"Man is the animal which the Creator has seen fit to honor with such a magnificent mind and has condescended to adopt as his favorite and for which he has prepared a nobler life; indeed, sent out for its salvation his only son…”
Carl Linnaeus is known as the “father of modern taxonomy” because he was the first to create a uniform system of naming organisms (called “binomial nomenclature”). Through his naming system, Linnaeus created the standard for biological classification (kingdom, genus, species, and sub-classifications within those ranks). He is also one of the founders of modern ecology (how living things interact with the environment).
Linnaeus developed the first uniform system to be consistently used in naming plants and animals. His classification system is still used today in biology, though expanded to add new species. His book “Systema Naturae” (“The System of Nature”), first published in 1735, explored a two-term naming system for living organisms. Linnaeus published the 10th edition of the book in 1758, which classified 4,400 species of animals and 7,700 species of plants based on this system.
Linnaeus developed a hierarchy of classification based upon shared physical characteristics that can be observed, starting with three kingdoms: the Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral Kingdoms. Linnaeus then classified organisms based on five levels: kingdom, class, order, genus, and species. The Animal Kingdom was established as the highest taxonomy, then the plant kingdom, followed by the mineral kingdom. He divided the Animal Kingdom into six classes. Additionally, Linneaus formed 24 different classes of plants and 3 classes of minerals.
CENTERED ON CHRIST
Linnaeus was a faithful man of God who believed in God’s creation of the world. In the preface of “Systema Naturae,” Linnaeus wrote, “The Earth's Creation is the glory of God, as seen from the works of Nature by Man alone.The study of nature would reveal the Divine order of God’s creation, and it was the naturalists task to construct a ‘natural Classification’ that would reveal this order in the universe.”
Linnaeus also wrote, “God infinite, omniscient and omnipotent, woke me up and I was amazed! I have read some clues through His created things, in all of which, is His will; even in the smallest things, and the most minute! How much wisdom! What an inscrutable perfection!”
Linnaeus also stated, “I well know what a splendidly great difference there is [between] a man and a bestia when I look at them from a point of view of morality. Man is the animal which the Creator has seen fit to honor with such a magnificent mind and has condescended to adopt as his favorite and for which he has prepared a nobler life; indeed, sent out for its salvation his only son…”
Praeludia Sponsaliorum Plantarum
Pollination depicted in Praeludia Sponsaliorum Plantarum, Carl Linnaeus (1729)
Carl Linnaeus Artist: Hendrick Hollander, 1853
Cover of Systema Naturae, 11th edition (1760/MDCCLX), printed in Germany, Carl Linnaeus