今天下午的完形填空初看的是一篇关于动物智能方面的文章，可能算得上是一篇偏重科技的文章，但文章的作者在行文中却闪烁着人文的光辉。此文章最先刊登在2008年5月7日的《纽约时报》上，原文的标题是 The Cost of Smarts，翻译过来就是“聪明的代价”，考研命题专家在选择时，原文的四段只选用了其中的三段。
文章的作者叫 VERLYN KLINKENBORG 生于1952年，是个作家(非小说类)，1997年成为纽约时报的编委之一。他著作颇丰，并在几所大学教授文学课程。1991年，还获得过读者文摘的作者奖。这样一个背景的作者，其写关于智能的文章，其角度一定是不同于普通的科普文章的。
Research on animal intelligence always makes me wonder just how smart humans are. Consider (第1题答案为B) the fruit-fly experiments described in Carl Zimmer’s piece in the Science Times on Tuesday. Fruit flies who were taught to be smarter than the average fruit fly tended (第2题答案为A) to live shorter lives. This suggests that dimmer (第3题答案为D)bulbs burn longer, that there is an advantage (第4题答案为B)in not being too terrifically bright.
Intelligence, it turns out (第5题答案为C), is a high-priced option. It takes more upkeep, burns more fuel and is slow off (第6题答案为A)the starting line because it depends on learning — a gradual (第7题答案为D)process— instead of instinct. Plenty of other species are able to learn, and one of the things they’ve apparently learned is when to stop. (第8题答案为C)
Is there an adaptive value to limited(第9题答案为B) intelligence? That’s the question behind this new research. I like it. Instead of casting a wistful glance backward (第10题答案为D) at all the species we’ve left in the dust I.Q.-wise, it implicitly asks what the real costs (第11题答案为D) of our own intelligence might be. This is on (第12题答案为B) the mind of every animal I’ve ever met.
(Every chicken that looks at you sideways — which is how they all look at you — is really saying what Thoreau said less succinctly: you are endeavoring to solve the problem of a livelihood by a formula more complicated than the problem itself. Thoreau himself would not dispute that he was hoping to recover the chicken’s point of view. He went to Walden Pond “to remember well his ignorance.”)
Research on animal intelligence also makes me wonder what experiments animals would perform (第13题答案为C) on humans if they had the chance. Every cat with an owner, for instance(第14题答案为D), is running a small-scale study in operant conditioning. I believe that if(第15题答案为A) animals ran the labs, they would test us to determine(第16题答案为C) the limits of our patience, our faithfulness, our memory for terrain. They would try to decide what intelligence in humans is really for(第17题答案为B), not merely how much of it there is.Above all(第18题答案为A), they would hope to study a fundamental (第19题答案为A) question: Are humans actually aware of the world they live in? So far (第20题答案为C) the results are inconclusive.
2009年考研英语试题在阅读理解PART B 环节中出现的是已经考了几年，比较成熟的7选5的题型。这是一篇对人类文化，以及人类认知自身文化的历史进程的文章。比较有意思的是，经过笔者的搜索，这篇文章的出处是微软旗下MSN网站上的百科全书encarta上的文章。我们知道，考研命题专家一贯以来，比较倾向于使用西方著名的报纸刊物，如经济学人，时代周刊，纽约时报，美国新闻等传统纸质媒体上的文章。而这次，一篇完全基于互联网的文章出现在了考研英语的试题中。如果我们再结合今年的大作文题目，我们不仅要惊呼，考研英语的网络时代已经全面来临!
He argued that human evolution was characterized by a struggle he called the “survival of the fittest,” in which weaker races and societies must eventually be replaced by stronger, more advanced races and societies
Thus, in Morgan’s view, diverse aspects of culture, such as the structure of families, forms of marriage, categories of kinship, ownership of property, forms of government, technology, and systems of food production, all changed as societies evolved.
Other anthropologists believed that cultural innovations, such as inventions, had a single origin and passed from society to society. This theory was known as diffusionism。
In order to study particular cultures as completely as possible, Boas became skilled in linguistics, the study of languages, and in physical anthropology, the study of human biology and anatomy
. For example, British anthropologists Grafton Elliot Smith and W. J. Perry incorrectly suggested, on the basis of inadequate information, that farming, pottery making, and metallurgy all originated in ancient Egypt and diffused throughout the world. In fact, all of these cultural developments occurred separately at different times in many parts of the world.