Linnaeus, Sigisbeck and Buffon

... Linnea was surrounded not only by friends. "Prince of Botany" had a lot of detractors, opponents and direct enemies. In the name of one of them - Johann Georg Szhegzbek - Linnah called the nondescript he received from Siberia mixed plant from the Asteraceae family - Eastern Sigezbekia (Siegesbeckia orientalis). Sigezbek, Director of St. Petersburg Botanical Garden, took hostile to the principle of classification proposed by Linnaeus plants on the structure of the genital organs - stamens and pistils. He abruptly spoke against the determination of sex in plants, against the process described by botanists fertilization, considering that in the vegetable kingdom such a immorality. Such an unchaste system as the Linnaeus system spoke Segezbek, offends morality. Linnaeus responded to the attacks of Sigezbek rather peculiar. Once in the spring a parcel arrived in St. Petersburg from Linnaeus Upps. A bag of seeds with the accompanying inscription Cuculus ignotus - “cuckoo ungrateful "brought Sigezbek, and he took the inscription for the Latin name A new species, ordered to sow the seeds in the garden. Much to surprise, and then the indignation of the director has grown out of them ... Sigezbekia Eastern! Biting hint Linnea hit right on target.

But here is an example of a completely different kind. The name of Georges Louis Buffon with some time, too, became hateful to Linna. Famous French naturalist, author of the thirty-six-volume “Natural History” - fundamental work on living and inanimate nature, Buffon developed ideas about natural development of the animal and plant world, on changing plants and animals in the process of evolution. Karl Linney, as opposed to views Buffon, preached the constancy of the number and structure of species created by the will creator god, and the idea of ​​evolution considered at least seditious. It happened so that the correct scientific dispute between the two researchers was disturbed smack Proposed for one of the plants of the family of cloves the name of the büffon (in honor of Buffon) Linnaeus with one stroke of the pen changed to Bufonia (Bufonia). In those days it was not necessary to be a great connoisseur of Latin, to understand the whole sarcasm of this transformation: the word Bufo zoologists denote toad