Carl Linnaeus, the second Adam: "God created, Linnaeus organized"

Carl Linnaeus (May 23, 1707 – January 10, 1778) was a Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist, who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of binomial nomenclature. He is known as the father of modern taxonomy, and is also considered one of the fathers of modern ecology.

In 1737 hee published the first edition of his book “Systema Naturae”. Its full title is "System of nature through the three kingdoms of nature, according to classes, orders, genera and species, with [generic] characters, [specific] differences, synonyms, places". In the 1740s he was sent on several journeys through Sweden to find and classify plants and animals. In the 1750s and 60s he continued to collect and classify animals, plants, and minerals, and published several volumes.

Linnaeus continued to revise his “Systema Naturae”, which grew from a slim pamphlet into a multivolume work, as his ideas were evolving and more and more plant and animal specimens were sent to him from every corner of the globe. His pride in his work was very much evident; he thought of himself as a second Adam. He liked to say, "God created, Linnaeus organized". This self-perception was further shown by the artwork on the cover of his Systema Naturae, which depicts a man giving Linnaean names to new creatures as they are created in the Garden of Eden.

Linnaeus's main contribution to taxonomy was to establish conventions for the naming of living organisms that became universally accepted in the scientific world—the work of Linnaeus represents the starting point of binomial nomenclature(the formal system of naming species). At the time of his death, he was widely renowned throughout Europe as one of the most acclaimed scientists of the time.

The first edition of Systema Naturae was printed in the Netherlands in 1735. It was an eleven page work. By the time it reached its 10th edition (1758), it classified 4,400 species of animals and 7,700 species of plants.

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