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Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Zygon 44 (4):879-893 (2009)
Swedish naturalist Carl von Linné (1707–1778) became known during his lifetime as a "second Adam" because of his taxonomic endeavors. The significance of this epithet was that in Genesis Adam was reported to have named the beasts—an episode that was usually interpreted to mean that Adam possessed a scientific knowledge of nature and a perfect taxonomy. Linnaeus's soubriquet exemplifies the way in which the Genesis narratives of creation were used in the early modern period to give religious legitimacy to scientific activities and to taxonomy in particular. Allusions to Adam's work in the Garden of Eden thus became a way of investing the vocation of the naturalist with religious significance.
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