Leader comment: Why its wrong to call humans ‘Homo sapiens’

People called James are seen as charismatic and confident, an impression which may or may not by connected to a certain Mr Bond
People called James are seen as charismatic and confident, an impression which may or may not by connected to a certain Mr Bond
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So, apparently, we think people called James are charismatic, Sarahs are kind, Lauras are bad team players and Christophers are really intelligent but anti-social.

Our fondness for assigning random characteristics to names for no good reason explains a lot. The same sort of flawed reasoning is used by racists, xenophobes, anti-semites and the like to demonise other people and rob them of their status as individuals.

READ MORE: Leader comment: The benefits of seeing another species of human

Linda Blair, a psychologist, described how our brains have a tendency to create mental ‘shortcuts’ – stereotypes – to help deal with information overload, adding that this was a “real problem in today’s world”.

The Age of the Internet has had many benefits but it may have also helped bring about the rise of far-right populism, ‘identitarians’, anti-immigrant sentiment, Brexit and Donald Trump.

Sometimes, we really do fail to live up to the name we gave ourselves, Homo sapiens, the ‘wise’ humans. Maybe it’s time to be a bit more humble and recognise our shortcomings by changing our name to Homo insipiens.

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