I would like to think this is merely a stage we’re going through. That reason will return.
Some might delude themselves that this sort of tinkering with semantics is symbolic of a higher, more humane, level of consciousness. I think it’s the opposite. It’s symbolic of idiocy and lack of higher intelligence.
It already started when we renamed COVID-19 mutations in order to avoid insulting those geographic corners where the mutations were first detected. Omega, Delta, Lambda…isn’t this insulting to the Greek people? Are we so dense that we lack the critical thinking to understand the objective name of politically inert things, like moths or viruses, is not a reflection of anything other than name?
Please tell me this is just a stage.
The spirit of science is polluted with Identitarian pretensions.
The objectivity of scientists is trashed with irrational sensitivities and our trust in science must suffer. Science, with feelings, is corrupted.
Scientists are asking for help to rename racist insects, as they seek to remove terms which are “inappropriate or offensive.”
The Entomological Society of America (ESA) announced in June the common names for the moth Lymantria dispar and the ant Aphaenogaster araneoides, “Gypsy moth” and “Gypsy ant,” had been removed from their Common Names of Insects and Related Organisms List.
The ESA confirmed the names had been scrapped as they contained an “ethnic slur,” and were “identified as containing a derogatory term for the Romani people.”
Insects be Woke.
It’s about time someone called out these little ruthless barbarians of carnage and destruction. Time for critterdom to get on board the sensitivity train and start showing some concern for the downtrodden and culturally disaffected!
The move comes as the ESA spearheaded the Better Common Names Project, which will review and replace common insect names which don’t meet their standards, confirming it will change only the most “problematic names.”
In March, they set out new policies regarding acceptable names, to exclude any new terms which are “referencing ethnic or racial groups and names that might stoke fear; the policies also discourage geographic references, particularly for invasive species.” It also guides proposals to change existing common names.
ESA President Michelle S. Smith, BCE, said: “The purpose of common names is to make communication easier between scientists and the public audiences they serve. By and large, ESA’s list of recognized insect common names succeeds in this regard, but names that are unwelcoming to marginalized communities run directly counter to that goal.
“That’s why we’re working to ensure all ESA-approved insect common names meet our standards for diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
Does anyone care that insects, gram for gram, are the most vicious, utilitarian, formidable and predatory of any living animal on this planet? The only thing that prevents our world from being overrun by 6-legged beasts who would devour us in seconds, no questions asked, is their miniscule size. Imagine a world where a typical wasp weighs hundreds of pounds and is 5 feet in length, and all other insects are also proportionately enhanced? I’ll tell you something: there will be no touchy-feely pleasant equality narratives in that world. Physical laws would dictate that our (humans) ass is grass. In fact, this plot has been loosely done, in fiction and cheesy 70’s cinema.
Science has become social. The only new inventions are the ones where they contrive new methods to use the field of discovery, research and knowledge in maximally inoffensive manners. The problem is that the world, minus our self-conscious meddling, is innately offensive.
The renaming program has started with these two creatures, with the ESA asking for input from the public, as well as fellow scientists, to help rebrand a selection of insects. The website has a form listing the bugs which face a revamp, including the “Mexican ricer borer,” “Texas citrus mite,” “African mole cricket” and “Chilean recluse spider.”
The online form allows you to suggest a new term, and the ESA confirmed working groups will be set up to recommend new common names, which will “participate in identifying and proposing alternatives for insect common names that perpetuate negative ethnic or racial stereotypes.” Proposed names will be subject to approval by the ESA Committee on Insect Common Names and the ESA Governing Board.
This form is not asking to be trolled, at all.
The question becomes: are we protecting countries from negative connotations that come with being aligned with unpleasant life forms, or are we protecting life forms from negative connotations for being aligned with unpleasant countries and continents?