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萬物簡史(MP3+中英字幕) 第564期:達爾文的非凡見解(13)

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If new species were continuously evolving, then there ought to be lots of intermediate forms scattered across the fossil record, but there were not. In fact, the record as it existed then (and for a long time afterward) showed no life at all right up to the moment of the famous Cambrian explosion. (By coincidence, in 1861, at the height of the controversy, just such evidence turned up when workers in Bavaria found the bones of an ancient archaeopteryx, a creature halfway between a bird and a dinosaur. (It had feathers, but it also had teeth.) It was an impressive and helpful find, and its significance much debated, but a single discovery could hardly be considered conclusive.)

如果物種是持續不斷地進化的,那么在化石中一定存在不少進化過程中的中間形態,但是事實上卻沒有。其實,當時(及以后很多年)已發現的化石表明,一直到著名的寒武紀大爆發之前,地球上根本沒有任何生命。(注:巧合的是,1861年,就在爭論最為激烈的時候,一個這樣的證據出現了。工人們在巴伐利亞發現了幾根古代始祖鳥的骨頭,這是一種介于鳥和恐龍之間的動物。(它有羽毛,但也有牙齒。)這一發現令人印象深刻,同時也很有幫助,其特征被廣泛地加以討論,但是一個單獨的發現幾乎很難得出肯定的結論。)
始祖鳥

But now here was Darwin, without any evidence, insisting that the earlier seas must have had abundant life and that we just hadn't found it yet because, for whatever reason, it hadn't been preserved. It simply could not be otherwise, Darwin maintained. "The case at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained," he allowed most candidly, but he refused to entertain an alternative possibility. By way of explanation he speculated — inventively but incorrectly — that perhaps the Precambrian seas had been too clear to lay down sediments and thus had preserved no fossils.

而在沒有任何證據的情況下,達爾文卻堅持認為早期的海洋里一定存在著豐富多彩的生命形式,只是我們還沒有找到它們而已。這是因為,不論出于何種原因,它們并沒有保存下來。達爾文認為這是惟一合理的解釋?!罷庵智樾蝸紙錐慰隙ㄎ薹ń饈頹宄?,但可以盡量被看做起與現存看法相對立的合理觀點?!彼苤甭實爻腥?,但是拒絕考慮其他可能性。為了解釋,他推論說——富有創見,卻是不正確的,也許前寒武紀的海水太清澈了,不能沉淀下任何物質,因此也就沒有將化石保存下來。
Even Darwin's closest friends were troubled by the blitheness of some of his assertions. Adam Sedgwick, who had taught Darwin at Cambridge and taken him on a geological tour of Wales in 1831, said the book gave him "more pain than pleasure."
即使是達爾文最好的朋友,也對他的某些過于武斷的結論感到不安,亞當·塞奇威克是達爾文在劍橋大學的老師,l887年曾帶他到威爾士作地質考察,他說達爾文的書給他的“痛苦多于快樂”。

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explanation [.eksplə'neiʃən]

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n. 解釋,說明

 
conclusive [kən'klu:siv]

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adj. 決定性的,確實的,最后的

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explosion [iks'pləuʒən]

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n. 爆炸,爆發,激增

 
impressive [im'presiv]

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adj. 給人深刻印象的

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evidence ['evidəns]

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n. 根據,證據
v. 證實,證明

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coincidence [kəu'insidəns]

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n. 巧合,同時發生

 
controversy ['kɔntrəvə:si]

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n. (公開的)爭論,爭議

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species ['spi:ʃiz]

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n. (單復同)物種,種類

 
entertain [.entə'tein]

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v. 娛樂,招待,懷抱

 
alternative [ɔ:l'tə:nətiv]

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adj. 兩者擇一的; 供選擇的; 非主流的

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