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2013年考研英语(一)阅读真题(MP3+字幕)第3篇 The Ever-bright Prospects of Mankind

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Up until a few decades ago, our visions of the future were largely——though by no means uniformly——glowingly positive. Science and technology would cure all the ills of humanity, leading to lives of fulfillment and opportunity for all.

几十年前,我们对于未来的看法尽管并不一致,但总的来说颇为乐观。我们相信科学和技术将会治愈人类的一切疾病,使所有人都过上充满机会和成就感的生活。
Now utopia has grown unfashionable, as we have gained a deeper appreciation of the range of threats facing us, from asteroid strike to epidemic flu and to climate change. You might even be tempted to assume that humanity has little future to look forward to.
如今,随着我们对自己所面临的一系列威胁有了更深刻的认识,比如从小行星撞击,到流感,再到气候变化,乌托邦式已经不合时宜。你甚至可能会禁不住要想:人类几乎前途渺茫。
But such gloominess is misplaced. The fossil record shows that many species have endured for millions of years —— so why shouldn't we? Take a broader look at our species' place in the universe, and it becomes clear that we have an excellent chance of surviving for tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of years. Look up Homo sapiens in the "Red List" of threatened species of the International Union for the Conversation of Nature (IUCN) ,and you will read: "Listed as Least Concern as the species is very widely distributed, adaptable, currently increasing, and there are no major threats resulting in an overall population decline."
然而,这种担忧不合时宜。化石记录表明,许多物种已经存活了数百万年之久,那么人类为何就不可以呢?从一个更宏观的视角来看一看人类在宇宙中的地位,就会清楚明白,即使人类生存不了几十万年,至少再存活几万年的机会还是很大。在国际自然保护联盟的濒危物种 "红色名录"上查阅"智人"这一条目,你会读到:"由于该物种分布非常广泛,适应性强,目前数量持续上升,且不存在导致其整体数量下降的重大威胁,故被列为最无危物种"。
So what does our deep future hold? A growing number of researchers and organizations are now thinking seriously about that question. For example, the Long Now Foundation has its flagship project a medical clock that is designed to still be marking time thousands of years hence.
那么,我们的遥远未来会是什么景象呢?越来越多的研究者和组织机构正在认真思考这个问题。比如,今日不朽基金会的旗舰项目是一台机械时钟,该时钟的设计目标是能够在几千几万年后保持计时功能。
Perhaps willfully, it may be easier to think about such lengthy timescales than about the more immediate future. The potential evolution of today's technology, and its social consequences, is dazzlingly complicated, and it's perhaps best left to science fiction writers and futurologists to explore the many possibilities we can envisage. That's one reason why we have launched Arc, a new publication dedicated to the near future.
这样做或许有些一意孤行,但推想久远的未来要比思考即将发生的未来更为容易。当今技术的可能发展及它的社会影响结果非常复杂,或许最好的办法是让科幻小说家和未来学家去探索我们能想象到的种种可能。这正是我们发行《弧》的原因之一,该新刊物旨在探索不远的未来。
But take a longer view and there is a surprising amount that we can say with considerable assurance. As so often, the past holds the key to the future: we have now identified enough of the long-term patterns shaping the history of the planet, and our species, to make evidence-based forecasts about the situations in which our descendants will find themselves.
但是,如果采用一个更为长远的视角,我们便能对惊人数量的事情做出很有把握的预测。通常,过去掌握着通向未来的钥匙:目前,我们已经充分了解有关地球历史和人类历史的长期发展模式,这使我们能对子孙后代的生存环境做出有根据的预测。
This long perspective makes the pessimistic view of our prospects seem more likely to be a passing fad. To be sure, the future is not all rosy. But we are now knowledgeable enough to reduce many of the risks that threatened the existence of earlier humans, and to improve the lot of those to come.
这种长远的视角使我们对未来的悲观态度更像是一股短暂的风潮。诚然,未来绝非一片光明。不过,我们已经有足够的知识去降低许多曾经威胁前人生存的危险,以及去改善后人的命运。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
dedicated ['dedi.keitid]

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adj. 专注的,献身的,专用的

 
overall [əuvə'rɔ:l]

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adj. 全部的,全体的,一切在内的
adv.

 
strike [straik]

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n. 罢工,打击,殴打
v. 打,撞,罢工,划

 
adaptable [ə'dæptəbl]

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adj. 能适应的,适应性强的,可改编的

联想记忆
planet ['plænit]

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n. 行星

 
immediate [i'mi:djət]

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adj. 立即的,即刻的,直接的,最接近的

联想记忆
pessimistic [.pesi'mistik]

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adj. 悲观的,悲观主义的

 
population [.pɔpju'leiʃən]

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n. 人口 ,(全体)居民,人数

联想记忆
opportunity [.ɔpə'tju:niti]

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n. 机会,时机

 
evolution [.i:və'lu:ʃən]

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n. 进化,发展,演变

联想记忆

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