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[TED] 【公开课】用十八分钟看遍宇宙起源

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发表于 2019-7-9 02:07:58 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
《宇宙起源》

内容简介:

在震撼的背景插图下,大卫·克里斯汀讲述了宇宙的完整历史,从大爆炸到互联网,非常精彩的18分钟。这是“宏观的历史”:一个启发性的,广角的关注复杂性,生命和人类,不同于我们以往的浅薄的有关宇宙时间的认识。



First, a video.Yes, it is a scrambled egg.But as you look at it,I hope you’ll begin to feel just slightly uneasy.Because you may notice that what’s actually happeningis that the egg is unscrambling itself.And you’ll now see the yolk and the white have separated.And now they’re going to be poured back into the egg.And we all know in our heart of heartsthat this is not the way the universe works.A scrambled egg is mush -- tasty mush -- but it’s mush.An egg is a beautiful, sophisticated thingthat can create even more sophisticated things,such as chickens.And we know in our heart of heartsthat the universe does not travel from mush to complexity.In fact, this gut instinctis reflected in one of the most fundamental laws of physics,the second law of thermodynamics, or the law of entropy.What that says basicallyis that the general tendency of the universeis to move from order and structureto lack of order, lack of structure --in fact, to mush.And that’s why that video feels a bit strange.

首先,来段录像。对,这是个被搅拌的鸡蛋。但是,当你看它的时候,我希望你能开始感受到有一点点的怪异。因为你可能注意到了正在发生的是这个鸡蛋搅拌的反序过程。并且你可以看到蛋黄和蛋白分开了。现在它们将返回到蛋壳中。并且我们内心深处都知道这不是宇宙的运行方式。一个被搅拌的鸡蛋是糊状的,好吃的糊状,但是它是糊状的。鸡蛋是一个美丽而复杂的东西它能创造出更加复杂的东西,比如说小鸡。并且我们内心深处知道宇宙形成并不仅仅是从混沌到复杂的跨度。实际上,这宇宙形成感觉上是受一种最基本的物理学原理的影响,热力学第二定律,又称熵定律。它主要阐述了宇宙的总体趋势是从有序的有架构的 到无序的,无架构的--事实上,相对于混沌。 也是为什么这段录像 感觉有一点点奇怪。

And yet, look around us.What we see around us is staggering complexity.Eric Beinhocker estimates that in New York City alone,there are some 10 billion SKUs,or distinct commodities, being traded.That’s hundreds of times as many species as there are on Earth.And they’re being traded by a species of almost seven billion individuals,who are linked by trade,travel, and the Internetinto a global system of stupendous complexity.

然而,看看我们周遭。我们周遭所见的,是那么惊人的复杂。艾瑞克·比因霍克估计光纽约一个城市就有100亿的不同货物正在被交易。这比现存于地球上的物种数量要多成百倍。而且,它们是由一种 近七十亿个体 以交易,游历和网络相互联系 到一个 极其庞大复杂的全球体系交易。

So here’s a great puzzle:in a universe ruled by the second law of thermodynamics,how is it possibleto generate the sort of complexity I’ve described,the sort of complexity represented by you and meand the convention center?Well, the answer seems to be,the universe can create complexity,but with great difficulty.In pockets,there appear what my colleague, Fred Spier,calls "Goldilocks conditions" --not too hot, not too cold,just right for the creation of complexity.And slightly more complex things appear.And where you have slightly more complex things,you can get slightly more complex things.And in this way, complexity builds stage by stage.Each stage is magicalbecause it creates the impression of something utterly newappearing almost out of nowhere in the universe.We refer in big history to these moments as threshold moments.And at each threshold,the going gets tougher.The complex things get more fragile,more vulnerable;the Goldilocks conditions get more stringent,and it’s more difficult to create complexity.

所以,这就是个大谜团:在宇宙中在被热力学第二定律规范下,怎么样才有可能产生这种我刚才论述的那种复杂性--那种你,我和这个演讲厅所呈现的复杂性?这答案似乎是,宇宙本生能创造复杂性,但是有极大的困难。总的来说,这种情况会发生,用我同事,弗雷德·施皮尔的说法“黄金条件”--不太热,不太冷;就那么刚刚好能创造复杂性。同时一些更加复杂的事情发生了。就在那一点发生更加复杂的事,你可能发现更加复杂的东西。就这样,复杂性就这样形成了一步一步的。每个阶段都是奇迹因为它创造出了完全新的东西出现在几乎什么都没有的宇宙中。这个瞬间我们将标记为宏观历史中的起始瞬间。在这些起始点,条件将更加苛刻。现实中我们是极度复杂的个体渴望了解这个

Now, we, as extremely complex creatures,desperately need to know this storyof how the universe creates complexity despite the second law,and why complexity means vulnerability and fragility.And that’s the story that we tell in big history.But to do it, you have do somethingthat may, at first sight,seem completely impossible.You have to survey the whole history of the universe.So let’s do it.

关于宇宙怎么创造复杂性的故事,不管那个第二法则,以及为什么复杂性意味着脆弱和弱小。我们讲的历史这件事就是这个故事。但是开始前,你必须做一些事那些可能第一眼看起来完全不可能的事。你必须纵观整个宇宙的历史。那,让我们开始吧。?

(Laughter)

(笑声)

Let’s begin by winding the timeline back13.7 billion years,to the beginning of time.

让我们开始追溯到过去 137亿年前 到时间开始的地方。

Around us, there’s nothing.There’s not even time or space.Imagine the darkest, emptiest thing you canand cube it a gazillion times and that’s where we are.And then suddenly,bang!A universe appears, an entire universe.And we’ve crossed our first threshold.The universe is tiny; it’s smaller than an atom.It’s incredibly hot.It contains everything that’s in today’s universe,so you can imagine, it’s busting.And it’s expanding at incredible speed.And at first, it’s just a blur,but very quickly distinct things begin to appear in that blur.Within the first second,energy itself shatters into distinct forcesincluding electromagnetism and gravity.And energy does something else quite magical:it congeals to form matter --quarks that will create protonsand leptons that include electrons.And all of that happens in the first second.

我们周围都是虚无。甚至没有时间和空间。尽你的可能想象那最黑暗,最空无的情况然后这种情况放大无数无数倍 那就是现在我们处在的时间点。然后突然,轰!宇宙出现了,一整个的宇宙。我们就这样穿过了我们第一个起始点。这时候的宇宙是微小的,比一个原子还小。它极度的炽热。它包含了今天这个宇宙的所有, 但是你也知道,它是混沌的, 并且它以一种难以置信的速度膨胀。一开始它只是一团混沌, 但是十分迅速而且各不相同的事发生在这片混沌。就在那第一秒, 能量本生粉碎进入不同的力场当中 包括电磁场以及重力场。而且能量也产生一些其它奇妙的现象, 它凝固从而形成物质-- 夸克,这种可以形成带点的质子 和轻子。所有的一切发生在第一秒。

Now we move forward 380,000 years.That’s twice as long as humans have been on this planet.And now simple atoms appear of hydrogen and helium.Now I want to pause for a moment,380,000 years after the origins of the universe,because we actually know quite a lot about the universe at this stage.We know above all that it was extremely simple.It consisted of huge clouds of hydrogen and helium atoms,and they have no structure.They’re really a sort of cosmic mush.But that’s not completely true.Recent studiesby satellites such as the WMAP satellitehave shown that, in fact,there are just tiny differences in that background.What you see here,the blue areas are about a thousandth of a degree coolerthan the red areas.These are tiny differences,but it was enough for the universe to move onto the next stage of building complexity.

现在让我们跨越38万年。这是人类在这个星球存在时间的两倍。现在普通原子氢,氦出现了。现在我想暂停一会儿, 在宇宙起源之后的38万年里,因为我们实际上了解很多 关于这个阶段的宇宙我们知道,首先它是一个极度简单的宇宙。它包含了大量的氢,氦原子 的大片云, 而且它们没有架构。它们确实是某种宇宙混沌。  但是这不是完全正确的。现有 根据卫星的研实际上,究,比如威尔金森微波各向异性探测器卫星 表明,实际上,这宇宙形成感觉上在那个背景下有一点点不同。你现在看到的,蓝色的区域 相比于红色的区域要冷上大约一千度。 这就是一点不同之处,但是这足够让宇宙继续演变 到下一个阶段创造的复杂性。

And this is how it works.Gravity is more powerful where there’s more stuff.So where you get slightly denser areas,gravity starts compacting clouds of hydrogen and helium atoms.So we can imagine the early universe breaking up into a billion clouds.And each cloud is compacted,gravity gets more powerful as density increases,the temperature begins to rise at the center of each cloud,and then, at the center,the temperature crosses the threshold temperatureof 10 million degrees,protons start to fuse,there’s a huge release of energy,and --bam!We have our first stars.From about 200 million years after the Big Bang,stars begin to appear all through the universe,billions of them.And the universe is now significantly more interestingand more complex.

这就是它怎么运作的。重力场的作用力更大,拥有比较多的物质。所以这里我们有个密度稍微大的区域,重力场开始凝结成氢氦原子的原子云。我们能想象早起宇宙散布在十亿的原子云中。每片云都是紧凑的,重力场就随着密度的增加而效果更加明显,在每片云的中心温度开始升高,而且在每片云的中心,温度超过了阈温度之上一千万度,质子开始融合,这释放出大量的能量,接着,轰!我们就有了第一颗恒星。大约距离大爆炸之后的2亿年,恒星开始在整个宇宙出现,成千上万的恒星。宇宙现在开始相当的有趣也更加复杂。

Stars will create the Goldilocks conditionsfor crossing two new thresholds.When very large stars die,they create temperatures so highthat protons begin to fuse in all sorts of exotic combinations,to form all the elements of the periodic table.If, like me, you’re wearing a gold ring,it was forged in a supernova explosion.So now the universe is chemically more complex.And in a chemically more complex universe,it’s possible to make more things.And what starts happening is that, around young suns,young stars,all these elements combine,they swirl around,the energy of the star stirs them around,they form particles, they form snowflakes,they form little dust motes,they form rocks, they form asteroids,and eventually,they form planets and moons.And that is how our solar system was formed,four and a half billion years ago.Rocky planets like our Earth are significantly more complex than starsbecause they contain a much greater diversity of materials.So we’ve crossed a fourth threshold of complexity.

恒星开始创作黄金条件来超越两个新的起始点。当巨大的星系泯灭的时候,它们有着很高的温度以至于质子开始融合进入各种奇异混合物中,来形成在元素周期表上的所有元素。就好像,你正带着一个黄金的戒指,它是天体爆炸而铸就的。所以现在的宇宙在化学程度上是更加复杂的。对于一个化学程度上更加复杂的宇宙而言,就有可能做更多的事情。然后要开始产生的是新生的太阳,新生的恒星,所以的元素结合,它们在一起旋转,星球的能量搅拌它们,它们形成微粒,形成雪花,形成微小的灰尘微粒,它们形成岩石,形成小行星,最后它们形成行星和月亮。这就是我们太阳系形成的过程,在45亿年前, 岩石型的行星比如地球 比起其他恒星就明显更加复杂了 因为它们包含了更加多样性的物质。因此我们已经穿过了第四个复杂性的起始点。

Now, the going gets tougher.The next stage introduces entities that are significantly more fragile,significantly more vulnerable,but they’re also much more creativeand much more capable of generating further complexity.I’m talking, of course,about living organisms.Living organisms are created by chemistry.We are huge packages of chemicals.So, chemistry is dominated by the electromagnetic force.That operates over smaller scales than gravity,which explains why you and I are smaller than stars or planets.Now, what are the ideal conditions for chemistry?What are the Goldilocks conditions?Well, first, you need energy,but not too much.In the center of a star,there’s so much energythat any atoms that combine will just get busted apart again.But not too little.In intergalactic space,there’s so little energy that atoms can’t combine.What you want is just the right amount,and planets, it turns out, are just right,because they’re close to stars, but not too close.

现在,(变化的条件)就更加苛刻了。下一个阶段是初次形成的个体个体是明显更加弱小,更加脆弱的,但是它们也更加有创造力也更加有能力创造更多的复杂性。当然,我说的是生命个体。生命个体是有化学物质组成的。我们是大量化学物质的集合。化学是被电子磁场力所控制。这运用在比重力场更小范围的地方,这也解释了为什么你和我要比那恒星和行星小。现在,什么才是化学物质的理想环境呢?什么才是黄金条件呢?首先,你需要能量,但是不需要太多。在恒星的内部,有着巨大的能量,以至于任何原子结合之后就会重新分开。但是也不要太少。在银河系中,只有一点点的能量 以至于原子都无法结合。你要的就是那刚刚好的量, 它也证明,行星的适量是刚刚适中的, 因为它们接近恒星了,但也不是太接近。

You also need a great diversity of chemical elements,and you need liquids, such as water.Why?Well, in gases, atoms move past each other so fastthat they can’t hitch up.In solids,atoms are stuck together, they can’t move.In liquids,they can cruise and cuddleand link up to form molecules.Now, where do you find such Goldilocks conditions?Well, planets are great,and our early Earth was almost perfect.It was just the right distance from its starto contain huge oceans of liquid water.And deep beneath those oceans,at cracks in the Earth’s crust,you’ve got heat seeping up from inside the Earth,and you’ve got a great diversity of elements.So at those deep oceanic vents,fantastic chemistry began to happen,and atoms combined in all sorts of exotic combinations.

你也需要各种化学元素,同时你也需要液体比如水。为什么?因为在气体的环境,相互间原子的运动如此的快以至于它们不能结合。在固体的环境下,原子被固定在一起,它们不能运动。在液体环境下,它们能游动和碰撞也能结合形成分子。那在哪里你才能找到这些黄金条件呢?那行星就是不错的,我们早期的地球几乎就是完美的。它和其他恒星之间距离适中来形成大量的液态水的海洋。在这些海洋下方地壳的断层中,你能从地球内部渗透出热量,而且你也能得到各种原子。所以在这些深海的开口上,奇妙的化学变化开始进行,原子结合成奇异的混合物。

But of course, life is more than just exotic chemistry.How do you stabilize those huge moleculesthat seem to be viable?Well, it’s here that life introduces an entirely new trick.You don’t stabilize the individual;you stabilize the template,the thing that carries information,and you allow the template to copy itself.And DNA, of course, is the beautiful moleculethat contains that information.You’ll be familiar with the double helix of DNA.Each rung contains information.So, DNA contains information about how to make living organisms.And DNA also copies itself.So, it copies itselfand scatters the templates through the ocean.So the information spreads.Notice that information has become part of our story.The real beauty of DNA though is in its imperfections.As it copies itself, once in every billion rungs,there tends to be an error.And what that means is that DNA is, in effect, learning.It’s accumulating new ways of making living organismsbecause some of those errors work.So DNA’s learningand it’s building greater diversity and greater complexity.And we can see this happening over the last four billion years.

但是当然,生命不仅仅是奇异的化学物质。那是怎么稳定那些大量的似乎有存活的分子的呢?这就是生命呈现的一个全新的窍诀。不能稳定个体;只能稳定模板,那是携带信息的东西,让模板复制自己。当然,DNA是美丽的分子,包含着信息。你熟悉双螺旋型的DNA。每个链都包含信息。所以DNA就包含关于如何创造生命体的信息。同时DNA也能自我拷贝。所以它自我拷贝同时把模板扩散到海洋中。因此信息也传递开了。值得注意的是信息已经成为我们故事中的一部分。DNA真正的魅力在于 它的不完美。当它自我拷贝的时候, 在每十亿个链中有一个链, 可能产生错误。也就是说 实际上,DNA在进化。它在积累创造生命体的新方法 因为有些错误是可以运作的。所以DNA是在进化 它在呈现丰富多样性和大量的复杂性。我们看到这进化持续发生了四十多亿年。

For most of that time of life on Earth,living organisms have been relatively simple --single cells.But they had great diversity, and, inside, great complexity.Then from about 600 to 800 million years ago,multi-celled organisms appear.You get fungi, you get fish,you get plants,you get amphibia, you get reptiles,and then, of course,you get the dinosaurs.And occasionally, there are disasters.Sixty-five million years ago,an asteroid landed on Earthnear the Yucatan Peninsula,creating conditions equivalent to those of a nuclear war,and the dinosaurs were wiped out.Terrible news for the dinosaurs,but great news for our mammalian ancestors,who flourished in the niches left empty by the dinosaurs.And we human beings are part of that creative evolutionary pulsethat began 65 million years ago with the landing of an asteroid.

对于地球上的生物大部分这段时间内,生物已经进化的相对简单--单细胞生物。但是它们是十分多样的,而且,内部结构,极其复杂。然后6亿年到8亿年之前,多细胞生物出现。你会发现菌类,鱼,植物,两栖类,爬行类,然后,当然,你会发现恐龙。接着,偶然间,发生了灾难。6500万年之前,一颗陨石撞击地球在犹卡坦半岛附近,引发的情况相当于一场核战争,恐龙就被彻底灭绝了。对于恐龙来说是可怕的消息。但是这是好消息对于在恐龙遗留下的空旷之地蓬勃发展的哺乳类祖先来说。我们人类就是这次 始于6500万年前 随着陨石撞击后,生物进化狂潮的一部分。

Humans appeared about 200,000 years ago.And I believe we count as a threshold in this great story.Let me explain why.We’ve seen that DNA learns in a sense,it accumulates information.But it is so slow.DNA accumulates information through random errors,some of which just happen to work.But DNA had actually generated a faster way of learning:it had produced organisms with brains,and those organisms can learn in real time.They accumulate information, they learn.The sad thing is, when they die,the information dies with them.Now what makes humans different is human language.We are blessed with a language, a system of communication,so powerful and so precisethat we can share what we’ve learned with such precisionthat it can accumulate in the collective memory.And that meansit can outlast the individuals who learned that information,and it can accumulate from generation to generation.And that’s why, as a species, we’re so creative and so powerful,

人类起源于20万年前。我相信我们认定作为这个宏观的故事的一个起始点。让我解释一下为什么。我们已经看到DNA某种意义上的进化,它积累信息。但是这十分缓慢。DNA累积信息伴随着随机的差错,有些差错也可以运作。但是DNA已经发展成一种更快的进化方式;它产生了有大脑的生物,那些生物能及时的进化。它们积累信息,它们进化。但是遗憾的是,当它们死亡,信息也随着它们死亡。让人类特别的是人类的语言。我们有幸能有语言,一种交流方式。如此的强大和准确以至于我们可以准确的分享我们学到的事它就积累成为集体记忆。这就意味着它能比学到信息的个体存在的更长久,而且它也能一代一代的积累。这就是为什么,作为一个物种,我们如此的有创造力如此强大,

I call this ability collective learning.It’s what makes us different.We can see it at work in the earliest stages of human history.We evolved as a species in the savanna lands of Africa,but then you see humans migrating into new environments,into desert lands, into jungles,into the Ice Age tundra of Siberia --tough, tough environment --into the Americas, into Australasia.Each migration involved learning --learning new ways of exploiting the environment,new ways of dealing with their surroundings.

我把这个叫做集体学习的能力。这使我们如此特殊。我们可以看到在人类历史早期的阶段这种能力的运作。我们作为一种物种在非洲的草原上演化,但是然后你看到人类迁徙到一个新的环境--进入到沙漠,进入雨林,进入西伯利亚冻土带--艰苦,艰苦的环境中--进入美洲,澳洲。每次迁徙都涉及到学习--学习新的方法来利用环境,新的方法来适应环境。

Then 10,000 years ago,exploiting a sudden change in global climatewith the end of the last ice age,humans learned to farm.Farming was an energy bonanza.And exploiting that energy, human populations multiplied.Human societies got larger, denser, more interconnected.And then from about 500 years ago,humans began to link up globallythrough shipping, through trains,through telegraph, through the Internet,until now we seem to form a single global brainof almost seven billion individuals.And that brain is learning at warp speed.And in the last 200 years,something else has happened.We’ve stumbled on another energy bonanzain fossil fuels.So fossil fuels and collective learning togetherexplain the staggering complexity we see around us.

然后一万年前,全球环境突然发生变化在冰河世纪晚期,人类学会耕种。农业是一个能量密集型产业。同时利用这个能量,人口增长。人类社会变的更庞大,更密集,更加相互交流。然后大约500年之前人类开始全球化的联系通过轮船,通过铁路,通过电报,通过网络,直到现在我们似乎已经形成一个单独的全球性大脑它包含着近70亿个个体。这个大脑以一种超速学习着。在过去200年,有一些事发生了:我们偶然发现另外一个能量源石油。所以石油以及集体学习进化一起解释了我们周围的让人吃惊的复杂性。

So --Here we are, back at the convention center. We’ve been on a journey, a return journey, of 13.7 billion years.I hope you agree this is a powerful story. And it’s a story in which humans play an astonishing and creative role.But it also contains warnings. Collective learning is a very, very powerful force,and it’s not clear that we humans are in charge of it.I remember very vividly as a child growing up in England, living through the Cuban Missile Crisis.For a few days, the entire biosphere seemed to be on the verge of destruction.And the same weapons are still here, and they are still armed.If we avoid that trap, others are waiting for us.We’re burning fossil fuels at such a rate that we seem to be undermining the Goldilocks conditionsthat made it possible for human civilizations to flourish over the last 10,000 years.So what big history can do is show us the nature of our complexity and fragility and the dangers that face us,but it can also show us our power with collective learning.

那么,这儿我们现在回到演讲厅。我们已经在一个旅行,一个追溯137亿年的旅行中。我希望你认同这是一个震撼人心的故事。同时这也是有关人类发挥惊人能力和创造性作用的故事。但是这同时也有警告。集体学习是一种十分,十分强大的力量,而且还不能确定它能否被我们人类控制。当我从小在英格兰长大,我对古巴导弹危机下的生活记忆犹新。有几天, 整个生物圈 好像在毁灭的边缘。同样的武器还是在那里, 他们同样还是武装着。如果我们避免那些陷阱, 其他的还在等着我们。我们如此快速地燃烧着石油 以至于我们似乎暗中在破坏 让人类文明 繁荣了一万年之久的黄金条件。因此宏观的历史能做的 是展示给我们,我们自身复杂性和脆弱性的一面 以及我们面对的危机, 但是它也展现给我们, 我们集体学习的力量。

And now, finally --this is what I want. I want my grandson, Daniel,and his friends and his generation, throughout the world, to know the story of big history,and to know it so well that they understand both the challenges that face us and the opportunities that face us.And that’s why a group of us are building a free, online syllabus in big history for high-school students throughout the world.We believe that big history will be a vital intellectual tool for them,as Daniel and his generation face the huge challenges and also the huge opportunitiesahead of them at this threshold moment in the history of our beautiful planet.

现在,最后的,是我怎么想的。我想我的孙子丹尼尔和他的朋友,他这代,遍布全球的一代,知道这个宏观的故事,以及它如此伟大能让他们了解,不仅仅是我们面临的挑战,同时也是我们面对的机遇。这也是为什么我们这一群人正在建立一个免费在线的宏观的历史教学纲要为了全世界高等教育的学生。我们相信这宏观的历史将会是一个重要的智慧工具,对于丹尼尔和他那一代得面临巨大挑战同时也是巨大机遇在他们之前的这个起始点 在我们美丽星球的历史长河中。

I thank you for your attention.

感谢大家。

(Applause)

(掌声)



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