- Homo ludens (playful) coined by Friedrich Schiller in 1795
- Homo loquens (talker) coined by Johann von Herder in 1772
- Homo faber (tool-maker) coined by Benjamin Franklin 1778
Today is the anniversary of the acknowledgment by data and analysis that other animals used tools. In 1957 Jane Goodall went out to Kenya to work as a secretary and be near to the Great Wild of her dreams. She fell into a job, mentored by the great palaeontologist Louis Leakey, as an observer of primates and arrived very wet behind the ears at the Gombe Stream National Park in July 1960. Contrary to current scientific practice (tsk!) she gave mnemonic names to the members of the chimpanzee troop about which she started to collect data. We've already met Mike. On 4th October 1960, she observed an adult male, David Greybeard, poking a twig into a termite mound and sucking off the insects as a tasty aperitif. So man was no longer the only user of tools. Later Goodall observed DG and others modifying twigs to improve their termite-fishing quality. So we could (had to) ditch Homo faber as a scientific term although it is still a literary and philosophical trope. As Louis Leakey put it "We must now redefine man, redefine tool, or accept chimpanzees as human!" Numerous other examples of tool-making and tool-use have been collected since then, not least Mike cited above.
This is just great. When we clear dogma and false dichotomies off the table and start to observe what is actually happening in the real world we can start doing some science!