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什么是事实、理论、假设、定理?

Fact vs. Theory vs. Hypothesis vs. Law… EXPLAINED!

We need to get something straight.
我们需要厘清一些观念
Evolution by natural selection is a theory.
自然选择进化论是理论
So is climate change
气候变化同样如此
But people keep saying
但人们总认为
thing like it is a bad thing…
类似如此的理论不靠谱
I get it, I understand your frustration.
我懂 我明白这种沮丧
We all are searching for ultimate hashtag truth.
我们所有人一直在探求重要的根本真理
And complex, challenging ideas don’t always fit nice and neatly in our brains.
不过简洁整齐的大脑结构总是和复杂 有挑战性的想法不合拍
But what is truth?
可真理是什么呢
Are there different level of truth?
真理有不同的级别吗
There are some truths truthier than others?
会有更真的真理吗
I don’t know.
我不知道
But I do know this
但我明白
science is the absolute best tool we have
科学绝对是我们具有的
for understanding how the universe works.
了解宇宙如何运行的最佳工具
And theory is not a 4-letter word.
理论不仅只是两个字这么简单
If we’re going to trust science together,
如果我们都相信科学
the least we can do is speak the same language.
至少我们有相同的语言背景
Words like “fact” “theory” “hypothesis” and “law” mean something totally different to a scientist
对科学家来说事实 理论 假说 定律等词的含义
than the way they’re used in everyday speech,
与其日常用法完全不同
so let’s get them straight.
因此我们来捋一下
Facts are really just observations about the world around us.
事实只是我们对周遭世界的观察结果
And we observe things every day,
每天我们都在观察
like that it’s bright outside when I look out the window,
并经常会对观察到的结果解释一番
and we often develop explanations for those observations,
比如 我看到窗外光线明亮
like “ okay, the sun is probably up”
我会说 嗯 或许是太阳出来了
Congrats! We just developed a hypothesis!
恭喜 我们刚刚提出了一个假设
But hypothesis isn’t something you prove,
但假设不是你要证明它
it is something you test.
而是要检验它
So… let’s walk outside
那么我们就出去走走吧
It’s bright, the sun is up, hypothesis confirmed!
天亮了 太阳出来了 假设证实了
Way to go! We did a science!
不错 我们做了一次科学验证
We often come up with multiple hypotheses to explain an observation,
我们常常提出多个假设来解释观察结果
we just eliminate the ones that are wrong.
去除掉错误的假设
What’s left over is not a theory or a law or an”Ultimate Truth”,
剩下的还不是理论 定律或终极真理
it’s just a possible explanation for something,
它仍只是一个关于某事物的假设
one that can lead us to new hypotheses,
基于此我们提出新的假设
which may agree or disagree with the original one.
这个假设和最开始的假设相符还是相悖
It’s a never-ending story
这是一个永无完结的故事
only without the big fluffy dragons.
只是没有大毛绒龙
“That’s so good!”
真舒服
When enough hypotheses have gotten the ol’scientific check mark,
足够多的假设被证实后
we can pile these all up
我们就可将其整合起来
and turn them into something greater: a theory.
使之成为更完善的的东西:理论
A theory is the way we know something works,
理论是我们理解事物运作的方式
based on the evidence we’ve collected
它以我们收集到的客观事实
and all the hypotheses that we’ve successfully put to the test.
以及被我们成功证实的假设为基础
The best thing about a theory
关于理论最棒的一点是
is that we can use it to make predictions,
我们可以用它来进行预测
and not just about the way things are
不仅知道事物的现时面貌
but how they will be.
而且可预测它们将来的走向
You may have heard someone say something like,
你可能听过这样的说法
“ I have a theory about why cats purr,
我有个关于猫咪为什么咕噜的理论
I think it’s because they’re actually tiny robots,
我认为是因为猫咪是个小型机器人
and those are their gears ”
咕噜声是它们体内的齿轮发出的
That’s not a theory.
这不是理论
That’s actually a hypothesis. It’s something that could be tested.
它只是个假设 需要进行验证
But don’t try this at all.
但还是不要去验证了
This cycle, taking facts and observations, thinking up possible explanations,
基于事实和观察作出假设
testing those explanations, and then making predictions based upon them
验证这些假设并基于此去做预测
that’s what this whole science thing is about!
这就是整个科学体系的循环
Being a theory isn’t a bad thing,
得出一个理论没有什么不好
it means that idea got the gold star, the blue ribbon,
它意味着那个想法得到了金星 蓝饰带
a big shiny trophy
一个金光闪闪的大奖杯
that says “ Countless experiments have shown
上写 无数实验证明了
that I’m sufficient to explain all the observations that I encompass”
我所进行的所有观察都有充分的解释
Now,to see if you’ve got this down,
来看看你对此是否理解
let’s look at some examples.
来看一些例子
FACT: People get sick. I think we can all accept that.
事实 人会生病 这是公认的
HYPOTHESIS: People get sick because something gets in their body
假设 人生病是因为有东西进入人的身体
and starts doing bad things.
开始进行破坏
Test each hypothesis, throw out the bad ones,
验证每个假设 舍弃掉错误的
and we’re left with a framework
我们就得出了一个整体框架
that let’s understand why we get sick and make predictions,
它能让我们明白生病缘由并做出预测
the Germ Theory of Disease.
这就是细菌致病理论
Ok. Let’s try another!
再来看一个例子
“Evolution” is a fact. We know that it happens, no doubt.
“进化”是一个事实 确凿无疑
But how does it happen?
可进化如何发生的呢
“Evolution by natural selection” is a theory
理论是“自然选择进化论”
We’ve come up with thousands and thousands of hypotheses about it,
我们提出了成千上万与此相关的假设
tested them, thrown out the bad ones
然后验证 去除错误假设
and we’ve developed a pretty darn good framework
我们构建了一个非常好的框架
for predicting how living things change over time.
来预测生物随时间而进化的进程
So yeah it’s a theory.
没错这就是理论
Stop saying lt ike a bad thing
别再说它不靠谱了
Calling it a theory means it’s passed the toughest tests that we can throw at it,
称之为理论就意味着它通过了最为苛刻的验证
and evolution has been tested maybe more than any other theory we know of.
对进化论验证的次数或许比其他任何理论都多
We should really call it the Theory of ( The Fact of ) Evolution
进化论名至实归
What about something as fundamental as gravity?
那引力的基本原理是什么呢
Is that a theory?
引力是一个理论吗
Or is it… a law?
或者是一个定律吗
In science, a law is a detailed description,
在科学中 定律是精细的描述
usually using math, of how something happens,
通常用数学来描述事物如何发生
like the movement of gas molecules related to temperature,
比如气体分子随温度变化的运动
or how mass and energy are always conserved.
或质能守恒如何产生的
But a law doesn’t tell us why something happens.
但定律不告诉我们事物为何发生
Gravity as it turns out, is a law and a theory.
而引力既是定律也是理论
Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation describes precisely
牛顿的万有引力精准地描述了
how two objects will attract each other
两物体基于其质量
based on their masses and the distance between them,
及之间的距离如何相互吸引
and gives us a nice formula
万有引力还有一个很好的公式
we can use to figure it out.
用它我们可以算出其数值
Textbook “law”.
教科书上的定律
But Newton’s equation doesn’t describe
但牛顿的方程式没有描述
what is happening, or why.
发生了什么或为什么有引力
To do that, we need a theory of Gravity.
为此 我们需要一个万有引力理论
FACT: If I drop this, it’ll fall.
事实: 我松手 它会掉下来
LAW: I can mathematically describe
定律: 我能用数学方式描述下面这个现象
how fast that apple and Earth will accelerate toward one another
已知苹果和地球的质量及其之间的距离
based on their masses and distance.
就能算出他们之间的加速度
But why is it happening?
但为什么会出现这种现象呢
HYPOTHESIS: There is a force pulling on the apple,
假设 有一种力或与宇宙构成方式
or maybe there’s something about the way the universe is structured
有关的某种因素吸引着苹果
that makes massive things fall towards one another
这种因素使大块的物体互相碰撞
or maybe the apple is, like, magnetically attracted to Earth or something?
比如说苹果被牢牢吸附到地球上或其他物质上
We eliminate the bad ones, and we’re left with a theory.
排除错误的假设 我们得出了一个理论
Thanks to Einstein, we’ve got a Theory of Gravity
多亏爱因斯坦 我们有了万有引力
called General Relativity.
也叫做广义相对论
But once scientists stumbled upon quantum mechanics,
但科学家们偶然发现量子力学之后
they began to realize that Einstein’s Relativity didn’t account for
才开始意识到爱因斯坦的广义相对论无法
what was happening on the very smallest gravitational scales of universe.
在宇宙微观尺度上解释万有引力
General Relativity is still great
广义相对论仍极擅长
at describing the universe at the scale that we interact with it.
在宏观尺度上描述我们与宇宙的相互作用
but even the Theory of Gravity is incomplete.
但就算引力论不全面
Does that mean we throw it out
就因为它无法解释一切
because it can’t explain everything?
我们就要摒弃它吗
No!
当然不是
If you get a flat tire on your car,
如果你的汽车轮胎漏气了
do you get a new car?
你就要换辆新车吗
If you change the tire,
如果换了轮胎
is your car a different car all of a sudden?
你的车会突然变样吗
All of these fit together to make the scientific machine.
所有这些理论构成了科学机器
We’re constantly adding and taking away parts,
虽然我们不断增增减减
but it keeps on running just fine.
但这台科学机器仍运行良好
It just means we’ve got more work to do
这只是意味着我们做了更多的工作
to make Einstein’s theory even more right.
从而使爱因斯坦的理论更加正确
Science is never done.
科学永无止境
It’s always changing, and this bothers some people.
不停变化的科学让一些人烦恼不已
How can we trust it,
我们该如何相信科学
how can something be strong and robust
如果某种科学观点明天又换了说法
if it could be different tomorrow?
它如何能可靠呢
The goal of science is to devise frameworks that describe how things work,
科学的目标是设计一个描述万物运行的框架
to truly understand
让我们真正理解
why things are the way they are right now,
为何事物是现在的样子
so we can know how things will be in the future.
从而我们可以知道事物会发展成什么样子
And we can all learn to trust science,
即使科学有模糊 不全面的地方
in all its fuzziness and incompleteness,
但我们如果学会相信科学
I predict that future is going to be very bright.
在我看来 未来将会一片光明
I like that theory.
我喜欢理论
Stay curious.
请保持好奇心

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视频概述

本视频对理论、事实、真理、假设进行了比较,在此基础上介绍了科学理论的构建过程。

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

蓝若萱

审核员

审核员1024

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqk3TKuGNBA

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