The Archaeology News Network: Bid to rename Homo sapiens called unwise
For about 250 years, our species has been known as Homo sapiens, a scientific name in Latin that means “wise man.”
Given the havoc humans are wreaking on natural systems, putting ourselves and so many other living things in peril, we don’t deserve this name, contends Julian Cribb, an Australian science writer and book author. In a letter published in the Aug. 18 issue of the journal Nature, Cribb makes a proposal.
“Changing our species name might risk infringing some of the hallowed rules of nomenclature, but it would send an important signal about our present collective behavior,” he writes.
Cribb has no suggestion for a new name, “because I want humanity at large to discuss this issue — not just scientists,” he said in an email to LiveScience.com.
Meanwhile, some scientists have a name for Cribb’s suggestion. They call it silly.