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經濟學人:動物性取向—本能(2)

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Ms Monk and her co-authors question the first assumption by pointing out that

Monk女士和她的共著者質疑了第一個假設,他們指出
many animals seem to mate at a frequency far higher than looks necessary merely to reproduce—
許多動物的交配頻率似乎遠遠高于為了繁殖所必需的頻率—
meaning that the proportional costs of any instance of sexual activity which does not produce offspring must be low.
這意味著任何不產生后代的性行為的比例成本一定很低。
If this is true, it reverses the burden of proof. The cost of the sensory and neurological mechanisms needed to identify another's sex,
如果是這樣,那么它就顛覆了舉證責任。識別另一個性別所需的感官和神經機制的成本很高,
and thus permit sex-discriminating mating behaviour, is high.
因此允許性別判斷交配行為。
Sometimes, that will be a price worth paying, especially if a long-term relationship is involved in reproduction, as it is in most birds and some mammals.
有時,這是值得付出的代價,特別是如果一段長期的關系涉及到生殖,就像大多數鳥類和一些哺乳動物一樣。
But it is the evolution of sex-discrimination for which special-case exemptions must be sought, not the evolution of same-sex behaviour.
但特殊情況下,必須尋求性別判斷的演變,而不是同性行為的演變。
The second assumption is even easier to challenge.
對第二種假設提出質疑甚至更加容易。
Typically, evolutionary biologists assume that traits shared widely across a related group
通常情況下,進化生物學家認為,在一個相關群體中廣泛共享的特征
are likely to have evolved in an ancestral population, not repeatedly and separately in each lineage.
很可能是在一個祖先群體中進化而來的,而不是在每個譜系中重復和獨立的。

動物性取向—本能(2).jpg

Ms Monk and her colleagues argue that cognitive biases in the subject's practitioners

Monk女士和她的同事認為主體從業人員的認知偏差
have pushed them to look for fantastic explanations for the evolution of same-sex behaviours in a range of animals,
促使他們為各種動物的同性行為進化尋找奇妙的解釋
rather than considering the perhaps more reasonable explanation for its persistence,
而不是為其存在尋找更加合理的解釋,
that it is a low-cost ancestral trait that has little evolutionary reason to disappear.
它的存在是一種低成本的祖先特征,在進化上幾乎沒有理由消失。
Although the idea that same-sex behaviour has always been a norm is scientifically intriguing,
雖然從科學上來講,同性行為一直是一種常態的這種想法很有趣,
the paper's authors are also making a broader point about human beings' pursuit of knowledge.
但該論文的作者也就人類對知識的追求提出了一個更廣泛的觀點。
Ms Monk says that the paper's authors met through a Twitter account which promotes the work of LGBT scientists.
Monk女士表示該論文的作者們通過一個推特賬號進行了會面,該賬號旨在推廣LGBT科學家的工作。
This was a serendipitous encounter which gave them space to explore an idea
這是一次偶然的相遇,給了他們空間去探索
that might have been dismissed at first sight in a more conventional setting. The group includes people with a range of sexual orientations,
一個在更傳統環境中可能第一眼就被忽略的想法。這個群體包括了各種性取向的人,
so naturally they had an incentive to ask whether mainstream evolutionary biology's view of sexual orientation is correct.
因此,他們自然有動機提問—主流進化生物學關于性取向的觀點是否正確。
Their hypothesis still needs testing.
他們的假設仍有待驗證。
That will mean zoologists gathering more observational data on sexual behaviour of animals in the wild—and doing so with an open mind.
這將意味著動物學家要收集更多關于野外動物性行為的觀察性數據,而且要保持開放的心態。
The authors themselves are also mulling approaches involving computer modelling,
作者們本身也在考慮采用計算機建模的方法,
which might show that a group of organisms behaving according to their theory
這可能表明一組根據他們研究的有機體行為
is capable of reaching the distribution of sexual behaviours seen in the wild today.
能夠得出今天野外所見的性行為分布。
If their hypothesis is confirmed, it raises the question of which other facets of scientific knowledge might be being obscured
如果他們的假設得到證實,這就提出了一個問題,即科學知識的哪些其他方面可能被掩蓋了
because the backgrounds of practitioners in those fields do not lead them to ask unconventional questions.
因為那些領域的從業人員的背景不會讓他們提出非常規的問題。
Ms Monk's and her colleagues' theory may yet turn notions of the evolution of animal sexual behaviour on their head.
Monk女士以及她同事的理論可能會顛覆動物性行為進化的觀念。
With a broader array of minds focused on other problems, other fields might follow, too.
隨著更廣泛的思想集中在其他問題上,其他領域可能也會跟進。

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重點單詞   查看全部解釋    
assumption [ə'sʌmpʃən]

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n. 假定,設想,擔任(職責等), 假裝

聯想記憶
challenge ['tʃælindʒ]

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n. 挑戰
v. 向 ... 挑戰

 
reproduction [.ri:prə'dʌkʃən]

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n. 再現,復制,生殖,幼樹

 
reverse [ri'və:s]

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n. 相反,背面,失敗,倒檔
adj. 反面的

聯想記憶
encounter [in'kauntə]

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n. 意外的相見,遭遇
v. 遇到,偶然碰到,

 
hypothesis [hai'pɔθisis]

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n. 假設,猜測,前提

聯想記憶
trait [treit]

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n. 特點,特征,特性,一筆,少量

 
reasonable ['ri:znəbl]

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adj. 合理的,適度的,通情達理的

 
fantastic [fæn'tæstik]

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adj. 極好的,難以置信的,奇異的,幻想的

 
evolutionary [.i:və'lu:ʃnəri]

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adj. 進化的,發展的,演變的

 
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