On 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.
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!