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The Linnaean System of Nomenclature

The Linnaean System
The Linnaean System in practice.
Image from Montessori for everyone - The Optimization of Classification; © 2005-2011 Montessori for Everyone.

The Linnaean system is not a phylogeny, but a system of classifying the living world. It was developed at a time when species were considered immutable, the same today as when first created. We now know that species evolve, but Linnaean taxonomy is such a useful and adaptable methodology that it has been taken up and incorporated into the overall evolutionary synthesis, the result being the methodology known as Evolutionary systematics.

With the rise of cladistics, it has been proposed that the venerable Linnaean system be scrapped in favour of a new, phylogenetically based taxonomy; whether this actually comes to pass is anyone's guess. MAK111014

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