Mohammad should be placed in this book… for fifteen centuries the religion he founded intimately affected the lives of a sizable fraction of the world’s population, and was a major factor in political developments as well.
On the other hand, Islam has had little residual effect on the culture of the modern world. Neither in science, nor politics, nor art is the modern world much affected by Islam, whereas it continues to be affected (albeit indirectly) by Christianity. That is the main reason why I have concluded that Mohammad… should be ranked lower than Jesus.
The full list from the year 3000, by the way, is this:
- Chang Po-Yao (2213-living): inventor of brain-replacement surgery (“pseudo-immortality”)
- Miklos Szabo (2216-2283): inventor of brainwashing machines
- Pridi Thanarat (2358-2540): leader of the rebellion that averted world dictatorship
- Rukmini Gopal (2370-living): inventor of reversible sex-change operations
- Isaac Newton (1642-1727): physicist, mathematician, astronomer
- Johannes Gutenberg (1400-1468): inventor of printing with movable type
- Euclid (c. 300 B.C.): mathematician
- Jesus Christ (6 B.C. – 30 A.D.): founder of Christianity
- Mohammad (570-632): founder of Islam
- Louis Pasteur (1822-1895): germ theory of disease, innoculation
- Mauni Nkato (2196-living): political philosopher who designed the constitutional system for world government that has survived since his day
- Ts’ai Lun (c. 105 A.D.): inventor of paper
- Miguel Carranza (2274-2413): first president of United World Federation
- Confucius (551 B.C. – 479 B.C.): political and moral philosopher
- David Katzenbaum (2042-2095): formulated the most basic laws of physics
- Gautama Buddha (563 B.C. – 483 B.C.): founder of Buddhism
- Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (1743-1794): father of chemistry
- Liu Mei Hua (2063-2135) & Wang Mei Lin (2069-living): medical researchers on methods to avert aging
- Sayyid Shirazi (2407-living): reformed the United World Federation in the wake of the Thanarat rebellion
- Christopher Columbus (1451-1506): explorer who brought Europe to America
- James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879): formulated basic laws of electromagnetism
- Harrison Stevens (1997-2088): invented nuclear fusion
- Canta Luis Alvarado (2745-living): holovision writer/producer; greatest artist of all time
- Albert Einstein (1879-1955): theory of relativity
- Charles Darwin (1809-1882): theory of biological evolution by natural selection
- John J. Maxwell (2076-2163): builder of the first space colony
- Lisa Kolb (2022-2121): inventor of soma, the first pleasure drug with no addiction or negative side effects
- Kim Won Lee (2316-2571): first planetary engineer; terraformed Mars for human habitation
- James Watt (1736-1819): inventor of the steam engine
- William T.G. Morton (1819-1868): inventor of modern anesthesia
- Sue Ellen Green (2018-2109): cured cancer
- Jean Crozet (1958-2029) & Jacob Levine (1955-2055): invented the artificial heart
- Mika Kivikoski (2221-living): invented techniques for large-scale control of the weather, and launched the first program of weather control
- Tabora Maunga (2304-2540): World General Coordinator, attempted world dictatorship that was averted by Pridi Thanarat
- Robert Alan Cooper (2175-living): developed techniques for transferring information directly from a computer into a human brain, and from a human brain into a computer.
- Takeo Tanizaki (2038-2108): pioneer of nanotechnology
- Antonio Delgado (2123-2894): developed the “revised neo-classical synthesis” in economic theory
- Sara Chindwara (2520-living): greatest novelist of all time
- John P. Eckert (1919-1995) & John W. Mauchly (1907-1980): inventors of the computer
- John Kaszewski (2028-2160): inventor of personal robots
- Wilbur Wright (1867-1948) & Orville Wright (1871-1912): inventors of the airplane
- Mona Stein (2487-living): greatest musical composer of all time
- Mikhail Bronstein (2040-2090): inventor of first efficient solar cell
- Harold Bjornson (2036-2099): discovered how genes determine the physical form and function of an organism
- Aristotle (384 B.C. – 322 B.C.): influential ancient philosopher
- Jalal Uskudar (2201-2481): devised the constitutional provisions and rules that prevented brainwashing techniques from being used to establish a dictatorship
- St. Paul (4-64): co-founder of Christianity
- Francis Crick (1916-2004) & James Watson (1928-2016): discoverers of the structure of DNA
- Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976): innovator of quantum mechanics
- George Washington (1832-1799): leading figure in the creation of the USA, one of the most important nations in the history of the world
- Stuart Stromboli (2238-2347): first to apply the political ideas of Nkato & Uskudar, paving the way for the constitutional system that has survived to this day
- Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543): modern heliocentrism
- Adam Smith (1723-1790): first great economist
- Uno Thaik (2286-living): collaborated with Sayyid Shirazi in reforming the United World Federation following the Thanarat Rebellion
- Ernst Rutherford (1871-1937): launched nuclear physics
- Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658): overthrew the monarchy in England, leading to modern democracy
- John Dalton (1766-1844): innovator in chemistry
- Michael Faraday (1791-1867): researcher in electromagnetism, and inventor of the electric motor and electric generator
- Stella Ricardo Garcia (2369-living): greatest architect and landform architect
- Shih Huang Ti (259 B.C. – 210 B.C.): conquered and unified ancient China, instituted sweeping reforms
- Edward de Vere (1550-1604): greatest playwright of all time, known as “William Shakespeare”
- Leonardo Pagliaroni (1255-1307): invented spectacles
- Kaku Sarabashi (1972-2060): established first human colony beyond Earth, on the moon
- Galileo Galilei (1564-1642): innovator of modern science and the scientific revoluation
- Krishna Patali (2011-2082): founder of Pataliism, political head of India, instigator of the only war where nuclear weapons were used extensively
- Mingadongu (2727-living): greatest visual artist
- William Harvey (1578-1657): innovator in physiology
- Hatta Sumbawa (1989-2052): developed first effective and convenient method of weight control
- Yang Cheng Shi (2368-living): influential moral philosopher
- Pythagoras (c. 500 B.C.): ancient philosopher and mathematician
- Shukri ben Abbas (2144-2202): unified Arab states
- Mugali Singh (2316-2701): developed techniques for cleaning the oceans of severe pollution, and implemented them
- Johannes Kepler (1571-1630): discovered the laws of planetary motion
- Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937): inventor of the radio
- Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922): inventor of the telephone
- Sung Bai (2767-living): conquered the entire planetary system about Tau Ceti (11.3 light-years away)
- Thomas Edison (1847-1931): leading inventor of the age of electricity
- Kamaladevi (2615-living): popular and influential author and screenwriter
- Linda Albert Stack (2499-living): World General Coordinator for 16 non-consecutive terms
- Constantine the Great (280-337): emperor of Rome, converted the Roman empire to Christianity
- David McPherson (2079-2612): prominent epistemologist
- Moses (c. 1200 B.C.): major Jewish prophet
- Banta Ujiji (2410-living): innovative cook
- Chao Li Pang (2059-2155): innovator in cosmology
- Guo Qingzhao (2110-living): originated the SAGE language, allowing computers to make reliable translations between natural languages
- Mitsu Hamamoto (2031-2084): developed first usable system of psychokinesis
- Lin Fu Shing (2506-living): popular holovision producer
- Alexei Simagin (2111-2540): formulated presently accepted theory of history and social change
- Karl Marx (1818-1883): founder of scientific socialism
- Wu Li Kao (2710-living): mathematician
- Dani Baklanova (2802-living): greatest poet of all time
- Ghenghis Khan (1162-1227): military leader
- Thomas Arvane (2082-living): inventor of workable cryonics
- Augustus Caesar (63 B.C. – 14 A.D.): first emperor of Rome
- Tsung Shang (2112-living): artificial intelligence innovator
- Roberto Ferruchio (2047-2086 and 2240-living): greatest game designer in history
- Chu Shih-Li (2064-living): inventor of holovision
- Shu Gungwu (2709-living): philosopher who solved the mind-body problem
- Li Lu Wang (2372-living): captain of first successful interstellar expedition
- Baba Al-Khalid (2647-living): singer and most popular actress of all time