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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第248期:大地在移动(2)

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Taylor came from a wealthy family and had both the means and freedom from academic constraints to pursue unconventional lines of inquiry. He was one of those struck by the similarity in shape between the facing coastlines of Africa and South America, and from this observation he developed the idea that the continents had once slid around. He suggested—presciently as it turned out—that the crunching together of continents could have thrust up the world's mountain chains. He failed, however, to produce much in the way of evidence, and the theory was considered too crackpot to merit serious attention.
泰勒出生于一个富裕家庭,既有足够的财力,又不受学术约束,可以按照不同寻常的办法来从事研究。他突然发现,非洲海岸与对面的南美洲海岸的形状十分相似。根据这个观察结果,他提出了大陆曾经到处滑动的见解。他提出──结果证明很有先见之明地提出──几块大陆轰然撞在一起,形成了世界上的山脉。不过,他没有拿出多少证据,该理论被认为不切实际,不值得予以重视。
大陆漂移说In Germany, however, Taylor's idea was picked up, and effectively appropriated, by a theorist named Alfred Wegener, a meteorologist at the University of Marburg. Wegener investigated the many plant and fossil anomalies that did not fit comfortably into the standard model of Earth history and realized that very little of it made sense if conventionally interpreted. Animal fossils repeatedly turned up on opposite sides of oceans that were clearly too wide to swim. How, he wondered, did marsupials travel from South America to Australia? How did identical snails turn up in Scandinavia and New England? And how, come to that, did one account for coal seams and other semi-tropical remnants in frigid spots like Spitsbergen, four hundred miles north of Norway, if they had not somehow migrated there from warmer climes?
然而,在德国,有一位理论家接受了泰勒的观点,而且予以高度重视。他就是马尔堡大学的气象学家阿尔弗雷德·魏格纳。魏格纳考察了许多植物和化石的反常现象,那些现象无法纳入地球历史的标准模型。他认识到,要是用常规的方法来加以解释,那简直说不通。动物化石不断在海洋两岸出现,而海洋很宽,动物显然是游不过去的。他心里转念,有袋动物是怎么从南美洲跑到澳大利亚去的?为什么同样的蜗牛出现在斯堪的纳维亚半岛和新英格兰?你怎么说明煤层和其他亚热带残迹会出现在斯匹次卑尔根群岛这样的寒带地区,该岛在挪威以北的400英里处,如果它们不是以某种方式从气候较热的地方迁移过来的话?
重点单词   查看全部解释    
produce [prə'dju:s]
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n. 产品,农作物
vt. 生产,提出,引起,
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observation [.ɔbzə'veiʃən]
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n. 观察,观察力,评论
adj. 被设计用来
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unconventional ['ʌnkən'venʃənəl]
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adj. 非传统的
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effectively [i'fektivli]
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adv. 事实上,有效地
 
identical [ai'dentikəl]
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adj. 相同的,同一的
 
similarity [.simi'læriti]
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n. 相似,类似
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pursue [pə'sju:]
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v. 追捕,追求,继续从事
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conventionally [kən'venʃənəli]
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adv. 照惯例,照常套,照老例
 
thrust [θrʌst]
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n. 推力,刺,力推
v. 插入,推挤,刺
联想记忆
academic [.ækə'demik]
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adj. 学术的,学院的,理论的
n.
 
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