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Animal Emotions

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Animal Emotions
动物的情感

   Swimming off the coast of Argentina, a female right whale singles out just one of the suitors that are hotly pursuing her. After mating, the two cetaceans linger side by side, stroking one another with their flippers and finally rolling together in what looks like an embrace. The whales then depart, flippers touching, and swim slowly side by side, diving and surfacing in perfect unison until they disappear from sight.

   In Tanzania, primatologists studying chimpanzee behavior record the death of Flo, a troop's 50-year-old matriarch. Throughout the following day, Flo's son, Flint, sits beside his mother's lifeless body, occasionally taking her hand and whimpering. Over the next few weeks, Flint grows increasingly listless,withdrawing from the troop -- despite his siblings' efforts to bring him back -- and refusing food. Three weeks after Flo's death, the formerly healthy young chimp is dead, too.

   A grief - stricken chimpanzee? Leviathans in love? Most people, raised on Disney versions of sentient and passionate beasts, would say that these tales, both true, simply confirm their suspicions that animals can feel intense, humanlike emotions.

   Still, the idea of animals feeling emotions remains controversial among many scientists. Researchers' skepticism is fueled in part by their professional aversion to anothropomorphism, the very nonscientific tendency to attribute human qualities to nonhumans. Many scientists also say that it is impossible to prove animals have emotions using standard scientific methods -- repeatable observations that can be manipulated in controlled experiments -- leading them to conclude that such feelings must not exist. Today, however, amid mounting evidence to the contrary, “ the tide is turning radically and rapidly,” says Bekoff, who is at the forefront of this movement.

   Even the most strident skeptics of animal passion agree that many creatures experience fear -- which some scientists define as a “ primary” emotion that contrasts with “ secondary” emotions such as love and grief. Unlike these more complex feelings, fear is instinctive, they say,and requires no conscious thought.

   But beyond such instinctual emotions and their predictable behavioral responses, the possibility of more complex animal feelings -- those that entail mental processing -- is difficult to demonstrate.

   Because feelings are intangible, and so tough to study scientifically, “ most researchers don't even want to talk about animal emotions,” says Jaak Panksepp, a neuroscientist at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and author of Affective Neuroscience. Within his field, Panksepp is a rare exception, who believes that similarities between the brains of humans and other animals suggest that at least some creatures have true feelings. “ Imagine where we'd be in physics if we hadn't inferred what's inside the atom,” says Panksepp. “ Most of what goes on in nature is invisible, yet we don't deny that it exists.”

   The new case for animal emotions comes in part from the growing acceptability of field observations, particularly when they are taken in aggregate. The latest contribution to this body of knowledge is a new book, The Smile of a Dolphin, which presents personal reports from more than 50 researchers who have spent their careers studying animals -- from cats, dogs, bears, and chimps to birds, iguanas, and fish. Edited by Bekoff, who says it will finally “ legitimize” research on animal emotions.

   Skeptics remain unconviced. “ A whale may behave as if it's in love, but you can't prove what it's feeling, if anything,” says neuroscientist LeDoux, author of The Emotional Brain. He maintains that the question of feeling boils down to whether or not animals are conscious. And though animals “ may have snapshots of self? awareness,” he says, “ the movie we call consciousness is not there.” Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin -- Madison, agrees that higher primates, including apes and chimps, are the only animals that have demonstrated self-consciousness so far. Still, he believes that there are other creatures that “ may at least have antecedents of feelings.”

   Or probably more, say Bekoff and his colleagues. Their most convincing argument, perhaps, comes from the theory of evolution, widely accepted by biologists of all stripes. Citing similarities in the brain anatomy and chemistry of humans and other animals, neuroscientist Siviy asks:“ If you believe in evolution by natural selection, how can you believe that feelings suddenly appeared, out of the blue, with human beings?” Goodall says scientists who use animals to study the human brain, then deny that animals have feelings, are “ illogical.”

   In the end, what difference does it really make? According to many scientists, resolving the debate over animal emotions could turn out to be much more than an intellectual exercise. If animals do indeed experience a wide range of feelings, it has profound implications for how humans and animals will interact in the future. Bekoff, hopes that greater understanding of what animals are feeling will spur more stringent rules on how animals should be treated, everywhere from zoos and circuses to farms and backyards.

[参考译文]一条雌露脊鲸游离阿根廷海岸,在众多热切追求者中选中一位。交配以后,两条鲸肩并肩地缠绵着,用鳍互相爱抚,最后好像是相互拥抱着,开始上下翻腾。后来两条鲸又分开了,但是仍鳍挨着鳍,肩并肩慢慢地游着,动作完美而和谐,忽而潜入水中,忽而游出水面,直至它们从视野中渐渐消失。

  在坦桑尼亚,原始生物学家对黑猩猩的行为进行了研究。他们记录了一只叫福娄的黑猩猩的死亡过程。福娄是一个黑猩猩群落中年近50岁的女族长。在她死后第二天,福娄的儿子福林特坐在母亲的尸体边,时不时地拉着母亲的手,悲伤地啜泣。在接下来的几周里,福林特变得越来越抑郁,不管他的兄弟姐妹如何设法要带他一起走,他还是脱离了群落,并且拒绝进食。福娄死后3周,这只曾经年轻健康的小黑猩猩也死掉了。

  这只黑猩猩是否饱受了悲痛的打击?那两只巨大的海兽是否正沉浸在爱的旋涡里?读着迪斯尼乐园中那些富有人情味的动物故事长大的绝大多数人,都会认为这两种猜测是正确的,而且更使他们确信动物能感受到如人类一般的强烈情感。

  许多科学家对动物是否会有情感的问题仍有争论,持怀疑态度的研究者对动物人格化问题有职业性的反感。人格化是把人类的特性强加到非人类事物上的非常不科学的做法。许多科学家认为用通常规范的科学方式来证实动物具有情感是不可能的,因为这种反复的观察实验可以在受控的实验中操纵进行,这就使这些科学家得出结论,即动物的这种情感是不存在的。然而与此相反的证据不断增加,今天站在这场运动最前列的柏柯夫说:"原来的倾向已彻底而迅速地转变了。"

  甚至那些明确宣称对动物是否有感情问题持怀疑观点的人也承认许多动物能体会恐惧。这种感受被许多科学家定义为"原始的"情感,不同于"高一级"的情感,例如爱和悲伤。他们说,恐惧不同于这些更为复杂的情感,恐惧是天生的,不需要有意识的思维。

  但是超出这种原始情感和可预见的行为反应,即需要思维过程的复杂的动物情感,其存在的可能性是难以证明的。

  因为感情是无形而且触摸不到的,要进行科学研究非常困难。位于俄亥俄州的波林·格林州立大学的一名神经科学家--查克·彭赛布(著有《感情的神经科学》)说:"绝大多数研究者甚至不想谈及动物的情感。"在彭赛布的研究领域内,他是一个少有的例外,他相信人脑和其它动物的大脑有相似之处,这至少表明一些动物确实是有感情的。彭赛布说:"试想,如果我们没有推断出原子内部是什么样子的,那么我们的物理学研究此时会是什么样子?自然界中绝大部分的情形是看不见的,然而我们并不否认它们的存在。"

  由于实地观察的结果,特别是将其汇总后,已越来越获得认可,动物感情问题的研究也出现了新的生机。在此知识领域中的最新贡献是一本叫作《海豚的微笑》的新书。此书介绍了50多位致力于动物研究的工作者根据自己对猫、狗、熊、黑猩猩及鸟类,鬣蜥和鱼进行研究后所作的报告。柏柯夫担任此书编辑,他认为这将最终"认可"动物情感的研究。

  那些持怀疑态度的人仍未被说服。《有感情的大脑》一书的作者,神经科学家勒都克斯说:"一只鲸可以表现得像在恋爱中一样,但即使它们真的有什么感情的话,人们也无法证明这种感情的存在。"他还坚持认为动物感情的问题,归根结底是动物是否有意识的问题。他说虽然动物"可能有过短暂的自我意识,而被我们称作意识的那种影片却是不存在的"。威斯康星--麦迪逊大学的神经学家理查德·大卫逊也认为包括类人猿和黑猩猩在内的高级灵长目是迄今仅有的被证实具有自我意识的动物。但他还认为仍有其他种类的动物"至少可能会有情感发生前的感觉"。

  柏柯夫和他的同事们说实际情况可能更甚于此。其中最具说服力的理由大概是来自于被生物界各流派所广泛接受的进化论。通过引证人类和其它动物在大脑解剖学和脑化学构成领域内存在的相似之处,神经科学家西维提出:"如果你相信依靠物竞天择而实现了物种的进化,你又怎能认为感情是凭空突如其来地出现在人类中的呢?"古德尔认为那些一边用动物的大脑来研究人脑而同时又否认动物有感情的科学家是"不合乎逻辑的"。 最终会形成不同结论吗?许多科学家认为,动物情感问题争论的解决,可能远超出智力的较量。如果动物确有各种各样的情感,那将深远影响今后人类和动物之间的互动方式。柏柯夫希望对动物感情有了更多理解后,就应制定出正确对待动物的更严格规则。这些规则无论是在动物园、马戏团、农场、还是在普通人家的院内都适用。
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