Why Linnaeus and the Lamppost?


The first part of the name came from the Father of Taxonomy, Carl Linnaeus (also known as Carolus Linnaeus and Carl von Linne). He was a well-rounded scientist of the eighteenth century– a botanist, zoologist, and an explorer–and he developed the binomial nomenclature system that we use to name species today. Though he was proficient in a variety of disciplines, he is best known for his expertise in biological fields. Since this blog will always have a biology slant, he seems to be an appropriate figure. Besides a nod to an historic naturalist, the name also reflects a bit of my (Maria’s) Swedish heritage, as Linnaeus was himself from Sweden.

In the time since starting this blog, we’ve learned about Linnaeus’ horrid racist sentiments, like most other naturalists of his time. It’s hard to wrap our minds around the fact that the same minds who produced some of most brilliant ideas that are still in use today also harbored some of the darkest, hateful ideas that we hope are never commonplace again. The best we know to do is learn from the ignorance of the past and move forward towards a truly inclusive future.


The Linnaeus house in Uppsala, Sweden (I’ve been there!) Wikimedia Commons

The Lamppost

Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”

What does a lamp do? It illuminates, it shares light, it reveals truth in darkness. If I can share a bit of what my faith looks like through my wonder of the natural world, then I will consider my efforts a success. Plus…there was a lamppost in Narnia.


Mr. Tumnus?