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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第80期:敲石头的人们(2)

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Yet almost singlehandedly, and quite brilliantly, he created the science of geology and transformed our understanding of the Earth. Hutton was born in 1726 into a prosperous Scottish family, and enjoyed the sort of material comfort that allowed him to pass much of his life in a genially expansive round of light work and intellectual betterment.
不过,他几乎独自一人,而且非常英明地开创了地质学,改变了我们对地球的认识。赫顿1726年生于一个富裕的苏格兰家庭,享受着舒适的物质条件,所以能以工作轻松、全面提高学识的方式度过大半辈子。
詹姆斯·赫顿.jpgHe studied medicine, but found it not to his liking and turned instead to farming, which he followed in a relaxed and scientific way on the family estate in Berwickshire. Tiring of field and flock, in 1768 he moved to Edinburgh, where he founded a successful business producing sal ammoniac from coal soot, and busied himself with various scientific pursuits. Edinburgh at that time was a center of intellectual vigor, and Hutton luxuriated in its enriching possibilities. He became a leading member of a society called the Oyster Club, where he passed his evenings in the company of men such as the economist Adam Smith, the chemist Joseph Black, and the philosopher David Hume, as well as such occasional visiting sparks as Benjamin Franklin and James Watt.
他学的是医学,但发现自己不喜欢医学,于是改学农业。他一直在贝里克郡的自家农场里以从容而又科学的方式务农。1768年,他对土地和羊群感到厌倦,迁到了爱丁堡。他建立了一家很成功的企业,用煤烟生产氯化铵,同时忙于各种科学研究。那个时候,爱丁堡是知识分子活跃的中心,赫顿在这种充满希望的环境里如鱼得水。他成为一个名叫牡蛎俱乐部的学会的主要成员。他在那里和其他人一起度过了许多夜晚,其中有经济学家亚当·斯密、化学家约瑟夫·布莱克和哲学家戴维·休谟,还有偶尔光临的本杰明·富兰克林和詹姆斯·瓦特。
In the tradition of the day, Hutton took an interest in nearly everything, from mineralogy to metaphysics. He conducted experiments with chemicals, investigated methods of coal mining and canal building, toured salt mines, speculated on the mechanisms of heredity, collected fossils, and propounded theories on rain, the composition of air, and the laws of motion, among much else. But his particular interest was geology.
按照那个年代的传统,赫顿差不多对什么都有兴趣,从矿物学到玄学。其中,他用化学品搞试验,调查开采煤矿和修筑运河的方法,考察盐矿,推测遗传机制,收集化石,提出关于雨、空气的组成和运动定律方面的理论。但是,他最感兴趣的还是地质学。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
metaphysics [.metə'fiziks]
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n. 形而上学,玄学
联想记忆
estate [is'teit]
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n. 财产,房地产,状态,遗产
联想记忆
oyster ['ɔistə]
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n. 牡蛎
 
watt [wɔt]
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n. 瓦特
 
soot [sut]
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n. 煤烟,烟尘 vt. 熏以煤烟
联想记忆
brilliantly ['briljəntli]
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adv. 辉煌地,光亮地,灿烂地
 
composition [.kɔmpə'ziʃən]
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n. 作文,著作,组织,合成物,成份
联想记忆
tiring ['taiəriŋ]
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adj. 令人疲倦的,麻烦的
 
intellectual [.intil'ektʃuəl]
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n. 知识份子,凭理智做事者
adj. 智力的
联想记忆
comfort ['kʌmfət]
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n. 舒适,安逸,安慰,慰藉
vt. 安慰,使
联想记忆
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