万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第560期:达尔文的非凡见解(9)
日期:2019-05-16 15:52

(单词翻译:单击)

Darwin's manuscript might have remained locked away till his death but for an alarming blow that arrived from the Far East in the early summer of 1858 in the form of a packet containing a friendly letter from a young naturalist named Alfred Russel Wallace and the draft of a paper, On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type, outlining a theory of natural selection that was uncannily similar to Darwin's secret jottings. Even some of the phrasing echoed Darwin's own. "I never saw a more striking coincidence," Darwin reflected in dismay. "If Wallace had my manuscript sketch written out in 1842, he could not have made a better short abstract."
达尔文的手稿也许到死也不会发表,可是一件意想不到的事情令他深感吃惊。1858年夏初,达尔文收到了一个来自远东的包裹,里面有一位名为阿尔弗雷德·拉塞尔·华莱士的年轻博物学家写的一封措辞友好的信,以及他的一篇名为《变种与原种永远分离的趋势》的论文草稿。该文提出了自然选择的理论,与达尔文未发表的手稿不谋而合,有一些语句甚至与达尔文的如出一辙。“我从未见过如此巧合的事情,”达尔文沮丧地说,“即使阅读了我写于1842年的手稿,华莱士也给不出比这更加精当的概括。”
达尔文与华莱士

Wallace didn't drop into Darwin's life quite as unexpectedly as is sometimes suggested. The two were already corresponding, and Wallace had more than once generously sent Darwin specimens that he thought might be of interest. In the process of these exchanges Darwin had discreetly warned Wallace that he regarded the subject of species creation as his own territory. "This summer will make the 20th year (!) since I opened my first note-book, on the question of how & in what way do species & varieties differ from each other," he had written to Wallace some time earlier. "I am now preparing my work for publication," he added, even though he wasn't really.
华莱士并不像有时候认为的那样。是不期而然地闯入了达尔文的生活。他们两个人已经在通信,华莱士还曾不止一次大度地把他认为有点意思的标本寄给达尔文。在两人通信的过程中。达尔文曾委婉地告诉华莱士,他早已把物种起源作为自己独占的研究领域。“到今年夏天,我已经第20年(!)没有打开过我的第一部手稿了,里面论述了物种和变种是怎样彼此不同的。”早些时候,在给华莱士的信里,他曾这样写道,“我现在正准备出版我的著作。”他接着说,不过实际上他并没有打算这样做。
In any case, Wallace failed to grasp what Darwin was trying to tell him, and of course he could have no idea that his own theory was so nearly identical to one that Darwin had been evolving, as it were, for two decades.
然而,华莱士没有领会达尔文的意思——无论如何,他当然不可能知道他的理论与达尔文已经研究了20年的学说会几乎一致。

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