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[专四]第2872期阅读理解附答案讲解【2017.7.17】

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Being a man hasalways been dangerous. There are about 105 males born for every 100 females,but this ratio drops to near balance at the age of maturity, and among70-year-olds there are twice as many women as men. But the great universal ofmale mortality is being changed. Now, boy babies survive almost as well as girlsdo. This means that, for the first time, there will be an excess of boys inthose crucial years when they are searching for a mate. More important, anotherchance for natural selection has been removed. Fifty years ago, the chance of ababy(particularly a boy baby) surviving depended on its weight. A kilogram toolight or too heavy meant almost certain death. Today it makes almost nodifference. Since much of the variation is due to genes, one more agent ofevolution has gone.

There is another way to commit evolutionary suicide: stay alive,but have fewer children. Few people are as fertile as in the past. Except insome religious communities, very few women have 15 children. Nowadays thenumber of births, like the age of death, has become average. Most of us haveroughly the same number of offspring. Again, differences between people and theopportunity for natural selection to take advantage of it have diminished.India shows what is happening. The country offers wealth for a few in the greatcities and poverty for the remaining tribal peoples. The grand mediocrity oftoday―everyone being the same in survival and number of offspring meansthat natural selection has lost 80% of its power in upper-middle-class Indiacompared to the tribes.

For us, this means that evolution is over; the biological Utopiahas arrived. Strangely, it has involved little physical change. No otherspecies fills so many places in nature. But in the past 100,000 years—even thepast 100 years—our lives have been transformed but our bodies have not. We did notevolve, because machines and society did it for us. Darwin had a phrase todescribe those ignorant of evolution: “they look at anorganic being as average looks at a ship, as at something wholly beyond hiscomprehension.” No doubt we will remember a 20th century way of life beyond comprehension for its ugliness. But however amazed our descendants may be athow far from Utopia we were, they will look just like us.

1. What used to be the danger in being a man according to thefirst paragraph?
[A]A lack of mates.
[B]A fierce competition.
[C]A lower survival rate.
[D]A defective gene.

2. What does the example of India illustrate?
[A]Wealthy people tend to have fewer children than poor people.
[B]Natural selection hardly works among the rich and the poor.
[C]The middle class population is 80% smaller than that of thetribes.
[D]India is one of the countries with a very high birth rate.

3. The author argues that our bodies have stopped evolving because____.
[A]life has been improved by technological advance
[B]the number of female babies has been declining
[C]our species has reached the highest stage of evolution
[D]the difference between wealth and poverty is disappearing

4. Which of the following would be the best title for the passage?
[A]Sex Ration Changes in Human Evolution
[B]Ways of Continuing Man's Evolution
[C]The Evolutionary Future of Nature
[D]Human Evolution Going Nowhere

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