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发表时间:2018-10-11内容来源:VOA英语学习网

Even now, as Fortey says, it can be startling to go to the right formation of rocks and to work your way upward through the eons finding no visible life at all, and then suddenly "a whole Profallotaspis or Elenellus as big as a crab will pop into your waiting hands." These were creatures with limbs, gills, nervous systems, probing antennae, "a brain of sorts," in Fortey's words, and the strangest eyes ever seen. Made of calcite rods, the same stuff that forms limestone, they constituted the earliest visual systems known. More than this, the earliest trilobites didn't consist of just one venturesome species but dozens, and didn't appear in one or two locations but all over. Many thinking people in the nineteenth century saw this as proof of God's handiwork and refutation of Darwin's evolutionary ideals. If evolution proceeded slowly, they asked, then how did he account for this sudden appearance of complex, fully formed creatures? The fact is, he couldn't.

福泰说,即使现在,要是你来到合适的岩石结构,一个又一个漫长的历史时期地往里发掘,没有发现可见的生命,然后突然之间,“一个螃蟹大小的完整的Profallotaspis或Elenellus跳进了你那等候的手里”,这仍可能是一件令人惊喜的事,它们是有肢、有鳃、有神经系统、有触角、“有某种大脑”(用福泰的话来说)、有最古怪眼睛的动物。那种眼睛是由形成灰岩的同一种材料即方解石杆状体形成的,是已知的最早的视觉系统。不仅如此,最早的三叶虫不是只有一个好冒险的品种,而是有几十个品种;不是只出现在一两个地方,而是无处不在。19世纪的许多思想家以此来证明这是上帝的杰作,用来驳斥达尔文的进化论。他们责问,假如进化是很缓慢的话,他怎么解释那些复杂而又完全成形的动物会出现得如此突然?事实是,他无法解释。

And so matters seemed destined to remain forever until one day in 1909, three months shy of the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species, when a paleontologist named Charles Doolittle Walcott made an extraordinary find in the Canadian Rockies.

因此,问题似乎永远无法解决。直到l909年的某一天,也就是距离达尔文出版《物种起源》50周年还有三个月的时候,一位名叫查尔斯·杜利特尔·沃尔科特的古生物学家在加拿大境内的落基山脉有了一项重大的发现。

Walcott was born in 1850 and grew up near Utica, New York, in a family of modest means, which became more modest still with the sudden death of his father when Walcott was an infant.

沃尔科特生于l850年,在纽约州尤蒂卡附近长大。由于父亲在查尔斯小时候突然死去,本来不大富裕的家境变得更不富裕。

来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: https://www.veryv.net/html/20181011/594803.html