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【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 遗传基因影响政治倾向和看法

2017年11月14日13:53 来源:互联网
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【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 遗传基因影响政治倾向和看法图1

The genetics of politics——Body politic

政治遗传学:人体政治

Slowly, and in some quarters grudgingly, the influence of genes in shaping political outlook and behaviour is being recognized

在某些方面,塑造政治前景和行为的基因影响正在慢慢地被人们所接受,虽然还是不情愿。

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IN 1882 W.S. Gilbert wrote, to a tune by Sir Arthur Sullivan, a ditty that went I often think it's comical how Nature always does contrive/that every boy and every gal that's born into the world alive/is either a little Liberal or else a little Conservative.

在1882年,W.S吉尔伯特写的一首小诗-是为阿瑟-沙利文爵士的一首曲子而作,我一直认为,大自然的精工雕作是那么可笑/每个出生到这个世界上,并存活下来的男孩和女孩们/不是有一点自由倾向,就是有一点保守。

In the 19th century, that view, though humorously intended, would not have been out of place among respectable thinkers.

在十九世纪,这个观点虽然有一点幽默的意味,但是在那些备受尊敬的思想家眼中,也并不是一无是处。

The detail of a man's opinion might be changed by circumstances.

一个人意见的详细观点可能会由于环境而改变。

But the idea that much of his character was ingrained at birth held no terrors.

但是,这种与生俱来的,由他的性格决定的观念也没什么恐怖的。

It is not, however, a view that cut much ice in 20th-century social-scientific thinking, particularly after the second world war.

然而,它在二十世纪的社会科学思想中没有占到一席之地,特别是二战之后。

Those who allowed that it might have some value were generally shouted down and sometimes abused, along with all others vehemently suspected of the heresy of believing that genetic differences between individuals could have a role in shaping their behavioural differences.

那些认为它有一些价值的人们发出的呐喊,通常会被持不同观点人们的声音所掩盖,有时还会遭到辱骂,和那些对当时的异端邪说----即个体之间的遗传差异在塑造他们各自不同的行为上起了一定的作用----有些猜测的人们一样受到不公平对待。

Such thinking, a product compounded of Marxism and a principled rejection of the eugenics that had led, via America's sterilisation programmes for the feeble minded, to the Nazi extermination camps, made life hard for those who wished to ask whether genes really do affect behaviour.

这样的想法,与马克思主义融合后的产物,加上美国借口弱智而产生的绝育计划,这种优生学的原则性排斥反应直接导致了纳粹集中营的大屠杀,让那些想知道基因是不是对行为真的有影响的人们更加难以生存了。

Now, however, the pendulum is swinging back.

然而,现在,这个一直在变化的问题又摆到了人们面前。

In the matter of both political outlook and political participation it is coming to be seen that genes matter quite a lot.

就政治观点和政治参与而言,即将可以看出,基因确实起到了很大的作用。

They are not the be-all and end-all.

他们并不是最重要的。

But, as a review of the field published in September in Trends in Genetics, by Peter Hatemi of Pennsylvania State University and Rose McDermott of Brown University, shows, they affect a person's views of the world almost as much as his circumstances do, and far more than many social scientists have been willing, until recently, to admit.

但是,由美国宾夕法尼亚州立大学的彼德-哈特米和布朗大学的罗斯麦克德莫特合著的遗传学的发展趋势于今年九月出版,书中所持的遗传学观点认为,基因对人们世界观的影响几乎等同于环境的影响,而且,远远超过了许多社会科学家愿意承认的影响,直到最近他们才愿意接受这个结果。

Family values

家庭价值

The evidence for this claim comes from two types of source, one relatively old and one spanking new.

这种说法的证据有两种来源,一种比较古老,一种非常新颖。

The old is studies of twins, comparing identical and non-identical pairs.

古老的来自于对双胞胎的研究,以同卵双胞胎与异卵双胞胎进行对比研究。

The new is a direct examination of people's DNA, searching for genes whose variation correlates with observable behavioural differences.

新颖的是对人类的DNA直接进行检查研究,探求基因变异与观察到的行为变异的关系。

Twins studies, which seek to control for the effects of upbringing by comparing identical twins with fraternal ones, have been going on since the 1950s.

双胞胎研究从二十世纪五十年代就开始了,主要是通过对同卵双胞胎和异卵双胞胎进行比较,寻求控制成长的影响基因。

In that time, quite a number, in many countries, have looked in part at political questions.

那时候,很多国家的大多数人,他们的注意力主要集中在政治问题上。

Dr Hatemi and Dr McDermott pored over 89 peer-reviewed papers on the effects of genes and environment on political matters.

哈特米博士和麦克德莫特博士认真钻研了,89名同行对于基因和环境对政治问题影响的评论文章。

These included twins' political knowledge, their attitudes to racial, sexual and religious questions, their views on defence and foreign policy, and their identification with particular political parties.

这些评论报道包括了双生子的政治知识,他们在种族,性别和宗教问题上的态度,他们对国防和外交政策的看法,还有他们对特别党派的认同感。

On all counts, identical twins were found to be more alike than fraternal twins.

通过这些项目的研究,发现同卵双胞胎比异卵双胞胎更相像。

That knowledge, refracted through the prism of statistical theory, allows calculations of the proportionate influences of genes, family environment and general environment on particular traits to be made.

通过统计理论分析得到的结果,可以推算出基因、家庭环境和外部环境对特别性状的相应比例的影响。

Some show strong genetic influence.

其中,一些结果表明受到了很强的基因影响,

Some show little.

而有一些几乎不受基因影响。

Intriguingly, political knowledge and party identification are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

有趣的是,政治知识和党派认同分别处于研究结果的两端。

As the chart shows knowledge is highly genetically determined. Identification with a particular political party, by contrast, is largely a question of family upbringing—much more so than are opinions about the sorts of policy that it might be thought would determine voting patterns.

就像上表揭示的,政治知识受到基因的影响最大。相反,对特别政治党派的认同主要是家庭教育的问题,而对于各种政策的意见,家庭教育对这个的影响远远不如对前者的影响。

But even family ties weaken when people leave home—and they do so in a way that helps disentangle genetic influence.

但是当人们离开家,家庭联系甚至日益减弱时,这样在某种程度上就把研究的方向聚集到了基因的影响上。

Dr Hatemi showed this in 2009 when, along with a group of colleagues, he looked at twins aged between 11 and 75.

哈特米博士在2009年-当时他与他的同仁们一起工作,对11岁到75岁的双生子进行了研究-公布了这个研究结果。

His results demonstrated that until their late teens both kinds of twins had equally similar political views.

他的研究结果说明了,直到这些双生子十几岁时,他们的政治看法都很相似。

Soon after they flew the nest, though, as might be expected, their views began to diverge.

但是,可能就像预测的一样,在他们离巢后不久,这些双生子之间的看法就开始有分歧。

And, just as would be expected if genes have political influence, the views of fraternal twins diverged more than did those of identical ones.

而且,就像预计的,如果基因有政治影响力的话,那么异卵双胞胎的意见分歧将会比那些同卵双胞胎更加严重。

Between the ages of 18 and 20 identical and fraternal twins both shared nearly 70% of their political ideology.

18到20岁的同卵和异卵双胞胎的政治思想近70%都相同。

Between the ages of 21 and 25, that had shrunk to 60% for identical twins and 40% for fraternal twins. Clearly, then, genes matter.

21到25岁,同卵双胞胎的这个数值减小到了60%,而异卵双胞胎只有40%。那很明显,基因影响。

Nor do they merely affect a person's opinions.

基因不仅仅影响一个人的意见。

They also affect his level of political engagement.

它们也影响人的政治参与水平。

This was shown in a study published in 2008 by James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego.

2008年公布的一项研究-研究者是位于圣地亚哥的美国加州大学的詹姆斯福勒揭示了这点。

Dr Fowler and his team analysed the voter-registration records of identical and fraternal twins from Los Angeles, and also from a more nationally representative database.

福勒博士和他的团队分析了洛杉矶市的同卵和异卵双胞胎的选民登记记录,也对更多有代表性的国家数据库的数据进行了分析。

They found that identical twins are 53% more likely either both to register or both not to register than are fraternal twins.

他们发现,在登记或者不登记这点上,53%的同卵双胞胎的选择可能相同,远远高于异卵双胞胎。

Political signals

政治信号

Twins studies like these unequivocally demonstrate the heritability of politically related behaviour.

像这样的双胞胎研究明确地证实了有关政治行为的遗传性。

What they do not do, though, is explain the underlying biology.

虽然他们不这样做解释了基本生物学原理。

That is an area which is only now starting to be explored.

这是一个现在刚刚开始进行探索的领域。

【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 遗传基因影响政治倾向和看法图2

In 2010 a study published by Dr Fowler and his colleagues implicated a gene known asDRD4 in the development of political affiliation.

2010年,福勒博士和他的同事公布的一项研究暗示,被称为多巴胺D4受体基因是政治立场发展过程的关键因素。

DRD4 encodes a receptor molecule for a neurotransmitter called dopamine.

DRD4对一种称为多巴胺的神经传递素的受体分子进行了编码。

Those with a variant of DRD4 called 7R, and also a large network of friends acquired during their adolescence, tended to be liberals—ie, left wing.

那些带有称为7R的DRD4的变异体,在他们青春期也需要一个朋友圈的人,往往会成为自由派,即左翼。

One interesting point about this observation is that it requires both a genetic input and an environmental one to take effect.

这次观察的一个有趣的地方是,政治背景的形成需要一种遗传性输入,也需要环境输入才能产生影响。

DRD4-7R has previously been associated with novelty-seeking behaviour.

长外以来,DRD4-7R一直与寻求新颖的行为有所关联。

The authors of the paper speculate that the interaction of that tendency with possible exposure to lots of different ideas held by lots of different people might push an individual in a leftwardly direction.

本文作者猜测,许多不同持不同观念的人可能会相互接触,而他们之间的相互影响可能会让他们成为左翼阵营。

Following up on Dr Fowler's work, research published earlier this year by a team led by Dr Hatemi found a further 11 genes, different varieties of which might be responsible for inclining people towards liberalism or conservatism in the way that Gilbert described.

今年初,在福勒博士研究的基础上,哈特米博士领导的团队公布了他们的继续研究成果。他们发现,还有11个各不相同的基因,它们可能影响了人们对自由派或者保守派的倾向,而这却是吉尔伯特在那首小诗中描述到的。

These included genes involved in the regulation of three neurotransmitters—dopamine, glutamate and serotonin—and also G-protein-coupled receptors, which react to a wide variety of stimulants.

这些基因包括了参与调节三种神经传递素-多巴安,谷氨酸和5-羟色胺-的基因,它们也参与调节G-蛋白偶联受体。

Most astonishingly, the researchers found that olfactory receptors are also implicated, giving a whole, new twist to the idea that someone's political platform smells wrong.

最令人惊讶的是,研究者发现,嗅觉受体也牵连其中,提出了一个新的,整体颠覆性的观念,即人的政治纲领闻起来是错误的。

The word inclining is important.

这个倾向要注意。

No one is suggesting that there are particular genes, or versions of genes for liberalism or conservatism. But inclinations there do seem to be.

没有人认为,有什么特别基因,或者说带有自由主义或者保守主义基因的这种说法。

Moreover, direct studies of genes also support what the twins studies suggest about political engagement, independent of opinion.

但是,这种倾向又似乎存在。而且,对基因的直接研究也支持双胞胎研究上有关政治参与、独立意见的结果。

In particular, work by Dr Fowler implicates another dopamine receptor, DRD2, and also 5HTT, which regulates serotonin levels, in influencing voter turnout.

特别是,福勒博士的研究暗示了另一种多巴胺受体-多巴胺D2受体,还有五羟色胺转运基因-功能是调节血清素水平,这些基因都影响到选民的投票率。

People with versions of these genes that increase the effect of the neurotransmitter are more likely to vote than those with low-activity versions.

拥有这些增加神经传递素效力的基因变体的人,他们比那些拥有相同基因,但活性较低的人更有可能参加选举投票。

The will and the way

愿望和方式

The third part of the question, though, is how this all links up with the fundamental driver of biology, evolution.

这个问题的第三部分则是分析这些是怎样和生物学的基本驱动力-进化连接起来的。

The suggestion of Dr Hatemi and Dr McDermott is that political action is the collective expression of some pretty primal biological motives: those of survival and procreation.

哈特米博士和德默特博士认为,政治行为是一些很原始的生物性动机的集中表达:那些生存和繁衍的原始生物动机。

Deciding whether or not to be part of a particular group, whom else to admit to your group, how to keep or share resources, and how much sexual freedom to afford oneself, one's neighbours and one's children are all, and always have been, lively matters of political debate.

确定是不是一个特别团体的一部分,其他人是不是承认你这个团体,怎样保存或者共享资源,自己可以承担多少的性自由,一个人的邻居和孩子,这些都是原始的生物性动机,还有政治辩论一直以来的热闹事项等。

But they are also all matters that have an impact on the crucial Darwinian' ;%bsOE' ;%bses into the next generation.

但是它们也对达尔文重要理论--提取基因以塑造优秀下一代的研究-有一定影响。

Dr Hatemi and Dr McDermott are not suggesting genetic factors directly create ideologies that relate to these matters.

哈特米和麦克德莫特博士都不相信,基因因素直接导致了与这些事务相关的思想意识。

They are suggesting, though, that genes assist in deciding which opinions an individual will find it most attractive to cleave to.

但是,他们认为,基因对决定个人发现并坚持他认为的更有吸引力的意见有一定的辅助作用。

Unlike the social determinists of old, however, who frequently refused to concede even the possibility of genetic influence on behaviour, the new generation of genetic political scientists are perfectly happy to acknowledge nurture along with nature.

然而,并不像过去的社会决定论-这种理论甚至一直拒绝承认基因对行为影响的可能性,新一代的遗传学的政治科学家们乐于接受先天和后天的共同作用。

Dr Hatemi's own work, for instance, has shown that external shocks, such as unemployment and divorce, effectively abolish the genetic influences he has detected on many ideological questions as other responses, more appropriate to survival in the changed circumstances, kick in.

比如,当其它更适合在变化成千的环境下成立的理论出现时,哈特米博士自己的研究展示了外部冲击的影响,比如,失业和离婚,有效地抵消了他在许多意识形态问题上检测到的基因影响。

These responses too, of course, are probably under evolutionary—and hence genetic—control. But they are different from the ones being looked for at present.

当然,这些理论的出现也可能受到进化论的影响。但是它们和目前的研究是截然不同的。

That sort of granularity, and the need to accept partial rather than universal explanations for biological phenomena, led the two researchers to one other thought.

这种间隔差距,及为了接受部分而不是普遍的生物现象解释的需要,让两位研究者又产生另一个想法。

This is that part of the problem social science has had in the past in accepting biological explanations is that its practitioners do not understand the nature of the claims being made.

即在过去已经被接受的生物现象解释的社会科学的部分问题是,从事这门科学的人员不明白这种理论的本质。

There are, to repeat, no genes for socialism or conservatism, or for prejudice or tolerance, any more than there are genes for Christianity or Islam.

再次重申一遍,没有什么社会主义基因或者保守主义基因,或者偏见或容忍基因,更不用说还存在基督教或者伊斯兰教基因。

But a person's genes can sometimes propel him more easily in one direction than another.

但是一个人的基因有时会驱使他更容易走上另一条道路。

His free will is, if you like, a little freer to turn right than left, or vice versa.

换句话说,他的自由意愿可能会更倾向于偏右,而不是偏左,反之亦然。

Gilbert was therefore not quite right. But he was not exactly wrong, either.

因此,吉尔伯特并不完全正确。但是他也没有完全错。

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