含有〈进化〉标签的文章(78)

一包补丁

【2016-04-14】

@海德沙龙 《历史如何造就美国人》 在常见历史叙事中,移民北美的清教徒,早在五月花号尚未靠岸时,便已确立了日后美国宪政的基本原则,清教徒的文化气质也构成了美国精神的核心内容,但真实历史往往没有这么理想,在本文所介绍的新书中,历史学家Malcolm Gaskill讲述了一个十分不同的故事

@whigzhou: 有关制度起源的简单叙事基本上都是错的,制度就是陆续积累的一大包补丁,其实复杂的软件系统也有点类似,虽然软件系统的整体设计成分要多一些,但大量功(more...)

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【2016-04-14】 @海德沙龙 《历史如何造就美国人》 在常见历史叙事中,移民北美的清教徒,早在五月花号尚未靠岸时,便已确立了日后美国宪政的基本原则,清教徒的文化气质也构成了美国精神的核心内容,但真实历史往往没有这么理想,在本文所介绍的新书中,历史学家Malcolm Gaskill讲述了一个十分不同的故事 @whigzhou: 有关制度起源的简单叙事基本上都是错的,制度就是陆续积累的一大包补丁,其实复杂的软件系统也有点类似,虽然软件系统的整体设计成分要多一些,但大量功能其实仍是打补丁打出来的,只不过这个版本的补丁,到下一个版本可能就成了设计方案中的组件了,所谓迭代演进是也。 @whigzhou: 最具误导性的一种观点被我称为同态论,即把我们事后从制度中找出的一些原则,等同于当初打补丁的码农头脑里的观念,研究思想史的那帮人特别痴迷于这种念头 @辻郖杉:记得有一阵子辉总在刷《技术史》。那么辉总是否认为新技术的出现也是这种“打补丁”呢? @whigzhou: 是啊,汽车的早期发展就是在四轮马车上不断打补丁嘛 @whigzhou: 另外军队也类似,有句名言说每支军队都是为上一次战争设计的,无论事先考虑多周到,一旦开打,立马手忙脚乱狂打补丁,等战争结束,军校里又手忙脚乱一通研究,这些补丁(中的大部分)就变成下一代军队的标准组件了  
[译文]农作物类型如何影响制度进化

Cereals, appropriability, and hierarchy
谷物、可收夺性和等级制

作者:Joram Mayshar, Omer Moav, Zvika Neeman, Luigi Pascali @2015-9-11
译者:Luis Rightcon(@Rightcon)
校对:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy)
来源:VoxEU,http://www.voxeu.org/article/neolithic-roots-economic-institutions

Conventional theory suggests that hierarchy and state institutions emerged due to increased productivity following the Neolithic transition to farming. This column argues that these social developments were a result of an increase in the ability of both robbers and the emergent elite to appropriate crops. Hierarchy and state institutions developed, therefore, only in regions where appropriable cereal crops had sufficient productivity advantage over non-appropriable roots and tubers.

传统理论认为,等级制和国家产生的缘由在于:人类在新石器时代农业转向时出现了生产率增长。而本专栏则指出,上述社会发展是掠夺者和新生的精英分子收夺谷物的能力上升的结果。因此,仅仅是在那些易于收夺的谷物比其他不易收夺的块根和块茎作物在产量上拥有充分优势的地区,才会产生等级制和国家。

What explains underdevelopment?
欠发达的原因是什么?

One of the most pressing problems of our age is the underdevelopment of countries in which government malfunction seems endemic. Many of these countries are located close to the Equato(more...)

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Cereals, appropriability, and hierarchy 谷物、可收夺性和等级制 作者:Joram Mayshar, Omer Moav, Zvika Neeman, Luigi Pascali @2015-9-11 译者:Luis Rightcon(@Rightcon) 校对:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy) 来源:VoxEU,http://www.voxeu.org/article/neolithic-roots-economic-institutions Conventional theory suggests that hierarchy and state institutions emerged due to increased productivity following the Neolithic transition to farming. This column argues that these social developments were a result of an increase in the ability of both robbers and the emergent elite to appropriate crops. Hierarchy and state institutions developed, therefore, only in regions where appropriable cereal crops had sufficient productivity advantage over non-appropriable roots and tubers. 传统理论认为,等级制和国家产生的缘由在于:人类在新石器时代农业转向时出现了生产率增长。而本专栏则指出,上述社会发展是掠夺者和新生的精英分子收夺谷物的能力上升的结果。因此,仅仅是在那些易于收夺的谷物比其他不易收夺的块根和块茎作物在产量上拥有充分优势的地区,才会产生等级制和国家。 What explains underdevelopment? 欠发达的原因是什么? One of the most pressing problems of our age is the underdevelopment of countries in which government malfunction seems endemic. Many of these countries are located close to the Equator. Acemoglu et al. (2001) point to extractive institutions as the root cause for underdevelopment. Besley and Persson (2014) emphasise the persistent effects of low fiscal capacity in underdeveloped countries. 我们这个时代最为紧迫的问题之一就是存在许多欠发达国家,而政府失灵在这些国家极为常见。它们大多数都位于赤道附近。Acemoglu等(2001年)认为,榨取型制度是欠发达的根本原因。Besley和Persson(2014年)强调,欠发达国家财政能力的低弱具有持久影响。 On the other hand, Diamond (1997) argues that it is geographical factors that explain why some regions of the world remain underdeveloped. In particular, he argues that the east-west orientation of Eurasia resulted in greater variety and productivity of cultivable crops, and in larger economic surplus, which facilitated the development of state institutions in this major landmass. Less fortunate regions, including New Guinea and sub-Saharan Africa, were left underdeveloped due to low land productivity. 而另一方面,Diamond(1997年)则提出,地理因素能够解释为什么世界某些地区会停留在欠发达状态。具体来说,他指出,欧亚大陆的东西走向使得适合驯化的谷物产量更大、种类更多,也使其经济剩余更多,后者为这块大陆上的国家制度的发展提供了便利。至于那些不那么幸运的地域,诸如新几内亚、撒哈拉以南非洲等,就因为土地生产率低下而停留在了欠发达状态。 In a recent paper (Mayshar et al. 2015), we contend that fiscal capacity and viable state institutions are conditioned to a major extent by geography. Thus, like Diamond, we argue that geography matters a great deal. But in contrast to Diamond, and against conventional opinion, we contend that it is not high farming productivity and the availability of food surplus that accounts for the economic success of Eurasia. 在最近的一篇论文(Mayshar等,2015年)中,我们主张:财政能力和国家机构的维系,很大程度上受地理条件限制。因此和Diamond一样,我们认为地理条件异常重要。不过与Diamond和其他传统观点不同的是,我们认为欧亚大陆的经济成功并非源于高农业生产率和获得粮食盈余的可能性。
  • We propose an alternative mechanism by which environmental factors imply the appropriability of crops and thereby the emergence of complex social institutions.
  • 我们提出了一个(用于解释国家起源的)替代机制:环境因素决定谷物的可收夺性,从而决定了复杂社会制度的产生。
To understand why surplus is neither necessary nor sufficient for the emergence of hierarchy, consider a hypothetical community of farmers who cultivate cassava (a major source of calories in sub-Saharan Africa, and the main crop cultivated in Nigeria), and assume that the annual output is well above subsistence. 为了理解为什么粮食盈余既不是等级制产生的必要条件,也不是充分条件,让我们假设:有这么一个种植木薯(撒哈拉以南非洲的一种主要热量来源,尼日利亚的主要农作物)的农民群体,并且假设每年的产量远远超过生存所需。 Cassava is a perennial root that is highly perishable upon harvest. Since this crop rots shortly after harvest, it isn't stored and it is thus difficult to steal or confiscate. As a result, the assumed available surplus would not facilitate the emergence of a non-food producing elite, and may be expected to lead to a population increase. 木薯是多年生宿根植物,收获以后很容易腐烂。既然这种作物在收获后不久就会腐烂,它就不会被贮藏,因此很难被盗取或征用。结果就是,这种假定可以获得的粮食盈余将不会促成那些不事农业生产的统治精英的产生,而且可能会导致人口增长。 Consider now another hypothetical farming community that grows a cereal grain – such as wheat, rice or maize – yet with an annual produce that just meets each family's subsistence needs, without any surplus. Since the grain has to be harvested within a short period and then stored until the next harvest, a visiting robber or tax collector could readily confiscate part of the stored produce. Such ongoing confiscation may be expected to lead to a downward adjustment in population density, but it will nevertheless facilitate the emergence of non-producing elite, even though there was no surplus. 现在设想另外一个种植谷类作物的农民群体——比如小麦、稻米或者玉米,且假定这些作物的年产量只能刚好满足每个家庭的生存需求,没有任何盈余。因为粮食作物要在很短时间内收割完毕,并需要一直贮藏到下次收获,所以袭击而来的盗贼或者税吏可以很容易地拿走储藏量的一部分。这种不断出现的损失,可能会导致人口密度下降,但是它却会促进不事生产的统治精英的产生,尽管完全没有粮食盈余。 Emergence of fiscal capacity and hierarchy and the cultivation of cereals 财政能力及等级制的产生与谷物栽培的关系 This simple scenario shows that surplus isn't a precondition for taxation. It also illustrates our alternative theory that the transition to agriculture enabled hierarchy to emerge only where the cultivated crops were vulnerable to appropriation. 这个简单的设想表明,粮食盈余并不是税收的前提条件。同时,它也说明了我们所提出的新理论——农业转向促成了等级制的萌生,但这一过程只会发生在所培植的作物很容易被掠夺的地方。
  • In particular, we contend that the Neolithic emergence of fiscal capacity andhierarchy was conditioned on the cultivation of appropriable cereals as the staple crops, in contrast to less appropriable staples such as roots and tubers.
  • 具体来说,我们认为,财政能力与等级制在新石器时代出现,需要一个前提条件:以易于收夺的谷类为主要作物,而不是以不易收夺的块根和块茎作物等为主要作物。
According to this theory, complex hierarchy did not emerge among hunter-gatherers because hunter-gatherers essentially live from hand-to-mouth, with little that can be expropriated from them to feed a would-be elite. 根据这一理论,狩猎采集者群体中间没能产生复杂的等级制,是因为他们本质上是现挣现吃的,在他们身上很难征用到足够的资源来供养潜在的统治精英。
  • Thus, rather than surplus facilitating the emergence of the elite, we argue that the elite only emerged when and where it was possible to expropriate crops.
  • 因此,并非粮食盈余促进了统治精英的出现。我们认为,只有在粮食收成容易被征用的地方和时期,才会产生统治精英。
Due to increasing returns to scale in the provision of protection from theft, early farmers had to aggregate and to cooperate to defend their stored grains. Food storage and the demand for protection thus led to population agglomeration in villages and to the creation of a non-food producing elite that oversaw the provision of protection. 鉴于防备盗窃所带来的收益是随规模递增的,远古时代的农民们必须聚集在一起共同合作来守护他们的储粮。因此,食物贮藏和保护的需要使得人口集聚成村落,并且创造了负责提供保护而不事农业生产的精英。 Once a group became larger than a few dozen immediate kin, it is unlikely that those who sought protection services were as forthcoming in financing the security they desired. This public-good nature of protection was resolved by the ability of those in charge of protecting the stored food to appropriate the necessary means. 而一旦某个群体的数量超过了几十个直系亲属的规模的话,那么这些寻求保护性服务的人们就不太可能心甘情愿地支付维持众人渴望的安全所需的费用。解决安全保卫的这种公共物品性质,要求那些负责保护储粮的人提高自身对于必要财产的征用能力。
  • That is, we argue that it was this transformation of the appropriation technology, due to the transition to cereals, which created both the demand for protection and the means for its provision.
  • 也就是说,我们认为,是由于征用技术随着谷物种植出现而发生转变,才既创造了对于安全保卫的需求,也创造了提供安全保卫的手段。
This is how we explain the emergence of complex and hereditary social hierarchy, and eventually the state. 这就是我们解释复杂的、世袭性的社会等级制乃至国家最终形成的方法。 Applied to Diamond's prototypic contrast between Eurasia and New Guinea, our theory suggests that the crucial distinction between these two regions is that farming in Eurasia relied on the cultivation of cereals, while in New Guinea it relied mostly on the cultivation of tubers (yam and taro, and, more recently, sweet potato) and bananas, where long-term storage is neither feasible (due to perishability) nor necessary (because harvesting is essentially non-seasonal). 应用于Diamond对比欧亚大陆和新几内亚的原型理论,我们的理论表明:这两个地域之间最关键的差别是欧亚大陆的农业依赖于谷物栽培,而新几内亚依赖的主要是块茎作物(白薯,芋头,最近也有甘薯)和香蕉,这些作物既不可能长期保存(因为易腐性),又没有必要长期保存(因为收获时节基本上是非季节性的)。 This provided farmers in New Guinea with sufficient immunity against bandits and potential tax collectors. More generally, we contend that the underdevelopment of tropical areas is not due to low land fertility but rather the reverse. Farmers in the tropics can choose to cultivate highly productive, non-appropriable tuber crops. This inhibits both the demand for socially provided protection and the emergence of a protection-providing elite. It is a curse of plenty. 这使得新几内亚的农民们对抢匪和潜在的税吏有足够的免疫力。更一般地说,我们认为,热带地区的欠发达原因并不是土壤产出低,而是恰好相反。热带地区的农民可以选择种植高产量而不易收夺的块茎作物。这样就既抑制了对于作为社会公共品提供的保护的需求,也妨碍了负责提供保护的统治精英的出现。这是一种资源诅咒。 In the empirical section of our paper we demonstrate that, contrary to the standard productivity-and-surplus theory, land productivity per se has no direct effect on hierarchy. We also show that, consistent with our theory, the cultivation of roots or tubers is indeed detrimental to hierarchy. 在论文的实证部分,我们证明了,与标准的生产率—盈余理论不同,土地生产率本身对于等级制形成没有直接影响。我们同时也表明,种植块根和块茎作物确实是不利于等级制的形成,这与我们的理论一致。 Empirical finding 实证结果 These results are established by employing two datasets with information on social hierarchy: a cross section and a panel of countries. For our cross-sectional analysis we use Murdock's (1967) Ethnographic Atlas, which contains information on cultural, institutional, and economic features of 1,267 societies from around the world at an idealised time period of first contact with Europeans. Our main outcome variable is ‘jurisdictional hierarchy beyond the local community’. The Ethnographic Atlas also provides information on the major crop type grown by societies that practice agriculture. 上述结果是基于应用两个包含社会等级制信息的数据集而得出的:一组是截面数据,一组则是面板数据。在截面分析中,我们使用了Murdock的“民族志图集”(1967年),其中包含了世界各地1267个社群在刚刚接触欧洲人的理想化时间段内的文化、制度和经济特征方面的信息。我们主要的结果变量是“超越地方性社群的管辖层级”。“民族志地图”里面也提供了各个从事农业的社群所种植的主要作物种类的信息。 Since the cultivated crop is a decision variable, we instrument for the crop type by using data on land suitability for different crops from the Food and Agriculture Organisation. We first show that the decision whether to cultivate cereals as a main crop depends positively on the productivity advantage of cereals over roots and tubers (in terms of potential caloric yields per hectare). 因为农作物是我们模型中的决策变量【编注:指模型中可加以控制或先于其他参数而改变的主动变量】,我们利用联合国粮农组织有关土地对不同作物之适宜性的数据,来推测各社群的农作物类型。首先我们分析表明,是否将谷物作为主要作物,实际上依赖于谷物对于块根和块茎作物的生产率优势(以每公顷的潜在热量产出计算)。 We then find that societies tend to have a more complex hierarchal organisation where the productivity advantage of cereals over roots and tubers is higher, as predicted by our theory. Furthermore, we find that societies that practice agriculture are more hierarchical only where they cultivate cereals. This means that societies that cultivate roots and tubers have similar levels of hierarchy to those of pastoral or foraging societies. 而后我们发现,那些谷物比根块茎作物拥有更高生产率优势的社群,往往会拥有更复杂的层级机构,这与我们所提理论的预期相符。此外,我们发现,在从事农业生产的社群中,只有种植谷物的那些才具有更多的等级性质。这意味着,种植根块茎的社群与游牧社群或采集社群具有相似的社会分层水平。 We also show that land productivity, measured by the potential yield of calories per acre of the most productive crop in each area, does not affect hierarchy once we control for the productivity advantage of cereals. Thus, our empirical findings challenge the conventional argument that it is increased land productivity that leads to more hierarchical societies. 我们还展示了,一旦控制了谷物的生产率优势,土地生产率(以每个地方最适应生产的作物的每英亩潜在热量产出计算)就不会影响社会等级性。因此,我们的实证结果质疑了土地生产率提高导致社会等级性增强的传统理论。 Although this cross-sectional analysis accounts for a wide range of confounding factors, we cannot rule out completely that omitted variables may bias the estimates. To overcome this concern, we employ another dataset compiled by Borcan et al. (2014). This is a panel, based on present-day boundaries of 159 countries, with institutional information every five decades over the last millennium. 虽然这个截面分析考虑到了很多干扰因子,但我们依然不能完全排除遗漏某些变量造成推算偏差的可能性。为了解除这一疑虑,我们应用了另外一个由Borcan等人(2014年)编制的数据集。这是一项历时性数据,以159个国家的现代边界为基础,包含有过去一千年中每隔五十年的制度信息。 This panel enables us to exploit the ‘Columbian exchange’ of crops across continents as a natural experiment. The new crops that became available after 1492 in the New and the Old World changed both the productivity of land and the productivity advantage of cereals over roots and tubers in the majority of the countries in the sample. 这项历时性数据使得我们可以把农作物跨越各大陆的“哥伦布交换”当作一个自然实验来利用。对于样本国家中的大多数而言,新旧两个大陆在1492年之后所得到的新型农作物都既改变了他们的土地生产率,也改变了谷物相对块根块茎作物的生产率优势。 Consistent with our theory, the panel regressions confirm that an increase in the productivity advantage of cereals over roots and tubers has a positive impact on hierarchical complexity, while an increase in land productivity does not. 与我们的理论一致的是,基于历时性数据的回归分析证实:如果谷物作物相对于块根块茎作物的生产率优势增加,那就会对社会分层的复杂性产生正面影响,而土地生产率的增加则不会引发这种正面影响。 Concluding remarks 结论 These findings support our theory that it is not agricultural productivity and surplus per se that explains more complex hierarchical societies, but rather the productivity advantage of cereals over roots and tubers, the type of crop that is cultivated as a result, and the appropriability of the crop type. Given that the productivity of roots and tubers is typically high in the tropics, these results also support the claim that deep-rooted geographical factors may explain the current weakness of state institutions in these regions. 这些发现支持了我们的理论:农业生产率和粮食盈余本身并不能解释更为复杂的等级制社会的出现,毋宁说,它们之出现,原因在于谷物作物相对于块根块茎作物的生产率优势,也就是由此导致的栽培农作物的种类选择以及此种农作物的可收夺性。鉴于块根块茎作物在热带地区产量一般来说更高,上述结论也支持这样一种说法:这些地域的国家机构的孱弱现状,可能从深层次的地理原因方面可以得到解释。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]为何人类阴道那么大

Why Is the Human Vagina So Big?
为什么人类阴道那么大

作者:Holly Dunsworth @ 2015-12-03
译者:小册子(@昵称被抢的小册子)
校对:林翠(@cwlinnil)
来源:The Evolution Institute,https://evolution-institute.org/blog/why-is-the-human-vagina-so-big/

We are obsessed with penis and testicle size. Yet, we can barely say “vagina” and when we do we’re usually talking about the vulva.

我们总是着迷于阴茎和睾丸的尺寸,却极少谈及“阴道”,就算我们提到了,一般也只是讨论外阴。

Everyone’s come across some article somewhere on-line that is thrilled to share how big human penises really are, for primates, and to explain why they evolved to be so big. It’s not really the length, but the girth. Alan Dixson is your go-to on this. He’s conservative in his assessment of the literature on penis size and even he concedes that human penis “circumference is unusual when compared to the penes of other hominoids (apes)” (p. 65 in Sexual Selection and the Origins of Human Mating Systems).

每个人都见过,网上的一些文章在兴奋不已地告诉你,人类的阴茎在灵长类中有多大,为什么会进化成这么大。其实所谓的大,不是指长度,而是指茎围。说到这个话题,你去问Alan Dixson就准没错。他对有关阴茎大小的文献一贯持比较谨慎的态度,但连他也承认,人类的阴茎“周长和其他人猿的阳具相比是个异数” (见《性选择与人类繁衍系统起源》第65页)

A favorite explanation for the big phallus is female mate choice, that females selectively make babies with males who have larger and, presumably, more pleasurable semen delivery devices. This is backed up by studies. When life size projections of naked men are shown to female subjects, they say they find the ones with bigger ones to be more attractive. [This is exactly how mate choice works where I live, how about you?]

对阳具大型化的一个比较受欢迎的解释是雌性交配偏好,也就是说雌性倾向于选择与有着较硕大、想来也较受用的“精液注射器”的雄性交配产子。这一理论得到了一些研究的支持。有研究让女性受访对象看真实大小的裸男幻灯片,她们纷纷表示阳具伟岸的男性比较有吸引力。(这完全符合我日常所见的择偶选择,你呢?)

Other explanations include male competition. If you can deliver your package to the front yard but the other guy can deliver to the front door, his is more likely to be carried inside the house first. Or, if he can steal away what you just delivered, then, again, his package has yours beat. Thanks to his big penis he’s more likely to pass on his winning penis genes than you are to pass on your loser penis genes. Loser.

雄性竞争也是一种解释。如果你只能把包裹投递到院子里,但另一个人可以把包裹放到屋门前,那他的包裹先进屋的几率就高一些。又或者,如果他可以偷走你刚送的包裹,那他的包裹也一样打败了你的。因为器材比较大,他延续他那“赢茎”基因的可能性比你延续你那“输茎”基因的可能性也就比较大。于是你就完蛋了。

All this is just terribly fun to write about and I’m not even going nuts (gah) like they do. And they do. They really do(more...)

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Why Is the Human Vagina So Big? 为什么人类阴道那么大 作者:Holly Dunsworth @ 2015-12-03 译者:小册子(@昵称被抢的小册子) 校对:林翠(@cwlinnil) 来源:The Evolution Institute,https://evolution-institute.org/blog/why-is-the-human-vagina-so-big/ We are obsessed with penis and testicle size. Yet, we can barely say “vagina” and when we do we’re usually talking about the vulva. 我们总是着迷于阴茎和睾丸的尺寸,却极少谈及“阴道”,就算我们提到了,一般也只是讨论外阴。 Everyone’s come across some article somewhere on-line that is thrilled to share how big human penises really are, for primates, and to explain why they evolved to be so big. It’s not really the length, but the girth. Alan Dixson is your go-to on this. He’s conservative in his assessment of the literature on penis size and even he concedes that human penis “circumference is unusual when compared to the penes of other hominoids (apes)” (p. 65 in Sexual Selection and the Origins of Human Mating Systems). 每个人都见过,网上的一些文章在兴奋不已地告诉你,人类的阴茎在灵长类中有多大,为什么会进化成这么大。其实所谓的大,不是指长度,而是指茎围。说到这个话题,你去问Alan Dixson就准没错。他对有关阴茎大小的文献一贯持比较谨慎的态度,但连他也承认,人类的阴茎“周长和其他人猿的阳具相比是个异数” (见《性选择与人类繁衍系统起源》第65页) A favorite explanation for the big phallus is female mate choice, that females selectively make babies with males who have larger and, presumably, more pleasurable semen delivery devices. This is backed up by studies. When life size projections of naked men are shown to female subjects, they say they find the ones with bigger ones to be more attractive. [This is exactly how mate choice works where I live, how about you?] 对阳具大型化的一个比较受欢迎的解释是雌性交配偏好,也就是说雌性倾向于选择与有着较硕大、想来也较受用的“精液注射器”的雄性交配产子。这一理论得到了一些研究的支持。有研究让女性受访对象看真实大小的裸男幻灯片,她们纷纷表示阳具伟岸的男性比较有吸引力。(这完全符合我日常所见的择偶选择,你呢?) Other explanations include male competition. If you can deliver your package to the front yard but the other guy can deliver to the front door, his is more likely to be carried inside the house first. Or, if he can steal away what you just delivered, then, again, his package has yours beat. Thanks to his big penis he’s more likely to pass on his winning penis genes than you are to pass on your loser penis genes. Loser. 雄性竞争也是一种解释。如果你只能把包裹投递到院子里,但另一个人可以把包裹放到屋门前,那他的包裹先进屋的几率就高一些。又或者,如果他可以偷走你刚送的包裹,那他的包裹也一样打败了你的。因为器材比较大,他延续他那“赢茎”基因的可能性比你延续你那“输茎”基因的可能性也就比较大。于是你就完蛋了。 All this is just terribly fun to write about and I’m not even going nuts (gah) like they do. And they do. They really do. And all over the Internet they do: “Evolution of human penis” gets 53,000 hits just on scholar.google alone, and about 832,000 on Google. 写这些东西真是好玩死了,而我又不会像他们那样疯狂,咔咔。他们真是挺疯的,不骗你。男人在网上有这么疯:搜索“人类阴茎的进化”,仅仅在谷歌学术上就得到了53,000个结果,在整个谷歌上则得到了832,000个。 But doesn’t it make sense that for a penis to be somewhat useful it has to be somewhat correlated to vagina size? 但是,如果阴茎要发挥功能,难道不是应该和阴道的大小联系起来才说的通吗? I’m talking about all penises in the universe and all vaginas too. Sure there’s variation, but a penis can’t be too wide. It helps to be long, probably, but it can’t be too long. 我在讨论的是地球上所有的阴茎,和地球上所有的阴道。当然它们会有差异,但阴茎也不能太粗。长应该是有好处,但也不能太长。 So neither pleasure nor psychology need matter at all, just function associated with some sort of fit. Pleasure and psychology are never invoked to explain penis morphology in other animals. If anything, it’s the cornucopia of horrifying, not pleasing, animal penises that begs for evolutionary explanations. 其实肉体欢愉和心理需要都根本不重要,重要的只是与大小匹配相关的功能。肉体欢愉和心理感受从来就没有被拿来解释其他动物的阴茎形态。如果非要从进化论的角度看,就要去解释太多种并不讨喜,反而可怕的动物阴茎了。 Wouldn’t you explain the size and shape of the key by the size and shape of the lock? So wouldn’t it be a little more scientifically sound to hypothesize that the human penis is sized and shaped like that because it fits well into the human vagina? 你在解释钥匙的大小和形状的时候,不是以锁的大小和形状为参照的吗?因此,人类阴茎之所以是如此的大小和形状,是为了要匹配人类的阴道,这种猜想在科学上不是比较合理么? Sure, it gets chicken-and-eggy or turtles-all-the-way-downy, but c’mon. Isn’t it a bit obvious that the privates that fit inside the other privates are probably correlated? You’d think that even the people who have never had intercourse would default to this explanation for the evolution of the human penis. 当然,这会演变成一个鸡先蛋先,又或者是龟下有龟的问题【译注:”It’s turtles all the way down”来自一则古老的轶事,体现逻辑上的无限递归,后来成为一句玩笑话,用来表达表面立于不败之地,而实则回避逻辑问题的境况】。不过,拜托,互相契合的灵长类体征具有相关性,这不是很明显吗?你应该会同意,就算没有性经验的人,不需多想也会接受这个有关人类阴茎进化的理论吧。 But we’re rarely, if ever, told that human penises are relatively girthy because human vaginas are. It’s always about male competition or female preference. 但我们极少,甚至从没有听人提过,人类的阴茎之所以比较粗大,是因为人类的阴道比较粗大。大家总是在研究那些雄性竞争和雌性偏好的理论。 Sure, we may be a little weird compared to our close relatives for not having a baculum (penis bone), and maybe that’s the sort of thing you want to explain for whatever reason, but does human penis size and shape need a uniquely human story? 人类阴茎没有骨骼,和人类的近亲相比这也许显得有些奇怪,你可能会出于种种原因想为这一现象找个解释。但人类阴茎的大小和形状有别于其它动物,真的需要一个独特的解释吗? Assuming it’s correlated to the vagina like it probably is in many other species,* then no it doesn’t… unless the size and shape of the human vagina has an exceptional story. 有不少其他动物的阴茎大小和形状很可能和它们的阴道相关,假设人类也是如此,那除非人类阴道的形态有异于其它动物,否则人类阴茎的形态不应该有什么特别。

journal.pone_.0000418.g002 [水禽雌雄生殖器官协同变异的图例。标星型的为雄性生殖器,箭头指向的是女性生殖器。图片来自“水禽雌雄生殖形态的协同进化”。DOI编码: 10.1371/journal.pone.0000418]

Does it? We wouldn’t know. There are zero (look!) articles titled “Why is the human vagina so big?” 究竟有没什么特别呢,我们不知道。从来都没有文章(你自己看!)以“为何人类的阴道那么大”为题。 Until right now. 直到现在才有。 Here we go. If we were going to answer it the same way we’ve long explained the human penis, and other animal penis shapes, then we’ve got a few ideas… 来吧,如果以我们长期以来解释人类和其他动物阴茎形态的思路,来回答这一问题的话,我们可以有如下一些解释…… Because walking upright made the vagina conspicuous and males thought a bigger vagina was better. Because big vaginas outcompete small ones at catching sperm. Because of male pleasure from coitus with a big vagina. Because of heat dissipation or thermoregulation. Because of a tradeoff with brain size. 因为直立行走让阴道外露,雄性认为阴道大一点比较好。因为大点的阴道比小点的更易于捕捉精子。因为大一点的阴道令雄性性交更舒服。因为有利于散热和调节体温。因为这是针对脑量增大的折衷方案。 And of course, we’d need to demonstrate that the human vagina is in fact larger, relative to body size, than the vaginas of other primates. Regardless, a sound answer to the question of vagina size and shape focuses on childbirth, wouldn’t you say? She’s got to be big enough to push out a baby and, for humans, it’s a great big baby. 当然,我们需要证明人类阴道相对于身体的比例,比起其它灵长类动物来说的确要更大。无论如何,难道你不觉得要回答人类阴道大小形状的问题,重点应该放在分娩上吗?阴道得足够大才能把婴儿生出来呀,人类婴儿的个头可大得很。 #169-3

[红毛猩,大猩猩,黑猩猩与人类的对比。这些数值偏离了灵长类总体的回归分析。数据来自Dunsworth等人,2012年,PNAS第 109(38):15212-15216]

So if there’s an exceptionally human story for the great big human penis, that exceptional story originates not in a woman’s orgasms, not in her pornographic thoughts or her lustful eyes, but in her decidedly unsexy “birth canal.” 所以如果人类阴茎硕大有什么特别原因的话,那原因既不是来自女人的性高潮,也不是来自女人的淫思欲眼,而是来自于那毫无性感可言的“产道”。 And I dug up a nice little note to explain this to us all written by Dr. Bowman, a gynecologist, back in 2008 for the Archives of Sexual Behavior which is magnificent. It starts out giving the only vagina-size-based, not to mention childbirth-based, explanation for human penises that I can find in the literature (which is thankfully cited by Dixson in his book mentioned above). But it still manages to bring the explanation beyond the vagina and onto another proud triumph: “In sum, man’s larger penis is a consequence of his larger brain.” 我找到了妇科医生Bowman于2008年发表在《性行为档案》上的一篇文章,该文很好地向大家解释了上述问题。文章开始以阴道大小和分娩需要为切入点来解释人类阴茎的大小,这是我能找到的以阴道大小来解释阴茎大小的唯一文献,从分娩需要着眼就更不用说了。这要感谢Dixson在前文提到的书中引用了这一资料。Bowman在文中还站在一个比阴道更高的层次,去解释这个问题:“总而言之,人类阴茎巨大是脑量增加的后果”。 After you clean up the coffee you just spat onto your computer screen, you can read it all for yourself by clicking on the link up there (or emailing me for the pdf). 你可以先把喷到电脑上的咖啡抹干净,然后点击上面的链接,通读一下那篇文章(想要pdf格式的可以发邮件给我)。 Guess who didn’t read it? That study in PNAS, mentioned above, that showed women naked penises, got a high attractive score for the big ones, and thinks that’s evidence for mate choice now, today, let alone back when (I’m going to speculate that) women had a tiny bit less of it. 你猜谁没有读过那篇文章?就是文章开头提到的那项研究的研究者【编注:指本文第三节提到的“让女性受访对象看真实大小的裸男幻灯片”的那项研究】,他们把阴茎赤裸裸地呈现给女人看,让那些大家伙拿到高分,然后认为拿到了交配偏好在当代的证据,至于过去女人眼福稍浅(我只是猜的)的年代是什么情况,就更不用废话了。 Point is, the literature rages on with the special explanations for the big penis with nary a big vagina in sight. 重点是,各路文章热火朝天地为大阴茎找了各种特别的原因,却对大阴道视而不见。 But you heard it here, at least. 但起码你在这里听说了。 Childbirth is why the human vagina is so big and, consequently, why the male penis is so big. It’s pretty straightforward. Yet we’re still left scratching our heads as to why the penis question endures. 分娩导致了人类阴道如此巨大,进而导致人类阴茎如此巨大。这很直观。然而大阴茎的话题经久不衰,这很令我们挠头。 Is evolutionary science averse to big vaginas? 难道进化研究是反大阴道的么? Does nobody love a big vagina? 难道就没人喜欢大阴道么? Because that’s just ridiculous. Everybody came from one. 这很荒谬,每个人都是从那儿出来的呀。

******

P.S. Unfortunately a few scholar.google searches led me to find no cross-species comparisons of mammalian vagina lengths or any vaginal measures. It may be out there, but I haven’ t found it. I found some measures for bitches… DOGS! And some heifers… COWS! So I’ve got to compile some data if I’m to do this properly. Baby size might be a way to do this. P.S. 我在谷歌学术搜索了一下,可惜没有找到不同哺乳动物阴道长度或尺码的对比。也许有,但我找不到。我倒是找到了狗娘的尺码……是真的母狗啦!还有牛逼的尺码……也是真的母牛啦!所以如果要认真对比的话,我得收集整理一些数据才行。通过分析婴儿的大小可能也是一个办法。 P.P.S. p. 73 in Dixson has Figure 4.3 with nine primate species’ penile and vaginal lengths plotted. Thanks Patrick C. for reminding me where I’d seen something like this and where to point readers! P.P.S. Dixson书中第73页的图表4.3,列出了九种灵长类动物的阴茎与阴道的长度。谢谢Patrick C.提醒我曾经看到过这样的图表,让我可以告诉读者上哪里找。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]长寿、祖母假说与配偶关系

Got a great relationship? You may want to thank your prehistoric grandmother
拥有美妙的关系?你可能想感谢你远古的祖母

作者:Jo Setchell @ 2015-09-08
译者:淡蓝 (lilacinrain@gmail.com)
校对:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy)
来源:THE CONVERSATION,https://theconversation.com/got-a-great-relationship-you-may-want-to-thank-your-prehistoric-grandmother-47181

I went to a cross-cultural wedding last weekend. The guests travelled across continents to be there, spoke mutually incomprehensible languages and came from different traditions. However, they all shared a common understanding of the relationship between the bride and the groom. Pair bonds are, after all, universal in human societies, despite being rare in other mammals. And we don’t exactly know why.

上周末我参加了一场跨文化的婚礼。源自不同的文化传统、说着彼此都听不懂的语言的婚礼嘉宾们穿越各大洲来到这里。虽然如此,对新郎和新娘的关系,他们却有着共识。在其他哺乳动物中罕见的配偶式结对,却实实在在地在全人类社会中普遍存在。而我们却不太清楚这是为什么。

Before the wedding breakfast, I chatted with a relaxed couple who had left their kids with their grandparents for the day. This is not unusual; UK grandparents babysit on average 76 times a year – and we often take it for granted. But now a new study finally gives grandparents the credit they deserve by arguing that long-term relationships actually evolved thanks to grandmothers helping out with kids in prehistoric times.

婚礼早餐之前,我与一对十分放松闲适的夫妇聊了会。那天他俩把孩子交给了他们的祖父母照看。这种做法应该不在少数;在英国,祖父母们每年平均照顾孙辈76次——而我们常常也觉得这是理所当然(more...)

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Got a great relationship? You may want to thank your prehistoric grandmother 拥有美妙的关系?你可能想感谢你远古的祖母 作者:Jo Setchell @ 2015-09-08 译者:淡蓝 (lilacinrain@gmail.com) 校对:沈沉(@你在何地-sxy) 来源:THE CONVERSATION,https://theconversation.com/got-a-great-relationship-you-may-want-to-thank-your-prehistoric-grandmother-47181 I went to a cross-cultural wedding last weekend. The guests travelled across continents to be there, spoke mutually incomprehensible languages and came from different traditions. However, they all shared a common understanding of the relationship between the bride and the groom. Pair bonds are, after all, universal in human societies, despite being rare in other mammals. And we don’t exactly know why. 上周末我参加了一场跨文化的婚礼。源自不同的文化传统、说着彼此都听不懂的语言的婚礼嘉宾们穿越各大洲来到这里。虽然如此,对新郎和新娘的关系,他们却有着共识。在其他哺乳动物中罕见的配偶式结对,却实实在在地在全人类社会中普遍存在。而我们却不太清楚这是为什么。 Before the wedding breakfast, I chatted with a relaxed couple who had left their kids with their grandparents for the day. This is not unusual; UK grandparents babysit on average 76 times a year – and we often take it for granted. But now a new study finally gives grandparents the credit they deserve by arguing that long-term relationships actually evolved thanks to grandmothers helping out with kids in prehistoric times. 婚礼早餐之前,我与一对十分放松闲适的夫妇聊了会。那天他俩把孩子交给了他们的祖父母照看。这种做法应该不在少数;在英国,祖父母们每年平均照顾孙辈76次——而我们常常也觉得这是理所当然的。但是,现在一项新研究终于承认了爷爷奶奶们应得的功劳,研究认为,长期夫妻关系的进化产生,实际上多亏了远古时代祖母们对孩子们的照看。 The greatness of grandparents 祖父母的伟大之处 The question of why humans form pair bonds – the biological term for the strong affinity that develops between partners (often a male-female pair but not always) – is in fact one of the biggest puzzles in evolutionary anthropology. Humans are apes, yet our closest living relatives – chimpanzees and bonobos – have no such long-term relationships between male-female pairs. 人类为何会形成配偶式结对——生物学术语,指伴侣之间(常常是雌雄配对,但并不全然如此)发展出的强亲和关系——事实上是进化人类学上的最大谜题之一。人类是一种猿,可我们的现存近亲——黑猩猩和倭黑猩猩——的雌雄伴侣之间却不存在这种长期关系。 In the late 1990s, anthropologists put forward the “grandmother hypothesis” to explain why human females stop reproducing at a similar age to other great apes, but live markedly longer lives. Chimpanzees live into their 30s or 40s, but human females often live decades beyond their child-bearing years. 1990年代末,人类学家提出了“祖母假说”,以解释为何人类女性停止生育的年龄与其他大猿相仿,却明显更加长寿。黑猩猩可以活到30多或40多岁,人类女性却能在育龄后再活数十年。 The grandmother hypothesis was based on observations of the Hadza people, in Tanzania. Hadza people live by hunting and gathering food, like our ancestors, although, they are of course modern people. 祖母假说基于对坦桑尼亚哈扎族人的观察而提出。尽管哈扎族人象我们祖先一样,靠狩猎和采集食物而生,但他们当然也是现代人。 Older Hadza women dig up tubers to feed youngsters who aren’t strong enough to it themselves. The grandmother hypothesis suggests that this help allows daughters to have their next baby sooner than they would otherwise. Over time, grandmothers who lived longer and helped more had more grandchildren, who shared their genes for longer life and care of their grandchildren. Thus, these genes became increasingly common in the population and human lifespan increased. 年老的哈扎族妇女靠挖掘植物块茎来喂养不够强壮、不能自食其力的年幼者。祖母假说认为,这种帮助让女儿们能更快地孕育下一个宝宝,否则间隔时间会更久。随着时间推移,更长寿并能提供更多帮助的祖母们就拥有了更多的孙辈,这些孙辈会共享她们的长寿基因并再去照顾自己的孙辈。这样一来,这些基因在人口中变得越来越普遍,人类寿命就此增加了。 The evolution of partnership 伴侣关系的演变 The new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has used computer simulations to link this hypothesis to the evolution of pair-bonding in humans. The authors argue that long-term romantic relationships evolved due to a combination of people living longer and men remaining fertile longer than women. This situation led to a surplus of older men competing for younger, fertile women. 发表在《美国国家科学院院刊》上的一项新研究,用计算机模拟将这一假说与人类固定配偶关系的进化联系了起来。作者们认为,长期浪漫关系之所以进化出来,是因为人类越来越长寿,并且男性保有生殖能力的时间比女性更长。这种状况使得有更多相对较老的男性为年轻的育龄女性而相互竞争。 In fact, the study shows that the ratio of fertile males to fertile females in humans is twice as big as it is in chimpanzees, making humans very unusual mammals. This excess of males makes us more like birds. And birds are well-known for their pair-bonds. 事实上,这项研究显示,人类的育龄男女比,要比黑猩猩群体中的同一比例大两倍,这让人类成为十分不同寻常的哺乳动物。男性过多,使得我们更像鸟类,而鸟类的配偶关系是众所周知的。 Where many males compete for relatively few females, a male who develops a strong bond with one female will have more surviving offspring than males who seek numerous partners. The authors suggest that this created increasing incentives for men to “guard” their mate against rival males. 在数量更多的男性为相对较少的女性而彼此竞争时,与那些寻求众多伴侣的男性相比,同某一女性发展出强结合的男性将会拥有更多的成活后代。作者们认为,这就造成了很大的激励,促使男性去“守卫”他们的伴侣,赶走竞争对手。 While mate-guarding is not necessarily the same thing as pair-bonding, the authors argue that both involve a trade-off between paying attention to the current partner and seeking a new one. Of course, although the study concentrates on male strategy, females are not passive in this scenario – it takes two to bond. 当然,守卫伴侣与配偶关系未必是同一回事,作者们认为,两者有共同点,即都涉及在专心于当前伴侣和寻找新伴侣之间的权衡取舍。当然,尽管这项研究集中于男性的策略,女性在这一情景中也不是被动的——配偶结合需要两个人。 So, to put the wedding celebrations into their evolutionary context, perhaps it was the caring grandparents who led to the special relationship that we celebrated. A toast to the bride and groom … and one to their parents. 因此,把婚礼庆典放到进化论中来说,也许是因为那些曾经照看孙子的爷爷奶奶们,才造就了今天我们来庆祝的这种特殊关系吧。来吧,让我们为新娘和新郎干一杯……也为新人的父母干一杯。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]为何最大动物的精子最小

Why do the largest animals have the tiniest sperm? A brief investigation.
为什么全球最大动物的精子却是最小的?一份简要调查报告。

作者:Brian Resnick @ 2015-11-20
翻译:Drunkplane(@Drunkplane)
校对:慕白(@李凤阳他说)
来源:Vox.com,http://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2015/11/20/9768864/largest-animals-have-the-tiniest-sperm

Stefan Lüpold is a sperm guy. The Swiss evolutionary biologist did his masters work on sexual selection and bat genitalia, his PhD on the evolution of bird sperm, and a postdoctorate on how fruit fly sperm compete. “I’m fascinated by the almost unlimited diversity in both size and shape of sperm,” he writes me in an email from Zurich, describing his chosen sub-sub-discipline.

Stefan Lüpold 是个精子达人。这位瑞士进化生物学家硕士时研究的是性选择和蝙蝠的生殖器,博士时研究的是禽类精子的进化,博士后时则研究果蝇的精子如何竞争。“精子大小和形状近乎无穷的多样性让我着迷。”他从苏黎世给我发来电邮,讲述了他所选择的这一学科分支。

I’ve emailed him because he’s recently found evidence to answer a perplexing question: Why are sperm so weird?

我给他发邮件是因为他最近的发现能回答一个令人费解的问题:精子为什么这么诡异?

Mice, for instance, have sperm that’s twice as long as elephants’. The world’s longest spe(more...)

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Why do the largest animals have the tiniest sperm? A brief investigation. 为什么全球最大动物的精子却是最小的?一份简要调查报告。 作者:Brian Resnick @ 2015-11-20 翻译:Drunkplane(@Drunkplane) 校对:慕白(@李凤阳他说) 来源:Vox.com,http://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2015/11/20/9768864/largest-animals-have-the-tiniest-sperm Stefan Lüpold is a sperm guy. The Swiss evolutionary biologist did his masters work on sexual selection and bat genitalia, his PhD on the evolution of bird sperm, and a postdoctorate on how fruit fly sperm compete. "I’m fascinated by the almost unlimited diversity in both size and shape of sperm," he writes me in an email from Zurich, describing his chosen sub-sub-discipline. Stefan Lüpold 是个精子达人。这位瑞士进化生物学家硕士时研究的是性选择和蝙蝠的生殖器,博士时研究的是禽类精子的进化,博士后时则研究果蝇的精子如何竞争。“精子大小和形状近乎无穷的多样性让我着迷。”他从苏黎世给我发来电邮,讲述了他所选择的这一学科分支。 I've emailed him because he's recently found evidence to answer a perplexing question: Why are sperm so weird? 我给他发邮件是因为他最近的发现能回答一个令人费解的问题:精子为什么这么诡异? Mice, for instance, have sperm that's twice as long as elephants'. The world's longest sperm belongs to a fruit fly. And across the animal kingdom, sperm take on extremely odd and varied shapes and sizes. The "tadpole" shape we most associate with sperm is not at all common outside of mammals. Rat and mice sperm can have hook-like attachments on their heads. "In some species they seem to allow sperm to connect by their heads and form so-called sperm trains," Lüpold says. "These groups of sperm seem to swim faster than individual sperm." Fascinating! 举例来讲,老鼠精子的长度是大象精子的两倍。世界上最长的精子属于一种果蝇。纵观整个动物王国,精子的形状和大小极其古怪和多变。“蝌蚪”状这一我们最为熟悉的形状在哺乳动物以外根本不常见。老鼠精子的头部会有钩子形状的附属物。“一些物种的精子似乎可以通过头部连接在一起,形成所谓的精子列车。” Lüpold说,“这种精子群似乎比单个的精子游得更快。”多么神奇! From an evolutionary perspective this raises an intriguing question: Why are sperm so varied among different species when they all have the exact same purpose — fertilizing eggs? 从进化的角度看,这带来一个引人入胜的问题:所有的精子都有一个相同的目的——让卵子受精,但为什么不同物种的精子相差如此巨大?

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 5.54.26 PM[Four wildly different shapes of sperm, as illustrated in the text Sperm Competition and the Evolution of Animal Mating Systems (only 700 pages long!). A) Silverfish sperm, B) sponge sperm. C) molluscan sperm.,D) gyrinid beetle sperm.] 【四种截然不同的精子形状,来自《精子竞争和动物交配系统的进化》一书(也就700页而已啦!)A) 蠹虫的精子 B) 海绵的精子 C)软体动物的精子 D) 一种豉甲的精子】

Lüpold has a theory. Analyzing the sperm of 100 species of mammals, he and a co-author found a pattern amid the chaos: the larger the species, the smaller the sperm. The results were recently published in Proceedings B, a journal of the Royal Society of London. Lüpold有个理论。他和一位合著者分析了近百种哺乳动物的精子后,从这千头万绪中发现了一个规律:物种个体越大,精子越小。最近其成果已发表在伦敦皇家学会的《Proceedings B》杂志上。 Why would evolution favor such a pattern? Lüpold explains that longer sperm has some advantages — they are better at "elbowing" aside the competition. But it also takes a lot of energy to make long sperm, which larger animals can't afford. So it's a trade-off: 为什么进化倾向于这样一种规律?Lüpold 解释说,更长的精子具有某些优势——它们更能将竞争者“排挤”开;但是制造长精子会消耗大量能量,这是大型动物无法负担的,所以这是一种权衡取舍。
If there were no constraints on sperm production and assuming that longer sperm are advantageous, each male would probably produce lots of impressively big sperm. But in nature there are always constraints because resources and energy are not unlimited. For a testis of a given size, producing bigger sperm thus means it cannot produce as many of them (producing big sperm takes more resources, energy and time). 如果在精子生产方面没有限制,并且假设更长的精子确实更有优势,那么每个雄性也许会造出大量个头大得吓人的精子。但是自然界中总是存在种种限制,因为资源和能量不是无限的。对给定大小的睾丸来说,生产更大的精子意味着它生产的精子数量会减少(生产大精子会消耗更多资源、能量和时间)。 So, whether investing more in sperm size or in sperm number to maximize sperm competitiveness really depends on the circumstances, for example the size of the female reproductive tract. In large species, the female reproductive tract is massive compared to the tiny sperm, so sperm can easily be lost or diluted in it. Males have to compensate by transferring more sperm. Simply making longer sperm really wouldn’t make a difference in an elephant. They would have to be incredibly large. So males are better off making lots of tiny sperm. 所以,为了将精子的竞争力最大化,是在精子尺寸还是精子数量上“投资”取决于环境条件,比如雌性的生殖道。对大体型的物种来说,雌性的生殖道相较微小的精子来说太大了,所以精子很容易在其中迷失或被稀释掉。雄性只能通过投送更多的精子来弥补损失。简单通过制造更长的精子对大象来说于事无补,精子得大到离谱才行【编注:是指大到离谱才能产生阻挡其他精子的效果】。所以对雄性来讲,更好的策略是制造大量的小精子。
This inverse correlation between animal size and sperm size might be a consistent pattern across the animal kingdom. Almost all animals with sperm longer than a 10th of a millimeter, he explains, weigh less than one or two pounds. "Our results certainly suggest a unifying pattern that is likely to explain much of the diversity in mammalian sperm size and possibly beyond," he says, while noting more research is still needed. 动物的体型尺寸和精子尺寸之间这种负相关关系也许是动物王国里的普遍规律。几乎所有精子尺寸长于十分之一毫米的动物,体重都不超过一两磅。“我们的研究成果明确揭示了一个统一的模式,基本可以解释哺乳动物精子的多样性,也许还不止于此。”Lüpold说,然而他同时也表示还需要做更多的研究。 The mammal with the longest sperm? It's not the human. That distinction belongs to the honey possum, a very small (they grow to 3.5 inches long ) marsupial that lives in western Australia. They are adorable. Their sperm is 350 micrometers (.014 inches) long. 拥有最长精子的哺乳动物?不是人类。这一殊荣属于长吻袋貂,一种生活在澳大利亚西部的非常小(它们能长到八九厘米长)的有袋动物。它们很是可爱。它们的精子有0.356毫米长。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]音乐起源与人类进化

人类进化历程中的音乐
Music in Human Evolution

作者:Kevin Simler @ 2015-10-16
译者:Veidt(@Veidt)
校对:混乱阈值(@混乱阈值)
来源:Melting Asphalt,http://www.meltingasphalt.com/music-in-human-evolution/

I just finished the strangest, most disconcerting little book. It’s called Why Do People Sing?: Music in Human Evolution by Joseph Jordania.

我刚刚读完了一本让人称奇,又极为令人不安的小书——Joseph Jordania的《为什么人们会唱歌?——人类进化历程中的音乐》。

If the title hasn’t already piqued your interest, its thesis surely will. The thesis is wild, bold, and original, but makes an eerie amount of sense. If true, it would be a revolution — and I don’t use the term lightly — in how we understand the evolution of music, cooperation, warfare, and even religion.

如果这个标题还不足以激起你的兴趣,那么书中的理论一定会让你兴味盎然。该书论点狂野大胆又富于原创,但却合乎情理到可怕的程度。如果成立,它将成为我们理解音乐,人类合作,战争甚至宗教之演化过程的一项革命性理论——我一般不轻易使用“革命性”这个词。

I have my reservations about Jordania’s theory (and his book), but I’ll save them for a later time. As Daniel Dennett once wrote about another remarkable theory:

对于Jordania的理论(以及这本书)我仍有一些保留意见,但我打算把它们留到以后再讨论。正如Daniel Dennett曾就另一项卓越理论所写道的:

I think first it is very important to understand [the] project, to see a little bit more about what the whole shape of it is, and delay the barrage of nitpicking objections and criticisms until we have seen what the edifice as a whole is. After all, on the face of it, [the project] is preposterous… [but] I take it very seriously.

我认为首要的任务是理解这项理论,多看看它的整体是什么样的,在我们完全看清整个理论大厦前,不要急着接二连三地提出那些挑剔的反对和批评。尽管该理论表面看来荒诞不经……但我会很认真地对待它。

These are exactly my feelings about Jordania’s project. Seemingly preposterous, but worth taking very seriously.

对于Jordania的工作,我的感觉也正是如此。它看似荒谬,却值得我们非常认真地对待。

0.STYLIZED FACTS
0.典型事实

I’m going to share Jordania’s theory with you, but first I want to present a set of “stylized facts” — curious, disparate, and nearly inexplicable phenomena that would seem to have little relation to each other. Then I’ll present the theory that (uncannily) links them all together and explains everything.

下面我将与你分享Jordania的理论,但首先,我想向你呈现一组“典型事实”——这是一组奇怪的,完全不同的,而且几乎无法解释的现象,互相之间看起来也没什么联系。之后,我会展示这项能够(以一种不可思议的方式)将它们联系在一起并且解释这一切现象的理论。

OK, brace yourself. Here come the facts:

打起精神,做好准备。让我们来看看这些“典型事实”:

  • When our ancestors [1] first moved from the forest to the savannah, we were not yet capable of making tools. But early hominid evolution tended away from a physiology that would have helped us hunt and/or defend ourselves from predators. Our canine teeth receded, we became slower and weaker, and we didn’t develop tough skin (in fact the opposite).
  • 当我们的祖先第一次从森林中迁徙到热带稀树草原时,人类还没有获得制造工具的能力。但从生理学上看,早期原始人类的进化却并不利于人们狩猎以及防御捕食者。人类的犬齿退化了,运动变得缓慢,身体也变得更弱,而且也没有进化出坚韧的皮肤(事实上恰恰相反)。
  • Lion evolution and migration seems to have mirrored early hominid patterns, both spatiotemporally and (in some ways) behaviorally and morphologically. Lions, for example, are the only social species of cat.
  • 狮子的进化以及迁徙模式看起来与早期人类恰好互为镜像,不论从时间和空间上,还是从(某些方面的)行为和形态上说都是如此。举个例子,狮子是唯一一种群居的猫科动物。
  • Humans are the only ground-dwelling species that sings. There are over 4000 singing species — mostly birds, but also gibbons, dolphins, whales, and seals. But they all sing from water or the trees. When a bird lands on the ground, it invariably stops singing.
  • 人类是唯一一种会唱歌的地栖动物。世界上有超过4000种会唱歌的物种——其中大多数都是鸟类,此外还包括长臂猿,海豚,鲸类和海豹。但是这些物种全都是在水中或者树上唱歌。不论哪种鸟类,一旦降落到陆地上,它都会停止歌唱。
  • Of all singing creatures, humans are the only ones who use rhythm.
  • 在所有会唱歌的生物中,人类是唯一会使用韵律的。
  • When we sing, we almost always dance, even if it’s just nodding along or tapping a foot. Both singing and dancing (whether together or separate) are group activities used across the world in tribal bonding rituals. Isolated ethnic groups have remarkably similar styles of song and dance.
  • 当我们唱歌时,我们几乎也总会跳起舞来,即使这种“舞蹈”也许仅仅是随着歌声点头,或者用脚打着节拍。歌唱和舞蹈(不论是同时或是分开进行的)是在世界各地的部落情感强化仪式中广泛使用的集体活动。相互孤立的族群常有着非常相似的歌曲和舞蹈风格。
  • Rhythmic chanting and dancing induce trance states.
  • 有节律的吟唱和舞蹈会诱导人进入恍惚状态。
  • Early hominids quite possibly ate their dead, and (some while later) definitely started burying them. The instinct to preserve a dead human body from mutilation, and then to dispose of it, is fairly universal. E.g. we strive to retrieve corpses even from a battlefield.
  • 早期的原始人很有可能食用同类尸体,但(在晚些时候)肯定开始埋葬尸体了。保护尸体不被损毁,将尸体妥善处置,是一种相当普遍的人类本能。一个典型的例证是,人们即使在战场上也会努力将同伴的尸体取回。

I hope you are intrigued. Each of these facts is hard to explain even in isolation. So a theory that can unify and account for all of them will have to be either profound or crazy — or both.

我希望上述事实激发了你的好奇心。这些事实中的每一条即使是孤立地来看也很难解释。一个能对这些事实做出统一解释的理论要么很深刻,要么很疯狂——也许二者兼有。

At this point I’m going to present Jordania’s theory as clearly and comprehensively as I can. I’ll interpolate a bit and add my own explanatory flare, but the ideas come straight out of his book.

接下来我将尽可能清晰而全面地展示Jordania的理论。我会不时插入一些自己的解释性看法,但其中的观点则直接来自于他的著作。

(more...)

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人类进化历程中的音乐 Music in Human Evolution 作者:Kevin Simler @ 2015-10-16 译者:Veidt(@Veidt) 校对:混乱阈值(@混乱阈值) 来源:Melting Asphalt,http://www.meltingasphalt.com/music-in-human-evolution/ I just finished the strangest, most disconcerting little book. It's called Why Do People Sing?: Music in Human Evolution by Joseph Jordania. 我刚刚读完了一本让人称奇,又极为令人不安的小书——Joseph Jordania的《为什么人们会唱歌?——人类进化历程中的音乐》。 If the title hasn't already piqued your interest, its thesis surely will. The thesis is wild, bold, and original, but makes an eerie amount of sense. If true, it would be a revolution — and I don't use the term lightly — in how we understand the evolution of music, cooperation, warfare, and even religion. 如果这个标题还不足以激起你的兴趣,那么书中的理论一定会让你兴味盎然。该书论点狂野大胆又富于原创,但却合乎情理到可怕的程度。如果成立,它将成为我们理解音乐,人类合作,战争甚至宗教之演化过程的一项革命性理论——我一般不轻易使用“革命性”这个词。 I have my reservations about Jordania's theory (and his book), but I'll save them for a later time. As Daniel Dennett once wrote about another remarkable theory: 对于Jordania的理论(以及这本书)我仍有一些保留意见,但我打算把它们留到以后再讨论。正如Daniel Dennett曾就另一项卓越理论所写道的:
I think first it is very important to understand [the] project, to see a little bit more about what the whole shape of it is, and delay the barrage of nitpicking objections and criticisms until we have seen what the edifice as a whole is. After all, on the face of it, [the project] is preposterous... [but] I take it very seriously. 我认为首要的任务是理解这项理论,多看看它的整体是什么样的,在我们完全看清整个理论大厦前,不要急着接二连三地提出那些挑剔的反对和批评。尽管该理论表面看来荒诞不经……但我会很认真地对待它。
These are exactly my feelings about Jordania's project. Seemingly preposterous, but worth taking very seriously. 对于Jordania的工作,我的感觉也正是如此。它看似荒谬,却值得我们非常认真地对待。 0.STYLIZED FACTS 0.典型事实 I'm going to share Jordania's theory with you, but first I want to present a set of "stylized facts" — curious, disparate, and nearly inexplicable phenomena that would seem to have little relation to each other. Then I'll present the theory that (uncannily) links them all together and explains everything. 下面我将与你分享Jordania的理论,但首先,我想向你呈现一组“典型事实”——这是一组奇怪的,完全不同的,而且几乎无法解释的现象,互相之间看起来也没什么联系。之后,我会展示这项能够(以一种不可思议的方式)将它们联系在一起并且解释这一切现象的理论。 OK, brace yourself. Here come the facts: 打起精神,做好准备。让我们来看看这些“典型事实”:
  • When our ancestors [1] first moved from the forest to the savannah, we were not yet capable of making tools. But early hominid evolution tended away from a physiology that would have helped us hunt and/or defend ourselves from predators. Our canine teeth receded, we became slower and weaker, and we didn't develop tough skin (in fact the opposite).
  • 当我们的祖先第一次从森林中迁徙到热带稀树草原时,人类还没有获得制造工具的能力。但从生理学上看,早期原始人类的进化却并不利于人们狩猎以及防御捕食者。人类的犬齿退化了,运动变得缓慢,身体也变得更弱,而且也没有进化出坚韧的皮肤(事实上恰恰相反)。
  • Lion evolution and migration seems to have mirrored early hominid patterns, both spatiotemporally and (in some ways) behaviorally and morphologically. Lions, for example, are the only social species of cat.
  • 狮子的进化以及迁徙模式看起来与早期人类恰好互为镜像,不论从时间和空间上,还是从(某些方面的)行为和形态上说都是如此。举个例子,狮子是唯一一种群居的猫科动物。
  • Humans are the only ground-dwelling species that sings. There are over 4000 singing species — mostly birds, but also gibbons, dolphins, whales, and seals. But they all sing from water or the trees. When a bird lands on the ground, it invariably stops singing.
  • 人类是唯一一种会唱歌的地栖动物。世界上有超过4000种会唱歌的物种——其中大多数都是鸟类,此外还包括长臂猿,海豚,鲸类和海豹。但是这些物种全都是在水中或者树上唱歌。不论哪种鸟类,一旦降落到陆地上,它都会停止歌唱。
  • Of all singing creatures, humans are the only ones who use rhythm.
  • 在所有会唱歌的生物中,人类是唯一会使用韵律的。
  • When we sing, we almost always dance, even if it's just nodding along or tapping a foot. Both singing and dancing (whether together or separate) are group activities used across the world in tribal bonding rituals. Isolated ethnic groups have remarkably similar styles of song and dance.
  • 当我们唱歌时,我们几乎也总会跳起舞来,即使这种“舞蹈”也许仅仅是随着歌声点头,或者用脚打着节拍。歌唱和舞蹈(不论是同时或是分开进行的)是在世界各地的部落情感强化仪式中广泛使用的集体活动。相互孤立的族群常有着非常相似的歌曲和舞蹈风格。
  • Rhythmic chanting and dancing induce trance states.
  • 有节律的吟唱和舞蹈会诱导人进入恍惚状态。
  • Early hominids quite possibly ate their dead, and (some while later) definitely started burying them. The instinct to preserve a dead human body from mutilation, and then to dispose of it, is fairly universal. E.g. we strive to retrieve corpses even from a battlefield.
  • 早期的原始人很有可能食用同类尸体,但(在晚些时候)肯定开始埋葬尸体了。保护尸体不被损毁,将尸体妥善处置,是一种相当普遍的人类本能。一个典型的例证是,人们即使在战场上也会努力将同伴的尸体取回。
I hope you are intrigued. Each of these facts is hard to explain even in isolation. So a theory that can unify and account for all of them will have to be either profound or crazy — or both. 我希望上述事实激发了你的好奇心。这些事实中的每一条即使是孤立地来看也很难解释。一个能对这些事实做出统一解释的理论要么很深刻,要么很疯狂——也许二者兼有。 At this point I'm going to present Jordania's theory as clearly and comprehensively as I can. I'll interpolate a bit and add my own explanatory flare, but the ideas come straight out of his book. 接下来我将尽可能清晰而全面地展示Jordania的理论。我会不时插入一些自己的解释性看法,但其中的观点则直接来自于他的著作。 1.HUNTERS OR SCAVENGERS? 1.猎人还是腐食者? When human ancestors first descended from the trees and stepped out onto the grasslands, they faced two critical problems: acquiring food and defending themselves from predators. We'll discuss food acquisition in this section and defense in the next section, but as you'll see they're linked by a similar mechanism. 当人类祖先第一次从树上下来走进草原时,他们面临着两个至关重要的问题:获取食物以及防御捕食者的捕杀。我们会这一节里讨论食物的获取,之后在下一节里讨论防御问题。但正如你将看到的,这两个问题实际上是由一种类似的机制联系在一起的。 I hadn't thought deeply about these problems until I read Jordania's book. I always imagined, naively, that early humans had been "hunter-gatherers." While this is true of later humans, it's almost certainly not true of our earliest savannah-dwelling ancestors. Gathering? yes. But hunting, especially big-game hunting, was out of the question. As I mentioned, our earliest ancestors hadn't yet learned how to make or use tools beyond simple rocks and sticks, and we were fairly weak. 在读到Jordania的书之前,我从来没有深入地思考过这些问题。我总是天真地设想,早期人类是“狩猎-采集者”。虽然之后的人类的确如此,但对于最早生活在热带稀树草原上的人类祖先而言,这几乎是不可能的。他们会采集食物吗?是的。但是狩猎,尤其是大规模的群体狩猎,则是完全不现实的。我之前提到过,除了简单的石块和树枝以外,我们最早的祖先还没有学会如何制造和使用工具,而且人类的身体也相当弱。 Yet we certainly ate meat — the archaeological record is pretty clear on that. So there's a growing consensus that we were actually scavengers (or perhaps "scavenger-gatherers"). 但是当时的人类显然是吃肉的——在这方面有相当清楚的考古学证据。所以现在学术界有了一种越来越强的共识,认为早期人类实际上是食腐者(或者也可称为“食腐-采集者”)。 Now there are two types of scavenging, two strategies for "carcass acquisition": passive and confrontational. Passive scavenging occurs when the scavenger comes across an undefended carcass. If the carcass was the result of a natural (non-predatory) death, there will be plenty to eat, assuming the scavenger finds it before putrefaction sets in (about 48 hours). 食腐行为可以分为两类,分别对应着两种不同的获取尸体方式:被动式获取和对抗式获取。当食腐者发现一具无守卫的尸体时,我们称之为被动式食腐。如果尸体是自然死亡(而非被捕食)的结果,就会有大量可供食用的肉,前提是食腐者能在尸体腐烂之前找到它(这个时间窗口约为48小时)。 But even if the carcass was killed and eaten by a predator, there's going to be some meat left on the bone. And, just as important, inside the bone. Marrow was an excellent source of calories for our early ancestors, and we were in a unique position to access it, since we could use rocks as primitive tools to break the bones open. 但即使尸体被某个掠食者杀死并吃掉,骨头上也会剩下一些肉。而且同样重要的是,在骨头里面也有可供食用的东西。对于我们早期祖先而言,骨髓是一种优质的能量来源,而且人类在获取骨髓方面处于独特的优势地位,因为人类可以将石头作为一种原始工具将骨头砸开。 The archeological record shows bones that were repeatedly smashed with "hammering stones," as well as bones that had scrape-marks, indicating that we also used sharp stones to carve off some of the clingier meat. 考古学记录显示,有些骨头被反复地用“锤石”敲碎,而有些骨头上则有刮擦的痕迹,这表明人类同样会使用锋利的石头以切下一些粘在骨头上的肉。 Now, confrontational scavenging is where it gets interesting — and also more circumstantial. Confrontational scavenging, also known as power or aggressive scavenging, happens when an animal (or group of animals) comes across a carcass that's in the process of being eaten, whether by the original predator or another scavenger. In this case, a confrontation ensues, and to the victor go the spoils. 相对来说,对抗式的食腐行为则更有趣,虽然支持证据也更为间接。对抗式食腐也被称为力量式或侵略式食腐,它通常是指当一只(或一群)动物遭遇了一具正在被其他动物(可能是最初的捕食者,也可能是其它食腐者)食用的尸体。在这种情况下,对抗随之而来,而胜者则将获得战利品。 Whether our ancestors practiced confrontational scavenging is hard to determine, given the evidence available to us at this point, but it's not a crazy idea. It happens all the time in the (non-human) animal kingdom, as when a pack of hyenas scares a lion away from its kill. 通过当前所能获得的证据,我们很难确定人类祖先是否有过对抗式食腐行为,但这并不是一个疯狂的想法。在动物王国(不包括人类)中,对抗式的食腐行为时刻都在发生,例如一群鬣狗会将一头狮子从它杀死的猎物身边吓走。 2.DEFENSE FROM PREDATORS 2.防御捕食者的捕杀 Along with finding food, defense from predators is crucial to the survival of any species, and ours presents a puzzle. 除了寻找食物之外,防御捕食者的捕杀对于任何物种的生存而言都至关重要,而我们祖先在这方面则给我们留下了一个谜题。 We definitely had predators — lions, principally, but also other big cats (jaguars, leopards), as well as hyenas and maybe crocodiles. (Or more accurately, the ancestors of those species, since they've been evolving just as we have. Hyena-ancestors, for example, were much larger than their modern descendants.) 很明显,有些动物会捕杀人类——主要是狮子,但也包括其它的大型猫科动物(美洲虎,豹子等),此外,鬣狗,可能还有鳄鱼,也会将人类当作捕猎对象。(更准确地说,是这些动物的祖先,因为和人类一样,这些物种也一直在进化。举例来说,鬣狗的祖先就比它们生活在今天的后代要大得多。) Physically, early humans were quite weak — and getting weaker with each generation. As I mentioned earlier, our canines were receding and our skin was growing softer. And we were getting bigger, it's true, but not stronger. Our size developed in service of bipedalism, which made us both weaker and slower(!). 从身体上说,早期人类是很弱的——而且还在一代代地变得更弱。正如我之前所提到的,人类的犬齿在退化,而且皮肤也变得更加柔软。人类的体型在变得更大,这是事实,但并没有变得更强壮。人类的体型是为了适应两足行走而变得更大,但这却让人类的身体变得更弱,也变得更慢。 A chimpanzee, for instance, is roughly twice as strong as a modern human, and can run just as fast if not faster. In the general case, bipedalism results in slower sprinting speeds, even if it increases efficiency (allowing us to walk/run for longer stretches). 例如,黑猩猩身体的强壮程度大约是现代人的两倍,而且并不比人类跑得慢。总体上说,两足行走降低了人类短距离奔跑的速度,即使它的确提升了效率(这让我们能够行走/奔跑更长的距离)。 Across the animal kingdom there are various strategies for evading or defending against predators, known in the literature as antipredator adaptations. Each adaptation defends against one of the four stages of predation: detection, attack, capture, and consumption. 在整个动物王国中,存在许多不同的躲避或防御捕食者捕杀的策略,这些策略在文献中被称为反捕食者适应性。每一种适应性都是为了防御猎食过程中的四个阶段之一:侦查、攻击、捕捉和摄食。 To evade detection, for example, most species pursue a strategy of crypsis, aka hiding. To evade capture, species rely on speed, burrowing, climbing into trees, etc. And to evade consumption, species develop physical defenses like claws, fangs, horns, shells (or at least a tough hide), venom, etc. 例如,为了躲避捕食者的侦查,多数物种都会采用一种保护色策略,或者叫隐藏策略。而不同的物种会依靠速度、挖洞、爬树等不同方式来躲避捕食者的捕捉。为了逃避捕食者的摄食,各物种进化出了多种身体上的防御机制,例如利爪、尖牙、长角、贝壳(或至少是一个坚硬的藏身之所)、毒液等等。 But early humans weren't doing any of these things. Physiologically, we weren't getting stronger or faster, or developing sharper claws or teeth or tougher skin. Nor were we trying to hide. Habitual bipedalism has its benefits, but going unnoticed in the grass certainly isn't one of them. 但是早期人类却没有做到以上的任何一件事情。生理上,人类没有变得更强壮或更快速,也没有进化出尖利的爪牙或强韧的皮肤。人类也没有试图将自己隐藏起来。习惯于两足行走当然有它的好处,但是这却让人类无法在草丛里行走时不被发现。 In fact, we seem to have evolved to become more noticeable, more conspicuous. We grew taller, we sang and made noise (the only animal who sings from the ground), we painted our bodies, and we developed strong body odor. [2] 事实上,人类似乎进化得更加容易引起注意了。人类变得更高,唱歌并且发出噪音(人类是唯一一种会在地上唱歌的动物),在身体上绘上色彩,并且进化出了浓重的体味。[2] The strategy of being conspicuous is known as aposematism: apo (away from) + sematism (signalling) = counter-signalling. Aposematism is an antipredator adaptation which prevents an attack from happening in the first place, by making it easier for the predator to recognize you as unprofitable. 这种故意引起注意的策略通常被称作“警示信号”(aposematism):这个词的词根apo-意为“远离”,-sematism则意为“信号”,合起来的意思就是“反向信号”。“警示信号”是一种能从根源上防止捕食者发动攻击的反捕食者适应性策略,它让捕食者很容易地意识到将你作为捕食对象是一件无利可图的事情。 Species who counter-signal (aposematically) abound in nature, but they all have something up their sleeves, so to speak. Being conspicuous is a viable strategy only when you're advertising an otherwise invisible weapon. Consider the following aposematic species from across the animal kingdom: 自然世界中有许多采取这类(有警示作用的)“反向信号”策略的物种,但是可以说所有这些物种都有自己的杀手锏。只有当你的行为实际上是为了突出某种看不见的武器时,故意引起注意才是一个有效的策略。让我们来看看动物王国中的这些采用“警示信号”策略的物种: Each of these species has a powerful defensive weapon — often some kind of venom/poison, but also noxious odors. And most species advertise this with distinctive coloration (bright and high-contrast), but some use other signals. Rattlesnakes and bees use sound, for example, and many species, including zorillas, 'mark their territory' using scents. [3] 所有的这些物种都拥有各自强大的防御武器——通常是某种毒液或毒物,也有一些是有毒气体。而其中大多数物种都会通过独特的颜色(艳丽而对比度鲜明的)来给自己的武器打广告,但有些物种也会通过其它信号来达到这个目的。例如,响尾蛇和蜜蜂使用声音,而包括非洲臭鼬在内的许多物种则通过气味来“标识”自己的领地。 Aposematism (being conspicuous) doesn't help an organism in a single encounter with a predator; in fact it's a liability. But it helps with repeated encounters. When a predator gets sprayed by a skunk or stung by a bee, it quickly learns to avoid future encounters with all members of the species. 这种(故意引起注意的)“警示信号”策略无法孤立地在一次与捕食者的遭遇中帮助某一个体逃出生天;事实上,这反而是一种拖累。但是一旦与捕食者的遭遇频繁地重复发生,这种策略就能发挥作用。当某个捕食者被臭鼬放出的气体熏到或是被蜂刺蜇过之后,它会迅速地学会在以后尽量避免去碰这些不好惹的物种。 All of this raises a most important question: how did early humans manage to get away with aposematism? What defensive weapons did we have up our sleeves? 所有这些都引出了一个最为重要的问题:早期人类是如何做到通过“警示信号”让捕食者远离自己的?他们到底有什么能够用于防身的“杀手锏”? The answer probably won't surprise you: we used stones. It's how we used them (section 4) that's so unusual. 答案大概不会让你感到吃惊:人类会使用石器。但不寻常的地方则在于人类使用石器的方式(我们会在第4节讨论这个话题)。 3.STONES 3.石器 Stones were the most fundamental weapon at our disposal — the only means we had of causing actual physical damage to another animal. 石器是人类能够支配的最基础的武器——也是人类唯一能够对其它动物造成物理伤害的方式。 When we first started living on the savannah, we hadn't yet developed the hand/eye coordination necessary to hunt with stones (or to make and use other tools for that purpose). But self-defense is a much simpler proposition, for a number of reasons. 当人类最初开始在稀树草原上生活时,我们祖先还没有进化出使用石器捕猎所必需的手眼协调能力(或者制造和使用其它工具以进行捕猎的能力)。但由于以下的一些原因,使用石器自卫则是一个简单得多的命题。 First, using stones to hunt requires a lot of force and a lot of dexterity. You need to hit a target that's moving away from you at high speed, and gravity is not on your side. But defense is different. Defense happens up close. It's much easier to bash a lion with a large rock when the lion is coming toward you. And bringing the rock down allows gravity to work for you rather than against you. 首先,使用石器捕猎要求很大的力量以及很高的敏捷度。你需要能够准确地打中一个快速离你而去的目标,而且重力也并不站在你这一边。但自我防御则完全不同。通常防御都发生在很近的距离内。当一头狮子向你跑来时,用一块大石头砸中它会变得容易很多。而且将石头从上往下砸的动作也能够让重力助你一臂之力,而不是相反。 Moreover, attack and defense are fundamentally asymmetrical. Like in a lawsuit, where the prosecution assumes the burden of proof, in a hunt the predator assumes the burden of actually killing its prey. But to succeed at defense, you don't need to kill your would-be predator — you only need to injure it. If a lion or other competitor gets injured while attacking a human, it will flee the scene, opting to lose a meal rather than risk its life by continuing to fight. 除此之外,进攻和防御从根本上说也是两种完全不对称的行为。就像在一场诉讼中,举证的责任是由原告承担的,在一场捕猎中,杀死猎物的重担完全落在了捕食者的肩上。但是要在防御中获胜,你并不需要杀死潜在的捕猎者——你只需要弄伤它就行了。如果一头狮子或者其它捕食者在攻击人的时候受到伤害,它通常会逃离现场,相比于冒着生命危险继续搏斗下去,捕食者显然更愿意选择少吃这一顿。 And finally, defense was easier for early humans because we helped each other. In most of these circumstances (while being attacked and during confrontational scavenging raids), we had group members by our sides, ready to throw their own stones if others in the group became incapacitated. 最后,对于早期人类而言,防御捕食者之所以变得更容易,还因为人类会互相帮助。在绝大多数情况下(当遇到捕食者的攻击,以及在对抗式食腐的遭遇战中),人类拥有众多一起战斗的同伴,如果同伴中有人丧失了行动能力,他们时刻都准备着掷出手中的石头以帮助他。 Cooperation was indeed our biggest advantage, and our early ancestors refined it, quite literally, to a high art. 事实上,协作才是人类所拥有的最大优势,而我们的祖先则将这个优势发扬光大,毫不夸张地说,他们将协作上升到了艺术的高度。 4.AUDIO-VISUAL INTIMIDATION DISPLAY 4.恐吓性视听展示 Here, finally, is the crux of Jordania's thesis. His claim is that early humans developed a unique defense he calls the Audio-Visual Intimidation Display: 到这里,我们终于触及了Jordania理论中最关键的部分。他的观点是,早期人类发展出了一种被他称作“恐吓性视听展示”的独特防御机制。
My suggestion is that our ancestors turned loud singing into a central element of their defence system against predators. They started using loud, rhythmic singing and shouting accompanied by vigorous, threatening body movements and object throwing to defend themselves from predators. [4] 我对此的看法是,人类祖先将大声歌唱的行为转化为了对抗捕食者的防御机制中的一个核心要素。他们使用大声而富有节律的歌唱和叫喊,伴以有力而富有威胁性的身体动作以及向对方投掷各种物品来防御捕食者的进攻。
Before we go any further, I'd like you to see the AVID in action. Amazingly, some 'primitive' ethnic groups have maintained an AVID-like tradition into modern times. The kailao war dance of the Wallisian people and the Samoan cibi are two examples, but the best-documented tradition is the haka of the New Zealand Māori. 在我们更进一步之前,我希望你能够看看“恐吓性视听展示”(AVID)这种行为是什么样子的。令人惊讶的是,一些“原始的”人类族群将此类传统保留到了现代。瓦利斯群岛原住民的kailao战舞和萨摩亚人的cibi战舞是其中的两个例子,而被记载得最全面的此类传统则是新西兰毛利人的haka战舞。 Wikipedia describes the haka as 维基百科对haka战舞的描述如下:
a traditional ancestral war cry, dance or challenge from the Māori people of New Zealand. It is a posture dance performed by a group, with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet with rhythmically shouted accompaniment.... 新西兰毛利人的一种继承自祖先的传统战争呼喊、舞蹈或挑战形式。这是一种由群体表演的姿势性舞蹈,伴之以有力的动作和脚步的冲踏以及有节奏的大声喊叫... Various actions are employed in the course of a performance, including facial contortions such as showing the whites of the eyes and the poking out of the tongue, and a wide variety of vigorous body actions such as slapping the hands against the body and stamping of the feet. As well as chanted words, a variety of cries and grunts are used. 整个表演过程中包含了多种行为,包括面部表情的扭曲——例如翻出眼白和伸出舌头,以及一系列有力的身体动作——例如用手掌拍击身体和脚步的冲踏。还有高声喊出的话语,一系列的呼喊和低沉的咕哝声都被用于其中。
For a demonstration we now turn to YouTube. Here's a video of a haka by the New Zealand army, showing just how visually and auditorily intimidating it could be: 现在让我们上YouTube来看看haka战舞的演示。下面是一段新西兰军队表演的haka战舞,这段视频充分显示了这种战舞在视觉和听觉上具有多么强的恐吓力量: https://youtu.be/-rDoV0EBu44 And here's a more traditional version: 下面这段视频则记录了一段更传统的haka战舞: https://youtu.be/BI851yJUQQw The point of the AVID (of which the haka is the best-known example) is: “恐吓性视听展示”(haka战舞是其中最富盛名的例子)的意义在于:
  • To intimidate competitors with loud sounds. Shouting in unison is clearly the best way to do this, because the result is far louder than any sound an individual human can make. But clapping, slapping, stomping, and banging rocks together would have added nicely to the cacophony.
  • 用响亮的声音来恐吓对手。同时发出喊声显然是最好的办法,因为这种喊声比单独的一个人所能发出的声音要响亮得多。而同时伴以击掌,拍击身体,跺脚以及敲击石头这些动作则能够恰如其分地为这种刺耳的声音添油加醋。
  • To intimidate competitors visually. The synchronized movements, body paint, and bizarre gestures (including facial expressions) would confuse and intimidate even the fiercest competitors.
  • 在视觉上恐吓对手。这些同步的动作,身体上的绘画,以及奇怪的姿势(包括面部的奇怪表情)能够迷惑和恐吓甚至是那些最强悍的对手。
  • To project the image of a single, powerful organism. As Jordania puts it, "rhythmically well-organized group vocalizations [and movements] send a strong message to the predator about the unity and determination of the group." Although the group is composed of individual humans, during an AVID the group acts as if it were a single, multiheaded, many-armed creature. In some ways it's a fiction, but as far as the competitor is concerned, if the movements and actions are sufficiently coordinated, the group becomes a unitary beast for all intents and purposes.
  • 为了呈现一个强大的单一有机体的形象。如同Jordania所说,“富有节奏的有序的集体发声(和动作)向捕食者传递着关于这个群体的团结和决心的强烈信息。”尽管群体是由单独的个人组成的,在“恐吓性视听展示”的过程中,这样一个群体所表现出的行为就好像它是一个有着多个脑袋和无数只手的单一生物个体。从某种角度看来,这是一种欺骗行为,但是对于这个群体的对手来说,如果这种动作和行为足够地协调,这个群体实际上就成为了一只整一的怪兽。
Remember, the AVID would have been used for confrontational scavenging as well as defense against predators — and would have included rocks as physical weapons to fall back on when the intimidation display wasn't perfectly effective as a non-contact defense. 记住,“恐吓性视听展示”除了会在防御捕食者的攻击时使用之外,也同样适用于对抗性食腐的场景——而这种恐吓性的展示行为毕竟只是一种非接触的防御行为,一旦它不能完美地发挥作用,人们还需要求助于石头这样的物理性武器。 5.BATTLE TRANCE 5.“战斗恍惚”状态 Jordania also suggests that humans evolved a specific state of consciousness — the battle trance — to go along with the Audio-Visual Intimidation Display. This state has several characteristics: Jordania还认为,伴随着“恐吓性视听展示”行为,人类进化出了一种被称为“战斗恍惚”的特殊意识状态。这种状态有如下的几个特征:
  • Analgesia and aphobia — no pain and no fear.
  • 痛感缺失和恐惧缺失——感受不到疼痛和恐惧。
  • Neglect of individual survival instincts.
  • 忽视了个体的生存本能。
  • Loss of individual identity and acquisition of a collective identity.
  • 失去个人身份意识并获得集体的身份意识。
Central to the battle trance is the notion of collective or group identity: “战斗恍惚”状态的核心是集体(或群体)认同的概念:
Like in a well-established combat unit, where in the heat of the battle one can sacrifice his own life to save a friend's life, human ancestors developed the feel of group identity. The feel of group identity is based on the total trust and dedication of each member of the group to the common interest. 在一个稳固的作战单位中,当战斗进行得如火如荼时,一个战士可以为了拯救伙伴的生命牺牲自己。同样的,人类祖先也进化出了一种类似的集体认同感。集体认同感建立在对集体中所有成员的完全信任和对于集体共同利益的奉献精神之上。 Group identity kicks in when there is a critical situation, a mortal danger for survival of the group or any of its members. In such moments, the noble principle of 'One for all, all for one' rules any individual self-preserving instinct, fear and pain. 在某个生死攸关的时刻,当整个集体或其中某个成员的生存处于危险之中,集体身份意识就会发挥作用。在这样的时刻,“我为人人,人人为我”这种高尚的原则会超越任何个体的自我保护本能、恐惧和疼痛,主导集体成员的行为。
This state of consciousness may have originally evolved for parents (especially mothers) to defend their children when threatened, but it was repurposed for group defense and confrontational scavenging. And in the process, we developed a new trigger for it: rhythmic chanting and synchronized body movements. 这种意识状态可能最初是从父母(尤其是母亲)在受到威胁时保护孩子的本能中进化出来的,但之后被用于集体防御和对抗性食腐行为中。而在这个过程中,人类发展出了一种新的触发这种状态的机制:有节奏的吟唱和同步化的肢体动作。
Evolution supplied powerful neurological mechanisms to make this feeling a positive experience. Going into group identity brings the most exhilarating feelings to every member of the group. Every member of the group feels bigger, feel stronger, and virtually feels immortal.... Group members in such an altered state of mind, when they share total trust with each other, emotionally believe that the group cannot be defeated. 进化为将这种感觉变成一种积极的体验提供了强大的神经机制。进入集体身份意识状态为集体中的所有成员带来了一种最为振奋的感觉。集体中的所有人都感觉到自己变得更大,更强,并且几乎感觉到自己是不朽的……在这意识状态中,集体成员分享着对彼此的完全信任,他们会在感情上相信这个集体是不可战胜的。 This unique altered state of mind is supported (and most likely caused) by the powerful neurological substances such as endorphins and oxytocin, which are momentarily released in the brain when a critical survival situations arises. As the neurological substances are released into the brain, feelings of pain and fear are blocked, and total trust and exhilaration of being part of a supernaturally strong unit becomes overwhelming. 这种特别的意识状态是由诸如脑内啡(endorphin)和催产素(oxytocin)这类强大的神经物质所支持的(而且非常可能是由它们引发的),当某种生死攸关的状况出现时,大脑中会暂时释放出这些物质。一旦它们被释放到大脑中,疼痛和恐惧的感觉就被阻断了,而成为某个超自然的强大整体的一部分所带来的完全信任和振奋感则变得不可阻挡。
Actual combat isn't as central to our lives in the 21st century, but the battle trance and feelings of collective identity still echo in many of our modern rituals of solidarity, which I wrote about last year, and they're particularly pronounced in religion/politics and team/spectator sports. 真实的战斗在我们21世纪的生活中已经变得不那么重要了,但正如我在去年曾写道过的,在许多现代的团体性仪式中,我们仍然可以找到“战斗恍惚”和集体身份意识状态的影子。在宗教性/政治性活动以及集体性/观赏性体育项目中,它们表现得尤其明显。 6.CANNIBALISM (AND BURIAL) OF THE DEAD 6.吃掉(并埋葬)同类的尸体 As if Jordania's theory didn't cover enough ground already, he has one last surprise in store for us. He claims that early humans practiced cannibalism of their dead as a key part of their comprehensive antipredator strategy. 即使到了这里,Jordania的理论似乎仍然意犹未尽,他还为我们准备了最后一个惊喜。他声称,早期人类吃掉自己同类尸体这种行为实际上是他们整体的防御捕食者捕杀策略中非常重要的一环。 If you recall from section 2, the goal of aposematism is to advertise that, as a piece of prey, you are decidedly unprofitable for the predator. If a predator can easily recognize you (and other members of your species), and remembers getting burned during past encounters, it will quickly learn to stop attacking you in the first place. 回想一下我们在第2节里所提到的,“警示信号”这种策略的目的是让捕食者确认将你作为食物是一件无利可图的事情。如果捕食者能够轻易地认出你(以及你同类的其它成员),并且记起在之前的教训,它就会迅速意识到从一开始就不应该向你发起攻击。 Given this strategy, it's very important not to let the lions (or any other predator) get away with killing and eating a human. The more our ancestors were able to reinforce the message that humans are not a (good) meal, the safer they would be across repeated encounters. This was especially important for early humans because, unlike an actually poisonous species, human meat is worth eating, if a predator can get away with it. 在这种策略之下,不要让狮子(或者其它的任何捕食者)成功地杀死并吃掉人类就变得非常重要。人类祖先们越是能够强化“人类不是好食物”这条信息,在与捕食者们不断的重复相遇中他们就会越安全。对于早期人类来说这一点尤其重要,因为人并不是一种有毒性的物种,如果捕食者能够成功地捕杀人类,人肉其实是很有食用价值的。 This implies a heavy selection pressure for the following behaviors among our ancestors: 这就意味着,自然选择在引导人类祖先做出如下一些行为方面施加了很重的压力:
  • If a predator attacks during a confrontation, make sure it gets injured.
  • 如果捕食者在对抗中发动了攻击,必须保证将它弄伤。
  • If a predator manages to kill one of your fellow humans, don't let it eat. Retrieve the body of your fallen comrade or your whole tribe will be in danger.
  • 如果捕食者成功地杀死了你的同类,不要让它吃掉尸体。将你死去同伴的尸体弄回来,否则你的整个部落都将处于危险之中。
  • When a human dies naturally, make sure the corpse is properly disposed of. The corpse is a liability because a predator will associate even a scavenged meal (of human meat) with 'profitability'.
  • 当一个人自然死亡,必须保证尸体被以一种适当的方式处理掉。人类尸体实际上会成为一种负担,因为即使是一顿腐肉(人肉)大餐也会让捕食者认为吃人肉是有利可图的。
None of this implies that our ancestors had to practice cannibalism of their dead. Any means of keeping human meat out of the mouths of predators would have been effective. But there's some evidence that suggests cannibalism (stone scrapings on human bones similar to the scrapings on the bones of other animals), and if calories were hard to come by, it might have been an ecological necessity. 上面的任何一点都不意味着人类的祖先必须吃掉同类的尸体。任何一种不让人肉落入捕食者口中的方法都是有效的。但是一些证据表明人类的确会吃掉同类的尸体(人骨上和其它动物的骨头上都有类似的的石器划痕),而且如果能量并不是那么容易获取,吃掉同类尸体可能也是一种生态上的必要做法。 CONCLUSION 结论 There's so much more to say about this theory, but I'll save most of it for another time. 关于Jordania的这个理论,可说的还有很多,但我会把它们留到以后。 I'd just like to end by showing how some our beliefs and behaviors take on new significance in light of Jordania's theory, especially those that relate to how we handle the bodies of our dead. 我只是希望通过展示Jordania的理论能够如何为人类的一些信仰和行为赋予新的意义来结束这篇文章,特别是那些与我们处理同类尸体的方式相关的部分。 Funerary traditions vary widely around the world, but all have one thing in common: disposal of the body. Mechanisms include burial, entombment, mummification, burial at sea, sky burial [5], and ritual cannibalism, and even more exotic mechanisms like hanging coffins or tree burial. 世界各地的葬礼传统差异非常大,但是所有这些传统都有一个共同的特征:将尸体处理掉。处理尸体的机制包括土葬、墓葬、干尸化、海葬、天葬以及食人仪式,甚至还存在一些更加奇异的机制,例如悬棺葬和树葬等。 The common reasons given for disposal practices are all public-health-related, but intentional burial is at least 225,000 years old. Of course our ancestors wouldn't want a corpse rotting in their camp, but there's quite a leap from disposal to burial. Why not just drag the corpse away from camp and expose it to the elements? 通常人们对于这些处理尸体方式的解释都与公共卫生相关,但是人类从至少22.5万年前就开始有意识地埋葬尸体了。我们的祖先们当然不会希望尸体在他们的营地中腐烂,但是从处理掉尸体到埋葬尸体是一个不小的飞跃。他们为什么不只是简单地把尸体拖到远离营地的地方然后让它自然腐烂呢? Jordania's theory doesn't predict how exactly we should dispose of our dead, but it predicts that we should care an awful lot about it (i.e. that it should be something sacred), and that we should be especially concerned that the body doesn't fall into the wrong hands. In Paleolithic times, this ensured that our ancestors retrieved the bodies of their comrades when they were killed by predators. Jordania的理论并没有对人类应该如何处理尸体做出具体的预言,但是它预测了人类应该对处理尸体的方式给予高度重视(例如,它应该是一种神圣的仪式),而且人类需要特别注意不能让尸体落入那些它不应该落入的对象手里。在石器时代,这意味着我们祖先会将他们被杀死的同伴尸体从捕食者那里抢回来。 But you can see vestiges of this in historic times — e.g. in our concern for salvaging bodies of the war dead. Mutilating or otherwise desecrating the war dead is an ancient practice, a ghastly way for the victor to show utter dominance over the loser. 但在历史上的各个时期中,你都能看到这种做法的痕迹——例如在战争中人们对于寻回战死者尸体的关切。毁尸或是以其它方式亵渎敌方战死者的尸体是一种古老的传统,这是一种胜者用以展示对失败者的完全统治的可怕方式。 And finally, Jordania's theory helps explain the religious nature of our funerary practices. Burial has always been a quintessentially religious practice. For example, we date the earliest religious behavior in our ancestors by when they started burying their dead. But religions are fundamentally about the living — a set of beliefs and practices that relate to collective identity and tribal cohesion. 最后,Jordania的理论还能够帮助解释人类葬礼活动的宗教性。葬礼一直是一项典型的宗教活动。例如,我们总是将人类祖先最早的宗教行为追溯到他们开始埋葬同类尸体的时刻。但是宗教从本质上说是关于活着的人的——它是一系列与集体身份意识和部落凝聚力相关的信仰和实践。 Why do religions care about the disposal of corpses? This has always puzzled me. It's always seemed like such a mundane concern. When someone dies, that should be the end of what we care about, and removing the body should be no more sacred than taking out the trash. Chimpanzees, for instance, can perceive when another chimp passes away (and mourn), but they soon lose interest in the body. 为什么宗教会关注处理处理尸体的方式?我长久以来都被这个问题困扰着。因为对尸体的处理看起来总是更像一个世俗的问题。当一个人死去,我们对于他的关注也应该随之结束了,而将尸体处理掉这件事情并不应该比我们清除垃圾的行为更加神圣。例如,当同类死去时,黑猩猩会对此有所感知(并感到悲伤),但是它们会迅速失去对同类尸体的兴趣。 But if Jordania is right, it's no coincidence that death rituals are intimately bound up with collective identity, because they're two parts of the same system. 但如果Jordania是对的,那么与死亡相关的仪式会与集体身份意识天然地联系在一起就并不是巧合了,因为它们实际上是从属于同一个体系的两个部分。 ------------------------------------ Update 2015/10/16. For the record, I don't think Jordania's theory explains (or even tries to explain) the lyrical aspects of music — only rhythm. But it's the only plausible account I've read that explains how music may have helped us survive. There's always the mate-selection hypothesis, of course. 更新于2015年10月16日。郑重声明,我并不认为Jordania的理论解释了(甚至仅仅是试图解释)音乐的抒情部分——他的理论所解释的仅仅是音乐的韵律部分。但这是我所读到过的唯一能够合理地解释音乐是如何帮助人类生存下来的理论。当然,关于这方面的理论还有配偶选择假说。 Endnotes 尾注 [1] human ancestors. I'm going to write about "human ancestors" and "early humans" — or sometimes simply "us" — knowing that there are more precise terms to describe the different stages (and branches) of our evolutionary path. Please forgive me — I'm not particularly steeped in the distinctions, and I doubt many of my readers are either. [1] 人类祖先。在下面我将会经常使用“人类祖先”以及“早期人类”——有时也会仅仅使用“我们”这个代词——来指代人类进化道路上的不同阶段(以及分支),虽然我知道还有更加精确的术语来描述它,但请原谅我在这里没有使用它们,因为我并不觉得这些术语之间的差异有多么重要,而且我怀疑我的读者中许多人也和我有同感。 [2] singing, body painting, body odor. It's unclear whether early humans actually sang habitually, painted their bodies, or had B.O., but modern humans certainly do, and there's a case to be made for our ancestors as well. Red ochre is noted as far back as 100,000 years ago, but earlier humans could easily have used simpler preparations like blood or berries, which would have left no trace in the archeological record. [2] 歌唱,体绘,和体味。现在仍不清楚早期人类是否会习惯性地歌唱、在身体上绘画、或者有体味,但现代人身上显然的确存在这些特点,而对于我们祖先而言,也的确存在这方面的可能性。氧化铁作为一种红色颜料最早可以追溯到十万年前,但早期人类也许能够轻易地使用血液和浆果这些更简单的颜料,而这些则并不会在考古学记录上留下痕迹。 [3] aposematism. A particularly interesting example is stotting — when a gazelle springs into the air by lifting all four feet off the ground simultaneously. Stotting is an aposematic display because (1) it makes the gazelle more visible, but (2) it's an honest signal of unprofitability. By stotting, a gazelle signals to a potential predator, "I'm in peak physical condition. Don't both chasing me, because I can easily outrun you." [3] “警示信号”策略。这方面一个特别有趣的例子是“跳跑”——这指的是羚羊四蹄同时离地,将身体弹到空中。“跳跑”之所以是一种具有警示信号的策略,主要是因为(1)它让羚羊更容易被看见,(2)这是一种真实地表明向羚羊发动攻击无利可图的信号。通过“跳跑”的动作,羚羊向潜在的捕食者发出了这样一个信号,“我的身体状态正处在巅峰。不用费工夫来追我了,因为我可以轻易地跑赢你。” [4] Audio-Visual Intimidation Display. I'm taking a couple liberties here. For one, Jordania calls it an "intimidating" display, but I prefer the noun form. But more substantively, Jordania lumps our morphological changes (bipedalism, hair, etc.) into the AVID, whereas I'm presenting the AVID as just the behavioral part (rhythmic chanting and dancing). [4] “恐吓性视听展示”。在这里我有两处自由发挥的地方。其一是Jordania在表达“恐吓性”这个意思时实际上使用的是intimidating这个词,但是我觉得使用名词形式更好一些。而更具实质意义的一点区别则是,Jordania将人类的一些形态学变化(例如双足行走,毛发等)也归入了“恐吓性视听展示”的范畴,而我仅仅对“恐吓性视听展示”的行为部分(有节奏地喊叫和舞蹈)进行了说明。 [5] sky burial. Yes, during a sky burial we let another animal eat our corpses, but they are always scavenging birds (e.g. vultures), never a potential predator. See also Dakhma for the Zoroastrian tradition. [5] 天葬。在天葬仪式中人类的确让别的动物吃掉了同类的尸体,但是这类动物都是腐食性的鸟类(例如秃鹫),而从来不会是某种潜在的捕食者。关于这个问题,可参考Dakhma对于琐罗亚斯德教传统的论著。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]好东西通常不是计划出来的

Good News Is Unplanned
好事无须规划

作者:Ronald Bailey @ 2015-10-30
译者:尼克基得慢(@尼克基得慢)
校对:Drunkplane(@Drunkplane-zny)
来源:Reason,https://reason.com/archives/2015/10/30/good-news-is-unplanned

Incremental, bottom-up, trial-and-error innovation yields moral progress, superior technologies, and greater wealth. Top-down mandates from centralized authorities are more likely to produce ethical disasters, technological stagnation, and persistent poverty. “Bad news is man-made, top-down, purposed stuff, imposed on history,” Matt Ridley writes in The Evolution of Everything. “Good news is accidental, unplanned, emergent stuff that gradually evolves.”

缓慢增长的、自下而上的、试错式的创新,产生了道德的进步、先进的技术和更多的财富。来自中央权威、自上而下的命令,最容易造成道德灾难、技术停滞和持续贫穷。“坏事都是人为的、自上而下的、刻意设计、故意强加给历史的东西,” Matt(more...)

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Good News Is Unplanned 好事无须规划 作者:Ronald Bailey @ 2015-10-30 译者:尼克基得慢(@尼克基得慢) 校对:Drunkplane(@Drunkplane-zny) 来源:Reason,https://reason.com/archives/2015/10/30/good-news-is-unplanned Incremental, bottom-up, trial-and-error innovation yields moral progress, superior technologies, and greater wealth. Top-down mandates from centralized authorities are more likely to produce ethical disasters, technological stagnation, and persistent poverty. "Bad news is man-made, top-down, purposed stuff, imposed on history," Matt Ridley writes in The Evolution of Everything. "Good news is accidental, unplanned, emergent stuff that gradually evolves." 缓慢增长的、自下而上的、试错式的创新,产生了道德的进步、先进的技术和更多的财富。来自中央权威、自上而下的命令,最容易造成道德灾难、技术停滞和持续贫穷。“坏事都是人为的、自上而下的、刻意设计、故意强加给历史的东西,” Matt Ridley在《万物之进化》中写道。“好事都是意外的、未经计划的、缓慢进化的偶然事件。” Ridley, a British journalist who has written extensively about science, economics, and technological progress, begins by explaining the fundamentals of biological evolution by natural selection: Biological complexity evolves through random mutation followed by non-random survival. Ridley then argues that the Darwinian process is a "special theory of evolution" that is embedded in a more "general theory of evolution that applies to much more than biology." Ridley是一位广泛涉猎科学、经济学和技术进步的英国记者,在本书开头就解释了生物经由自然选择而进化的基础:生物的复杂性来自随机变异和紧随其后的非随机的适者生存。然后Ridley提出,达尔文过程(Darwinian process)只是一个特殊的进化理论,它包含在一个不止适用于生物学的更一般的进化论之中。 Decentralized evolution by trial and error, Ridley argues, is the chief way improvements have emerged in all sorts of human endeavor, including "morality, the economy, culture, language, technology, cities, firms, education, history, law, government, God, money, and society." As the 18th-century Scottish philosopher Adam Ferguson argued, these phenomena are the result of human action, but not of human design. By book's end, Ridley has adeptly dismantled all forms of creationism, divine and Progressive. Ridley认为,通过试错而实现的分散进化是人类各种事业实现进步的主要途径,包括“道德、经济、文化、语言、技术、城市、公司、教育、历史、法律、政府、上帝、金钱和社会。”如18世纪苏格兰哲学家Adam Ferguson所说,这些现象都是人类行为的结果,而不是人类设计的结果。到书的结尾,Ridley已手法娴熟地拆解了所有类型的创造论,无论是诉诸神灵的还是进步主义的版本。 Consider the evolution of culture. More and more, cultural anthropologists have come to accept the view that—to quote a recent paper in Behavioral and Brain Sciences—"human cultural groups have all the key attributes of a Darwinian evolutionary system." As Ridley explains, "Our habits and our institutions, from language to cities, are constantly changing, and the mechanism of change turns out to be surprisingly Darwinian: it is gradual, undirected, mutational, inexorable, combinatorial, selective and in some vague sense progressive." 不妨考虑一下文化的进化。越来越多的文化人类学家已经接受“人类文化群体具有达尔文进化系统所有的关键特征”——这一表述引自《行为与脑科学》上最近的一篇论文。Ridley解释道,“从语言到城市,我们的习性和制度都在不断变化,而令人吃惊的是,这些变化的原理被证明是达尔文式的:它是渐进的,无预定方向的,突变的,无情的,组合的,选择性的,并且在某种意义上是进步的。” One example: the institution of marriage. As our hunter-gatherer ancestors evolved into herders and farmers, polygamy became more common, since some men could now accumulate the resources needed to support and defend more than one woman and their progeny. However, polygamy has a big downside: Male sexual competition produces lots of violence. While some 80 percent of the distinct cultures identified by anthropologists still sanction polygamy, monogamy is by far now the most common form of marriage. Why? 举个例子:婚姻制度。随着我们狩猎采集的祖先演变成牧民和农民,一夫多妻制变得更常见,因为此时一些男性已能够积累起足够的资源来养活、守护多位女性及其后代。然而,一夫多妻制有个重大缺陷:男性性竞争会产生诸多暴力。尽管在已被人类学家辨明的不同文化中,约80%仍然实行一夫多妻制,但是到现在,一夫一妻制已经成了最常见的婚姻形式。为什么? The University of British Columbia anthropologist Joseph Henrich and his colleagues argue that societies that adopted normative monogamy increased their social solidarity and trust thus enhancing "the competitive success of the polities, nations and religions that adopted this cultural package." The upshot is that in the modern world, cultures where polygamy still thrives tend to be marginalized, poor, and violent. 英属哥伦比亚大学的人类学家Joseph Henrich和他同事们认为,接受标准一夫一妻制的社会提高了社会的团结和信任,因此增加了“接受一夫一妻制这一文化一揽子方案的政治组织、国家和宗教的竞争成功率。”最终结果就是在当今世界,一夫多妻制仍盛行的文化多是被边缘化的、贫穷的和充满暴力的。 Henrich and his colleagues also speculate that "the peculiar institutions of monogamous marriage may help explain why democratic ideals and notions of equality and human rights first emerged in the West." This egalitarian impulse, interestingly, may behind the evolving inclination toward including same-sex unions in the institution of marriage. Henrich和他同事们推断,“一夫一妻的婚姻制度也可能有助于解释为何民主的典范和平等与人权的概念首先出现在西方。”有趣的是,这种平等主义的冲动或许隐藏在这样一种进化倾向背后,即向包括同性结合的婚姻制度的进化。 What about the evolution of economics? Prior to the 18th century, top-down extraction of wealth by elites from hapless serfs and peasants was the nearly universal form of economic and political organization among settled societies. The result was persistent and pervasive poverty. 那么经济的进化呢?18世纪以前,精英阶层对于不幸的奴隶和农民自上而下的财富压榨几乎是所有稳定社会普遍的经济和政治组织形式。结果是持续和普遍的贫穷。 As the University of Groningen economist Angus Maddison has shown, economic growth proceeded at the stately pace of less than 0.1 percent per year in Western Europe for more than 18 centuries, rising in constant dollars from $425 per year in AD 1 to $1,200 in 1820. Towards the end of that period, a socioeconomic mutation—market liberalism—arose in Britain and the Netherlands. 正如格罗宁根(Groningen)大学经济学家Angus Maddison所展示的,在长达18个世纪的时间里,西欧的经济增长都稳定在每年0.1%以下,以不变价美元计,从公元元年的425美元涨到了1820年的1200美元。到了这段时期的末尾,一个社会经济的巨变———市场自由主义——在英国和荷兰出现了。 As it spread around the world, the mutation proved highly advantageous to the societies that accepted some degree of it, enabling them to prosper. This "great enrichment," as the University of Illinois at Chicago economist Deidre McCloskey calls it, boosted average incomes 10- to 20-fold in those countries where the mutation took hold. 随着它传遍全世界,这一突变被证明对于那些多少接受了它的社会非常有利,让他们变得繁荣。这次“财富大爆发”(伊利诺伊大学芝加哥分校经济学家Deidre McCloskey语)使得发生突变的国家人均收入翻了10到20倍。 Ridley cites the economists Nick Hanauer and Eric Beinhocker, who assert that unfettered commerce is "best understood as an evolutionary system, constantly creating and trying out new solutions to problems in a similar way to how evolution works in nature. Some solutions are 'fitter' than others. The fittest survive and propagate. The unfit die." Ridley引用了经济学家Nick Hanauer 和 Eric Beinhocker的观点,他们认为最好将自由商业“理解为一个像自然进化那样不断创造、并发明出解决问题之新方法的系统。有些方法比其他方法更能“适应环境”。最适应环境的存活并增殖。不适应的就灭亡。” The consequence of competition is constant innovation, which the economist Joseph Schumpeter neatly summarized as "creative destruction." After accounting for the contributions of labor and capital, economist Robert Solow calculated that nearly 90 percent of the improvements in living standards are due to technological progress. 竞争的结果就是不断的创新,经济学家Joseph Schumpeter将其巧妙地总结为“创造性破坏”。在算上人力和资本的因素后,经济学家Robert Solow计算得出,生活水平的提高中约90%归功于技术进步。 How about technological evolution? "Biology and technology in the end boil down to systems of information...and both evolve by trial and error," writes Ridley. "Technology is in a sense a continuation of biological evolution—an imposition of informational order on a random world." 技术进化又是如何呢?“生物和技术归根结底都是一些信息系统……而且都通过试错来进化,”Ridley写道。“技术在某种意义上是生物进化的延续——一种随机世界中信息秩序的排列。” Every technology is built by recombining earlier technologies. Ridley makes the arresting but persuasive claim that, far more often than not, "scientific breakthroughs are the effect, not the cause, of technological change." In other words, technologists' tools are what enable basic researchers uncover nature's secrets. 每种技术都建立在对早前技术的重新组合之上。Ridley做出了吸引眼球但又有说服力的论断,认为多数情况下,“科学突破是技术变革的产物,而不是成因。”换言之,技术专家的工具使得基础研究人员解开自然的奥秘。 One modest example is the invention of the microscope in the 1590s by the Dutch spectacle maker Zacharias Jansen. Another is the automated gene sequencer introduced by Applied Biosystems in 1987, which ultimately made the discoveries of the Human Genome Project feasible. 一个客观的例子就是1590年代由荷兰镜片制造商Zacharias Jansen发明的显微镜。另一个例子是1987年由Applied Biosystems公司引进的自动基因测序机,最终使得人类基因组计划变得可行。 Ridley also suggests that scientific central planning, especially in the form of public funding of research, poses problems. In 2015, for example, the Institute for International Economics found that research and development in "the business sector had high social returns, and hence contributed to growth, but there was no evidence in this analysis of positive effects from government R&D." Ridley还认为,对科学的中央计划会制造问题,尤其是以公共财政资助研究这种形式。比如说,国际经济研究所在2015年发现,商业部门的研发“有着较高的社会回报,而且因此促进了经济增长,但是该项分析中没有证据表明政府研发存在积极影响。” It would be really surprising if government R&D did not help give birth to some technological breakthroughs—nuclear power and the Internet leap to mind. Still, a 2014 paper published in PLoS Medicine estimated that 85 percent of public research resources are wasted. 如果说政府研发对于一些技术突破——毫无帮助,这肯定会让人非常吃惊——有人会想到核能和互联网这样的例子。然而,一篇发表在2014年《PLoS Medicine》 杂志上的论文估计,有85%的公共研究资源是被浪费掉的。 What's more, a 2015 study in PLoS Biology alarmingly suggested that half of all preclinical research is irreproducible. Replication and cumulative knowledge production are cornerstones of the scientific progress. This means that in U.S. that about $28 billion in annual public biomedical research funding, arguably, is squandered. 更有甚者,发表于《 PLoS Biology》的一项研究惊人地表明,一半的前临床研究都是不可重复的。重复和可累计知识的生产是科学发展的基石。这意味着美国每年的公共生物医药研究资金中,约有280亿美元可认为被浪费了。 And then there is the evolution of government. States emerged from protection rackets in which a gang monopolizing violence demanded payment of goods and services—taxes—in exchange for promises to defend local farmers and artisans from predation by rival gangs. "Tudor monarchs and the Taliban are cut from exactly the same cloth," summarizes Ridley. 然后是政府的进化。国家脱胎于暴力垄断集团的保护网机制,他们承诺保护当地农民和工匠免受竞争团伙的侵害,作为交换他们要求受保护者支付货物或服务——即税收。“都铎王朝的国王和塔利班都是一个模子刻出来的,”Ridley总结道。 But two to three centuries ago, the fractured polities of Western Europe provided an open, speculative space where novel ideas about property rights, free trade, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and limits on government could mutate and grow. Where those bottom-up conceptual mutations took hold, technological innovation sped forward, incomes rose, and civil liberties were recognized. 但是两三个世纪以前,西欧支离破碎的政体结构为有关财产权、自由贸易、宗教自由、出版自由、限制政府等新思想提供了开放的探索空间,让这些创新理念得以变化和生长。哪里发生了这些自下而上的观念突变,哪里的技术创新就会加速,收入增长,公民自由得到承认。 Once established, liberal societies are veritable evolution machines that frenetically generate new mutations and swiftly recombine them to produce a vast array of new products, services, and social institutions that enable ever more people to flourish. So far liberal societies are outcompeting—in the sense of being richer and more appealing—those polities that are closer to the original protection rackets. 自由社会一旦建成,它就成了一架真正的进化机器,疯狂地产生新突变,并迅速将突变重新结合生产出一系列新产品、新服务和新机构,使得更多人获益。到目前为止,在变得更富裕和更吸引人这方面,自由社会完胜那些更接近最初保护网机制的政体。 “Perhaps," Ridley hopefully suggests, "the state is now evolving steadily towards benign and gentle virtue." He adds, "Perhaps not." In support of evolving benignity is the fact that the ratio of countries rated as free by Freedom House increased from 29 percent in 1973 to 47 percent in 2007. “或许,”Ridley满怀希望地认为,“国家正在向着善意和温良的美德稳步进化着。”他补充道,“也可能不是这样。”支持良性进化的一个事实是,被自由之家(Freedom House)评定为自由国家的比例已经由1973年的29%增长到2007年的47%。 Since then the spread of liberty has faltered. Ridley notes that "creationism in government shows no signs of fading." Communism and fascism are examples of man-made top-down creationism that produced plenty of bad-news history in the last century. 但自那之后,自由的传播已缓滞不前。Ridley提到“关于政府的创世论没有衰退的迹象。”共产主义和法西斯主义便是人为的自上而下的创世论,导致了上世纪的诸多历史惨剧。 Biological evolution has no end goals; those creatures that survive reproduce. Presumably the sorts of cultural, economic, technological, and governmental evolution described by Ridley also do not have end goals. What survives, replicates. It is not impossible that some future cultural mutation might arise and outcompete market liberalism. Yet as a constant novelty-generating dynamo, market liberalism has pretty good chance of staying ahead of mutations that tend in more authoritarian directions. 生物进化没有终极目标;存活的生物繁殖不息。也许Ridley所描述的各种文化、经济、技术和政府进化也都没有终极目标。得以存留的就不断复制。未来出现一些文化突变并胜过市场自由主义也不是不可能。然而作为一个持久的创新发动机,市场自由主义很可能继续领先于那些倾向于专制的突变体。 There is another way to think of the developments that are the result of human action, but not of human design. Human beings, through a long process of trial and error (mostly error), are slowly discovering our own given natures. We chance upon habits, institutions, moralities that increasingly incline our inborn predilections toward promoting human flourishing. 还有另一种方式来思考那些由人类的行为而不是人类的设计所导致的发展。经过长时间的试错过程(大部分是错误的),人类正在慢慢发现自己的天性。我们有幸恰好发现了一些习性、制度和德性,它们越来越倾向于推动我们的先天偏好向着促进人类繁荣的方向发展。 Flourishing does not mean sheer biological reproduction. After all, it is those societies in which the market liberalism mutation took hold earliest that have the lowest fertility rates. Flourishing means something like the pursuit and enjoyment of more meaningful lives. 繁荣并不意味着单纯的生物繁殖。毕竟,出生率最低的正是那些最早抓住市场自由主义这一变异的社会。繁荣意味着追求并享受更有意义的人生。 As Ridley concludes, "It is a fair bet that the twenty-first century will be dominated mostly by shocks of bad news, but will experience mostly invisible progress of good things. Incremental, inexorable, inevitable changes will bring us material and spiritual improvements that will make the lives of our grandchildren wealthier, healthier, happier, cleverer, kinder, freer, more peaceful, and more equal—almost entirely as a serendipitous by-product of cultural evolution." Ridley总结道,“很可能21世纪会被坏消息带来的震惊所笼罩,但是也会经历美好事物近乎无形的进步。”渐进的、不可阻挡的、无可避免的改变,会带给我们物质和精神的进步,使得我们孙辈的生活更富足、更健康、更幸福、更明智、更友善、更自由、更和平且更平等——这几乎全都是文化进化的偶然副产物。” Ronald Bailey is a science correspondent at Reason magazine and author of The End of Doom (July 2015). Ronald Bailey是《Reason》杂志的科学通讯记者,也是《末日终结》一书(2015年七月)的作者。 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]数数能力的进化

社会是如何学会数到10的
How societies learn to count to 10

作者:Michael Erard @ 2015-9-25
译者:Veidt(@Veidt)
校对:混乱阈值(@混乱阈值)
来源:AAAS,http://news.sciencemag.org/brain-behavior/2015/09/how-societies-learn-count-10

In some traditional cultures, counting is as easy as one, two, three—because it stops there: Their languages have no words for higher numerals, and instead simply use varieties of words like “many.” But over time some societies acquired higher numbers, as the major languages spoken on the planet t(more...)

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社会是如何学会数到10的 How societies learn to count to 10 作者:Michael Erard @ 2015-9-25 译者:Veidt(@Veidt) 校对:混乱阈值(@混乱阈值) 来源:AAAS,http://news.sciencemag.org/brain-behavior/2015/09/how-societies-learn-count-10 In some traditional cultures, counting is as easy as one, two, three—because it stops there: Their languages have no words for higher numerals, and instead simply use varieties of words like “many.” But over time some societies acquired higher numbers, as the major languages spoken on the planet today must have done long ago. 在一些传统文化中,计数这件事就像数1,2,3这么简单——因为在这些文化中,计数到3就到头了。他们的语言中没有相应的词语来表示更大的数字,而只是简单地使用各种类似“很多”这样的词语。但随着时间的推移,一些社会获得了使用更大数字的能力,就像今天世界上的主要语言必然在很早之前就已经做到的一样。 Now, a new study of an Australian language family reveals how languages add, and sometimes lose, higher numbers—and how some languages lasted for thousands of years without them. 日前,一项关于澳洲语系的最新研究揭示了语言是如何获得(在某些时候也会丢失)更大数字的,以及一些语言是如何在没有这些更大数字的状态下延续了数千年的。 For some cultures, big numbers just don’t make sense. Take the shepherd who knows that he has the right number of sheep not by counting them one by one but by grasping the gestalt of his flock. That may sound strange to people from other cultures, says Patience Epps, a linguist at the University of Texas, Austin. 对于某些文化而言,大数字并没有什么意义。例如,牧羊人并不是通过逐一数羊来判断羊群数目是否是正确的,而是通过掌握其羊群的完型(gestalt)来做到这一点。对于来自其他文化的人们而言,这听起来可能很奇怪,来自德克萨斯大学奥斯汀分校的语言学家Patience Epps说。 Indeed, she says she’s often asked by incredulous Americans how people with few numerals know, for instance, how many children they have. When she asks this of the Amazonian tribe she works with, “they look at me like it’s a weird question. They list the names, they count on their fingers, but they don’t go around with a quantity in their heads,” she says. 她还表示,自己的确经常被充满怀疑精神的美国人问起诸如此类的问题:那些只能使用有限几个数字的人是怎么知道他们有几个孩子的?当她向和她一起工作的亚马逊部落民问起这个问题时,“他们盯着我看,似乎这对他们来说是个很奇怪的问题。他们会列举孩子们的名字,用手指数孩子的个数,但在他们脑海里并不存在一个具体的数字,”她说道。 But once a society becomes complex enough to require more abstract counting, higher numerals are needed. Amazonian languages add numerals when groups that don’t know or trust each other begin trading goods and need to track exchanges more closely, Epps says. Something like this must have happened in familiar languages many millennia ago. 可一旦某个社会变得足够复杂,要求更多的抽象计数时,就需要更大数字了。当并不互相了解或信任的群体开始交易物品,并且需要更加密切地跟踪这些交易时,亚马逊原住民的语言中就加入了新的数字,Epps表示。在我们所熟悉的语言中,数千年前也一定发生过类似的事情。 Looking at how languages with only a few numerals add or lose them could provide insight into how humans build numeral systems. But uncovering these patterns of cultural evolution required data from many related languages with small numeral systems over a long period of time. 通过研究那些只有有限几个数字的语言是如何添加或者丢失数字的,我们可以洞悉人类是如何构建数字系统的。但想要揭示这些文化演化的模式,我们还需要来自多种互相关联的具有小型数字体系的语言的长期数据。 Enter the Pama-Nyungan language family, which once extended across most of Australia. It contains about 300 languages that are currently spoken by about 25,000 people, though in the past they may have numbered as many as 2 million. Most of these languages have numeral systems that stop at five. 现在让我们走进Pama-Nyungan语系,该语系曾一度扩张到了澳洲的大部分地区。它包含了大约300种不同的语言,当前大约还有25000人在使用这些语言,而在过去,使用这些语言的人数或许曾达到200万之多。这个语系中大部分语言的计数系统都没有比5更大的数字。 Yale University historical linguist Claire Bowern collected current and historical data about these languages, many of which are no longer spoken. Together with undergraduate researcher Kevin Zhou, she reconstructed how numerals in the language family evolved over about 6500 years, borrowing a method from evolutionary biology to explore how the Pama-Nyungan languages were related to each other and also how they changed over time. 耶鲁大学历史语言学家Claire Bowern收集了有关这些语言的当前和历史数据,而其中的大部分语言在今天已不再有人使用了。她和本科生研究者Kevin Zhou一起,还原了过去大约6500年里数字在该语系中的演化过程,借用一种进化生物学的方法探索了Pama-Nyungan语系中的各种语言是如何关联在一起的,以及如何随时间演变的。 The researchers plugged their data into a computer model, which then generated the most likely family tree for all the languages’ numeral systems. Then they tracked how those systems added or lost numerals within the tree. 两位研究者将他们获得的数据导入一个计算机模型中,该模型为所有这些语言的计数系统生成一棵可能性最大的“家族树”。之后,研究者们会追踪在这棵“家族树”中的这些计数系统是如何加入或是丢失数字的。 The upper limits of these Australian numeral systems most often varied between three, four, and five, the team reports this month in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Over time, even small numeral systems sometimes lost a numeral or two, but they mainly gained numerals—yet not by plodding up the number line, one numeral after another. 该研究团队在本月的《英国皇家学会学报B刊》上发表的研究结果显示,在这些澳洲计数系统中,数字的上界通常在3,4和5之间变化。随着时间的推移,即使是很小的计数系统有时也会丢失一个或者两个数字,但大多数情况下它们都会获得更多的数字——而这并不是通过沿着数轴缓慢地一个个增加数字来完成的。 Surprisingly, they tended to acquire numerals in bunches, leaping from five numerals to 10 or 20, for example. The numeral five was often the tipping point—once a system reached five, it was likely to add more numerals, up to 20. As a result, numeral systems with five as an upper limit are rare in Pama-Nyungan languages. 令人吃惊的是,这些系统倾向于一次性获得多个数字,例如从5个数字直接跳跃到10个或20个。数字5通常会成为引爆点——一旦一个计数系统达到了5,它就很有可能会加入更多的数字,直到20。而结果就是在Pama-Nyungan语系的语言中,很少有语言的计数系统的上界是5。 “This is surprising, given the predominance of fingers and toes as things to count,” Bowern notes. Adding or losing the numeral four was the most frequent change. (The words for “four” were most often composed out of words for “two,” not by creating or borrowing a new word that means “four,” showing how the numeral systems evolved.) “这个现象让人感到意外,尤其是考虑到手指和脚趾作为计数工具的主导地位,”Bowern评论道。而加入或是丢失数字4则是这些系统中最频繁发生的变化。(在这些语言中,表示“4”的词通常都是由表示“2”的词合成的,而不是来自创造或借用一个意为“4”的新词语,这也展现了这些数字系统的演化方式。) Bowern thinks that numerals were added in clusters for practical reasons: If you need to count above five, you probably need to go higher than seven or eight as well. And she speculates that perhaps a cognitive shift occurs at about five. “Once you generalize beyond five or so, it becomes easier to generalize to an infinite system.” Bowern认为数字以集群的方式被加入语言中是出于一些实际的原因:如果你需要数到5以上,那么你很可能也同样需要数到7或者8以上。同时她推测,一个认知上的变化会在5这个数值附近发生。“一旦你形成了超过5左右的数字概念,那么形成一个无限计数系统就变得更容易了。” “This is the kind of historical linguistics using computational methods that gives me a lot of confidence,” said Brian Joseph, a historical linguist at Ohio State University, Columbus, adding that “there are a lot of nonlinguists who apply this methodology to data that they don’t seem to control or understand.” “这些采用计算分析方法的历史语言学研究给了我很多信心,”来自位于哥伦布市的俄亥俄州立大学历史语言学家Brian Joseph说道。他还表示“有很多并非语言学家的研究者将这种方法应用在了一些看起来超出他们的掌控或理解的数据上。” “These conclusions seem sound to me,” agrees Russell Gray of the University of Auckland in New Zealand and director of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, “and remind us that cultural evolution doesn't always proceed incrementally.” “这些结论在我看来很合理,”新西兰奥克兰大学的Russell Gray对这项研究结果表示赞同,他同时还担任位于德国耶拿的马克斯·普朗克人类历史科学研究所的主任,“这也提醒我们,文化的演化并不总是以逐一递增的方式进行的。” (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

趋势与倾向

【2015-09-20】

@whigzhou: “进化”还是“演化”? http://t.cn/R2gro9g

@whigzhou: 突然想到一点,任何有关“趋势”或“倾向”的谈论,和因果关系一样,必须假定某种程度上的条件稳定性,否则任何趋势都没法说,所以,对复杂化趋势的一种反驳,同样可以用来反驳“发育倾向”,因为任何发育过程都可能在任何阶段被环境变动所打断

@whigzhou: 比如有人说,陆生脊椎动物针对陆地环境所积累的任何适应性,一旦来一场环境大变故,陆地全部消失,就(more...)

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【2015-09-20】 @whigzhou: “进化”还是“演化”? http://t.cn/R2gro9g @whigzhou: 突然想到一点,任何有关“趋势”或“倾向”的谈论,和因果关系一样,必须假定某种程度上的条件稳定性,否则任何趋势都没法说,所以,对复杂化趋势的一种反驳,同样可以用来反驳“发育倾向”,因为任何发育过程都可能在任何阶段被环境变动所打断 @whigzhou: 比如有人说,陆生脊椎动物针对陆地环境所积累的任何适应性,一旦来一场环境大变故,陆地全部消失,就全都没有卵用了,所以你谈论方向性(或高级低级)没有意义,按此逻辑,任何个体发育过程中都可能被雷劈死,或中毒致畸,所以谈论“正常”发育,或“典型成熟形态”没有意义。 @whigzhou: 当然,这个类比并不暗示复杂性进化和个体发育有着类似的确定性(有时你必须说点废话) @whigzhou: 比如这个帖子里便可见到类似论调 http://t.cn/R2ktCU8 @tertio:不过进化有一种完全与环境无关的倾向,陆地变海洋,再变回陆地,生物也绝对不会再退回到第一阶段的状态。 @whigzhou: 方向性的意思(之一)就是这个嘛  
[译文]我想试试旧石器食谱

The Dark Side of Cultural Evolution
文化进化的黑暗面

作者:Peter Turchin @ 2012-5-17
译者:林婵娟(@Standingbesideyou)    一校:林翠
来源:evolution-institute.org, https://evolution-institute.org/blog/the-dark-side-of-cultural-evolution-2/

Cultural evolution is what created the – in many ways – wonderful societies that we live in. It created the potential to free our lives from hunger and early death, and made possible the pursuit of science and art. But cultural evolution also has a dark side, in fact, many ‘dark sides.’

文化进化在许多方面造就了人类赖以生存的美好社会,它让我们有望从饥饿和早夭的命运中解脱出来,也使追求科学和艺术成为可能。但是文化进化也有其黑暗面,事实上,其背后“黑影重重”。

Clearly domestication of plants and animals is what made our civilization possible. All sufficiently complex societies are possible only on the basis of agriculture. But we have paid, and continue paying a huge price for this advance of human knowledge and technology. This idea was brought home to me as a result of sev(more...)

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The Dark Side of Cultural Evolution 文化进化的黑暗面 作者:Peter Turchin @ 2012-5-17 译者:林婵娟(@Standingbesideyou)    一校:林翠 来源:evolution-institute.org, https://evolution-institute.org/blog/the-dark-side-of-cultural-evolution-2/ Cultural evolution is what created the – in many ways – wonderful societies that we live in. It created the potential to free our lives from hunger and early death, and made possible the pursuit of science and art. But cultural evolution also has a dark side, in fact, many ‘dark sides.’ 文化进化在许多方面造就了人类赖以生存的美好社会,它让我们有望从饥饿和早夭的命运中解脱出来,也使追求科学和艺术成为可能。但是文化进化也有其黑暗面,事实上,其背后“黑影重重”。 Clearly domestication of plants and animals is what made our civilization possible. All sufficiently complex societies are possible only on the basis of agriculture. But we have paid, and continue paying a huge price for this advance of human knowledge and technology. This idea was brought home to me as a result of several conversations I had with Michael Rose during the Consilience Conference at St. Louis, which I talked about in my previous blog. 众所周知,种植和畜牧使我们发展起文明。任何一个有效运转的复杂社会,都离不开农业基础。然而,过去和如今我们人类都为知识和科学的进步付出了巨大的代价。我开始确信这点,得益于在圣路易斯举行的学科融通研讨会上和Mickael Rose的几次谈话,我在之前的博客上写过。 Michael is an evolutionary biologist at the university of California at Irvine, who studies aging from the evolutionary perspective. I actually read his book Evolutionary Biology of Aging some twenty years ago, but never met him until two weeks ago. Michael 是加利福尼亚大学欧文分校的一位进化生物学家,致力于从进化的角度研究衰老。大约20年前我就读过他的书《衰老的进化生物学》,但直到两周前才有幸和他会面。 One way people talk about the price of civilization is in terms of evolutionary mismatch (which is one of the focus areas at the Evolution Institute). The idea is that our bodies and minds evolved during the Pleistocene, when we lived in small groups of hunter-gatherers. Now we live in a dramatically different environment, and that causes all kinds of problems. The psychological aspect of the problem was recently discussed by Robin Dunbar and commentators on his Focus Article. The physiological problems include rampant obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. 探讨文明发展代价的一种方式是研究进化失配(这也是本站Evolution-Institute.org所专注的领域之一)。失配理论的意思是,人类身心进化的过程发生在旧石器时代,那时我们生活在小型狩猎-采集群体中。而现在我们却面临着截然不同的生存环境,这导致了各种各样问题。最近,Robin Dunbar写的专题文章,以及收到的评论,探讨了失配问题中的心理方面。而生理方面的问题则包括日益严重的肥胖症、心脏病、糖尿病等。 There is currently no consensus on the role of changing diet and other aspects of lifestyle, most notably exercise, in causing modern-day health problems. Some people argue that our Plestocene bodies are not adapted to high-calorie diets and sedentary life-styles of today. 人类饮食和生活方式(尤其是运动方式)的改变,在当今健康问题中到底扮演了什么角色,尚未取得共识。有些人认为,我们在旧石器时代进化出来的身体,并不适应现如今高卡路里的饮食结构和久坐不动的生活方式。 On the other hand, agriculture was invented roughly 10,000 years ago. 400 generations is not an insignificant length of time for evolution to do its thing. Some anthropologists (including another participant of the Consilience conference,Henry Harpending) argue that humans evolved very intensively during this period. One famous example is the evolution of lactose tolerance, that is, ability to digest milk. 另一方面,农业大概出现在距今10000年前,400多代可不是一个小数目,进化所带来的改变不可小觑。一些人类学家(包括同样参加了学科融通研讨会的Honry Harponding)认为,人类在农业时代经历了急剧的进化改变。最著名的例子就是我们进化出了对乳糖的耐受性——即消化奶类的能力。 Michael Rose develops a more subtle and sophisticated argument, which is explained at length in his 55 theses-a New Context for Health. There is a sophisticated mathematical model underlying his argument, but the basic logic of it is actually quite simple. Michael Rose 发展了更加精致灵巧的论证,并在他的网站(55theses.org,副标题“健康新语境”)上做出了详尽的解析。虽然他的论证建立在一个复杂的数学模型之上,但基本逻辑其实十分简单。 We think of people having ‘traits,’ but actually we change quite dramatically as we age. The key ‘trick’ is to realize that people have a suite of traits, and they can be quite different, depending on what stage in life we are talking about. 我们常说人们具有某某“性状”(traits),但其实,随着年龄增长,我们的特性会发生巨大改变。理解这种变化的‘诀窍’在于意识到,性状是一个系列,随年龄变化可能大为不同,取决于所谈论的年龄阶段。 As an extreme example, consider reproductive ability, something of great interest to evolution. Humans do not reproduce until they reach a fairly advanced age of maturation (puberty). Young adults are not very good mothers or fathers, but they improve with age during their twenties. After that reproductive ability declines and eventually disappears. So reproductive ability is actually a trait that varies quite a lot with age. 一个极端的例子就是生育力,这也是物种进化的一大重点。人类在没有达到足够成熟的青春期之前,是不会繁衍后代的。年轻人并不能马上成为优秀的父亲或母亲,但在他们二十多岁的时候,随着年龄增长,情况就有所改善。这个时期过后,生育力就开始慢慢下降直至完全消失。因此生育力就是一个会随年龄而不断改变的性状。 Another example is hair color. One man can have red hair and another blond hair. However, this will be true only while they are relatively young. Older men become grey, and many become bald. So by the time our two men turned 60, they may have the same hair color (grey), or no hair at all (bald). 另一个例子是发色。有人是红发,有人是棕发,但一般只会在相对年轻的时候才体现出这种差异。年老后他们的头发会逐渐变得灰白,许多人还会秃顶。因此当发色不同的两人在60岁后,头发就变成了一样的颜色(灰白),或者都没有头发(秃头)。 By the way, it is likely that the reason is not simple ‘degradation,’ reduced function due to aging, but that greyness and baldness evolved to signal maturity and wisdom. To really describe the phenotype of an individual we need to specify at what age it is expressed. 另外值得一提的是,这种变化的理由,也许不是年龄增长带来的简单功能“退化”,而是人类进化出了灰白头发和秃顶,作为显示其成熟和睿智的信号。因此要准确表述一个人类个体的性状,我们必须先分析这个性状在哪个年龄段被表达。 Ability to digest certain foods can also be age-dependent. I have already mentioned the ability to digest lactose, the sugar present in milk. Before we domesticated animals such as cows and sheep, only very young humans had this ability. Natural selection turned this ability off in adults because they never needed it (and it would be wasteful to continue producing the enzyme lactase that aids in the digestion of milk sugar). 对特定食物的消化能力也可能随年龄而变化。例如上文曾提到过人类消化乳糖(奶类中存在的糖分)的能力。在我们驯化诸如牛羊等动物之前,只有非常年幼的人类能够消化乳糖。自然选择使得成年人类丧失了这种能力,因为他们根本不需要(持续分泌乳糖分解酶来帮助消化乳糖,对身体机能来说也是浪费)。 Now clearly traits expressed at different ages are not completely independent of each other. An ability to digest milk sugar as an adult depends on the presence of an enzyme that evolved in order for babies to digest their mother’s milk. So traits at different ages can be correlated, either positively, or negatively. An example of negative correlation is the reproductive ability – in many animals, putting a lot of effort in reproducing early reduces the reproductive ability later in life. 很明显,性状虽然在不同年龄段各有表达,但不会毫无联系。成年人乳糖消化能力取决于一种酶的存在,这种酶是为了消化母亲的乳汁而在婴儿身上进化出来的。这意味着不同年龄段的性状可能互相关联,它们既可能正相关,也可能负相关。一个负相关的例子就是生育力——许多动物早年投入过多精力在繁衍后代上,会导致晚年生育力的下降。 So the sophisticated mathematical framework for dealing with age-dependent traits has to take into account all kinds of possible correlations, both between the same trait at different ages and between different traits. For example, most individuals have dark eye and dark hair color, or light eye and light hair color, with dark/light and light/dark combinations a relative rarity. 因此,为了研究与年龄有关的性状,精致的数学模型必须考虑到所有可能的相关性,包括同一性状在不同年龄段之间的相关性,以及不同性状之间的相关性。例如,大多数人,要么是深色瞳孔深色头发,要么是浅色瞳孔浅色头发。而深色瞳孔搭配浅色头发,浅色瞳孔搭配深色头发,这样的组合相对罕见。 We can now get to the crux of the matter. Because abilities to do something at the age of 10, 30, 50, etc. are separate (even if correlated) traits, they evolve relatively independently of each other. When grains became a large part of the diet, the ability of children to digest them (and detoxify the chemical compounds plants put into seeds to protect them against predators such as us) became critical. 现在,我们可以着手讨论我们的重点了。由于我们在10岁,20岁以及50岁的各项能力被年龄隔开(哪怕它们是相关联的),因此它们的进化也是相对独立的。当谷物在我们饮食结构中占了很大比例时,儿童消化这些谷物以及分解其中有毒化合物的能力(植物为了从人类这样的掠食者手中保护种子而将这些有毒物置于其中)变得十分重要。 If you don’t have genes to help you deal with this new diet, you don’t survive to adulthood and don’t leave descendants. In other words, evolution worked very hard to adapt the young to the new diet. 如果你没有可以帮助你应付这种新型食谱的基因,那么你就很难存活到成年,也就不会留下后代。换句话说,进化会异常努力地让年轻一辈去适应新的食物类型。 On the other hand, the intensity of selection on the old (e.g., 55 years old) was much less – in large part, because most people did not live to the age of 55 until very recently. Additionally, once an animal gets past its reproductive age, the evolution largely ceases to have an effect (in humans, presence of older individuals was somewhat important for the survival of their genes in their children and grandchildren, so evolution did not entirely cease, but was greatly slowed down). 而另一方面,对于多数年人(例如55岁)来说,自然选择的强度是很弱的,因为近代之前的大多数人类都活不到55岁。此外,一旦动物过了生育年龄之后,进化就几乎不再起效了。(对于人类来说,老人的存在对他们的基因在子孙后代中的延续是有重要意义的,因此进化并不会完全停止,但仍会大幅降速。) What this means is that evolution caused rapid proliferation of genes that enabled children and young adults to easily digest novel foods and detoxify whatever harmful substances were in them. Genes and gene combinations that did the same for older people also increased, but at a much, much slower rate. 换言之,进化促进了帮助婴幼儿和年轻人消化新食物和分解其中毒素的那些基因快速增殖。而对老人产生同样效果那些基因和基因组合,尽管也在增加,但是增长速度却要慢得多。 This may sound puzzling – if we have the detoxifying genes that work for young adults, why shouldn’t they work for older adults? The reason is that one gene-one action model is wrong; it’s not how our bodies work. Most functions are regulated not by a single gene, but by whole networks of them. 听起来这有点令人不解——如果我们身上有解毒基因,为什么对年轻人有效,却对年长者无效呢?这是因为那种认为一个基因对应一种性状的模型是错误的,我们的身体机制并非如此运转。大部分身体机能并不是由单一基因、而是由整个基因组的互相协作来调控的。 As we age, some genes come on, and others go off, and the network changes, often in very subtle and nonlinear ways. That’s why we need the ‘trick’ with which I started, to consider functions at different ages as separate traits. 随着年龄增长,有些基因开始生效,有些则慢慢失效,协调机制也以敏感非线性的方式不断改变。我前文提到的“诀窍”,就是把思考转向被年龄隔开的性状的作用机制。 During the last 10,000 years evolution worked very hard to optimize the gene network operating during earlier ages to deal with novel foods. But the gene network during later ages was under much less selection to become optimized in this way. 过去一万年来的人类进化,尽其所能地优化了那些帮助年轻人消化新食物的基因网络。但是中老年阶段,这组基因网络就很少通过自然选择得以如此优化。 The striking conclusion from this argument is that older people, even those coming from populations that have practiced agriculture for millennia, may suffer adverse health effects from the agricultural diet, despite having no problems when they were younger. 从以上论述中我们会得出一个令人惊讶的结论:老年人,即使是那些生活在有数千年农业生活之中的老年人,还是可能遭受农业时代的食谱所带来的负面健康效果,即使他们年轻的时候适应良好。 The immediate corollary is that one thing they can do to improve their health is to shift to something known as the ‘Paleolithic diet,’ or paleo diet, for short. In the simplest form, this means eliminating from your diet any cereals (wheat, rice, etc), legumes such as beans and peas, and any dairy products (e.g., cheese). 一个直接的推论是,这些老年人可以通过转向“旧石器时代式饮食”(或者简称旧石器食谱)来改善健康。最简单的形式就是,将饮食中所有的谷物(小麦,大米等)去除,同样要减掉的还有豆类(例如各类豆子和豌豆),以及各种乳制品(如奶酪等)。 It is striking that this is almost precisely the opposite of the popular Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes wheat products (bread, pasta), cheese, and legumes (as in the Italian bean soup, in pasta fagioli, and in hummus). 读者可能惊讶地发现,这种饮食方式和流行的地中海式饮食几乎完全相反,后者强调要多吃小麦制品(面包以及意大利面),奶酪以及豆类食物(诸如意式豆汤,意面豆汤和鹰嘴豆泥里的豆类等)。 We are now getting to something I have a personal (rather than a scientific) interest in. I am about to turn 55, and although I am generally in good health, various worrying indicators – cholesterol, sugar – have been inexorably inching up. 现在讲一些涉及我的个人兴趣(而非科学方面的)的事情。我快55岁了,虽然身体大致健康,但类似胆固醇和血糖水平等各种令人担忧的指标却在一路缓慢上升。 A couple of years ago I read Ray Kurzweil Fantastic Voyage, but I was unpersuaded by his prescriptions to better health and longevity. Kurzweil’s prescription is, at basis, a calorie-restricted diet. Like the great majority of human beings, I find it extremely difficult to starve myself. 几年前,我读了Ray Kurzweil的《奇幻之旅》,但是并不认同他针对健康和长寿提出的方法。Kurzweil提出的方法,简单说,可以归结为一种控制卡路里的饮食方法。和大多数人一样,控制饮食、保持饥饿,对我来说简直难如登天。 More generally, his approach to human health and longevity is that of an engineer – you turn that dial down, another one up, and get the result you want (according to his book, he spends one day a week connected to a machine that removes bad things from his blood and adds good things). 总体上说,他改善健康和延长寿命的方式就如一个工程师所做的那样,将身体某个指标调低,又调高另一个指标,通过这样的调节来达到理想效果。(据他书中所述,他每周都会花一天的时间通过某台仪器来去除他血液中的不良物质,然后再添加有益物质。) I am very doubtful that such an approach will work on an evolved system with multiple nonlinear feedbacks, which is the human body. So changing one variable (e.g., reducing the cholesterol level in the blood) may have unintended – and usually negative – consequences elsewhere (perhaps increasing the risk of cancer). 我实在难以相信这种方法能在人体这个高度进化的多重非线性反馈调节系统中发挥作用。改变身体的某一变量(例如降低血液中的胆固醇水平)可能会在别处引起意料之外的——通常是负面的——后果(也许会提高患癌的风险)。 To conclude, the paleo diet is the first diet, of the ones I heard of, that has a sound evolutionary basis going for it. This was a deciding factor in persuading me to try it out, which I did, starting about two weeks ago. It apparently takes about six months to see its full effects, so stay tuned for progress reports. May 17, 2012 结论是,旧石器食谱是我所听说过的第一个有着坚实进化理论基础的食谱。这一点是我决定尝试它的决定性因素,并且两周前我开始了实践。据说大概要经过六个月的时间才能看到它的整体效果,所以敬请期待我的后续汇报。 2012年5月17日 (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

[译文]八千年前,17名女性为1名男性传宗接代

8,000 Years Ago, 17 Women Reproduced for Every One Man
八千年前,17名女性为1名男性传宗接代

作者:Francie Diep @ 2015-03-18
来源:Pacific Standard
译者:Eartha(@王小贰_Eartha)   校对:陆嘉宾(@晚上不买白天买不到)
网址:http://www.psmag.com/nature-and-technology/17-to-1-reproductive-success

【编者按:原谅我不得不写一段长长的按语。本文所报道的研究非常有意思,但报道本身写得很差。这项研究所揭示的其实是这样一个事实:从大约一万年前开始,也就是农业诞生后不久,人类男性中留下后代的比例经历了一次急剧下降,这段下降期为时约四千年,接着又迅速回升。对此,研究者作出的猜测是:在此期间男性的性竞争强度剧增,原因可能是财富和权势积累并集中在少数人手里。所面临的性选择压力。当然,男性之间的性竞争强度历来很高,而且远远高于女性,对比两幅图可以看出,在历史上大部分时间,留下后代的男性数量大概只有女性的1/4,但农业起源后,这一比例突然跌到1/17,这是极不寻常的。】

An analysis of modern DNA uncovers a rough dating scene after the advent of agricult(more...)

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8,000 Years Ago, 17 Women Reproduced for Every One Man 八千年前,17名女性为1名男性传宗接代 作者:Francie Diep @ 2015-03-18 来源:Pacific Standard 译者:Eartha(@王小贰_Eartha)   校对:陆嘉宾(@晚上不买白天买不到) 网址:http://www.psmag.com/nature-and-technology/17-to-1-reproductive-success 【编者按:原谅我不得不写一段长长的按语。本文所报道的研究非常有意思,但报道本身写得很差。这项研究所揭示的其实是这样一个事实:从大约一万年前开始,也就是农业诞生后不久,人类男性中留下后代的比例经历了一次急剧下降,这段下降期为时约四千年,接着又迅速回升。对此,研究者作出的猜测是:在此期间男性的性竞争强度剧增,原因可能是财富和权势积累并集中在少数人手里。所面临的性选择压力。当然,男性之间的性竞争强度历来很高,而且远远高于女性,对比两幅图可以看出,在历史上大部分时间,留下后代的男性数量大概只有女性的1/4,但农业起源后,这一比例突然跌到1/17,这是极不寻常的。】 An analysis of modern DNA uncovers a rough dating scene after the advent of agriculture. 一项对现代DNA的分析揭示了农业出现以后人类两性关系的大致图景。 Threshing wheat in ancient Egypt. 古埃及的打麦场面(Photo: Carlos E. Solivérez/Wikimedia Commons) Once upon a time, 4,000 to 8,000 years after humanity invented agriculture, something very strange happened to human reproduction. Across the globe, for every 17 women who were reproducing, passing on genes that are still around today—only one man did the same. 很久以前,在农业诞生之后4000到8000年间,人类繁衍活动中发生了一些非常奇怪的事情。全世界每17名女性进行生育繁衍、从而得以将其基因留传至今的同时,却仅1名男性有这样的机会。 "It wasn't like there was a mass death of males. They were there, so what were they doing?" asks Melissa Wilson Sayres, a computational biologist at Arizona State University, and a member of a group of scientists who uncovered this moment in prehistory by analyzing modern genes. “看来并不像是男性经历了大规模死亡,他们都安然地活着。可既然如此,他们到底怎么啦?”Melissa Wilson Sayres问道,她来自亚利桑那州立大学的一位计算生物学家,包括她在内的一群科学家,正试图通过分析现代基因来解密这一史前现象。 Another member of the research team, a biological anthropologist, hypothesizes that somehow, only a few men accumulated lots of wealth and power, leaving nothing for others. These men could then pass their wealth on to their sons, perpetuating this pattern of elitist reproductive success. 该研究团队的另一名成员,一位生物人类学家,提出了这样一个假设:只有少数男性能够积累大量财富与权势,而其他男性则一无所有。这些有钱有势的男性将他们的财富传给自己的子孙,以保持世世代代精英繁衍的模式。 Then, as more thousands of years passed, the numbers of men reproducing, compared to women, rose again. "Maybe more and more people started being successful," Wilson Sayres says. In more recent history, as a global average, about four or five women reproduced for every one man. 如此过了几千年之后,有繁殖机会的男性的比例(相对于女性)再次升高。“也许是成功男士越来越多了。”Wilson Sayres说。在较晚近的历史时期,全球范围内平均4到5名女性为1名男性传宗接代。 These two graphs show the number of men (left) and women (right) who reproduced throughout human history. (Chart: Monika Karmin et al./Genome Research) 这两幅图展示了人类历史上进行了生育的男性数量(左)与女性数量(右) Physically driven natural selection shaped many human traits.Ethnic Africans and Europeans had to evolve to digest milk, for example, while most ethnic Tibetans have adaptations to deal with the lower oxygen levels at high altitudes. But if Wilson Sayres' team's hypothesis is correct, it would be one of the first instances that scientists have found of culture affecting human evolution. 针对生理方面的自然选择塑造了人类的种种特性。例如(民族意义上的)非洲人和欧洲人进化得能够消化牛奶,而多数西藏人则拥有了对付高海拔地区稀薄氧气的适应器。可是假如Wilson Sayres团队提出的假说是正确的,这将是科学家找到的第一批人类文化影响自身进化的例证之一。 The team uncovered this dip-and-rise in the male-to-female reproductive ratio by looking at DNA from more than 450 volunteers from seven world regions. Geneticists analyzed two parts of the DNA, Y-chromosome DNA and mitochondrial DNA. These don't make up a large portion of a person's genetics, but they're special because people inherit Y-chromosome DNA exclusively from their male ancestors and mitochondrial DNA exclusively from their female ancestors. 研究团队观察分析了来自全球7个地区450多名志愿者的DNA后,发现男女生育比例的这一大起大落。遗传学家分析了DNA的两个部分——Y染色体DNA和线粒体DNA。它们只占个体遗传物质的一小部分,但其特殊之处在于,Y染色体DNA只能继承自父系祖先,而线粒体DNA只能继承自母系祖先。 By analyzing diversity in these parts, scientists are able to deduce the numbers of female and male ancestors a population has. It's always more female. 通过分析不同个体间Y染色体DNA和线粒体DNA的多样化程度,科学家得以此推测一个种群中男性祖先和女性祖先的数量。女性祖先总是多于男性祖先。 So much for what our DNA can tell us. This study, published last week in the journal Genome Research, can't directly account for why the dip occurred. Instead, the team members tried to think through other explanations. "Like was there some sort of weird virus that only affected males across the whole globe, 8,000 years ago?" Wilson Sayres asks—a hypothesis the team found unlikely. 我们的DNA能告诉我们的就这么多了。上周在Genome Research期刊上发表的这项研究,并不能直截了当的解释上述大起大落的原因。研究团队也在努力寻找其他可能的解释。“比如说8000年前全球爆发了一种只感染男性的奇怪病毒?”Wilson Sayres说道——但这个假设大家都觉得不太可能。 To further test the wealth-and-power idea, the researchers plan to look for other genetic markers that would indicate that something cultural, not physical, kept those early male farmers from reproducing. Team members could also collaborate with anthropologists and archaeologists, to see if they have any clues. 为了进一步验证“财富与权势”假说,研究者们计划寻找适当的遗传标记,能够揭示某些妨碍早期男性农耕者生育繁衍的文化而非生理因素。他们也希望与人类学家和考古学家开展合作,看看他们能否提供什么线索。 Nature is a harsh taskmaster, but so, it seems, is human culture. Although the popular notion is that farming and settlement cushioned people against "survival of the fittest," this study shows that's not true. Something cultural happened 8,000 years ago that's marked us even today. 大自然是个严酷的工头,但现在看来,人类文化似乎也是。尽管流行观点认为,农耕与定居已将人类从“最适者生存”的法则中解放,但这项研究却告诉我们真相并非如此,8000年前的某些文化条件留在我们身上的印迹至今仍在。  
适应模式、复杂性和进化速度

一种广为流行说法是:在几十年、几百年、甚至几千年的尺度上,谈论(生物学意义上的)进化是没有意义的,这么短时间内不可能发生足够显著因而足以用来说明点什么的遗传改变,进化只能在地质年代的尺度上(比如至少几万年)谈论。

具体说就是:假如我们观察到一种环境条件、文化形态或生活方式上的改变,其持续时间只有几百年,那就不能:1)据此而推测有关群体已在生物学意义上发生了适应性改变;2)并据此而推测这些改变可能带来的后续影响。

但这是错误的,理论上,只要时间跨度超出一个世代,并且选择压力(表现为繁殖成效差异)足够大,有意义的遗传改变便可发生。

那么繁殖率差异可以大到什么程度呢?看一下不同族群的生育率和人口增长率,便可得到一个直观的印象:北美再洗礼派社群的总合生育率(TFR)高达4到8,年增长率高于3%,而波罗的海三国的生育率皆远低于替代水平,人口正在急剧下降。

类似差异也存在于同一族群的不同阶层或不同文化/职业群体中,比如欧洲女博士的生育率比未受过高等教育的女性低很多,美国高收入阶层的生育率也比低收入者低很多。这是人类的情况,其他生物的选择压力可以比这大得多,其世代周期也可以短得多。

高达几倍十几倍的繁殖率差异,在几个世代之内便可显著改变某些遗传特性在种群内的分布,只要这些特性是有意义的,那么从进化角度谈论这些改变的后果,也就是有意义的。

上述错误观念的流行(即便那些对进化理论有着极好理解的学者,也常犯这个错误),可能是因为人们误解了生物种群在面临选择压力时,作出适应性改变的方式,或者说适应器的构造模式,假如他们对适应的理解仅仅限于某些类型,那么适应/进化速度确实会很慢。

下面我们考察一下适应可能会以哪些方式发生,然后对比一下它们对进化速度有何影响。

1)阳性变异vs阴性变异

这对概念(以及后面几对概念)是我杜撰的,反正我明确说明了含义,取个名字只是为了说起来方便。

阳性变异是指那些导致一种新功能产生的遗传变异,比如一个复制错误恰好将DNA的一段非编码序列变成了编码序列,于是产生(more...)

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一种广为流行说法是:在几十年、几百年、甚至几千年的尺度上,谈论(生物学意义上的)进化是没有意义的,这么短时间内不可能发生足够显著因而足以用来说明点什么的遗传改变,进化只能在地质年代的尺度上(比如至少几万年)谈论。 具体说就是:假如我们观察到一种环境条件、文化形态或生活方式上的改变,其持续时间只有几百年,那就不能:1)据此而推测有关群体已在生物学意义上发生了适应性改变;2)并据此而推测这些改变可能带来的后续影响。 但这是错误的,理论上,只要时间跨度超出一个世代,并且选择压力(表现为繁殖成效差异)足够大,有意义的遗传改变便可发生。 那么繁殖率差异可以大到什么程度呢?看一下不同族群的生育率和人口增长率,便可得到一个直观的印象:北美再洗礼派社群的总合生育率(TFR)高达4到8,年增长率高于3%,而波罗的海三国的生育率皆远低于替代水平,人口正在急剧下降。 类似差异也存在于同一族群的不同阶层或不同文化/职业群体中,比如欧洲女博士的生育率比未受过高等教育的女性低很多,美国高收入阶层的生育率也比低收入者低很多。这是人类的情况,其他生物的选择压力可以比这大得多,其世代周期也可以短得多。 高达几倍十几倍的繁殖率差异,在几个世代之内便可显著改变某些遗传特性在种群内的分布,只要这些特性是有意义的,那么从进化角度谈论这些改变的后果,也就是有意义的。 上述错误观念的流行(即便那些对进化理论有着极好理解的学者,也常犯这个错误),可能是因为人们误解了生物种群在面临选择压力时,作出适应性改变的方式,或者说适应器的构造模式,假如他们对适应的理解仅仅限于某些类型,那么适应/进化速度确实会很慢。 下面我们考察一下适应可能会以哪些方式发生,然后对比一下它们对进化速度有何影响。 1)阳性变异vs阴性变异 这对概念(以及后面几对概念)是我杜撰的,反正我明确说明了含义,取个名字只是为了说起来方便。 阳性变异是指那些导致一种新功能产生的遗传变异,比如一个复制错误恰好将DNA的一段非编码序列变成了编码序列,于是产生了一个新基因,而阴性变异则是导致一个原有功能的失效。 一个适应性变异既可能是阳性的,也可能是阴性的,比如高纬度族群的肤色变浅是一种适应,这是丧失某些色素合成功能的结果。 很明显,阴性变异发生几率远高于阳性变异(破坏一个既有功能总是比创造一个新功能容易得多),所以,当一种适应通过阴性变异而发生时,其速度会更快。 2)二值特性vs多值特性 有些遗传特性要么有要么无,而另一些则有一个较宽的取值范围。导致多值性的原因有很多,这里只举一种较纯粹的情况:有些基因会在DNA上存在多个副本,每个副本又有多种等位体,假如某种基因有5个副本,每个副本有效和无效两种等位体,同时其所对应的性状取决于该基因所编码蛋白质的浓度,那么该性状的取值范围便是0-10。 性状的值域越宽,其分布看起来就越像是连续的(尽管根本上说它仍是离散的);值域较宽的性状被称为量化性状([[quantitative traits]]),由其副本组合改变所造成的变异,叫副本数变异([[copy-number variations]],CNVs)。 显然,经由副本数变异的适应,比经由单基因阳性变异的适应,要容易而迅速的多,首先,副本数减少只需要一次让某个副本失效的变异即可,其次,副本数增加只需要一次导致编码段重复的复制错误即可,第三,对于有性生物,多副本基因的数量变异可经由有性繁殖过程中的重组和交换而实现,因而更加容易发生。 3)单基因调控vs多基因调控 除了副本数变异,多值性也可以通过多基因调控实现,有些性状(比如肤色)的产生和调控机制十分复杂,许多基因参与其中,其中每个基因的变异都可能影响结果,而且这种影响通常不是致命的,即,其中一个的失效或改变只是让结果有所不同,而不是让结果在二值(或少数几个取值)之间翻转,这样,性状也就表现出多值性。 上述副本数变异其实就是多基因调控的一个特例,只不过前者参与同一调控机制的多个基因是同源且高度相似的,因而被视为同一基因的多个副本。 多基因调控的性状,其适应速度快于单基因调控性状,原理同上。 4)单向调控vs多向拮抗 有些性状虽然是多基因调控的,但参与调控的各基因,其作用都指向同一个方向,比如在肤色调控中,假如所有参与基因都在帮助实现黑色素合成,那么这种调控就是单向的,其多值性仅由其中部分环节失效而产生。 但多基因调控也可以拮抗的方式进行,一组基因把性状往一个方向拉,另一组往相反方向拉,最终结果取决于两者的平衡点。 很可能,我猜,以拮抗方式调控的特性,其值域会更宽,适应也更快更灵活,不过,和前面几条相比,这一点没那么显而易见,数学上的证明可能更复杂(我也没去尝试),但直觉上看起来好像是这样——为什么双手把控方向盘比单手更灵活敏捷呢?其中原理或许类似。 5)单层次调控vs多层次调控 许多复杂调控是通过一层叠一层的修饰/抑制来实现的,激素甲调控葡萄糖水平,激素乙调控激素甲的水平,激素丙调控激素乙的水平…… 产生一种新激素所需要的变异很特殊,很难发生,但与这些激素所对应的基因搭配组合却很容易改变,特别是当这些基因本身是多副本的,并且与有性繁殖所提供的特性储备机制(这个我后面还会说到)结合起来,其组合多样性将随等位体的增加而呈指数式增长,适应灵活性也随之提高,这意味着,当环境条件发生改变时,种群能够更快找出提升适应性的方案。 6)多态均衡和频率依赖选择 有些特性是否适应、适应度如何,取决于它和其他等位特性在种群中的分布频率,此即所谓频率依赖选择([[frequency-dependent selection]]),此类选择将导致该性状的若干等位特性以某种比例达成多态均衡([[polymorphic equilibrium]]),一个著名的例子是侧斑蜥蜴的雄性觅偶策略,橙喉/蓝喉/黄喉三种策略以特定比例达成多态均衡。 在多态均衡下,当环境改变时,适应性变化很可能迅速发生,因为适应所需要的变异原本就已存在,适应过程仅表现为构成均衡的多等位特性的频率变化。 在一个规模庞大、分布广、所占据生态多样性丰富的种群中,同时可以存在很多等位特性,而且多态共存的事实本身创造了很多新生态位(因为种群的特性分布本身对其中特定个体构成了一种“生态”),许多边缘特性以很低频率存在,它们事实上扮演了种群备用特性库的角色,一旦环境条件改变,原有的边缘特性便可能扩张为主流特性,这一过程,尽管没有创造新特性,但也完全有资格被称为“进化”。 7)无性vs有性 有性繁殖从两方面提高了生物的适应灵活性:首先,通过保存两份染色体,使得每个基因都个体基因组里都有至少两个副本,从而提高了系统的容错性,当一个副本失效时,系统仍能正常工作(假如这不是一个量化特性的话,而即便它是量化特性,一个副本失效也可能只是降低适应性而不是致命的),这样,一些在当前条件下适应不良的遗传特性,便可能以较低频率作为隐性基因保存下来,从而扩充种群的备用特性库,如上所述,更大的特性库可带来更高的适应灵活性。 其次,它提供了一种基因重组和交换机制,让遗传算法能够在一个世代内尝试更多特性组合,搜索更广阔的可能性空间,从而更快找到更优解,这也意味着更高的适应灵活性和更快的进化速度。 经过这番检查,可以看出,导致适应性改变的各环节中,只有阳性变异是极低概率因而需要漫长等待才能出现,而在没有阳性变异出现的时间段中,适应仍可能以许多种方式发生,考虑到这些可能性,当环境条件改变时,几个世代之内完全可能出现显著的进化过程。 实际上,上述各种适应模式,也正是生物复杂性的主要来源,当这些机制给生物带来复杂性的同时,也提升了其适应灵活性,让其在环境改变时尽快找到新的优化方案,如此带来的复杂性程度越高,其短期内发生进化的可能性也越大。 所谓适应灵活性,和动物的神经灵活性、认知灵活性、行为灵活性一样,是一种二阶适应性:它提升了生物种群在环境改变时尽快找到新适应方案的能力。 由于这种灵活性总是和前述各种复杂性联系在一起,这就可以解释,为何从较大时间跨度上看,生物复杂性总是在提升,因为只要满足一些简单的背景条件,这样的复杂性提升过程(也就是二阶适应过程)就必定会发生,不过这是另一个话题,这里暂不展开讨论。  
亲选择vs群选择

前几年威尔逊帮和道金斯帮就群选择的问题吵得撕破脸皮,起初我觉得这架吵得有点无聊,因为双方在事实问题上好像没多大分歧,分歧好像集中在如何表述这些事实。

不过后来我意识到,如何表述其实也很重要,因为不恰当的表述会将争论(以及这些争论的听众)引入歧途,我来理一理。

1)关于社会性之起源,有两派观点,一派(方便起见,姑称为道金斯派)基于内含适应性理论,认为是亲选择的结果;另一派(威尔逊派)则认为群选择即可产生同样效果。

2)对群选择理论的主流反驳意见是:那些为个体自身利益而背离群体利益的群内个体,将被自然选择偏爱,因而数量扩张、替代那些更“无私”的个体;同时,由于(more...)

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前几年威尔逊帮和道金斯帮就群选择的问题吵得撕破脸皮,起初我觉得这架吵得有点无聊,因为双方在事实问题上好像没多大分歧,分歧好像集中在如何表述这些事实。 不过后来我意识到,如何表述其实也很重要,因为不恰当的表述会将争论(以及这些争论的听众)引入歧途,我来理一理。 1)关于社会性之起源,有两派观点,一派(方便起见,姑称为道金斯派)基于内含适应性理论,认为是亲选择的结果;另一派(威尔逊派)则认为群选择即可产生同样效果。 2)对群选择理论的主流反驳意见是:那些为个体自身利益而背离群体利益的群内个体,将被自然选择偏爱,因而数量扩张、替代那些更“无私”的个体;同时,由于个体繁殖速度远超出群体分支/复制速度,因而上述替代的速度也将超出优 势群体替代劣势群体的速度,从而使得任何群选择都难以发生。 3)但这些障碍其实可以克服,假如一种群体利益由群内个体间合作所带来,那么,众多博弈论模型已经演示了,即便不存在亲缘关系,一种合作关系也可在群体内得到维持。 4)假如这些群体发展出某种组织/控制能力,使得规范能够得到强制实施,那么维持上述合作关系的可能性便进一步提升了。 5)建立合作关系、进而形成合作群体的前提,是存在共同利益,以及形成和执行合作策略所需要的认知能力;亲缘关系是共同利益的重要来源,但不是唯一来源,因而亲选择对群体合作不是必要条件; 6)当然,在合作群体的最初形成中,亲缘关系无疑可以起关键作用,除了因为它提供了重大共同利益之外,还因为个体在地理上的分布(更一般而言,在关系空间上的分布)不是随机的,因而总是更可能与其近亲发生合作博弈,从而有机会建立合作; 7)问题是(分歧点来了),成功建立并维持了上述合作关系的群体,还能不能被视为群选择理论中所谈论的那种群体?换句话说,那些因此类合作关系/规范而取得对其他群体的优势、从而得以替代其他群体的过程,能否被称为“群选择”? 8)传统上,当我们说“群选择”时,指的是:不同群体因某一特性在各群内的不同分布状态而具有不同的增殖优势,有些灭绝了,有些增殖繁荣了,于是带来优势的特性便扩散了;然而对上述合作群体,造成其增殖优势差异的,不是某一特性的分布状态,而是带有这些特性的个体之间的互动关系,一种组织/控制关系,以及它所带来的规范执行机制,这是一种在新层次上建立的新结构,而不仅仅是一种特征分布,用同一个术语来表述,至少是可疑的; 9)当一种群体合作关系紧密到让群体表现的像单一行动者,那我们就没有理由继续称其为“群体”了,此时它已经是个体了;实际上,目前被称为个体的那些东西,都是通过这样的过程进化而来的; 10)一种合作结构能否被称为“个体”,我的标准是:看合作各方是否在很大程度上共享复制通道;某些真社会性昆虫巢群已经符合这一标准,因而可以称为个体; 11)许多群体的合作紧密程度,介于无结构群体和真社会性巢群之间,作为一种结构,它们已经成为自然选择的作用对象,但因为上面所述理由,这种选择既不能被等同于作用于个体的经典自然选择,也不能被称为群选择,我更倾向于用“组织进化”来称呼它们; 12)因为我不是本质主义者,所以这种本体论上的模糊性和两可性,对我不构成困扰。  
[大象]“进化”还是“演化”?

“进化”还是“演化”?
辉格
2015年6月6日

时不时会听到这样一种说法,说把“evolution”翻译成“进化”是个错误,因为后者暗含了“进步”的意思,因而这个译法容易让人错误的以为生物进化过程是有着特定方向的,甚至是朝着某种预定目标阶梯式推进的,就像登山那样,循着一级级台阶爬向一个预先存在的巅峰,而最终有幸站在巅峰上的,正是我们人类。

批评者(本文一律用这个词来指称持下列批评意见的人)认为,进化没有方向性,更没有预定目标,进化这个概念也并不包含“从低级到高级”的进步意味(我们甚至无法客观的比较高级和低级),而且evolution一词也没有这样的含义,所以正确的译法是“演化”;比如2009年出版的《为什么要相信达尔文》一书便采用了这一译法,芝加哥大学的龙漫远教授在为该译本作序时还特意强调:——

对于中心概念evolution——这一被长期误译为‘进化’的最重要的单词,书使用了中国近代最伟大的学者和翻译家之一严复准确翻译出的‘演化’(天演)一词。这是中文世界对演化生物学中心概念理解的一个重要进步。

另外,据说前些年台湾的官编教科书也都改用了“演化”这一译法。

那么,上述批评是否成立?“进化”果真是个误译吗?我的回答并不是简单的是或否,因为这一批评实际上包含了一系列观点,让我们一个个分开看。

【词源学】

英语evolution一词源自拉丁语evolvo,意思是展开或打开,批评者也常据此宣称该词没有进步和目的性意味;我承认,它确实没有进步意味,但有着强烈的目的性意味,实际上,该词在近代被(比如18世纪瑞士博物学家Charles Bonnet)用于描绘生物现象时,起初是指生物个体的发育过程,即后来用develop一词所表达的意思。

此时,“展开”的意思便是“按预定步骤、朝着预定结果展开”,因为很明显,生物个体的发育过程,即是从未成形的胚胎向着该物种所特有的成熟形态发展的过程,这是一个其步骤和结果皆高度可预见的过程;这一点我们对照evolution的另一种用法可以看得更清楚:作为一个军事术语,该词的意思是,让军队(比如在演习中)按预定方案展开部署。

后来,当进化思想开始萌生时,这个词转而被用来描绘生物的种系发生过程,也就是说,在如此使用该词的人看来,种系发生就像个体发育一样,是在一种生物内在倾向的驱动下自动展开的过程;目前有据可查的首位采用该用法的学者是苏格兰博物学家罗伯特·詹姆森,他在一篇论(more...)

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5583
“进化”还是“演化”? 辉格 2015年6月6日 时不时会听到这样一种说法,说把“evolution”翻译成“进化”是个错误,因为后者暗含了“进步”的意思,因而这个译法容易让人错误的以为生物进化过程是有着特定方向的,甚至是朝着某种预定目标阶梯式推进的,就像登山那样,循着一级级台阶爬向一个预先存在的巅峰,而最终有幸站在巅峰上的,正是我们人类。 批评者(本文一律用这个词来指称持下列批评意见的人)认为,进化没有方向性,更没有预定目标,进化这个概念也并不包含“从低级到高级”的进步意味(我们甚至无法客观的比较高级和低级),而且evolution一词也没有这样的含义,所以正确的译法是“演化”;比如2009年出版的《为什么要相信达尔文》一书便采用了这一译法,芝加哥大学的龙漫远教授在为该译本作序时还特意强调:——

对于中心概念evolution——这一被长期误译为‘进化’的最重要的单词,书使用了中国近代最伟大的学者和翻译家之一严复准确翻译出的‘演化’(天演)一词。这是中文世界对演化生物学中心概念理解的一个重要进步。

另外,据说前些年台湾的官编教科书也都改用了“演化”这一译法。 那么,上述批评是否成立?“进化”果真是个误译吗?我的回答并不是简单的是或否,因为这一批评实际上包含了一系列观点,让我们一个个分开看。 【词源学】 英语evolution一词源自拉丁语evolvo,意思是展开或打开,批评者也常据此宣称该词没有进步和目的性意味;我承认,它确实没有进步意味,但有着强烈的目的性意味,实际上,该词在近代被(比如18世纪瑞士博物学家[[Charles Bonnet]])用于描绘生物现象时,起初是指生物个体的发育过程,即后来用develop一词所表达的意思。 此时,“展开”的意思便是“按预定步骤、朝着预定结果展开”,因为很明显,生物个体的发育过程,即是从未成形的胚胎向着该物种所特有的成熟形态发展的过程,这是一个其步骤和结果皆高度可预见的过程;这一点我们对照evolution的另一种用法可以看得更清楚:作为一个军事术语,该词的意思是,让军队(比如在演习中)按预定方案展开部署。 后来,当进化思想开始萌生时,这个词转而被用来描绘生物的种系发生过程,也就是说,在如此使用该词的人看来,种系发生就像个体发育一样,是在一种生物内在倾向的驱动下自动展开的过程;目前有据可查的首位采用该用法的学者是苏格兰博物学家罗伯特·詹姆森,他在一篇论文里介绍拉马克理论时用了evolve一词,而拉马克的进化理论,恰恰是一种目的论的、阶梯式的线性进化观。 这样的进化观念,按现代生物学理论,当然是非常错误的,但当时许多博物学家确实或多或少是这么认为的,这也许让进化一词背上了一个历史包袱:容易令人望文生义而产生一些不恰当的联想,但这包袱不应由翻译者负责,因为原文本来就带着这层意思;支持这一点的另一个有力证据是:英语里还有devolution一词,是evolution的反义词,意思是退化,evolution若果真没有方向意味,那devolution又从何谈起? 【进化到底有没有方向性?】 至此,我已赞同了批评者的一个观点:“进化”一词曾经不恰当的包含了目的论和阶梯式进步的意味(但责任不在翻译者);那么,在排除了这个低级错误之后,进化过程是否仍可识别出某种方向性,让它仍配得上“进”这个字? 回答这个问题之前,我想最好先澄清一下:什么叫“进化”?什么叫“有没有”?什么叫“方向性”?先看第一个问号。 进化是指地球生物的全部历史吗?还是指该历史的某个方面?假如是后者,那它似乎就很容易配得上“进”字,因为我们可以认为它是专指整棵种系发生树上那些复杂性随时间而提升的线路,你可能会说这只是在玩弄文字游戏,但我有充分理由如此使用进化这一概念,因为这正是生物学界也是日常谈论中的传统用法。 实际上,从拉马克、斯宾塞到达尔文,提出种种进化理论的动机,就是为了解释:我们所看到的令人惊叹的复杂生命形态,是如何从更简单原始的形态演变而来的,正是这些他们所认为的高级生物在结构上的复杂性和功能上的精巧,牵引着他们的好奇心,需要一个特别的解释——假如他们不满足于“上帝创造了它们”这句无内容空话的话。 所以,作为对复杂性来源的一种解释,进化理论的要点即在于阐明,从简单到复杂这一有着明确方向性的过程是如何发生的,当然,你可以说这些进程只是整个生物历史中的一些线索,并非全部,这或许没错,问题是,我们何以认定“进化”一词非得是指整个生物史而不是其某个方面呢?况且,从它被早期进化理论家使用的上下文看,它难道不总是和“从简单到复杂、从低级到高级”这样的意思联系在一起吗?不妨读一下《物种起源》最后一节:

凝视树木交错的河岸,许多种类的无数植物覆盖其上,群鸟鸣于灌木丛中,各种昆虫飞来飞去,蚯蚓在湿土里爬过,并且默想一下,这些构造精巧的类型,彼此这样相异,并以这样复杂的方式相互依存,而它们都是由于在我们周围发生作用的法则产生出来的,这岂非有趣之事。……这样,从自然界的战争里,从饥饿和死亡里,我们便能体会到最可赞美的目的,即高级动物的产生,直接随之而至。认为生命及其若干能力原来是造物主注入到少数类型或一个类型中去的,而且认为在这个行星按照引力的既定法则继续运行的时候,最美丽的和最奇异的类型从如此简单的始端,过去,曾经而且现今还在进化着;这种观点是极其壮丽的。

随便翻几本谈论进化史的著作,类似辞句比比皆是。更明确的证据来自各种生物或地质史教科书上的年代表(可以参考“[[Timeline of the evolutionary history of life]]”和“{{生命演化历程}}”这两个维基词条),晚近年代的标志性生物,总是比早先年代的更复杂,换句话说,尽管简单形态的生物也在不断演变并不断产生新类元,可一旦出现了比它们更复杂的类型,前者就不会再被当作某个地质年代的标志性生物。 反过来,我们很少听到有人用进化这个词去描绘像器官退化这样的事情,这种事情确实存在,比如许多寄生生物,随着其与宿主的共生关系的持续,在某些功能上日益依赖宿主,因而相应器官退化甚至消失,可是人们用来描绘这种情况的词汇,更可能是退化而非进化;如此,我们难道没有理由认为,人们提及“进化”时,强调的正是生物历史中复杂性提升的那些方面? 【那么整个生物历史有方向性吗?】 至此,我的论证仅仅针对“进化”一词的用法,这是个语言学问题,并未涉及任何生物学事实,你可能觉得这样的话题过于琐碎,好吧,现在让我们抛开词义之争,看看在事实问题上还有没有什么分歧。 直觉上,我们很容易相信生物历史是有方向性的(这里所谓方向性,是指某项统计指标与时间的相关性,即,若以该指标为Y轴,时间为X轴,采样值所构成的曲线要么向上倾向,要么向下倾斜),比如就以下类型的首次出现而言:真核生物晚于原核生物、多细胞晚于单细胞、复杂神经系统(比如大脑)晚于简单神经系统、真社会性昆虫晚于非社会性昆虫……总之,更复杂的形态总是更晚出现(咦?这不正是进化论的核心要点之一吗?) 这样,我们至少找出了一个指标——每个地质年代的最高生物复杂性——它是有方向性的。 但是批评者拒绝承认生物历史具有方向性:因为我们没有理由认为自然选择在任何条件下都偏爱更复杂的形态,而事实已表明,在某些条件下(比如在某些寄生关系中),它恰恰偏爱简单形态,同时,我们不能假定未来环境条件会如何变化,所以,从我们所接受的进化理论中,推不出任何方向性。 这个理由本身没错,问题是,我们所谈论的生物历史,并非发生在“任何条件下”,而是发生在银河系某个特定角落的某颗特定行星的特定时间段上,而这段特定历史有着一个极其重要的背景条件:太阳以近乎恒定的速率向地球输送能量,同时,维持地球生命系统的地质和化学条件,在此期间没有遭受毁灭性的破坏。 于是我们便面临上述第二个问号:什么叫“有没有”?说“生物史方向性”,究竟是指现代生物学在理论上保证了(即无论环境条件如何)它有方向性?还是指特定生物史在事实上表现出了方向性?假如是指后一种,那么答案是显而易见的:它有着明确无疑的方向性。 这是最弱意义上的方向性,但我们还可以指望更强意义的方向性,即,地球生命史所表现出的方向性,并非偶然,而是在满足某些简单背景条件——比如有机物丰度不降低、地球能量输入不衰减,诸如此类——的前提下必定会出现。实际上,一些研究复杂系统特别是生物复杂性的科学家,已经做出了这方面的尝试,或许他们的理论尚未被生物学界主流所认可,但至少还没有什么理由认为他们的想法在理论上就是行不通的。 【复杂性可以度量吗?】 对上述见解,批评者常提出的一种反驳是:复杂性根本不是一个科学概念,它无法被度量,既然无法度量,所谓方向性也就丧失了统计基础——你连采样曲线都画不出,谈何上倾下倾? 直觉上,我们很容易接受复杂性这个概念,当我们谈论“真核细胞比原核细胞复杂、多细胞生物比单细胞生物复杂、真社会性蚂蚁巢群比蚂蚁个体复杂、一只麻雀比一条蚯蚓复杂、一只猫的头脑比一只海胆的神经系统复杂……”时,无论说者和听者,似乎都能领会复杂一词的意思,而不是茫然不知所云。 而且生物学家也确实在用各种指标比较不同类元的复杂性,比如细胞分化程度、组织/器官的数量和分化程度、行为灵活性、神经系统的规模……等等;但批评者认为,这些指标是武断挑选的,不具有客观性(甚至挑选标准可能带有人类中心主义倾向),而且既然没有一个单一指标,所谓复杂性就无法被量化。 是直觉错了吗?不是。为证明这一点,不妨设想一种复杂性的终极度量方法,称之为终极,是因为它至少目前在技术上还不可行,这只是个思想实验,用来说明:宣称复杂性不可度量是错误的。 假设我们的生物学知识已足够充分,并且拥有充足的计算资源,让我们可以对生物体进行高度逼真的数字建模,逼真程度达到:若火星人拿到某物种成熟个体的模型数据,并掌握了必要的分子生物技术,便可从小分子开始造出(注意是造出而不是培育出,因为我们假设火星不存在该物种发育所需条件)一个成熟个体,然后,若将该造物混进一群该模型所模拟的原型生物,它无法被地球生物学家辨认出来。 于是我们有了一种度量复杂性的方法:数一下这个数字模型的比特数。 有人可能会问:何必如此麻烦,直接计算遗传物质里的信息量不就行了,毕竟遗传编码本身就是数字化的啊?问题是,至少对于多细胞生物,体现其复杂性的信息不仅存在于遗传物质里,也存在于体细胞中,因为发育过程乃至整个生活史中,个体在不断从环境中“吸收”信息,表现为各体细胞的基因开关状态,和神经细胞的突触连接拓扑与强度,所以假如只计算受精卵内遗传物质的信息量,会大大低估多细胞生物的复杂度。 最高复杂度随时间而提升,体现了进化是一个积累过程;积累性表现在三个方面,首先是构造元件库的扩充,假如我们把生物个体看作一部生存繁殖机器的话,用来建造它的元件是各种适应器,适应器一旦获得,只要还在履行某种功能,自然选择就会将它保持在种系的元件库里;假如每个种系的元件库都随时间而扩充,整个生物系统的元件库也将日益庞大。 其次是自组织,每当物种获得一种新元件,便会引发一个自组织过程,因为组成有机体的其他元件会对新伙伴作出反应,并与之建立一系列相互依赖关系,这些关系不仅本身构成了有机体复杂性的一方面,而且往往使得参与其中的元件发生改变而履行新功能,从而使元件本身也变得精致化了(精致意味着包含更多信息)。 最后也最壮观的,是新结构涌现(或曰元系统跃迁,[[metasystem transition]]),新结构可以由不同物种的共生关系,或者由同物种的近亲群聚而成,这样的结构较为松散,但假如这种关系朝向平等共享复制通道的方向发展,便可能在新层次上创建出相当于单一个体的紧密结构,就像从原核细胞内共生关系中发展出的真核细胞,从类似团藻的这样近亲群聚发展出真正的多细胞生物,从松散结合的近亲蚂蚁群体发展出和单一个体一样紧密的真社会性巢群。 任何层次上的新结构涌现,皆须以存在一个庞大而丰富的下层结构为基础,后者为新结构提供了元件库,也正因此,层次更多、结构更复杂的生物,总是晚于简单生物而出现,因为它们需要等待后者变得足够丰富以便用作其构造元件。 【另一种方向性:适应性】 除了复杂性,我们还有望从地球生命史中找出另一种方向性:总的适应性水平随时间而提高。乍一看,总适应性水平这个概念似乎不可能有意义,因为自然选择作用于具体的个体或种群,因而我们只能对个体、种群或物种谈论适应性。 但实际上,总适应性(或平均适应性)这个概念是有意义的,为说明这一点,我需要引入另一个思想实验,我称之为“姐妹地球”。设想地球有一个妹妹,她在所有方面与地球完全一样,唯一的差别是:她比地球年轻两亿岁,就是说,她和地球经历了完全相同的历史,只是其历史比地球滞后了两亿年。 好,现在我们可以为“总适应性”给出一个操作性定义了:任一时刻,从两个地球各随机选取一组种群,扔到对方的相似生态位上,隔若干年后看,来自哪颗地球的移民繁殖成效高,即认为它在那一刻的总适应性更高。 因为两颗地球的姐妹性质,上述同时刻跨球比较完全等价于同球的跨时间比较,假如比较结果呈现出某种固定模式,谈论总适应性便是有意义的,假如呈现出的模式是:晚近时刻的总适应性总是高于早先时刻,那就可以说,地球生命史在总适应性上也具有方向性。 尽管我们永远没机会做这个实验,但地球生命史上其实有过一些效果近似的实验(虽然近似度不高),为我们观察总适应水平提供了一些机会。在由地理隔绝所造成的相对孤立的各生态系统之间,隐约可以看到一些评估总适应性的线索,比如生物学家发现,岛屿的生态系统往往更容易被外来物种所入侵。 另外,面积较小、土地贫瘠(因而生物量小)且长期孤绝的澳洲,相比面积更大、生物更繁盛的大陆,在抵御入侵物种时,似乎表现的更为脆弱;在全球排名前一百的入侵物种榜单上,我们看到的原产地绝大多数是欧亚美非,极少有来自澳洲或更小生态系统的。 类似的,我们也可以比较两个物种的适应性,而且方法更简单易行,比如将两个物种规模相当的种群同置于若干生态位中,若干年后,看看哪个繁殖成效更高;当然,有些物种对之间可能分不出高下(或根本放不进同一生态位),这意味着物种适应性集合是偏序的、而非全序的,但只要是偏序的,我们就不能说:物种适应性是无意义的、无法比较的。 【高级低级之分有意义吗?】 批评者对“进化”一词的另一项抱怨是:它往往和高级/低级、原始/发达、成功/失败之类的观念联系在一起,但这些概念是无意义的,因为但凡经历了自然选择考验而生存下来的物种,按定义都是最具适应性的,没有理由说一些比另一些更适应、更成功、更高级,至少这种区分在同时代的物种(或更大类元)之间是无意义的。 或者,即便有意义,那也是基于人类的特有偏见:当我们比较认知能力时,采取的是人类中心主义,比较视觉能力时,采取的是灵长类中心主义,比较运动能力时,采取的是脊椎动物中心主义……,总之,无论比较什么,我们的关注焦点总是放在从原始汤通往我们自己的那条进化路线上,其余皆被视为“旁支”而予以忽视,正是这种偏见导致了阶梯式直线进化的错误观念。 这一批评包含了许多正确成分,除了其一般结论:高级低级是无意义的。正如我已阐明的,它至少可以有一种意义:复杂性高低;而且你恐怕很难说上述对复杂性的操作性定义也是人类中心主义的。 类似的,我们也可以有意义的谈论物种(或更大类元)的成功程度,“入侵物种”这个名字其实已经暗示了这一点,还有许多指标可以用来衡量成功,比如地理上的分布广度,所占据生态位的多样性,我们甚至还有一个度量成功的终极方法:计算物种的总生物量(大约相当于其所占用的原子量),你同样很难说这种度量是人类中心主义的。 一旦我们同意这些衡量标准是客观的,那么回头再看,人类确实称得上高级和成功,站在生命之巅傲视众生的、最令人生畏的入侵物种,无疑是我们,甚至我们的小伙伴们——老鼠、猫、蟑螂——也因得到我们的提携而成了可怕的入侵物种。 【为何进步概念如此受抵制?】 自启蒙时代直到上世纪初,有关进步的观念很少受到挑战,对于落后/进步、低级/高级、原始/成熟、朴陋/发达、野蛮/文明等等词汇所表达的意思,人们多少都有着共同的领会,尽管对于什么才算进步或高级,有着许多不同看法,但至少都承认这样的区分是有意义的。 然而自从一战以来,这些概念越来越受到抵制,并逐渐被清理出人文学科、社会科学界乃至公共舆论,甚至包括像生物学这样的自然科学领域;结果是,低级、原始、野蛮之类的词汇,几乎已成为禁忌;最为讽刺的是,推动这一清理工作的主要力量,恰恰来自左派阵营中常被称为(也常自视为)进步主义的那些思想流派。 其中最突出的一股潮流,被称为文化相对主义,它源自美国的文化人类学,但其影响几乎渗入了所有人文与社会学科。在我看来,生物学界对“进化”一词的抵制,彻底否认生命历程的方向性,拒绝任何高低之分,也是上述相对主义运动的一部分。 然而,如此推向极端的相对主义,实在与常识相去太远,以至其主张者自己也难以遵行,他们一方面要求人们不要去评判其他文化的高低优劣,一方面却不遗余力的攻击基督教、西方传统和各种他们所不喜欢的社会习俗。 当然,这么做未必算是自相矛盾,比如他们可以把相对主义解释为一种元规则:不得评判一种文化,除非这一评判是指向那些“鼓励其成员对其他文化大加评判”的文化特性,那倒也可以自圆其说,问题是,他们要求人们不去评判的,往往正是具有这些特性的文化,而且评判者所针对的,也往往正是这些特性,或者导致这些特性的其他方面。 实际上,在现代文明发展起来之前,几乎所有传统文化都强烈倾向于将异种文化作为挞伐对象(无论是伦理评价上还是行动上),而这些相对主义者身处其中、被他们骂得狗血淋头的西方文明社会,恰恰是最能宽容异种文化的——从这里,你真的就看不出任何高下之分吗? 不过话说回来,尽管我拒绝相对主义,但并不认为它一无是处,它确实有助于将我们从浸淫其中因而熟视无睹的文化背景中拉出来,促使我们对自身文化特性作出反思,重新评估哪些是最值得珍视的,哪些是为在一个多元开放社会和平共处而必须加以捍卫的,哪些是出于共存的需要必需加以克制和调整的,哪些只是我们的偏好或偏见。 然而,反思的结果不必是也不应是要求我们放弃自己的文化身份和伦理立场,或者放弃我们的偏好和偏见——除非它有碍于和平共存的需要。 类似的,对“进化”的批评意见,也可促使我们反思以往对复杂性和适应性的评价,看看哪些评价是出于人类中心主义的偏见,哪些是更客观的,但这一反思不必让我们放弃因我们祖先所走过的伟大进化历程,最终让我们登上灵性之巅而带来的骄傲和荣耀。
蛋蛋与科学

【2015-06-07】

@吴昊老是重名很无奈 @whigzhou 辉总,知乎看到这个问题,觉得高票答案扯蛋,却自己提不出最合适解释,您怎么看?【为什么人类的睾丸长在体腔外?】刘哈哈:转自豆瓣–南度的日记:《蛋疼三部曲》之一:

@whigzhou: 大概看了下,对问题的描述和介绍的各种假说挺有意思,但他自己的分析不行,比如他老是用“这个解释虽然漂亮,但却不能解释为什么其他动物不把睾丸放在外面,难道它们的精子就不需要磨练么?”这种说辞来反驳,他显然没意识到:这个逻辑可以秒杀任何进化生物学解释。

@吴昊老是重名很无奈: 是的,我也是这(more...)

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【2015-06-07】 @吴昊老是重名很无奈 @whigzhou 辉总,知乎看到这个问题,觉得高票答案扯蛋,却自己提不出最合适解释,您怎么看?【为什么人类的睾丸长在体腔外?】刘哈哈:转自豆瓣--南度的日记:《蛋疼三部曲》之一: @whigzhou: 大概看了下,对问题的描述和介绍的各种假说挺有意思,但他自己的分析不行,比如他老是用“这个解释虽然漂亮,但却不能解释为什么其他动物不把睾丸放在外面,难道它们的精子就不需要磨练么?”这种说辞来反驳,他显然没意识到:这个逻辑可以秒杀任何进化生物学解释。 @吴昊老是重名很无奈: 是的,我也是这个感觉,他对很多假说的反驳还是有道理的,虽然经不起深究。我想过是不是性选择造成的,但是似乎不像男性对女性的乳房一样,女性对男性的睾丸外挂却没有表现出相应的心理机制。 @whigzhou: 既然外挂在哺乳动物中那么普遍,这事情肯定不能从人类的条件去想 @姚广孝_wayne:然而进化生物学现在走进了一个误区,即喜欢用“这样有什么好处”来替代本来想论证的“为什么会这样”,而前者往往只需要首先脑补,然后寻找证据 @whigzhou: 找出“这样有什么好处”是论证“为什么会这样”的重要步骤,先构造假说,再找数据验证,这难道不是科学研究的常规方法吗? @whigzhou: 这和破案中考虑作案动机是一个道理,可供探索的可能性空间几乎是无限的,不借助某些线索的启发,就只能瞎蒙乱撞,瞎蒙乱撞不是科学方法 @whigzhou: 进化生物学家研究性状起源时,和通过反向工程破解电路板的人一样,采取的是丹内特所称的设计立场,也就是功能主义立场,即,首先假定它是具有某种功能的,然后猜测它可能具有什么功能,然后做一系列测试去验证猜测,几番努力还是找不到,再考虑其他可能,比如副产品、退化残余、漂变之类 @real_whisper:科学研究的唯一方法是分析归纳。科学必须基于事实判断,上来就定义“好处”这种价值判断不是科学方法。 @whigzhou: 那你说说啥叫“分析”? @慕容飞宇gg:辉总,从进化论的角度来说,“这样有什么好处”和“为什么会这样”有区别吗? @whigzhou: 有。你还得构造并验证它如何带来此等好处的完整因果链,就好比你光有作案动机不能定罪,还得构造因果链并加以证明