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  GRE阅读题目解析:地壳板块运动

  P41

  Many theorists now doubt that heat loss from Earth’s core and radioactive decay are sufficient by themselves to produce all the energy driving the tectonic plates whose movements have helped shaped Earth’s surface. This leaves a loose end in current geological theory. Herbert Shaw argues that because scientists have underestimated the input of substantial amounts of energy from extraterrestrial impactors (asteroids and comets striking Earth), they have difficulty accounting for the difference between the quantity of energy produced from sources intrinsic to Earth and that involved in plate tectonics. Whereas most geologists have treated the addition of energy through the bombardment of Earth’s surface by such impactors as a process separate and independent from the movement of Earth’s tectonic plates, Shaw asserts that these processes are indivisible. Shaw’s revolutionary “open-system” view recognizes a continuum between terrestrial and extraterrestrial dynamics, whereas modern plate tectonic theory, like the classical geology developed during the nineteenth century, is founded on the view that Earth’s geological features have changed through gradual, regular processes intrinsic to Earth, without reference to unique catastrophic events. Classical geology borrowed a decisive, if unspoken, premise from Newton—the independence of Earth’s processes from any astronomical context.

  1. The author’s primary purpose is to

  A. identify the influences informing a particular geological theory about the processes that have shaped Earth’s surface

  B. identify differences between two views of the extraterrestrial impactors and argues that the phenomenon has influenced the development of plate tectonic theory

  C. argue that an explanation is based on a dubious evidence and propose an alternative explanation

  D. discuss an explanation and place that explanation under theoretical context

  E. suggest that apparent discrepancy poses a serious problem for a particular theory that many have believed

  2. The author of the passage mentions the “continuum” in order to

  A. point out a relationship between plate tectonics and the nineteenth-century geology

  B. explain how a theory of Newton’s could influence geology and plate tectonic theory.

  C. distinguish between two sources of energy that contributed to the development of Earth’s surface.

  D. point out a similarity between the surface of impactors and the surface of Earth.

  E. identify a feature of Shaw’s view that deviates from current scientific theories.

  3. The passage suggests which of the following about tectonic theory?

  A. It has led scientists to overlook an important contribution to classical geologists from Newton.

  B. It has been more successful than was classical geology in accounting for heat loss from.

  C. It is based on premise about Earth’s processes discerned in Newton’s thought.

  D. It has correctly explained the effects of extraterrestrial impactors on Earth’s surface.

  E. It corrects a fundamental flaw in classical geology.

  P41

  1

  Many theorists now doubt that heat loss from Earth’s core and radioactive decay are sufficient by themselves to produce all the energy driving the tectonic plates whose movements have helped shaped Earth’s surface.

  地球核心散失的热量以及放射性衰变本身,就能够为塑造地表形态的地壳板块运动提供所有能量,现在,许多理论学者对此提出质疑。

  2

  This leaves a loose end in current geological theory.

  这是当今地质学理论中的一个遗留问题。

  (loose end 未能解决的小问题或小困难,某事彻底解决前的最后障碍或细节,比如 “ XX 岛的归属问题,是两国边界划定的 loose end ”)

  3

  Herbert Shaw argues that because scientists have underestimated the input of substantial amounts of energy from extraterrestrial impactors (asteroids and comets striking Earth), they have difficulty accounting for the difference between the quantity of energy produced from sources intrinsic to Earth and that involved in plate tectonics.

  H S 认为,由于科学家们一直以来低估了来自地球以外的撞击者(撞击地球的小行星和彗星)携带的巨大能量,所以他们难以解释来自地球地球内部的能量,与板块构造学所涉及的能量,性质上有什么不同。

  (account for 解释。它的主语可以是人,即(某人)解释(某事或某过程);主语也可以是非人,即(某物)作为(某事或某过程的)原因。文中取第一种理解。)

  4

  Whereas most geologists have treated the addition of energy through the bombardment of Earth’s surface by such impactors as a process separate and independent from the movement of Earth’s tectonic plates, Shaw asserts that these processes are indivisible.

  尽管多数地质学家把地球表面遭到此类撞击所接收的能量,视为独立于地壳板块运动的过程,但 S 坚持认为这些过程不是独立的。

  (bombardment 炮击,轰炸,一连串的攻击、诘问

  再讲一次 whereas 我保证以后不讲了 you have my word

  这个词,基本上是连词界的吕布,三姓家奴,一会一个主意,你根本无法预先判断它,它从未完成一个连词理应具备的预先指示功能。

  它可能有如下几种解释:

  1)although

  2)while at the same time

  3)while on the contrary

  4)in view of the fact that / since / taking into consideration the fact that

  第一种引导让步条件,中间两种可能引导对比关系,后一种通常引导(较弱的)因果关系。

  回到句子,盖住 whereas,我们能够明确判断的是 most geologists 和 S 的观点相反,如果你认为这是一种对比关系,可以把 whereas 理解为 while 或 while on the contrary;如果你认为作者更偏重强调 S 的看法,可以认为 whereas 相当于 although 。两种效果差不多,我的翻译取了后一种。

  下一句中也出现了 whereas,不妨先忽略翻译,试着自己判断一下该对应哪种解释。)

  5

  Shaw’s revolutionary “open-system” view recognizes a continuum between terrestrial and extraterrestrial dynamics, whereas modern plate tectonic theory, like the classical geology developed during the nineteenth century, is founded on the view that Earth’s geological features have changed through gradual, regular processes intrinsic to Earth, without reference to unique catastrophic events.

  S 提出的革命性的 “ 开放系统 ” 观点认为,内在的与外来的动力构成了一个连续统一系统,而近代板块地质理论,比如十九世纪发展出的古典地质学,建立在这种观点的基础上,即地球的地质特征随不断的,有规律的地球内部运动过程而改变,与特殊的灾变事件无关。

  6

  Classical geology borrowed a decisive, if unspoken, premise from Newton — the independence of Earth’s processes from any astronomical context.

  也许未曾明说,但古典地质学从牛顿(的经典力学)借用了一个至关重要的假设,地球发生的事件独立于宇宙环境。

  1. The author’s primary purpose is to

  A. identify the influences informing a particular geological theory about the processes that have shaped Earth’s surface

  B. identify differences between two views of the extraterrestrial impactors and argues that the phenomenon has influenced the development of plate tectonic theory

  C. argue that an explanation is based on a dubious evidence and propose an alternative explanation

  D. discuss an explanation and place that explanation under theoretical context

  E. suggest that apparent discrepancy poses a serious problem for a particular theory that many have believed

  选 B

  确认了关于外来天体撞击的两种观点,并指出这种现象(撞击)影响了板块地壳理论的的发展。

  两种观点:一种认为外力有影响地壳板块变化过程,一种认为地球变化独立于外力影响。

  影响了理论发展表现为,十九世纪的古典地质学不考虑外力撞击的影响(句 5),现在 many theorists 怀疑有影响(句 1)。

  2. The author of the passage mentions the “continuum” in order to

  A. point out a relationship between plate tectonics and the nineteenth-century geology

  B. explain how a theory of Newton’s could influence geology and plate tectonic theory.

  C. distinguish between two sources of energy that contributed to the development of Earth’s surface.

  D. point out a similarity between the surface of impactors and the surface of Earth.

  E. identify a feature of Shaw’s view that deviates from current scientific theories.

  选 E

  不得不说,文章的关键细节有点禁不起推敲。

  首先看句 1:

  Many theorists now doubt that heat loss from Earth’s core and radioactive decay are sufficient by themselves to produce all the energy driving the tectonic plates whose movements have helped shaped Earth’s surface.

  句 3 告诉我们 H S 是质疑派学者的一个代表。

  再看句 4:

  Whereas most geologists have treated the addition of energy through the bombardment of Earth’s surface by such impactors as a process separate and independent from the movement of Earth’s tectonic plates, Shaw asserts that these processes are indivisible.

  现在请大家思考,目前(作者写此文时所处的时空)到底哪种看法是地质学在这个问题上的主流?句 1 的 many theorists(包括 S)还是句 4 的 most geologists?

  最终还是 most 比 many 大,但文章写成这样,的确难免在快速阅读中给人造成错觉。many 改成 some 就没这种误会了。希望 ETS 越来越严谨。

  回到题目,选 E,current scientific theories 指的就是 most geologists 的看法。

  3. The passage suggests which of the following about tectonic theory?

  A. It has led scientists to overlook an important contribution to classical geologists from Newton.

  B. It has been more successful than was classical geology in accounting for heat loss from.

  C. It is based on premise about Earth’s processes discerned in Newton’s thought.

  D. It has correctly explained the effects of extraterrestrial impactors on Earth’s surface.

  E. It corrects a fundamental flaw in classical geology.

  选 C

  关于地球表面的塑形过程,地壳理论基于牛顿所理论的想法(独立过程),根据句 6 。

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