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考研英语范文阅读(二十三)

2006-7-6 21:40  

  Being a man has always been dangerous. There are about 105 males born for every 100 females, but this ratio drops to near balance at the age of maturity, and among 70-year-olds there are twice as many women as men. But the great universal of male mortality is being changed. Now, by babies survive almost as well as girls do. This means that, for the first time, there will be an excess of boys in those crucial years when the are searching for a mate. More important, another chance for natural selection has been removed. Fifty years ago, the chance of a baby (particularly a boy baby) surviving depended on its weight. A kilogram too light or too heavy meant almost certain death. Today it makes almost no difference. Since much of the variation is due to genes one more agent of evolution has gone.

  There is another way to commit evolutionary suicide: stay alive, but have fewer children. Few people are as fertile as in the past. Except in some religious communities, very few women has 15 children. Nowadays the number of births, like the age of death, has become average. Most of us have roughly the same number of offspring. Again, differences between people and the opportunity for natural selection to take advantage of it have diminished. India shows what is happening. The country offers wealth for a few in the great cities and poverty for the remaining tribal peoples. The grand mediocrity of today—everyone being the same in survival and number of offspring—means that natural selection has lost 80% of its power in upper-middle-class India compared to the tribes.

  For us, this means that evolution is over; the biological Utopia has arrived. Strangely, it has involved little physical change. No other species fills so many places in nature. But in the past 100,000 years—even the past 100 years—our lives have been transformed but our bodies have not. We did not evolve, because machines and society did it for us. Darwin had a phrase to describe those ignorant of evolution: they “look at an organic being as average looks at a ship, as at something wholly beyond his comprehension.” No doubt we will remember a 20th century way of life beyond comprehension for its ugliness. But however amazed our descendants may be at how far from Utopia we were, they will look just like us.

  55. What used to be the danger in being a man according to the first paragraph?

  (A)A lack of mates.

  (B)A fierce competition.

  (C)A lower survival rate.

  (D)A defective gene.

  56. What does the example of India illustrate?

  (A)Wealthy people tend to have fewer children than poor people.

  (B)Natural selection hardly works among the rich and the poor.

  (C)The middle class population is 80% smaller than that of the tribes.

  (D)India is one of the countries with a very high birth rate.

  57. The author argues that our bodies have stopped evolving because________.

  (A)life has been improved by technological advance

  (B)the number of female babies has been declining

  (C)our species has reached the highest stage of evolution

  (D)the difference between wealth and poverty is disappearing

  58. Which of the following would be the best title for the passage?

  (A)Sex Ration Changes in Human Evolution.

  (B)Ways of Continuing Man's Evolution.

  (C)The Evolutionary Future of Nature.

  (D)Human Evolution Going Nowhere.

  答案及试题解析CBAD

  55.(C)意为;较低的存活率。

  第一段第一、二句指出,做男人总是有危险的。出生时男孩比例高于女孩,到成熟期时男女比例已持平,到70岁时男人仅剩女人数量的一半了。

  A意为:配偶的缺乏。第一段第四、五句提到,现在,男孩的存活率几乎与女孩一样了,这意味着,到寻找配偶的关键年龄时,就会有多余的男孩(找不到配偶)。这两句话仅是论据,说明本段第三句指出的现象:过去普遍存在的男人死亡率高的现象正在改变。

  B意为:激烈的竞争。

  D意为:有缺陷的基因。第一段最后一句指出,既然其中的差别都是由基因造成的,另一个进化因素不复存在了。这里并未提到基因的缺陷造成男人的高死亡率。

  56.(B)意为:自然选择的法则基本不适用于穷富的差别。

  印度的例子用于说明第二段第六句指出的观点:不同的人面对自然选择时所可利用的优劣势差别已经变小。根据下文。这一句应理解为:在存活率问题上,富人和穷人几乎面临着同样的机会,即富人已渐失其优势。另请参阅本段最后一句。

  A意为:富人(家庭)一般比穷人孩子少。虽然这也许是事实,但文章井未提到这一点。

  C意为:中产阶级人口数量比部落人口少80%。第二段最后一句的意思是:今天的总平均趋势——存活率和孩子数量的平均化——意味着自然选择在印度的中高层家庭人口中——与部落人口相比——已失去80%的控制力;即:中高阶层不再拥有绝对的生存优势。

  D意为:印度是出生率很高的国家之一。这是文章没有提到的。

  57.(A)意为:技术的进步改进了生命(的质量)。

  第三段第四、五句指出,在过去的10万年乃至100年中,我们的生活得到了改变,但是身体却没有改变,我们(的身体)没有进化的原因是机器和社会使其然。这里所说的“机器”当指技术。

  B意为:女婴数量减少了。参阅第55、56题题解。

  C意为:我们这种物种(指人)已达到最高进化阶段。虽然在第三段中作者的确提到了进化已经结束(evolution is over),但是造成这种现象的原因却只有在第五句中才提到。

  D意为:贫富差别正在逐渐消失。即使在第二段,文章也没有提到贫富差别的消失,提到的只是贫富家庭在婴孩存活率和孩子平均数量上差别正在缩小。

  58.(D)意为:人的进化已穷尽。

  在第一段阐述男人死亡率降低的原因时,作者就指出了进化机制已不再起作用,第二段在讨论每个家庭孩子平均数量减少这一现象时,作者再次指出自然进化机制已不能再左右人口的出生率,即:人不再通过多生孩子来保持人口的均衡。在总结全文的第三段时,作者直截了当地指出,进化已经结束。

  A意为:人的进化过程中性别比例的改变。这一点仅在第一段提到了,所以,该选择项不足以概括全文内容。

  B意为:保持人类进化的方法。

  C意为:大自然未来的进化。本文侧重点在于探讨人口的结构变化与进化过程的关系,而不是泛泛地谈论大自然的进化。

  翻译句子

  1、Again, differences between people and the opportunity for natural selection to take advantage of it have diminished.

  [参考译文]此外,人与人之间的差别以及自然选择利用这种来发挥作用的机会都已经大大减少了。

  [结构剖析]注意differences between people和the opportunity for natural selection to take advantage of it是两个并列的主语,千万不要理解成people与the opportunity是between的并列宾语。

  [阅读重点]and连接的两个并列部分是differences between people和the opportunity for natural selection to take advantage of it,而不是people和the opportunity.另外注意句中的it指代的是differences between people.

  2、The grand mediocrity of today—everyone being the same in survival and number of offspring—means that natural selection has lost 80%of its power in upper-middle-class India compared to the tribes.

  [参考译文]当今人与人在很大程度上的平等——即面对自然淘汰法则人人机会均等,并且连子嗣的数目都一样——意味着和在印度土著部落中的情况相比,印度中上层阶级中已丧失了80%的自然选择中的优势。

  [结构剖析]该句的主语是The grand mediocrity,谓语是means,其后跟着that引导的宾语从句that natural selection has lost 80%of its power in upper-middle-class India compared to the tribes,其中compared to the tribes是分词结构作状语,省略了if/when being.破折号中间everyone being the same in survival and number of offspring是典型的插入语,其中survival和number of offspring都是介词in的宾语。

  [阅读重点]grand在此处不是“宏伟,壮丽”的意思,而是“程度很深”;mediocrity也非“平庸,平常”,而是“平均化”或“折衷”; offspring是“后代”。另外要理解natural selection has lost 80%of its power in upper-middle-class India的意思,这里是指在原来的社会不平等的情况下,印度中上层阶级拥有一些能使自己在自然选择中处于优势的特权,而随着医疗和卫生条件的改变,下层人民也拥有同样的生存条件,因此中上层阶级就丧失了80%的自然选择中的优势。

  补充难句翻译

  1、There are about 105 males born for every 100 females, but this ratio drops to near balance at the age of maturity, and among 70-year-olds there are twice as many women as men.[参考译文]男婴和女婴的出生比例为105:100,但在成年以后,这个性别比数便降至基本持平,而到70岁的时候,女性的人数就已达到男性的两倍了。

  [结构剖析]该句是由三个递进关系的简单句组成的并列句,句法结构比较清晰。

  [阅读重点]第一个分句的关键词在born,表明该比数是婴儿出生时的性别比例;第二个分句的关键词在near balance(接近持平)和at the age of maturity,表示性别比例的持平状态发生在成年时期;第三个分句的70-year-olds指代的是“70岁的人们”,作名词。

  2、Darwin had a phrase to describe those ignorant of evolution: they “look at an organic being as a savage looks at a ship, as at something wholly beyond his comprehension.”[参考译文]达尔文曾经用下面的语句来描述那些对生物进化过程一无所知的人:他们“注视着有机体,就像原始人注视着轮船,注视着那完全超出自己理解能力限度的事物。”[结构剖析]冒号后的句子是主句中a phrase的同位语。该同位语从句中的结构是A does something as B does something(A做某事的样子正像B做某事的样子)。

  [阅读重点]those ignorant of evolution指对生物进化过程一无所知的人,其后的they也指代这些人。最后的his指代前面的a savage.beyond his comprehension超出了他的理解范围。

  语言点详解

  1.ratio比率[大纲词汇]ratio n.比,比率[经典例句]The ratio of pupils to teachers is 30 to 1.

  2.maturity成熟[大纲词汇]mature a.成熟的,熟的;成年人的; v.(使)成熟[衍生词汇]maturity a.成熟;完善[经典例句]He is in his full maturity as an actor.

  3.universal普遍模式[大纲词汇]universal a.普遍的,全体的,通用的;宇宙的,世界的[扩充词义] universal n.普遍;普遍行为模式[经典例句]Foreign influence has changed the universal of speech in this tribe.

  4.mortality死亡人数[大纲词汇]mortal a.致命的,终有一死的;人世间的;n.凡人[衍生词汇]mortality n.必死性;死亡率,死亡数[经典例句]The mortality from automobile accidents is very high.

  5.excess多余[大纲词汇] excess a.过量的,过剩的; n.过量,过剩[经典例句] They didn't expect there were an excess of job vacancies.

  6.mate配偶[大纲词汇]mate n.伙伴,同事;配偶[经典例句]It is human nature to seek for a mate at certain age.

  7.natural selection自然选择

  8.variation变化[大纲词汇]variation n.变化,变动;变种,变异[经典例句]He warned that variation of the data would result in inaccurate result.

  9.gene基因[大纲词汇] gene n.基因[衍生词汇]genetic a.基因的;创始的,起源的

  10 .agent动原[大纲词汇]agent n.代理商(人),代表[扩充词义] agent n.动原,能因,引起一定作用的人或力[经典例句]Rain and sun are the natural agents that help plants grow.

  11.commit suicide自杀[经典例句] He committed suicide out of desperation.

  12.roughly大约[大纲词汇]rough a.粗糙的;粗略的,大致的;粗野的,粗暴的[衍生词汇] roughly ad.粗糙地;粗野地;大体上,大约[经典例句]The output increased roughly 10% this month.

  13.offspring后代[大纲词汇]offspring n.子孙,后代;结果,产物[经典例句]His failure was an offspring of his conceit.

  14.take advantage of利用[大纲词汇] take advantage of利用[经典例句]You should not take advantage of her kindness.

  15.diminish缩小[大纲词汇]diminish v.缩小,减少,递减[经典例句]The government tried to diminish the income gap between the rich and the poor.

  16.tribal部落的[大纲词汇]tribe n.家族,部落[衍生词汇]tribal a.家族的,部落的[经典例句] The anthropologists focused his research on tribal customs.

  17.mediocrity平凡[扩充词汇]mediocrity n.平庸,平凡;庸人[经典例句]Her performance was blow mediocrity.

  18.species物种[大纲词汇]species n.(物)种,种类[经典例句]Darwin explored the origin of species.

  19.transform改变[大纲词汇]transform v.改变,变换;变压;转化;改造,改革transformer n.变压器[经典例句]A beard may transform a man beyond recognition.

  20.ignorant不知道[大纲词汇]ignorant a.无知的,愚昧的;不知道的ignorance n.无知,愚昧;不知道[经典例句]The girl was ignorant of her father's death.

  21.savage野蛮人[大纲词汇] savage n.未开化的人;a.野蛮的,未开化的;凶恶的,残暴的[经典例句] Robinson Crusoe named the savage he met Friday.

  22.comprehension理解力[大纲词汇]comprehension n.理解(力),领悟comprehend v.理解,了解comprehensive a.综合的,内容广泛的[经典例句]The teacher had no comprehension of the boy's problem.

  23.descendant后代[大纲词汇]descendant n.后代,子孙。descend v.下来,下降[经典例句]They are said to be descendants of an ancient family.

  24.use to be过去常常[大纲词汇]used v.(to十inf.)过去常常,过去经常[经典例句]He used to work for this university.

  25.fierce激烈的[大纲词汇] fierce a.凶猛的,残忍的;狂热的,强烈的[经典例句]A fierce argument broke out between the two friends.

  26.defective有缺陷的[大纲词汇]defect n.缺点,缺陷[衍生词汇]defective a.有缺点的[经典例句]She was born with defective eyesight.

  全文翻译

  做男人总是充满危险,出生时男女比例大约是105:100,但到了成熟期,这一比例几乎持平,而在70岁的老人中女性是男性的两倍,但是男性死亡率普遍偏高这种情况正在改变,现在男婴存活率几乎同女婴一样高。这就意味着男孩到了寻找伴侣的关键年龄将首次出现男孩过剩现象。更重要的是,又一次自然选择的机会不复存在了。50年前,婴儿(尤其是男婴)存活的机会取决于体重,过轻或过重几乎意味着必死无疑。今日体重几乎不起什么作用,因为大部分差异是由基因引起的,又一个进化的因素消失了。

  进化自杀还有另一种方法:存活,但少生孩子。现在没有几个人像过去那样具有旺盛的生育力。除了在一些宗教社区之外,没有几名妇女有15个孩子。当今婴儿出生的数量同死亡年龄一样已趋于平均化,我们多数人的子女数量大致相同。人与人之间的差异和利用差异进行自然选择的机会再一次减少。印度可以说明正在发生的一切。这个国家给大城市里的少数人提供财富,而给其余的各部落民族以贫困。今天这种极其显著的平均化 ——每个人的生存机会和子女数量都相同——意味着与部落相比较,自然选择在印度中、上层已经失去了80%的效力。

  对我们来说,这意味着进化已经结束;生物学上的乌托邦已经降临。奇怪的是,这一过程几乎丝毫没有牵涉到身体上的变化,没有其他物种充斥着自然中如此多的空间。但在过去的10 万年——甚至过去的100年中,我们的生活发生了变化,但我们的身体却没变。我们没有进化。因为机器和社会替我们办了这一切。达尔文有一句话描述那些对进化一无所知的人,他们“看有机的生命如同野人看船,好像看某种完全不能理解的东西”。毫无疑问,我们将记住20世纪的生活方式,尽管对其丑陋之处不得其解,但是,不管我们的子孙后代对我们离乌托邦的理想境界还差多远感到有多么惊讶,他们的样子会同我们差不了多少。

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