May 23 in freethought history…

carllinnaeusMay 23,  1707 – Biologist and zoologist Carl Linnaeus is born in RÃ¥shult, Sweden. Known as the father of modern taxonomy, he pioneered the system of organizing (and naming via binomial nomenclature) all living creatures. Linnaeus created some controversy by grouping human beings and monkeys in the same category because of their obvious similarities. In response to pious protests, Linnaeus responded that theologians “decree that man has a soul and that the animals are mere [automatons], but I believe they would be better advised that animals have a soul and that the difference is of nobility.” He died in 1778, aged 70.

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