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萬物簡史(MP3+中英字幕) 第658期:永不安分的類人猿(9)

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Above all the issue that is almost never addressed is that Neandertals had brains that were significantly larger than those of modern people—1.8 liters for Neandertals versus 1.4 for modern people, according to one calculation. This is more than the difference between modern Homo sapiens and late Homo erectus , a species we are happy to regard as barely human. The argument put forward is that although our brains were smaller, they were somehow more efficient. I believe I speak the truth when I observe that nowhere else in human evolution is such an argument made.

尤其重要的是,有個問題幾乎從來沒有人解決過,那就是尼安德特人的腦比現代人明顯要大——據測算,尼安德特人的腦量是1.8升,而現代人是1.4升。這種差別比現代智人和晚期直立人——我們樂于認為他們算不上是人類——的差別要大。提出的理由是,盡管我們的大腦要小些,但是不知怎的更加管用。我注意到,在有關人類進化方面,別處從未有過如此驚人的論點。我相信我說的是實話。

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So why then, you may well ask, if the Neandertals were so stout and adaptable and cerebrally well endowed, are they no longer with us? One possible (but much disputed) answer is that perhaps they are. Alan Thorne is one of the leading proponents of an alternative theory, known as the multiregional hypothesis, which holds that human evolution has been continuous—that just as australopithecines evolved into Homo habilis and Homo heidelbergensis became over time Homo neanderthalensis, so modernHomo sapiens simply emerged from more ancient Homo forms.Homo erectus is, on this view, not a separate species but just a transitional phase. Thus modern Chinese are descended from ancient Homo erectus forebears in China, modern Europeans from ancient European Homo erectus, and so on. "Except that for me there are no Homo erectus," says Thorne. "I think it's a term which has outlived its usefulness. For me, Homo erectus is simply an earlier part of us. I believe only one species of humans has ever left Africa, and that species is Homo sapiens."

因此,你也許會問,既然尼安德特人是如此強壯,又具有如此強的適應性和較大的腦量,那么他們為什么沒有生活到今天呢?有一種回答(不過還有很大爭議)是,他們也許還在二艾倫·桑恩是一種被稱為“多地區起源一假說的最主要的倡導者之一,這種理論主張人類進化是一個持續的過程——由南方古猿進化到能人和海德堡人,再進化到尼安德特人,因此現代智人是從較古老的人屬進他而來的。根據這種觀點,直立人并不是一個獨立的種屬,而只是一個過渡階段。因此,現代中國人是遠古中國直立人的后裔,現代歐洲人剛是遠古歐洲直立人的后裔,如此等等。 “在我看來,根本就沒有直立人,”桑恩說,“我認為這個概念已經過時,在我看來,直立人只不過是人類的早期階段,我認為只有一個人類種屬離開了非洲,那就是智人?!?/p>
重點單詞   查看全部解釋    
adaptable [ə'dæptəbl]

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adj. 能適應的,適應性強的,可改編的

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except [ik'sept]

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vt. 除,除外
prep. & conj.

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separate ['sepəreit]

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n. 分開,抽印本
adj. 分開的,各自的,

 
calculation [.kælkju'leiʃən]

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n. 計算

 
continuous [kən'tinjuəs]

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adj. 連續的,繼續的,連綿不斷的

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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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evolution [.i:və'lu:ʃən]

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n. 進化,發展,演變

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observe [əb'zə:v]

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v. 觀察,遵守,注意到
v. 評論,慶

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species ['spi:ʃiz]

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n. (單復同)物種,種類

 
issue ['iʃju:]

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n. 發行物,期刊號,爭論點
vi. & vt

 
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