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Joseph Smith, Jr. and Brigham Young have topped the list of “Most Influential American Religious Leaders” in a special collector’s edition of Smithsonian magazine highlighting “the 100 Most Significant Americans of All Time.” Founder and prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., ranked #1 on the list, with his successor Brigham Young ranking at #3. The magazine used some very complex mathematical and social algorithms [totally out of my realm, but explained here] designed by a social analyst and an engineer named Steven Skiena and Charles B. Ward. They then combined those algorithms with the Smithsonian’s vast database, arriving at the list of “100 Most Significant Americans.”
Skiena and Ward rank people according to their historical significance, which they define as “the result of social and cultural forces acting on the mass of an individual’s achievement.” Their rankings account not only for what individuals have done, but also for how well others remember and value…
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