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  • Life is fundamentally different from dead stuffor is it?

    生命與非生命從根本上是不同的,對嗎?

  • Physicist Erwin Schrödinger defined life this way:

    物理學家埃爾溫·薛丁格這樣定義生命

  • Living things avoid decay into disorder and equilibrium.

    有生命的物體會避免變成無秩序與平衡狀態

  • What does this mean?

    這是什麼意思?

  • Let's pretend that your download folder is the universe.

    讓我們假設你的下載資料夾是整個宇宙

  • It started orderly and got more and more chaotic over time.

    它一開始是有秩序的,但隨著時間趨於混沌

  • By investing energy, you can create order and clean it up.

    藉由投入能量,你可以排序檔案與清理資料夾

  • This is what living things do.

    這就是有生命的物體所做的事

  • But what is life?

    那什麼是生命呢?

  • Every living thing on this planet is made of cells.

    這星球上的所有生命都是由細胞所組成

  • Basically, a cell is a protein-based robot too small to feel or experience anything.

    基本上,細胞是個由蛋白質所組成的,沒有感受與感覺經驗的微小機器人

  • It has the properties we just assign to life:

    它擁有我們剛提到的生命的特質

  • it has a wall that separates it from the surroundings, creating order;

    細胞上有個牆,使內部與外界隔離,形成秩序

  • it regulates itself and maintains a constant state;

    它調節自己並維持穩定狀態

  • it eats stuff to stay alive;

    它吃東西以維持生命

  • it grows and develops;

    它成長並發展

  • it reacts to the environment;

    它對環境做出反應

  • and it's subject to evolution;

    且它遵循演化

  • and it makes more of itself.

    且它製造更多自己

  • But of all the stuff that makes up a cell, no part is alive.

    但組成細胞的所有材料,沒有一樣有生命

  • Stuff reacts chemically with other stuff, forming reactions

    材料與材料間進行著化學反應

  • that start other reactions which start other reactions.

    一個反應造成另一個反應

  • In a single cell, every second several million chemical reactions take place,

    在一個細胞每秒鐘發生數百萬個化學反應

  • forming a complex orchestra.

    就像一隊複雜的管弦樂隊

  • A cell can build several thousand types of protein:

    一個細胞可以製造數千種蛋白質

  • some very simple, some complex micromachines.

    有些構造簡單,有些像複雜的微小機器

  • Imagine driving a car at 100 km/h while constantly rebuilding every single

    像一台時速 100 公里的車,車上的每一部分持續地被重新建造

  • part of it with stuff you collect from the street.

    而建造的原料來自於街上

  • That is what cells do.

    這就是細胞所做的事

  • But no part of the cell is alive; everything is dead matter

    但細胞中沒有一部分有生命,每一部分都是無生命的物質

  • moved by the laws of the universe.

    遵循宇宙的法則而運行

  • So is life the aggregate of all these reaction processes that are taking place?

    所以生命是這些正在發生的反應的集合體嗎?

  • Eventually, every living thing will die.

    到最終,任何有生命的物體都會死去

  • The goal of the whole process is to prevent this by producing new entities;

    整個過程的目標是避免死去,所以製造新的實體

  • and by this, we mean DNA.

    這個過程就是利用 DNA

  • Life is, in a way, just a lot of stuff that carries genetic information around.

    從一角度來說,生命只是一大堆攜帶了基因訊息的東西

  • Every living thing is subject to evolution,

    所有的生命都遵循演化

  • and the DNA that develops the best living thing around it will stay in the game.

    能發展出最適宜生存物種的 DNA 將在遊戲中生存

  • So, is DNA life, then?

    所以 DNA 是生命嗎?

  • If you take DNA out of its hull, it certainly is a very complex molecule,

    如果你將 DNA 從它的殼中取出,它就是一個非常複雜的分子

  • but it can't do anything by itself.

    但它自己並不能完成什麼事

  • This is where viruses make everything more complicated.

    是病毒讓一切變得更複雜

  • They are basically strings of RNA or DNA in a small hull

    病毒是由殼所包覆的一些簡單 RNA 或 DNA 串

  • and need cells to do something.

    而且需要細胞以進行某些事

  • We're not sure if they count as living or dead.

    我們並不確定它們應歸屬為有生命或無生命

  • And still, there are 225,000,000 m³ of viruses on Earth.

    僅管如此,在地球上有 225,000,000 立方公尺的病毒

  • They don't seem to care what we think of them.

    它們看起來並不在意我們如何歸類它們

  • There are even viruses that invade dead cells and reanimate them

    甚至有些病毒會入侵已死亡的細胞,使之復活

  • so they can be a host for them, which blurs the line even more.

    這樣它可以變成該細胞的宿主, 這讓生與死的界線更加模糊

  • Or mitochondria.

    又如粒線體

  • They are the power plants of most complex cells and

    它們是多數複雜細胞內的發電廠

  • were previously free living bacteria that entered a partnership with bigger cells.

    其實它一開始是自由的活細菌,進入較大的細胞與之共生

  • They still have their own DNA and can multiply on their own, but

    它們還是擁有自己的 DNA 可以複製自己

  • they are not alive anymore; they are dead.

    但它們不再有生命,而是死的

  • So they traded their own life for the survival of their DNA,

    它們以自己的生命交換了 DNA 的存續

  • which means living things can evolve into dead things as long as it's beneficial

    意思是生命可以由生變死

  • to their genetic code.

    僅為了有利於延續他們的基因代碼

  • So, maybe life is information that manages to ensure its continued existence.

    所以,或許生命是掌管自身延續存在的一些資訊

  • But what about AI (artificial intelligence)?

    那人工智慧又怎麼說呢?

  • By our most common definitions, we are very close to creating artificial life

    由我們的定義,人們已經很接近於創造人工生命了

  • in computers.

    在電腦之中

  • It's just a question of time before the technology we build gets there.

    在科技到達那之前,只是時間早晚的問題

  • And this is not science fiction, either;

    而這也並不是科幻小說

  • there are a lot of smart people actively working on this.

    有許多聰明人致力於此

  • You could already argue that computer viruses are alive.

    現在你已可以爭論電腦病毒是否具有生命

  • Hm, okay. So what is life, then?

    所以究竟什麼是生命呢?

  • Things, processes, DNA, information?

    物體? 反應過程? DNA ? 資訊?

  • This got confusing very fast.

    這很快地令人困惑

  • One thing is for sure:

    有一件事可以確定

  • the idea that life is fundamentally different from non-living things

    生命與非生命從根本上不同

  • because they contain some non-physical element

    因為生命含有一些非物理性的元素

  • or are governed by different principles than inanimate objects

    或生命與非生命有不同的運作原理

  • turned out to be wrong.

    都已被發現是錯誤了

  • Before Charles Darwin, humans drew a line between themselves and the rest

    在查爾斯·達爾文之前,人類將自己與其他物種間劃清界線

  • of living things; there was something magical about us that made us special.

    認為有什麼魔法般的原因使我們與眾不同

  • Once we had to accept we are like every living being, a product of evolution,

    而當我們必須接受,我們就像其他物種一樣是演化的產物

  • we drew a different line.

    我們改變了界限的劃分

  • But the more we learn about what computers can do and how life works,

    但當我們越清楚電腦的功能與生命的運作

  • the closer we get to creating the first machine that fits our description of life,

    越接近於可創造一台符合我們描述的生命機器

  • the more our image of ourselves is in danger again.

    我們對自身的看法就越接近於再度陷入危險

  • And this will happen sooner or later.

    這將會在不久的將來發生

  • And here's another question for you:

    而這裡提供你另一個問題

  • if everything in the universe is made of the same stuff,

    如果宇宙中的萬物都是由同樣的東西組成

  • does this mean everything in the universe is dead

    這代表宇宙中的萬物都是死的

  • or that everything in the universe is alive?

    或者宇宙中的萬物皆是活的

  • That it's just a question of complexity?

    這僅是一個複雜的問題嗎?

  • Does this mean we can never die

    這表示我們永遠不會死亡嗎?

  • because we were never alive in the first place?

    因為我們一開始就不曾活著?

  • Is life and death an irrelevant question and we haven't noticed it yet?

    生與死其實是不相干的問題,只是我們還未注意到?

  • Is it possible we are much more part of the universe around us than we thought?

    有沒有可能我們在宇宙中的份量,其實比我們所認為的更多呢?

  • Don't look at us; we don't have any answers for you.

    別期待我們,我們沒有任何答案

  • Just questions for you to think about.

    僅僅是提出問題

  • After all, it's thinking about questions like this that makes us feel alive

    畢竟,是思考這些問題使我們感到活著

  • and gives us some comfort.

    且給予我們慰藉

Life is fundamentally different from dead stuffor is it?

生命與非生命從根本上是不同的,對嗎?

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B1 中級 中文 英國腔 生命 細胞 病毒 宇宙 反應 複雜

何謂生命起源?而死亡又是真的嗎?(What Is Life? Is Death Real?)

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    Eating 發佈於 2015 年 01 月 31 日
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