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  • Remember when Pluto was a planet?

    還記得冥王星是一顆行星的時候嗎?

  • Until very recently, Pluto's planetary status was an immutable fact learned by primary school kids the world over.

    直到最近為止,冥王星的行星地位是全世界的小學生們學到的不可改變的事實。

  • Pluto had an undisputed place in papierché models of the solar system and even its very own song lyric — 'And last of all there's Pluto too...'

    冥王星太陽系的混凝紙漿模型中有一個無可爭議的地位在,甚至還有它自己的歌曲歌詞:「最後還有冥王星......」。

  • But in August 2006, Pluto found itself cruelly demoted to a dwarf planet after failing to meet one of three criteria the International Astronomical Union uses to define a full-sized planet.

    但在2006年8月,冥王星發現自己被殘酷地降級為矮行星,在未能滿足國際天文聯合會用來定義一個完整大小的行星三個標準之一。

  • We are taught from an early age to think of scientific facts as, well, facts.

    我們從小就被教育要考慮到科學事實作為,嗯,事實。

  • And it can be unsettling when this turns out to not be the case.

    而當事實證明並非如此時,可能會讓人感到不安。

  • But does this uncertainty really mean that we can't trust science?

    但這種不確定性是否真的意味著我們不能相信科學?

  • According to the Royal Society, the world's oldest independent scientific academy, the answer is quite the opposite.

    根據英國皇家學會,世界上最古老的獨立科學研究院的說法, 答案恰恰相反。

  • Questioning established facts is actually at the heart of the scientific method.

    對既定事實的質疑實際上是科學方法的核心。

  • Think of the whole process as a giant system of checks and balances based on raw information drawn from experiments or observations of nature.

    把整個過程看成一個巨大的制衡系統,它基於從實驗或自然觀察中獲得的原始資訊。

  • Those experiments and observations lead to the formulation of a hypothesis which then goes through a rigorous process of checks by other scientists.

    這些實驗和觀察導致了假設的形成,然後經過其他科學家嚴格的檢查過程。

  • However, there isn't always enough information to draw the right conclusions.

    然而,並不總是有足夠的資訊以得出正確的結論。

  • Take for example Sir Francis Bacon, who noticed that the coastlines of West Africa and eastern South America looked like they were symmetrical.

    以弗朗西斯・培根爵士為例。他注意到,西非和南美洲東部的海岸線看上去是對稱的。

  • He believed that nature was copying herself.

    他認為,大自然在複製自己。

  • What he couldn't have known in the early 1620s was that the two coasts are two sides of a fault-line in an ancient supercontinent which split apart 140 million years ago.

    在 1620 年代初,他不可能知道的是,這兩個海岸是 1.4 億年前分裂的古老超級大陸斷層線的兩側。

  • Bacon's hypothesis remained gospel for centuries, until new discoveries about the science of plate tectonics emerged in the 1950s and provided a neat explanation for Bacon's observation.

    培根的假說幾個世紀以來一直是福音,直到 1950 年代出現了關於板塊構造科學的新發現,並為培根的觀察提供了一個巧妙的解釋。

  • There's also the fact that different experts examining the same raw data can draw different conclusions.

    還有一個事實是,不同的專家在檢查同一個原始數據時可以得出不同的結論。

  • Spare a thought for poor Robert Plot who, in the 1670s, found a fossilised bone that he thought was that of a giant human.

    想一想可憐的羅伯特・普洛特,他在1670年代發現了一塊骨頭化石,他認為那是一個巨人的骨頭。

  • At least he wasn't around when a geologist and zoologist proved it was in fact a Megalosaurus, a kind of dinosaur that roamed the Earth in the middle Jurassic.

    至少當時他身邊沒有一個地質學家和動物學家證明它實際上是一隻斑龍,一種在侏羅紀中期遊蕩於地球的恐龍。

  • Sometimes the scientific method is all about setting up ground-breaking experiments at the right time, in the right place to test theories.

    有時候,科學方法就是要在適當的時候、正確的地點設立突破性的實驗,以檢驗理論。

  • In 1919, a blockbuster meeting of the Royal Society confirmed Einstein's theory of general relativity after a solar eclipse provided the perfect circumstances to measure the bending of starlight.

    1919年,在日食提供了量測星光彎曲的完美環境後,英國皇家學會的一次轟動一時的會議證實了愛因斯坦的廣義相對論。

  • This showed that the gravity of a massive object, such as the Sun, could bend light around it.

    這證明一個大天體的引力(如太陽)可以使光線在它周圍彎曲。

  • Under the watchful eye of Sir Isaac Newton's portrait, the scientific community replaced Newton's previous theory with Einstein's newer and more general interpretation of gravity.

    在艾薩克・牛頓爵士肖像畫的注視下,科學界用愛因斯坦對引力的較新和較普遍的解釋取代了牛頓以前的理論 。

  • But even with evidence in its favor, Einstein's theory still can't be thought of as a fundamental fact.

    但即使有對其有利的證據,愛因斯坦的理論仍然不能被認為是一個既定事實。

  • It's even possible that in the future new breakthroughs will supersede our understanding of general relativity.

    甚至有可能在未來,新的突破會取代我們對廣義相對論的理解。

  • Uncertainty in science isn't enough if all the perspectives are the same.

    如果所有的觀點都一樣,科學中的不確定性是不夠的。

  • Sometimes a lack of diversity in the system can skew the results.

    有時,系統中缺乏多樣性會使結果出現偏差。

  • Until the 1970s, primatologists were mostly men and tended to limit their studies to male primates.

    直到1970年代,靈長類動物學家大多是男性,並傾向於將他們的研究限於雄性靈長類動物。

  • They believed that the aggression observed in baboons meant human evolution had been driven by similar behavior.

    他們認為,在狒狒身上觀察到的攻擊性意味著人類的進化是由類似的行為驅動的。

  • That was until anthropologist Shirley Strumbegan observing both female and male baboons, disproving these earlier theories and facing a backlash for her troubles.

    直到人類學家 Shirley Strum 開始觀察母狒狒和公狒狒,駁斥了這些早期的理論並為她所製造的麻煩引來批評聲浪。

  • Scientists don't always get it right on the first go.

    科學家們並不總是一開始就把事情做對。

  • But rather than instilling doubt, it should inspire confidence that outdated ideas are replaced when new information becomes available.

    不是灌輸懷疑,而是當新的資訊出現時應該激發信心,過時的想法會被取代。

  • It's the difference between upgrading your mobile and clinging to your old rotary phone because you don't want to be wrong.

    這是升級你的手機和堅持使用你的老式旋轉電話的區別,只因為你不想做錯。

  • And in most cases, newer breakthroughs would not be possible without the legwork that came before them.

    而在大多數情況下,較新的突破性成果如果沒有之前的苦工,就不可能有這樣的結果。

  • While the rotary phone isn't the best available technology today, your smart phone wouldn't exist without it.

    雖然旋轉電話並不是當今最好的可用技術,但沒有它,你的智慧型手機就不會存在。

  • Uncertainty is baked into the scientific process.

    不確定性已經融入了科學過程。

  • It's the fundamental reason that progress is possible.

    這是進步得以實現的根本原因。

  • Ultimately, it comes down to who you trust more, the person who's certain they're right, or the person who's willing to be proved wrong.

    歸根究柢,這取決於你更信任確信自己是正確的人,或是願意被證明是錯誤的人。

Remember when Pluto was a planet?

還記得冥王星是一顆行星的時候嗎?

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B2 中高級 中文 冥王星 科學 愛因斯坦 行星 事實 不確定性

科學進化論 為什麼做錯事對科學有好處? (Why getting things wrong is good for science | BBC Ideas)

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    Summer 發佈於 2021 年 09 月 07 日
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