HUMAN: the only known self-naming species to have allocated the name Homo sapiens incorrectly

The species assumed the 'sapiens' property of wisdom and prudence for itself, because of its seemingly unrivalled capacity for expanding into eco-space. The intelligence and foresight demonstrated by eating and exploiting other species to extinction and defoliating and mining for construction materials, has successfully modified the ecosystem of nature to support an ever increasing number of humans of plague proportions. Such physical and numerical success was assumed to be evidence enough to demonstrate enlightened and prudent behaviour, and to justify attributing the property of 'sapience'.

The realities of actual human behaviour suggest a different property. As with all species, a human is both part of an ecosystem of living organisms and itself an ecosystem of organisms. It exploits its food from one range of species, and it is itself exploited for food by another. In fact, the dominant reason for its success is not a supposed attribute of wisdom, but rather its capacity to apply an ability for pattern recognition, creation and imposition. A human awareness in particular, is a complex of multiple models, motives and associations, and is easily confused by the conflicting pressures exerted by each model. Behaviour is probably never governed by a single guiding model of reality, in spite of frequent claims to the contrary. One individual might entertain concurrently a scientific model, a religious model, a fantasized probabilistic model for gambling, and a secrecy model for promoting self aggrandizement. Another might pursue a genuinely held altruistic model for the assistance of certain socially deprived individuals, operate on an alliance and intrigue model for political promotion, and a ruthless acquisition model for obtaining substantial personal assets. Taken as a species, avarice and murderous violence has served to successfully promote an enduring genetic component that no amount of altruistic endeavours has nullified. With a minimum of external objective projection it is not too difficult to appreciate that the human species has a brutal and self-centred greedy component, is obsessed with sex and acquisition, and is proliferating towards inducing a reaction from one of nature's many inbuilt control mechanisms. At least one other more appropriate name would be 'Homo cupidus'.

A human is an animal that learns or creates fantasy worlds of virtual realities, of religions, of sexual fancifalities, of delusional needs and esurience, and of visions of self-aggrandizement. All this to avoid or obscure the ruthless and stark uncompromising reality of life and death. Each human awareness constructs its own idiosyncratic models of a cosmos of interest from the individual circumstances of its nurture and acquired experiences, and inflates their significance to fill whatever capacities of imagination it chooses to exercise. Each one develops and enhances whatever aspects of existence appeals to the intrinsic peculiarities of its individuality. Actors may imagine the world is a stage just for them. Sports participants often promote the absurdities of their games as intrinsically meaningful. Poets may record the convolutions of their ego-centric perceptions on the assumption that such outpourings will be more interesting to others than their own reflections. Politicians have been known to create their own fantasy world of intrigue as if no other mode of behaviour was possible. Religious adherents usually immerse themselves in a ludicrous world of implausibility for the claimed purpose of somehow giving life meaning. Each can be inclined to foster one particular simplified life perspective which diminishes the significance of other possibilities.

It is the capacity to sustain a belief without questioning it, that is the residual defining human characteristic and which results in the pervasive stupidity which swamps all other capacities and attributes. Whether it is a belief in miracles, a belief that eating one's enemy increases one's own life force, or that touching a two headed pig increases intelligence, there is no foolishness imaginable that humans are not capable of promoting. There are massed legions of them who all believe they were all created by a 'god'. They supposes that the universe they inhabit came from nothing, and that some entity created everything. All such imbecilities will continue to pollute the achievements of science and technology, and obscure the efforts of altruism. Most find it impossible to separate themselves to any degree whatsoever from their own culture, and presume without reflection that their perspective is absolute. Considered as a species, a more realistic name would in fact be 'Homo stupidus'.