Posted in: Biology Science, Science

最难懂的中学语文课文之一《这个世界的音乐》

这篇文章出现在我上高一时的语文书上(人教版2003版)。原作者是托马斯·刘易斯(Lewis Thomas),来自他的著作《细胞生命的礼赞——一个生物学观察者的手记》(1974年)(The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher)。翻译者是湖南科学技术出版社《第一推动丛书》。该文章的英文原名叫做:The Music of This Sphere,中文译名:《这个世界的音乐》。难点在文章的最后一段,我当时的语文老师直言:怎么看都看不懂

英文原文发表在著名的《新英格兰杂志》上(New England Journal of Medicine)。中文原文由于官方不公开,我只好从第三方随便搞一个。

下面我就把课本上的中文译文和英文原文对照起来一起展示。

If, as I believe, the urge to make a kind of music is as much a characteristic of biology as our other fundamental functions, there ought to be an explanation for it.

假如象我所相信的那样,制造某种音乐的驱力如同我们其他的基本生物功能一样,也是我们作为生物的特点,那么其中必有某种道理。

Having none at hand, I am free to make one up.

既然手边没有现成的解释,那我自可冒昧作出一个。

The rhythmic sounds might be the recapitulation of something else – an earliest memory, a score for the transformation of inanimate, random matter in chaos into the improbable, ordered dance of living forms.

那有节奏的声音,也许是另外什么事的重现——是一种最最古老的记忆,是一支舞曲总谱,记载了混沌中杂乱无章的无生命的物质转化成违反几率的、有条有理的生命形式的过程。

Markowitz.’ has recently presented the case, in thermodynamic terms, for the hypothesis that a steady flow of energy from the inexhaustible source of the sun to the unfillable sink of outer space, by way of the earth, is mathematically destined to cause the organization of matter into an increasingly ordered state.

莫罗维茨(Morowitz,H.J.)以热力学的语言提出见解,他的假说是,从无穷尽的太阳那里,不断地流向外层空间这个填不满的窟窿的能量途经地球时,从数学上来看,不可避免地要使物质组织成越来越有序的状态。

The resulting balancing act involves a ceaseless clustering of bonded atoms into molecules of higher and higher complexity, and the emergence of cycles for the storage and release of energy.

由此产生的平衡行为是带化学键的原子不停地组成越来越复杂的分子,同时出现了贮存和释放能量的循环。

In a non-equilibrium steady state, which is postulated, the solar energy would not just flow to the earth and radiate away;

太阳能处在一种非平衡的稳定状态(假定如此),不会仅仅流到地球,然后由地球辐射开去。

it is thermodynamically inevitable that it must rearrange matter into symmetry, away from probability, against entropy, lifting it, so to speak, into a constantly changing condition of rearrangement and molecular ornamentation.

从热力学上讲,它势必要把物质重新安排成对称形式,使之违反几率,反抗熵的增加,使之提高——姑且这样说吧——成为在不断重排和进行分子修饰的变化状态。

In such a system, the outcome is a chancey kind of order, always on the verge of descending into chaos, held taut against probability by the unremitting, constant surge of energy from the sun.

在这样一种系统中,结果就会出现一种偶然的有序状态,永远处在陷入混沌的边缘,只是因为来自太阳的那不懈的、不断的能量潮流,才使这种有序状态没有解体,而继续违反着几率。

大概是这段文字太难,后面几版语文教材里面,好像就没有这篇文章了。据我理解,这讲的是生命活动(本文就是声音)的有序性(维持低熵)源于太阳能源源不断的输入?

Comments (6) on "最难懂的中学语文课文之一《这个世界的音乐》"

  1. 在这样一个系统中,结果会是一种偶然的秩序,总是陷入混沌的边缘,因受到来自太阳的持续不断的能量供给,与概率相抗衡。。。。。。。 😳

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