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关于人类的10个未解之谜

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人类在地球的所有生物中是独一无二的,关于我们如何进化的问题仍存在很多谜团。进化的第一步是什么?为什么我们朝着这个方向而不是其他方向进化?为什么我们是仅存的人类种群?在进化中如果沿着其他的进化方向会出现怎样的结果?以及今后我们会何去何从?
Humans are unique among life on this planet, and much remains a mystery as to how we evolved. What steps came first? Why did we evolve this way and not that direction? Why are we the only human species left? What other paths might we have gone down in our evolution? And what directions might we go from here?
10.现代人类从哪里来?人类进化的学科中争论最激烈的问题似乎就是有关现代人类从哪里进化而来的问题。非洲起源假说坚持认为现代人类从非洲进化而来,并且逐渐向全世界扩散,最终取代了已经存在的其他的古老人类种群。多地起源假说则认为现代人类是在广泛的地理区域中,由其他古老的人类进化而来的。这些分布于各地的人类种族互相交配,以便分享不同的人类特质,最终进化成为现代人类。目前,非洲起源地假说占据着较大的优势,但多地起源假说的支持者们仍然对他们的观点信心十足。
Where do modern humans come from? The most bitterly debated question in the discipline of human evolution is likely over where modern humans evolved. The out-of-Africa hypothesis maintains that modern humans evolved relatively recently in Africa and then spread around the world, replacing existing populations of archaic humans. The multiregional hypothesis contends that modern humans evolved over a broad area from archaic humans, with populations in different regions mating with their neighbors to share traits, resulting in the evolution of modern humans. The out-of-Africa hypothesis currently holds the lead, but proponents of the multiregional hypothesis remain strong in their views.
9.谁是最初的原始人类?一直以来科学家们向我们揭示了越来越多古老的原始人类--这就意味着这些两足动物中包含有人类的直系祖先与最接近的亲属。他们努力去寻找最古老的一支原始人类,以便能回答人类进化中最根本的问题--什么样的适应过程使我们成为人?以及这些过程按照什么顺序发生?
Who was the first hominid? Scientists are uncovering more and more ancient hominids all the time -- here meaning bipeds including humans, our direct ancestors and closest relatives. They strive to find the earliest one, to help answer that most fundamental question in human evolution -- what adaptations made us human, and in what order did they happen? Did we have sex with Neanderthals? Did we interbreed? Does our species possess any genes leftover from our extinct cousins? Scientists have suggested that perhaps the Neanderthals did not die out, but instead were absorbed were absorbed into modern humanity.
8.现代人类是否具有尼安德特人的基因特质?现代人类是否与其他的人类种群交配过?现代人类是否具有从其他的已经灭亡的旁系种群得来的基因特质?科学家们已经推测,也许尼安德特人并未灭亡,而是融合在现代人类种群当中。
Why did modern humanity expand past Africa about 50,000 years ago? Roughly 50,000 years ago, modern humans expanded out of Africa, spreading rapidly across most of the world's lands to colonize all continents except Antarctica, reaching even the most remote Pacific islands. A number of scientists conjecture this migration was linked with a mutation that transformed our brains, leading to our modern, complex use of language and enabling more sophisticated tools, art and societies. The more popular view suggests hints of such modern behavior existed long before this exodus, and that humanity instead had crossed a threshold in terms of population size in Africa that made such a revolution possible.
7.为什么现代人类从原始非洲向其他地区的迁移发生在约5000年前?大约5000年以前,现代人类开始从非洲向其他地区扩展,很快就到达了除南极洲以外的其他地区,甚至连偏僻的太平洋岛屿上也出现了他们生活的痕迹。一部分科学家推测这次迁移是与人类大脑的变化、语言使用的复杂话、使用更加精密的工具、艺术以及群体的发展息息相关的。更加流行的观点暗示在这次迁移发生以前上述的行为就已经存在了,在非洲人类是突破了群体规模的限制之后,才使这次空前的迁移变成现实。
What is the hobbit? Is the 'hobbit' -- the nickname given to diminutive skeletons found on the Indonesian isle of Flores in 2003 -- in fact an extinct human species, enough to be called Homo floresiensis? Are these skeletons just examples of deformed Homo sapiens? Are they a different species than us, but perhaps not an extinct human species and instead as separate as chimpanzees are? Solving this mystery could help shed light on the radical paths human evolution may have taken.
6.哈比特人到底是怎样的种群?“哈比特人”--为2003年在印尼弗洛里斯岛上发现的小型人体遗骸取的名字--实际上是一种已经灭绝的人类种群,他们是否就是弗洛里斯人?或者仅是发育不良的智人的遗骸?他们是否与现代人类不同,或者也许他们不是灭绝的人类种群,而是像黑猩猩那样是一种完全独立的物种?解决这个谜团有助于研究有关人类进化所采取的根本路线的问题。
Is human evolution accelerating? Recent evidence suggests that humanity is not only still evolving, but that human evolution is actually accelerating, speeding up to 100 times historical levels after agriculture spread. A number of scientists challenge the strength of this evidence, saying that it remains difficult to ascertain whether or not certain genes really have recently grown in prominence because they offer some adaptive benefit. Still, if human evolution is accelerating, the question becomes why? Diet and diseases may be some of the pressures that caused humans to change.
5.人类的进化是否在加速?近期的证据表明,人类不仅在持续的进化,而且比农业普及以后的历史时期快了100倍。有一些科学家对这种看法提出质疑,认为:仍然难以确定是否由于一些可以提高人类适应性的基因的加速增长而造成了这种结果。同时,如果人类的进化真的在加速的话,那么必然要回答为什么会加速的问题。日常饮食和体育锻炼也许为人类的改变提供了推动力。
Why did our closest relatives go extinct? Roughly 24,000 years ago, our species, Homo sapiens, was not alone in the world -- our closest relatives, the Neanderthals, (Homo neanderthalensis) were still alive. The so-called 'hobbit' found in Indonesia might also have been a member of the genus Homo, and it apparently survived until as recently as 12,000 years ago. So why did they die and we survive? Did infections or radical shifts in their environments kill them off? Or did our species do away with them? Some evidence exists for both scenarios, but no conclusion is agreed upon.
4.为什么与现代人类有亲缘关系的其他人类种群灭绝了?大约24000年之前,我们的种群--智人并非孤单的生活在这个世界上,与我们最有亲缘关系的尼安德特人仍然存在。那种发现于印尼被称为哈比人的种群仍是人类种群当中的一个分支,并且一直活到了距今12000年的时期。那么为什么他们都灭绝了,只有我们生存了下来?是否是疾病的流行或者是环境的剧烈改变使他们灭绝?或者是我们的种群消灭了他们?对于上述的两种推论都有一些证据支持,但是对这个问题并无定论。
What happened to our hair? Humans are unique for looking naked compared to our hairier ape cousins. So why did this nakedness evolve? One suggestion is that our ancestors shed hairiness to keep cool when venturing across the hot savannahs of Africa. Another is that losing our fur coats helped free us parasite infestations and the diseases they can spread. One unorthodox idea even suggests human nakedness developed after our ancestors briefly adapted for a streamlined life in the water, although most aquatic mammals of roughly human size actually possess dense fur.
3.我们身上的毛发发生了哪些改变?与我们长毛的类人猿亲戚们相比,我们在身体的赤裸程度方面是独一无二的。那么我们为什么会朝着这方面进化呢?一种观点认为,当我们的祖先冒险穿越非洲炎热的萨凡纳地区时,为了保持周身的凉爽,他们选择自己脱去毛发。另一种观点认为,脱去身上的毛发能够避免寄生虫以及相关疾病的侵袭。另一种极端的观点甚至认为,在我们的祖先短暂的适应了水中生物的生活之后,毛发就脱去了,尽管大多数和人类大小差不多的水生哺乳动物总是覆盖着一身厚厚的毛发。
Why do humans walk on two legs? Our ancestors evolved an upright posture well before our large brains or stone tools even appeared. The question, then: Why stand and walk on two legs when our ape cousins get by on four limbs? Walking as bipeds might actually use less energy than movement on all fours does. Freeing up the arms might also have enabled our ancestors to carry more food. Standing upright might even have helped them control their temperature better by reducing the amount of skin directly exposed to the sun.
2.为什么人类用两足行走?在我们的大脑进化和石器工具出现以前,我们的祖先就已经进化成为了直立的姿势。问题就随之而来了:为什么在我们的类人猿亲戚们还在用四肢行走的时候,我们就已经直立并用两足行走呢?实际上,两足动物的行走可能比四肢的行走花费更少的力气。解放双手可能使我们的祖先可以采集更多的食物。站立的姿势,通过减少直接暴露在阳光中的皮肤面积,甚至可以帮助我们的祖先更好的控制自己的脾气。
Human brains are about three times as large as those of our early australopithecines ancestors that lived 4 million to 2 million years ago, and for years, scientists have wondered how our brains got so big.
1.为什么我们的大脑越来越大?毫无疑问,我们的大脑的变化为人类在世界上的生存提供了独一无二的优势。同时,人类的脑是耗能最多的器官,占身体质量的2%却要消耗身体能量的15%以上。直到2百万年前,我们祖先的脑与身体的比例仍然不及类人猿的脑与身体的比例。那么到底是什么推动着人类大脑的发展呢?一种可能性是,增大的脑帮助我们的祖先造出更好的工具。另一种观点认为,增大的脑帮助我们与其他同类更好的交流。也许,环境中剧烈的变化要求我们的祖先适应一个不断变化的世界。
Why did we grow large brains? There is no question that our large brains have provided humans an extraordinary advantage in the world. Still, the human brain is an incredibly expensive organ, taking up only about 2 percent of the body's mass yet using more than a fifth of the body's energy, and until about 2 million years ago none of our ancestors had a brain larger than an ape's when compared to body size. So what kicked off the push for a larger brain? One possibility is that increased smarts helped our ancestors make better tools. Another is that larger brains helped us interact better with each other. Perhaps radical changes in the environment also demanded that our ancestors deal with a shifting world.
标签:人类 解之谜
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2009-10-30 21:42 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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