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本文摘要:Myth 1: Your fingerprints are completely unique误会一:你的指纹是独一无二的For more than a century, fingerprints have played a major role in forensic investigations. It all started with Scottish scientist and physician Henry Faulds who, in 1888, wrote an article asserting that each person has a wholly unique set of fingerprints.一个多世纪以来,指纹仍然在法医鉴定中充分发挥着极大的起到。


Myth 1: Your fingerprints are completely unique误会一:你的指纹是独一无二的For more than a century, fingerprints have played a major role in forensic investigations. It all started with Scottish scientist and physician Henry Faulds who, in 1888, wrote an article asserting that each person has a wholly unique set of fingerprints.一个多世纪以来,指纹仍然在法医鉴定中充分发挥着极大的起到。指纹说源起于苏格兰科学家和医生亨利?福尔兹1888年写出的一篇论文,论文中声称每个人都有独一无二的指纹。Now, a single print in the wrong place can be enough for a criminal conviction. However, we have no way to conclusively prove that each of our collections of whorls, loops, and arches is unique (short of gathering the prints of every person who ever lived and comparing them).现在,在错误的地方留给一个指纹就不足以定罪。

但是,我们还无法最后证明我们所搜集到的各种指纹(斗型纹、箕型纹、弓型纹)都是独一无二的,更加不用说搜集和较为那些早已过世的人的指纹了。Its impossible to prove that no two are the same, Mike Silverman, a forensic science regulator in the United Kingdom, told The Telegraph. Its improbable, but so is winning the lottery, and people do that every week.“没两个指纹几乎一样,这事不了证明,”英国法医监管机构官员迈克?西尔弗曼告诉他《每日电讯报》说道,“基本不有可能,但就和买彩票一样,尽管告诉完全没有有可能中奖,但还有人每周都买彩票。”There can be serious consequences if most people believe that fingerprint analysis is infallible. In 2005, Simon Cole, a criminologist at the University of California at Irvine, published a study detailing the 22 known cases of fingerprint mistakes in the history of the American legal system.如果多数人都坚信指纹检验意味著会错误,可能会带给相当严重的后果。

2005年,美国加州大学欧文分校的刑事学家西蒙?科尔公布了一项研究报告,所列了美国司法制度创建以来未知的22个指纹检验造成的错误。He stressed the need to address this misconception lest more innocent people find themselves accused, or even convicted, of crimes they did not commit.他特别强调了扫除这一误会的必要性,以免更加多无辜的人因为指纹被起诉,甚至定罪。Myth 2: Rolling your tongue is a genetic trait误会二:不会卷舌头是基因要求的In 1940, geneticist Alfred Sturtevant published a paper claiming that genetics determined your ability to roll your tongue - parents who could roll their tongues were likely to have children who could as well.1940年,遗传学家阿尔弗雷德?斯特蒂文特公开发表了一篇论文,声称基因要求了你能否卷舌头——能卷舌头的父母不会长成能卷舌头的子女。Just 12 years later, geneticist Philip Matlock disproved this finding with a study of his own. When he compared 33 sets of identical twins, he found that seven of those pairs contained one twin that could roll his or her tongue but the other couldnt.才过了12年,基因学家菲利普?马特洛克就用自己的研究夺权了这一找到。

马特洛克较为33对同卵双胞胎后找到,其中有7对双胞胎一个不会卷舌头,另一个会。Since the genes of identical twins are the same, genes clearly werent the deciding factor for tongue rolling. Still, the misconception persists 65 years after Matlock published his debunking study.既然同卵双胞胎的基因是完全相同的,基因似乎不是能否卷舌头的决定因素。

尽管如此,在马特洛克公开发表了这项颠覆性研究65年之后,仍有人持有人这种误会。And though its not life-threatening, that misunderstanding can cause unnecessary stress. As evolutionary biologist John McDonald told PBS, hes received emails from children concerned that they arent related to their parents because they dont share the ability.尽管这种误会会严重威胁生命,但还是不会带给不必要的压力。演化生物学家约翰?麦克唐纳告诉他美国公共广播公司说道,他曾接到孩子写来的电子邮件,写信给的孩子担忧自己不是父母亲生子的,因为父母(自己)不会卷舌头而自己(父母)会。


Myth 3: You have five senses误会三:人有五种感官Children often learn that they have five senses - sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell. Thats a fact that originated in a work by the Greek philosopher Aristotle, written around 350 BC.一般来说孩子们教给的科学知识是,人有五种感官——视觉、听力、味觉、触觉和嗅觉。这一“事实”源自希腊哲学家亚里士多德于公元前350年左右写出的一部作品。However, you actually have more than five senses. Way more. In fact, scientists arent even sure just how many more - estimates range from 22 to 33. Some of those other senses include equilibrioception (sense of balance), thermoception (sense of temperature), nociception (sense of pain), and kinaesthesia (sense of movement).然而,实质上,人的感官好比五种,而是比五种非常少。

事实上,科学家甚至都不确认还有多少种感官,据估计有22到33种。其他一些感官还包括平衡感、温度感觉、疼痛感和运动感。While none of these additional senses include the ability to communicate with the dead, some are absolutely essential for life. For example, our sense of thirst helps our bodies maintain appropriate hydration levels, and people who lack that sense - a rare condition called adipsia - can become severely dehydrated or even die.尽管其他的这些感官不还包括和杀人交流的能力,但有些感官对存活至关重要。比如,我们的口渴感觉能协助身体保持必要的水分,没口渴感觉的人——这种少见的病叫渴感觉缺乏症——可能会相当严重水解甚至想到。

Myth 4: Fingernails and hair continue to grow after death误会四:指甲和头发在人死后还不会之后生长Our bodies do lots of creepy things after we die, but they dont keep growing our fingernails and hair. To do that, our bodies need to produce new cells - something that simply isnt possible after death.我们的身体在我们死后还不会做到很多让人毛骨悚然的事情,但我们的指甲和头发在死后并会之后生长。如果要之后生长,人体必须生产新的细胞,而这在人死后是显然不有可能再次发生的。This morbid misconception dates back until at least 1929 when writer Erich Remarque immortalised it in his novel All Quiet on the Western Front. In fact, his misunderstanding is due to an optical illusion.这种病态的误会要追溯到最少1929年,当时作家埃里希?雷马克在他的小说《西线无战事》中让这种观念深入人心。

事实上,雷马克的误会源自光学错觉。While our nails and hair dont continue to grow after we breathe our final breath, our skin does shrink as it becomes dehydrated. As the skin retracts, our nails and hair become more exposed, and, thus, they may appear to grow.在我们断气后,我们的指甲和头发并会之后生长,但我们的皮肤不会因为水解而膨胀。皮肤膨胀后,我们的指甲和头发不会更好地曝露独自,因此它们看起来就样子之后生长了。

Luckily, getting this one wrong isnt likely to cause much harm - beyond its potential to give children nightmares or exacerbate a persons thanatophobia, of course.幸运地的是,这个误会会导致过于多危害——除了让孩子做噩梦,或激化人们的丧生恐惧症。Myth 5: You should never wake a sleepwalker误会五:你意味著无法睡觉一个梦游的人Though about 7 percent of the population will sleepwalk at some point in their lives, no one knows for sure what causes somnambulism. What to do should you encounter a slumbering pedestrian is also a source of confusion thanks to a very old misconception.尽管世界上约7%的人口不会在人生的某个时期梦游,但没有人告诉是什么原因造成了梦游症。正是因为这个古老的误会,人们搞不清在遇到一个正在梦游的行人时究竟应当怎么做。


Mark Pressman, a psychologist and sleep specialist at Lankenau Hospital in Pennsylvania, told Live Science the belief that its dangerous to wake a sleepwalker began in ancient times when people used to think your soul left your body while you slept.美国宾夕法尼亚州蓝科纳医院睡眠中专家、心理学家马克?普雷斯曼告诉他生活科学网站说道,指出睡觉梦游者很危险性的观念源于于古代,古人指出在你睡的时候,你的灵魂不会离开了你的身体。Waking a sleepwalker, therefore, would doom the sleeper to a soulless existence. The supposed consequences of waking a sleepwalker have since evolved - some say you could induce a heart attack, or send the sleeper into a permanent state of insanity.因此,睡觉梦游者不会让其变为没灵魂的人。

后来,睡觉梦游者的后果就演进为所致心脏病或让梦游者从此疯掉。While Pressman said waking a sleepwalker wont harm them, it might not be easy to do. Letting a sleepwalkers journey continue uninterrupted is clearly not an option since it could have devastating consequences - sleepwalkers have been known to injure themselves or even die in their zombie-like state.尽管普雷斯曼说道睡觉梦游者并会损害他们,但睡觉他们有可能并不更容易。让梦游者的旅途不不受阻碍地继续下去似乎权宜之计,因为有可能产生灾难性的后果——曾有梦游者在梦游途中伤势,甚至有人在僵尸般的状态中病死。The best course of action, therefore, is to simply guide a sleepwalker back to bed.因此,最差的处置办法就是引领梦游者返回床上。

Myth 6: Swallowed chewing gum takes seven years to digest误会六:吞进肚子的口香糖要花上七年时间才能消化丢弃If you believe the legend, gum you swallowed years ago is still in your body; your digestive tract is still working on the chewy mass. While its impossible to pinpoint the origin of that myth, debunking it is fairly easy.如果你坚信这个传言,那么你几年前吐出的口香糖依然在你的体内;你的消化道依然在处置这块东西。尽管这一传言的起源未知,但是识破它还是非常更容易的。

Gum is chewy because it contains a synthetic rubber base that simply isnt digestible. But that doesnt mean swallowed gum cant complete the journey through your digestive tract.口香糖很耐热咀嚼是因为它所含一种不能消化的合成橡胶。但这并不意味著口香糖无法已完成消化道的这段旅程。As Rodger Liddle, a gastroenterologist at the Duke University School of Medicine, told Scientific American, the human body is capable of passing objects up to roughly the size of a quarter, so a single piece of gum should pose no problem.杜克大学医学院的胃肠病学家罗杰?利德尔告诉他《科学美国人》杂志说道,人体内可以通过一个25美分硬币大小的物体,所以一块口香糖应当会导致什么问题。If you were to swallow several pieces of chewing gum in a short amount of time, though, you could end up with a mass too large to pass. At that point, you may need to call on a doctor to remove it manually - in 1998, pediatric gastroenterologist David Milov published a study noting three such cases in children, and the ordeal does not seem pleasant.然而,如果你在短时间内吐出几块口香糖,这么大块应当无法通过消化道。