Tag Archives: Humanity

Marginalia, no.244

He believed that swallows hibernate at the bottom of lakes; that if the back of a puppy were rubbed with aquavit it would grow up dwarfed; and that Lapland was the home of a creature called the Furia infernalis, the Fury of Hell, that flew through the air without the aid of wings and fell upon men and cattle, fatally running them through.

~ Armand Marie Leroi, Mutants

If your eligibility for membership in the human species is ever challenged, the question is technically decided by whether you’re the same sort of creature that Carl Linnaeus was. One hundred and fifty years after his death the father of taxonomy was honored by being made the lectotype for homo sapiens. Take comfort then in the fact that for all his insight and intelligence Linnaeus still made laughable blunders. It means that your own mistakes affirm your humanity.

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