Relevant Pioneer Quotes



“There is for a free man no occupation more worthy and delightful than to contemplate the beauteous works of nature and honor the infinite wisdom and goodness of God.

– John Ray, The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of the Creation (1691)






“The flowers’ leaves. . . serve as bridal beds which the Creator has so gloriously arranged, adorned with such noble 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. . .”

– Carl Linnaeus, Systema Naturae: Creationis telluris est gloria Dei ex opere Naturae per Hominem solum (1729)




Image Source (John Ray):

Image Source (Carl Linnaeus)

1.  John Ray (1627 – 1705) was a British scientist who helped establish the formal field of biology and was the first to really define what constituted a species:

  • “… no surer criterion for determining species has occurred to me than the distinguishing features that perpetuate themselves in propagation from seed. Thus, no matter what variations occur in the individuals or the species, if they spring from the seed of one and the same plant, they are accidental variations and not such as to distinguish a species… Animals likewise that differ specifically preserve their distinct species permanently; one species never springs from the seed of another nor vice versa” – John Ray, History of Plants (1686) 1
  • He is considered to be the “Father of Natural History” 2

2.  Like so many other pioneers in different fields of science, John Ray was a Bible believing Christian 3

3.  Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), was a Swede who is regarded as the “Father of Taxonomy”. In other words, he is the first one to really put forth a system for naming, ranking, and classifying organisms. Biologists still use this system today.

  • Like Ray, Linnaeus based his theology and worldview on the Bible
  • Incidentally, the name of Linnaeus’s book translates, “The Earth’s creation is the glory of God, as seen from the works of Nature by Man alone” 4