剑桥雅思18Test4Passage3阅读原文翻译 Alfred Wegener

剑桥雅思18Test4Passage3阅读原文翻译 Alfred Wegener: science, exploration, and the theory of continental drift 阿尔弗雷德·韦格纳

剑桥雅思18阅读第四套题目第三篇文章的主题为韦格纳传记的介绍。作者介绍了韦格纳的主要成就,理论观点,生平事迹,大陆漂移说之外的其他研究,以及自己在写这本书的过程中遇到的困难和想法。虽然文章不算抽象,但读起来有些诘屈聱牙,不太好懂。下面是具体每一段的翻译。

剑桥雅思18Test4Passage3阅读答案解析 Alfred Wegener: science, exploration, and the theory of continental drift 阿尔弗雷德·韦格纳

剑桥雅思18 Test4 Passage3阅读原文翻译

第1段

This is a book about the life and scientific work of Alfred Wegener, whose reputation today rests with his theory of continental displacements, better known as ‘continental drift. Wegener proposed this theory in 1912 and developed it extensively for nearly 20 years. His book on the subject, The Origin of Continents and Oceans, went through four editions and was the focus of an international controversy in his lifetime and for some years after his death.

这是一本关于阿尔弗雷德·韦格纳生平和科学工作的书,他如今的声誉主要建立在他提出的“大陆漂移”理论上。韦格纳在1912年提出该理论,并在接下来的近20年里对其进行了深入研究。其相关著作《大陆和海洋的起源》经历了四次修订,在他有生之年和他去世后的几年里一直都是国际争议的中心。

第2段

Wegener’s basic idea was that many mysteries about the Earth’s history could be solved if one supposed that the continents moved laterally, rather than supposing that they remained fixed in place. Wegener showed in great detail how such continental movements were plausible and how they worked, using evidence from a large number of sciences including geology, geophysics, paleontology, and climatology. Wegener’s idea – that the continents move – is at the heart of the theory that guides Earth sciences today: namely plate tectonics. This article is from website. Plate tectonics is in many respects quite different from Wegener’s proposal, in the same way that modern evolutionary theory is very different from the ideas Charles Darwin proposed in the 1850s about biological evolution. Yet plate tectonics is a descendant of Alfred Wegener’s theory of continental drift, in quite the same way that modern evolutionary theory is a descendant of Darwin’s theory of natural selection.

韦格纳的基本观点是,如果假设大陆在地球历史中沿水平方向移动,而不是保持固定位置,那么许多关于地球历史的谜团都可以解开。韦格纳详细展示了这种大陆运动为什么是可能的,以及它们的运作方式。他运用来自地质学、地球物理学、古生物学和气候学等多个科学领域的证据来支持这一理论。韦格纳的观点 – 大陆是移动的 – 是如今指导地球科学的核心理论,即板块构造学。板块构造学在很多方面与韦格纳的理论存在较大差异,就像现代进化论与查尔斯·达尔文在19世纪50年代提出的生物进化理论有很大的不同一样。然而,板块构造学是阿尔弗雷德·韦格纳大陆漂移理论的延续,就像现代进化论是达尔文自然选择理论的延续一样。

第3段

When I started writing about Wegener’s life and work, one of the most intriguing things about him for me was that, although he came up with a theory on continental drift, he was not a geologist. He trained as an astronomer and pursued a career in atmospheric physics. When he proposed the theory of continental displacements in 1912, he was a lecturer in physics and astronomy at the University of Marburg, in southern Germany. However, he was not an ‘unknown’. In 1906 he had set a world record (with his brother Kurt) for time aloft in a hot-air balloon: 52 hours. Between 1906 and 1908 he had taken part in a highly publicized and extremely dangerous expedition to the coast of northeast Greenland. He had also made a name for himself amongst a small circle of meteorologists and atmospheric physicists in Germany as the author of a textbook, Thermodynamics of the Atmosphere (1911), and of a number of interesting scientific papers.

当我开始书写有关韦格纳的生平和工作时,最让我着迷的一点在于,尽管他提出了大陆漂移理论,但他并不是一名地质学家。他的专业是天文学,并从事有关大气物理学的工作。当他在1912年提出大陆漂移理论时,他在德国南部的马尔堡大学担任物理学和天文学讲师。然而,他并不是一个“无名之辈”。1906年,他与他的兄弟库尔特文章来自一起创下了热气球持续飞行的世界纪录:52小时。在1906年至1908年期间,他参与了一次备受瞩目且极其危险的探险,前往格陵兰东北部的海岸。他作为《大气热力学》(1911)一书和其他一些有趣科学论文的作者,还在德国气象学家和大气物理学家的小圈子中颇有名望。

第4段

As important as Wegener’s work on continental drift has turned out to be, it was largely a sideline to his interest in atmospheric physics, geophysics, and paleoclimatology’, and thus I have been at great pains to put Wegener’s work on continental drift in the larger context of his other scientific work, and in the even larger context of atmospheric sciences in his lifetime. This is a ‘continental drift book’ only to the extent that Wegener was interested in that topic and later became famous for it. My treatment of his other scientific work is no less detailed, though I certainly have devoted more attention to the reception of his ideas on continental displacement, as they were much more controversial than his other work.

尽管韦格纳在大陆漂移理论上的工作被证明非常重要,但它在很大程度上只是他对大气物理学、地球物理学和古气候学兴趣的一个副产品。因此,我非常努力的将韦格纳在大陆漂移理论上的工作放入他其他科学研究和生前所处的大气科学的更广泛背景中。这本书之所以被称为“大陆漂移”,仅仅是因为韦格纳对这个主题十分感兴趣,并因此而闻名。我对他的其他科学研究同样进行了详细的论述。尽管相较于其他工作,我理所应当的将更多的内容放在其大陆漂移理论在当时所引发的争议上。

第5段

Readers interested in the specific detail of Wegener’s career will see that he often stopped pursuing a given line of investigation (sometimes for years on end), only to pick it up later. I have tried to provide guideposts to his rapidly shifting interests by characterizing different phases of his life as careers in different sciences, which is reflected in the titles of the chapters. Thus, the index should be a sufficient guide for those interested in a particular aspect of Wegener’s life but perhaps not all of it. My own feeling, however, is that the parts do not make as much sense on their own as do all of his activities taken together. In this respect I urge readers to try to experience Wegener’s life as he lived it, with all the interruptions, changes of mind, and renewed efforts this entailed.

那些对韦格纳职业生涯细节感兴趣的读者,会发现他经常中断某一特定的研究方向(有时长达数年),然后再次重新开始。我试图通过总结其生命的不同阶段,即不同科学领域的职业生涯,来为其快速转变的兴趣提供指引。这一点也体现在章节标题上。因此,对于那些只对韦格纳生活的特定方面而不是全部内容感兴趣的读者来说,目录就应该能够提供足够指引。然而,我个人的感觉是,单独阅读这些部分可能没有将其全部活动整合在一起有意思。在这方面,我建议读者尽量像韦格纳自己那样体验他的生活,包括其中的中断、改变主意和再度努力。

第6段

Wegener left behind a few published works but, as was standard practice, these reported the results of his work – not the journey he took to reach that point. Only a few hundred of the many thousands of letters he wrote and received in his lifetime have survived and he didn’t keep notebooks or diaries that recorded his life and activities. He was not active (with a few exceptions) in scientific societies, and did not seek to find influence or advance his ideas through professional contacts and politics, spending most of his time at home in his study reading and writing, or in the field collecting observations.

韦格纳留下了一些出版物,但按照当时的惯例,这些作品只报告了他的工作结果,而未涉及他为达到那一点所经历的过程。他在世期间收发的成千上万封信中,只有几百封幸存下来。他也没有做笔记或写日记来记录生活和活动的习惯。他并没有积极参与科学学会(存在少数例外),也不通过职业联系和政治手段寻求影响力或推广自己的观点。他大部分时间都待在家中的书房里阅读和写作,或者在实地收集观察数据。

第7段

Some famous scientists, such as Newton, Darwin, and Einstein, left mountains of written material behind, hundreds of notebooks and letters numbering in the tens of thousands. Others, like Michael Faraday, left extensive journals of their thoughts and speculations, parallel to their scientific notebooks. The more such material a scientist leaves behind, the better chance a biographer has of forming an accurate picture of how a scientist’s ideas took shape and evolved.

一些著名的科学家,如牛顿、达尔文和爱因斯坦,留下了大量的书面材料,数百本笔记和数以万计的信件。而其他一些科学家,如迈克尔·法拉第,除了科学笔记外,还留下了大量日志记录他们的想法和推测。科学家留下的此类材料越多,传记作者就越能描绘出准确的画像,展现科学家的思想是如何形成和演变的。

第8段

I am firmly of the opinion that most of us, Wegener included, are not in any real sense the authors of our own lives. We plan, think, and act, often with apparent freedom, but most of the time our lives ‘happen to us’, and we only retrospectively turn this happenstance into a coherent narrative of fulfilled intentions. This book, therefore, is a story both of the life and scientific work that Alfred Wegener planned and intended and of the life and scientific work that actually ‘happened to him’. These are, as I think you will soon see, not always the same thing.

我坚定地认为,我们大多数人,包括韦格纳在内,实际上并不完全是自己人生的主宰。我们的规划、思考和行动可能拥有表面上的自由,但大部分时间我们的生活是被动发生的。只有回顾往事时,我们才将这种偶然性转化为一个连贯的、履行了相应意图的故事。因此,这本书是关于阿尔弗雷德·韦格纳所计划和所想要的生活和科学工作的故事,也是关于实际发生在他身上的生活和科学工作的故事。正如你很快会看到的那样,这两者并不总是一样的。

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