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现代大学英语精读(第2版)第六册:U11 Beauty(7)

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Before I climb out any farther onto this limb, let me give biology its due. It may be that in pursuing beauty we're merely obeying our genes. It may be that the features we find beautiful in men or women, in art or landscape or weather, are ones that improved the chances of survival for our ancestors. Put the other way around, it's entirely plausible that the early humans who did not tingle at the sight of deer, the smell of a thunderstorm, the sound of running water, or the stroke of a hand on a shapely haunch, all died out, carrying with them their oblivious genes.

在我还未推论得太远之前,让我将生物学提到讨论中来。很可能基因在我们追求美的过程中起到了重要作用。或许我们在男人、女人身上或在艺术风景、天气中发现的某些美的特征正是那些使得我们的祖先得以生存下来的事物。换言之,如果早期人类中某些人在看到驯鹿、闻到暴风雨的气息、听到潺潺流水或触摸到优美的腰身时都不会激动兴奋,那么,他们带着毫无感知的基因消亡似乎公平合理。
Who can doubt that biology, along with culture, plays a crucial role in tuning our senses? The gravity that draws a man and woman together, leading each to find the other ravishing, carries with it a long history of sexual selection, one informed by a shrewd calculation of fertility and strength. I remember how astonished I was to realize, one rainy spring day in seventh grade, that the girl sitting in the desk beside me was suddenly, enormously interesting. My attention was riveted on Mary Kay's long blond hair, which fell in luxuriant waves over the back of her chair, until it brushed against a rump that swelled, in a way I had never noticed before, her green plaid skirt. As a twelve-year-old, I would not have called Mary Kay beautiful, although I realize now that that is what she was. And I would have balked at the suggestion that my caveman ancestors had any say in my dawning desire, although now I can hear their voices grunting. Go for the lush hair, the swelling rump.
有谁能怀疑生物学以及文化在培养我们的感知力方面所起到的重要作用呢?令男人女人发现对方迷人从而走到一起的吸引力,是在漫长的进化程中精明估算生育能力和体魄是否强壮而形成的一种性感选择。记得在读初一时的一个春雨天,我很诧异地意识到我邻座的女孩突然很强烈地吸引了我。我的注意力牢牢地固定在了玛丽·凯的金色长发上。卷曲的波浪披在椅背上,发梢扫过她绿色格子裙下鼓起的臀部,这是我从未注意到的。虽然现在我意识到那时她的确很美,但在12岁的年纪,我不会认为玛丽·凯很美。那时我也不会承认我的遥远祖先在我的初始欲望中扮演了一定的角色,虽然现在我能够听到他们的低语:选择浓密的头发,选择丰满的臀部。
If we take a ride through the suburbs and study the rolling acres of lawn dotted with clumps of trees and occasional ponds, what do we see but a faithful simulation of the African savanna where humans first lived? Where zoning laws permit, the expanse of green will often be decorated by grazing animals, docile and fat, future suppers on the hoof. The same combination of watering holes, sheltering trees, and grassland shows up in paintings and parks the world over, from New Delhi to New York. It is as though we shape our surroundings to match an image, coiled in our DNA, of the bountiful land.
如果我们坐车穿越郊区,观察那遍布树木以及偶尔出现的池塘的成英亩的连绵起伏的草坪,我们所看到的不就是人类最早居住的非洲热带大草原的忠实翻版吗?在区域法许可的地方,展开的绿色中还会经常点缀着牧养动物,温顺肥壮,它们是还在奔跑的未来晚餐。在世界各地,从新德里到纽约,不论在绘画中或公园里,这种水塘、遮阳树和草地的组合随处可见。这一切看起来都好像我们是在依照深存于我们基因中的一幅丰饶大地的图画来塑造我们周围的环境。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
stroke [strəuk]

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n. 笔画,击打,一笔(画)连续的动作,中风,

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lush [lʌʃ]

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adj. 苍翠繁茂的,多青草的,丰富的 n. 酒,酒鬼

 
fell [fel]

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动词fall的过去式
n. 兽皮
v

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plausible ['plɔ:zəbl]

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adj. 似真实合理的,似可信的

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calculation [.kælkju'leiʃən]

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n. 计算

 
grazing ['ɡreiziŋ]

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n. 牧草;放牧 v. 擦过;抓伤(graze的现在分词

 
limb [lim]

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n. 枝干,树枝,肢体
vt. 切断(树枝,手

 
simulation [.simju'leiʃən]

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n. 模拟,仿真,赝品

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gravity ['græviti]

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n. 重力,严重,庄重,严肃

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oblivious [ə'bliviəs]

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adj. 没注意到,或不知道

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