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历年考研英语阅读理解2000年02

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http://online2.tingclass.net/lesson/shi0529/0008/8686/A_2000_2.mp3
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[00:03.87]2000 Passage2

[00:07.51]Being a man has always been dangerous.

[00:10.94]There are about 105 males born for every 100 females,

[00:17.09]but this ratio drops to near balance at the age of maturity,

[00:21.84]and among 70-year-olds there are twice

[00:24.16]as many women as men.

[00:27.18]But the great universal of male mortality is being changed.

[00:32.34]Now, boy babies survive almost as well as girls do.

[00:37.40]This means that, for the first time,

[00:39.91]there will be an excess of boys in those crucial years

[00:43.24]when they are searching for a mate.

[00:46.06]More important, another chance for natural selection

[00:49.58]has been removed.

[00:51.60]Fifty years ago, the chance of a baby

[00:54.93](particularly a boy baby) surviving depended on its weight.

[01:00.98]A kilogram too light or too heavy meant

[01:04.00]almost certain death.

[01:06.01]Today it makes almost no difference.

[01:09.04]Since much of the variation is due to genes,

[01:12.26]one more agent of evolution has gone.

[01:16.49]There is another way to commit evolutionary suicide:

[01:20.36]stay alive, but have fewer children.

[01:24.28]Few people are as fertile as in the past.

[01:27.30]Except in some religious communities,

[01:30.22]very few women have 15 children.

[01:33.55]Nowadays the number of births,

[01:35.87]like the age of death, has become average.

[01:39.80]Most of us have roughly the same number of offspring.

[01:43.62]Again, differences between people

[01:46.45]and the opportunity for natural selection to

[01:49.17]take advantage of it have diminished.

[01:51.99]India shows what is happening.

[01:54.97]The country offers wealth for a few in the great cities

[01:59.02]and poverty for the remaining tribal peoples.

[02:02.35]The grand mediocrity of today

[02:04.77]--everyone being the same in survival

[02:07.20]and number of offspring

[02:09.00]--means that natural selection has lost 80% of

[02:12.03]its power in upper-middle-class India

[02:15.16]compared to the tribes.

[02:17.78]For us, this means that evolution is over;

[02:21.86]the biological Utopia has arrived.

[02:24.99]Strangely,it has involved little physical change.

[02:29.52]No other species fills so many places in nature.

[02:33.45]But in the past 100,000 years

[02:36.38]--even the past 100 years

[02:38.70]--our lives have been transformed

[02:40.82]but our bodies have not.

[02:42.92]We did not evolve, because machines

[02:45.36]and society did it for us.

[02:48.38]Darwin had a phrase to describe those ignorant of evolution:

[02:53.01]they "look at an organic being as a savage looks at a ship,

[02:57.56]as at something wholly beyond his comprehension."

[03:00.90]No doubt we will remember a 20th century way of life

[03:04.78]beyond comprehension for its ugliness.

[03:07.71]But however amazed our descendants may be

[03:10.13]at how far from Utopia we were,

[03:12.75]they will look just like us.

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