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Lesson 45 Of men and galaxies人和星系

发布者: Q版辉仔 | 发布时间: 2006-11-24 19:54| 查看数: 9339| 评论数: 1|

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First listen and then answer the following question.

听录音,然后回答以下问题。

What is the most influential factor in any human society?

In man's early days, competition with other creatures must have been critical. But this phase of our development is now finished. Indeed, we lack practice and experience nowadays in dealing with primitive conditions. I am sure that, without modern weapons, I would make a very poor show of disputing the ownership of a cave with a bear, and in this I do not think that I stand alone. The last creature to competewith man was the mosquito. But even the mosquito has been subdued by attention to drainage and by chemical sprays.

Competition between ourselves, person against person, community against community, still persists, however; and it is as fierce as it ever was.

But the competition of man against man is not the simple process envisioned in biology. It is not a simple competition for a fixed amount of food determined by the physical environment, because the environment that determines our evolution is no longer essentially physical. Our environment is chiefly conditoned by the things we believe. Morocco and California are bits of the Earth in very similar latitudes, both on the west coasts of continents with similar climates, and probably with rather similar natural resources. Yet their present development is wholly different, not so much because of different people even, but because of thedifferent thoughts that exist in the minds of their inhabitants. This is the point I wish to emphasize. The most important factor in our environment is the state of our own minds.

It is well known that where the white man has invaded a primitive culture, the most destructive effects have come not from physical weapons but from ideas. Ideas are dangerous. The Holy Office knew this full well when it caused heretics to be burned in days gone by. Indeed, the concept of free speech only exists in our modern society because when you are inside a community, you are conditioned by the conventions of the community to such a degree that it is very difficult to conceive of anything really destructive. It is only someone looking on from outside that can inject the dangerous thoughts. I do not doubt that it would be possible to inject ideas into the modern world that would utterly destroy us. I would like to give you an example, but fortunately I cannot do so. Perhaps it will suffice to mention the nuclear bomb. Imagine the effect on a reasonably advanced technological society, one that still does not possess the bomb, of making it aware of the possibility, of supplying sufficient details to enable the thing to be constructed. Twenty or thirty pages of information handed to any of the major world powers around the year 1925 would have been sufficient to change the course of world history. It is a strange thought, but I believe a correct one, that twenty or thirty pages of ideas and information would be capable of turning the present-day world upside down, or even destroying it. I have often tried to conceive of what those pages might contain, but of course I cannot do so because I am a prisoner of the present-day world, just as all of you are. We cannot think outside the particular patterns that our brains are conditioned to, or, to be more accurate, we can think only a very little way outside, and then only if we are very original.

FRED HOYLE Of Men and Galaxies

New words and expressions生词和短语

dispute(1.3)[dis'pju:t]v.争夺

latitude(1.12) ['lætitju:d]n.纬度

mosquito(1.5) [mə'ski:təu]n.蚊子

heretic (1.19)['herətik]n. 异教徒,异端邪说

subdue(1.5)[səb'dju:] v.征服

conceive(1.21)[kən'si:v] v.想像

drainage(1.5)['dreinidʒ]n.下水系统

suffice(1.2)[sə'fais]v.足够

envision(1.9)[in'viʒən]n.预想

nuclear(1.24)['nju:kliə]adj.原子弹的

Morocco(1.12)[mə'rɔkəu]n.摩洛哥

original (1.33) [ə'ridʒadj.有独到见解的

Notes on the text课文注释

1 make a very poor show,出丑。

2 I stand alone,仅我一人。

3the last creature to compete with man,其中的last有“极不可能”的意思。

4 The Holy Office knew this full well when it caused heretics to be burned in days gone by. the Holy Office是指罗马天主教的宗教法庭;full well中的full是副词,有very的意思;gone by作 days的定语,整个词组的意思是“过去的日子”。

参考译文

在人类早期,人类与其他生物的竞争一定是必不可少的。但这个发展阶段已经结束。确实,我们今天缺乏对付原始环境的实践和经验。我断定,如果没有现代化的武器,要我和一只熊去争洞穴,我会出洋相的;我也相信,出洋相者并非我一人。能与人竞争的生物最后只有蚊子了,然而即使蚊子,也由于我们注意清理污水和喷洒化学药品而被制服了。

然而人类之间的竞争,人与人,团体与团体,依然在进行着,而且和以前一样激烈。

但是,人与人的竞争并不像生物学中想像的那样是一个简单过程。它已不是为了争得物质环境所决定的有限食物而进行的简单竞争了,因为决定我们进化环境的主要方面已不再是物质。我们的环境由我们信仰的东西所决定。摩洛哥和加利福尼亚是地球上纬度极其相似的两个地方,都在各自大陆的西海岸,气候相似,自然资源也可能相似。但是,这两个地方目前的发展程度完全不一样。这倒不是因为人民不同,而是由于居民头脑中的思想不同。这就是我要强调的论点。我们环境中最重要的因素就是我们的思想状况。

众所周知,凡是白人侵入原始文化的地方,破坏作用最大的不是杀人的武器,而是思想。思想是危险的。宗教法庭对此是非常清楚的,因此从前它总是把异教徒烧死。的确,**的概念只存在于我们现代社会中,因为当你生活在一个社团当中时,社团的风俗习惯会严格地制约你,使你很难有破坏性的想法。只有外部的旁观者才能灌输危险的思想。向现代世界灌输一种思想以便摧毁我们人类是可能的事,对此我并不怀疑。我愿为你举个例子,但幸亏我举不出。也许提一下核弹就足以说明了。对一个尚未拥有核弹、但科技相当发达的社会,如果告诉它制造核弹的可能性,而且向它提供制造核弹的细节,那么可以设想,这将对这个社会产生何等的影响。如果把二三十页的情报交给 1925年前后的任何一个世界强国,就足以改变世界历史的进程。二三十页材料中的思想和情报会使当今的世界天翻地覆,甚至毁灭这个世界。这是个离奇的想法,不过我认为这个想法是正确的。我常常试图想像这些纸上所写的东西,不过我是做不到的,因为我和你们大家一样,是当今世界上的凡人。我们不能脱离我们大脑所限定的模式去思考问题,我们只能稍微离开一点儿,就这也需要我们有独创的思想。

Comprehension 理解

Answer these questions:

1 Which idea in the first paragraph is illustrated by the following statement:‘I would make a very poor show of disputing the ownership of a cave with a bear.’?(11.3-4)

2 How does the author account for the fact that the inhabitants of Morocco differ from those of California?

3 What do you understand by this statement:‘When you are inside a community you are conditioned by the conventions of the community.’?(11.20-21)

4 What, in the author's view, could change the course of world history?

5 What must a person with original ideas be capable of doing?

Vocabulary词汇

Refer to the text to see how the following words have been used, then write sentences of your own using determines our evolution(11.10-11); wholly(1.14);factor(1.16); utterly(1.23);course(1.28); accurate(1.32).

Summary摘要

Drawing your intormation from the last paragraph(lines 17-33), explain why ideas can be more dangerous than weapons. Do not write more than 110 words. Use your own words as far as possible. Your answer should be in one paragraph.

Composition作文

Write a composition of about 600 words on one of the following subjects:

1 The evolution of man.

2 Brainwashing.

3‘Our environment is chiefly conditioned by the things we believe.’Support or attack this view.

Key structures关键句型

A Study this sentence:

In man's early days, competition with other creatures must have been critical.(1.1)

Write two sentences illustrating the difference between must have been and had to be.

B Rewrite the sentences given below using the opening phfases provided. Do not refer to the passage until you have finished the exercise:

1 I am sure that, if l did not have any weapons, I would make a very poor show of disputing the ownership of a cave with a bear.

I am sure that, without_____(11.3-4)

2 It is the things we believe that chiefly condition our environment.

Our environment____(11.11-12)

3 It is well known that where a primitive culture has been invaded by the white man, the most destructive effects have come not from physical weapons but from ideas.

It is well known that where the white man____(11.17-18)

4 I do not doubt that we would be utterly destroyed if it were possible to inject ideas into the modern world.

I do not doubt that it would be____(11.22-23)

5 Imagine how a reasonably advanced technological society would be affected.

Imagine the effect____(11.24-26)

Special difficulties难点

Note the words in italics in the following sentences. Use these words again in sentences of your own, giving each word a different meaning from the one it has in the example:

1 Competition with other creatures must have been critical.(1.1)

2 The most important factor in our environment is the state of our own minds.(11.15-16)

3 The concept of free speech only exists in our modern society because when you are inside a community you are conditioned by the conventions of the community.(11.19-21)

Multiple choice questions多项选择题

Choose the correct answers to the following questions.

Comprehension 理解

1 Competition in the world ____.

a.takes place between humans and other animals

b.has not been confined to humans versus mosquitoes

c.exists mainly in a human context

d.is the result of lack of experience in dealing with primitive conditions

2 The writer is arguing that, where humans are concerned, ____.

a.beliefs are more important than physical environment

b.climate influences what people believe

c.human development is the product of physical environment

d.people compete for the fixed amount of food available in our environment

3 According to the writer, human societies ____.

a.attempt to influence each other with dangerous thoughts

b.are always threatened by the invasion of other people

c.tend to destroy primitive cultures

d.can be threatened by unfamiliar ideas

4 We cannot imagine what ideas would destroy our society because ____.

a.our imaginations are strictly limited by the cultures we live in

b.the concept of free speech is not universally acceptable

c.we know exactly the kind of information that would turn the world upside-down

d.no one on earth ever has any original ideas

Structure句型

5 There is little doubt that in man's early days competition____ critical.(1.1)

a.had been

b.would be

c.was

d.has been

6 Competition between ourselves ____ persist.(1.6)

a.is enabled to

b.is seen to

c.continues to

d.attempts to

7____it would be possible to inject ideas into the modern world.(11.22-23)

a.There is no doubt

b.It is no doubt

c.What is not doubtful

d.It isn't doubtless that

8 If twenty pages ____handed down to any of the major world powers around the year 1925,they would have been sufficient to change the course of world history.(11.26-28)

a.could be

b.would have been

c.had been

d.have been

Vocabulary词汇

9 I would make a poor show of____ the ownership of a cave with a bear.(11.3-4)

a.engaging in

b.guarrelling with

c.discussing

d.arguing about

10 The competition of man against man is not the simple process ____in biology.(1.9)

a.seen

b.obvious

c.imagined

d.established

11 The Holy Office knew this full well when it caused ____to be burned.(11.18-19)

a.philosophers

b.missionaries

c.enemies

d.dissidents

12 You are conditioned by the____ of the community.(11.19-20)

a.laws

b.regulations

c.accepted behaviour

d.boundaries


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