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万物简史 第414期:生命的来源(08)

宣布工夫:2018-06-13内容泉源:VOA英语学习网

As one leading biology text puts it, with perhaps just a tiny hint of discomfort, "Researchers agree that such reactions would not have been energetically favorable in the primitive sea, or indeed in any aqueous medium, because of the mass action law." It is a little like putting sugar in a glass of water and having it become a cube. It shouldn't happen, but somehow in nature it does. The actual chemistry of all this is a little arcane for our purposes here, but it is enough to know that if you make monomers wet they don't turn into polymers—except when creating life on Earth. How and why it happens then and not otherwise is one of biology's great unanswered questions.

正如一篇紧张的生物学文章所说,说得大概有点儿令人不大舒适:“研讨职员分歧以为,由于质量作用定律,在原始的大海里,实践上在任何含水的媒体里,如许的反响在能量方面是不大有利的。”这有点像把砂糖放进一杯水里,指望它结成一块方糖。这不应发作,但在天然界却不知怎的发作了。这统统的化学进程究竟怎样样,这个题目曾经凌驾了本书的主旨。我们只需晓得如许的一点就够了:要是你弄湿了单体,单体不不会酿成聚合体——除了制造生命的时分。状况怎样是如许发作,为什么会发作,而不是那样发作?这是生物学上的一个没有答复的大题目。

One of the biggest surprises in the earth sciences in recent decades was the discovery of just how early in Earth's history life arose. Well into the 1950s, it was thought that life was less than 600 million years old. By the 1970s, a few adventurous souls felt that maybe it went back 2.5 billion years. But the present date of 3.85 billion years is stunningly early. Earth's surface didn't become solid until about 3.9 billion years ago.

近几十年来,地球迷信方面有很多极端令人感触不测的发明。此中之一,发明在地球史晚期就发生了生命。直到20世纪50年月,还以为生命存在不超越6亿年。到了70年月,几位大胆的人士以为大概在25亿年前曾经有了生命。但是,现在确定的38.5亿年的确早得令人受惊。地球外表上是到了约莫39亿年前才酿成固体的。

We can only infer from this rapidity that it is not 'difficult' for life of bacterial grade to evolve on planets with appropriate conditions, Stephen Jay Gould observed in the New York Times in 1996. Or as he put it elsewhere, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that "life, arising as soon as it could, was chemically destined to be."

“我们只能从这么快的速率推测,细菌级的生命在有适宜的条件的行星演出化并不‘困难’。”斯蒂芬·杰伊·古尔德1996年在《纽约时报》上说,他在另外场所也说过,我们不得不下个结论:“生命一有能够会发生,这是化学上势必会发作的事。”

来自:千亿国际文娱网页版_千亿国际文娱|www.qy449.com 文章地点: http://www.tingvoa.com/html/20180613/565308.html