Lesson 1 to write.
Finding fossil man 发现化石人
We can read of things that happened 5,000 years ago in the Near East, where people first learned But there are some parts of the word where even now people cannot write. The only way that they can preserve their history is to recount it as sagas -- legends handed down from one generation of another. These legends are useful because they can tell us something about migrations of people who lived long ago, but none could write down what they did. Anthropologists wondered where the remote ancestors of the Polynesian peoples now living in the Pacific Islands came from. The sagas of these people explain that some of them came from Indonesia about 2,000 years ago. But the first people who were like ourselves lived so long ago that even their sagas, if they had any, are forgotten. So archaeologists have neither history nor legends to help them to find out where the first 'modern men' came from. Fortunately, however, ancient men made tools of stone, especially flint, because this is easier to shape than other kinds. They may also have used wood and skins, but these have rotted away. Stone does not decay, and so the tools of long ago have remained when even the bones of the men who made them have disappeared without trace. 参考译文 我们从书籍中可读到 5,000 年前近东发生的事情，那里的人最早学会了写字。但直到现在,世界上有些地方，人 们还不会书写。 他们保存历史的唯一办法是将历史当作传说讲述，由讲述人一代接一代地将史实描述为传奇故事口传 下来。人类学家过去不清楚如今生活在太平洋诸岛上的波利尼西亚人的祖先来自何方，当地人的传说却告诉人们：其 中一部分是约在 2,000 年前从印度尼西亚迁来的。 但是，和我们相似的原始人生活的年代太久远了，因此，有关他们的传说既使有如今也失传了。于是，考古学家 们既缺乏历史记载，又无口头传说来帮助他们弄清最早的“现代人”是从哪里来的。 然而， 幸运的是，远古人用石头制作了工具，特别是用燧石，因为燧石较之其他石头更容易成形。他们也可能用 过木头和兽皮，但这类东西早已腐烂殆尽。石头是不会腐烂的。因此，尽管制造这些工具的人的骨头早已荡然无存， 但远古时代的石头工具却保存了下来。 Lesson 2 Spare that spider 不要伤害蜘蛛
Why, you may wonder, should spiders be our friends? Because they destroy so many insects, and insects include some of the greatest enemies of the human race. Insects would make it impossible for us to live in the world; they would devour all our crops and kill our flocks and herds, if it were not for the protection we get from insect-eating animals. We owe a lot to the birds and beasts who eat insects but all of them put together kill only a fraction of the number destroyed by spiders. Moreover, unlike some of the other insect eaters, spiders never do the harm to us or our belongings. Spiders are not insects, as many people think, nor even nearly related to them. One can tell the difference almost at a glance, for a spider always has eight legs and insect never more than six. How many spiders are engaged in this work no our behalf? One authority on spiders made a census of the spiders in grass field in the south of England, and he estimated that there were more than 2,250,000 in one acre; that is something like 6,000,000 spiders of different kinds on a football pitch. Spiders are busy for at least half the year in killing insects. It is impossible to make more than the wildest guess at how many they kill, but they are hungry creatures, not content with only three meals a day. It has been estimated that the weight of all the insects destroyed by spiders in Britain in one year would be greater than the total weight of all the human beings in the country. 参考译文
你可能会觉得奇怪， 蜘蛛怎么会是我们的朋友呢？因为它们能消灭那么多的昆虫，其中包括一些人类的大敌，要 不是人类受一些食虫动物的保护，昆虫就会使我们无法在地球上生活下去，昆虫会吞食我们的全部庄稼，杀死我们的 成群的牛羊。我们要十分感谢那些吃昆虫的鸟和兽，然而把它们所杀死的昆虫全部加在一起也只相当于蜘蛛所消灭的 一小部分。此外，蜘蛛不同于其他食虫动物，它们丝毫不危害我们和我们的财物。 许多人认为蜘蛛是昆虫，但它们不是昆虫，甚至与昆虫毫无关系。人们几乎一眼就能看出二者的差异，因为蜘蛛 都是 8 条腿，而昆虫的腿从不超过 6 条。 有多少蜘蛛在为我们效力呢？一位研究蜘蛛的权威对英国南部一块草坪上的蜘蛛作了一次调查。他估计每英亩草 坪里有 225 万多只蜘蛛。这就是说，在一个足球场上约有 600 万只不同种类的蜘蛛。蜘蛛至少有半年在忙于吃昆虫。 它们一年中消灭了多少昆虫，我们简直无法猜测，它们是吃不饱的动物，不满意一日三餐。据估计，在英国蜘蛛一年 里所消灭昆虫的重量超过这个国家人口的总重量。 Lesson 3 Matterhorn man 马特霍恩山区人
Modern alpinists try to climb mountains by a route which will give them good sport, and the more difficult it is, the more highly it is regarded. In the pioneering days, however, this was not the case at all. The early climbers were looking for the...