The Voltage Gate

Carl Linnaeus, in His Own Words

Linnaeus on systematics:

“I can not understand anything that is not systematically ordered.”

-from a letter to a friend

“There are as many varieties as there are plants produced by the seed of the same species.”

-quoted by Gunnar Eriksson

Clashing with theology and human origins:

“I ask you and the whole world for a generic differentia between man and ape which conforms to the principles of natural history. I certainly know of none… If I were to call man ape or vice versa, I should bring down all the theologians on my head. But perhaps I should still do it according to the rules of science.”

-from a letter to Johann Gmelin

“The fact is that as a natural historian I have yet to find any characteristics which enable man to be distinguished on scientific principles from an ape.”

-from Fauna Svecica

“He who attributes all of this* to the Flood, which suddenly came and as suddenly passed, is verily a stranger to science and himself blind, seeing only through the eyes of others, as far as he sees anything at all.”

-responding to Steno’s and others’ claims that the Biblical Flood was responsible for the sedimentation of fossils

On plants:

“Love even comes to the plants. Males and females… hold their nuptials… showing by their sexual organs which are males, which females. The flowers’ leaves serve as a bridal bed, which the Creator has so gloriously arranged, adorned with such nobles bed curtains, and perfumed with so many soft scents that the bridegroom with his bride might there celebrate their nuptials with so much the greater solemnity. When the bed has thus been made ready, then it is time for the bridegroom to embrace his beloved bride and surrender himself to her.”

-quoted by Derek Gjertsen