An exploration of two geniuses with limitless minds and the conflict that has lasted beyond their lifetimes.
Every Living Thing centres on the rivalry pledged between two scientists, Linnaeus and Buffon, who, from 1743 to 1778 raced each other to complete an inventory of all life on Earth. Their focus was on scientific immortality and the core conception of our relationship to the natural world. Their catalogues were starkly different and showed a divergence of opinion on the creation of nature and humanity. Buffon advocating for a natural system of classification, while Linnaeus was dedicated to naming and classifying objects of nature.
This book coins this competition the Nature Wars, and combines comprehensive narrative, interweaving the personal journeys of Linnaeus and Buffon, telling their moments of accomplishment and loss, persistence and sacrifice.
Reflecting on this rivalry, Every Living Thing confronts how the Nature Wars are still being waged today. Current innovations in science and technology, as artificial intelligence seeps into our daily lives and modern DNA labs are forcing us to reconsider the legacies of these great thinkers, and with this, re-imagine our relationship to the natural world.
Every Living Thing is an enthralling account of historic rivals who were forced to comes to terms with the vast and complex reality of life on Earth, exploring the evolution of science from the 18th Century to the present times, it tells of the displacement that has occurred as new discoveries create dramatic shifts in the mechanisms of the world.