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Odds on: 10 science breakthroughs you can bet on

Odds on: 10 science breakthroughs you can bet on

作者:墨凶缨  时间:2019-03-01 07:14:10  人气:

Alamy By Michael Brooks It’s all go. Stephen Hawking has declared that we should start colonising other planets as soon as possible, and last year billionaire venture capitalist Elon Musk announced plans to establish a Mars colony in the 2020s. That’s possibly a little ambitious, says Lewis Dartnell, an astrobiologist based at the University of Westminster, UK. Mars is a brutal and unforgiving environment. A quick land and return is one thing, but it’s quite another to set up a self-governing human colony largely independent in terms of food and energy, and 18 months’ travel time from Earth. “I’d hope for a colony within 50 years, but even that is probably verging on 1950s levels of credulous optimism,” he says. So don’t bet your house. Bookie’s odds: 33/1 A permanent Mars colony by 2027 Bookie’s odds are for the stated breakthrough to occur within 10 years, and were calculated by bookmaker PaddyPower The giraffe stretches its neck to reach the most succulent treetop leaves. Over time, as it repeats the action, it acquires a longer neck – an advantageous adaptation the giraffe passes on to its offspring. Such developments are often called Lamarckian evolution, after French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, who developed a “theory of inheritance of acquired characteristics”around 1801. Today’s mainstream evolutionary theory, based on Darwin’s later ideas of natural selection,