Categorizing Carl Linnaeus

Carl LinnaeusOn this day in 1883, swashbuckler Douglas Fairbanks was born. Actor, dancer, and musician Scatman Crothers was born in 1910. The great meteorologist and Chaos Theory pioneer Edward Norton Lorenz was born in 1917. And singer Rosemary Clooney was born in 1928.

Actress Joan Collins is 80 today. Chess grandmaster Anatoly Karpov is 62. Tuesdays with Morrie author Mitch Albom is 55. And Jewel is 39.

By a nose, the day belongs to botanist Carl Linnaeus who was born on this day in 1707. Linnaeus is the founder of the modern scheme of binomial nomenclature—the formal system for naming species. What I’ve always found so amazing is that the vast majority of species we categorized based upon attributes turned out to be dead right when we looked at genetics. As someone who is caught inside his own head and not very clear on the outside world, I find it amazing that others can see reality so clearly. It is hard to overstate his impact on biology.

Happy birthday Carl Linnaeus!

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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