Part Ⅱ Reading Comprehension                             (35 minutes)

Directions: There are 4 passages in this part. Each passage is followed by some questions or unfinished statements. For each of them there are four choices marked A), B), C)and D). You should decide on the best choice and mark the corresponding letter on the Answer Sheet with a single line through the center.

Passage 1

The great bulk of expert opinion is that owing a gun undermines rather than increases safety: the function of discouraging burglars or other criminals is more than offset by other factors. First come the suicides: in 1986,18,153 people shot themselves to death. No one on knows how many might have lived if they had been unable to pick up a gun and how many might have merely chosen other means to end their lives. But surely the presence of a loaded gun in a bureau drawer must have tempted many, particular teens, to yield to a black depression that might have lifted had the means to carry out the dark wish not been so readily available.

Then come the accidental shootings, many by foolish guys who never bother to learn how to handle their weapons. More heartbreaking are the frequent incidents of children picking up their parents' guns and finding out in the most disastrous way that they are not toys; for example, an eight-year-old boy who shot his six-year-old sister dead last week in Fairfax. Then there are the quarrels between spouses, between parents and their children, between neighbors and friends that suddenly turn fatal because one or both can pick up a gun. Police commonly estimate that if a household gun is ever used at all, it is six times as likely to be fired at a member of the family or a friend as at an intruder. (It is even more likely, says Dr. Carl Bell, a Chicago psychiatrist, that the gun will be stolen; gun are prime targets for burglars because they can be easily and profitably sold to other criminals.)And finally, in the relatively rare shoot-outs between householders and burglars that do occur, it might easily be the burglar who proves more skilled in handling his guns and the householder who winds up in morgue(停尸房).

Adding all types of deaths together, Mercy and Houk, researchers from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control, point out that "during the last two years, the number of people who died of injuries inflicted by firearms in the United States exceeded the number of casualties during the entire 8.5-year Viet Nam conflict." Mercy and Houk judged that "injury from firearms is a public-health problem whose toll is unacceptable."

Another group of researchers presented evidence that lax U.S. gun laws might be to blame. The team, headed by emergency room surgeon John Henry Sloan, studied a pair of cities just 140 miles apart: Seattle and Vancouver. The two cities had similar unemployment rates, household incomes, law-enforcement policies and even favorite TV shows. Two differences: in Canada, handgun ownership is tightly restricted; in Washington State, guns are more easily purchased. And between 1980 and 1986 Seattle had 388 homicides, vs. 204 Vancouver.

21. According to most experts, possessing a gun ________.

A) can not guarantee your safety
B) does more than assure you safety
C) leads to more suicides
D) can only frighten thieves
22. "To carry out the dark wish" in the last sentence of the first paragraph means _________.

A) killing oneself
B) shooting others
C) yielding to depression
D) picking up a gun
23. Which of the following statements is NOT true?

A) Many children become the victims of playing guns
B) A household gun is more likely to aim at a familiar person
C) Accidental shootings often happen when people are quarrelling
D) A gun at home is very likely to be taken away by burglars
24. The word "lax" in the first sentence of the last paragraph most probably means________.

A) different
B) unrestricted  
C) funny
D) not strict
25. The author cites the two cities as an example to demonstrate that ________.

A) what matters is to carry out the gun laws
B) all states must have the same gun laws
C) gun ownership must be strictly restricted
D) gun laws have little effect
Passage 2

    Ever since Darwin's theory of evolution, biologists have assumed that environments teeming with complex forms of life served as the nurseries of evolution. But two recent papers in Science magazine have turned that notion on its head. Last month some biologists reported that in the ocean it is the relatively barren areas that serve as "evolutionary crucibles(熔炉)," not regions with great diversity of species. Other researchers announced this summer that the Arctic, not the rain forest, spawned many plants and animals that later migrated to North America. Says John Sepkoski of the University of Chicago, "Harsh environments may be producing the major changes in the history of life."  

These "changes" do not result merely in a longer tail or a bigger claw for an existing species but, rather, in dramatic leaps up the evolutionary ladder - a rare innovation that comes along once in a million years. In the Arctic, reports Leo Hickey of Yale University, the innovations ran to forms never before seen on earth. By dating fossils from many geologic layers, he concluded that large grazing animals first appeared in the Arctic and migrated to temperate places a couple of million years or so later. Among plants, species of redwood and birch originated in polar regions some 18 millions years before they showed up in the south. Examining fossils as old as 570 million years, Chicago's Sepkoski found that shell-less, soft-bodied creatures were suddenly replaced by trilobites(三叶虫), then by the more advanced clam-like animals. These changes, he notes, "first become common near shore." That surprised him - an environment with as few species as exist in the near shore, and with such a poor record of producing new species, seems an unlikely place for biological innovation. But when Jablonski dated fossils of 100 million years ago, he found that during this era, too, the near shore spawned biological breakthroughs - more sophisticated sea creatures that move and find food in ocean sediments instead of passively filtering whatever floats by.

The findings are too new to apply to human evolution, but at first glance they seem to fit the facts. Anthropologists believe that our ancestors became fully human only after they left their secure life in the trees for the harsh world of savanna(plain without trees). There, the demanding conditions triggered that most human of traits, the large brain, and the most profound evolutionary step of all was taken.

26. Two recent papers in Science magazine claim to have found evidence which contradicts the traditional notion that _______.

A) relatively harsh environments are the nurseries of evolution
B) evolution occurred in regions with biological diversity
C) new forms of life come into being in near-shore areas
D) species of birch and redwood originated in the south
27. According to Leo Hickey of Yale University, which of the following may have spawned more advanced species of land animals?

A) The barren ocean floor
B) The Arctic
C) The rain forest
D) Temperate Zones
28. The word "innovations" in the second paragraph means ________.

A) New theory      B) New phenomenon     C) Changes    D) New inventions

29. How would anthropologists take the new findings?

A) They would look at them dubiously
B) They would eagerly apply them to the study of human evolution
C) They would challenge them, though at first glance they tend to look at them favorably
D) They would most probably think the new findings fit well into their theory
30. Which of the following may be an appropriate title of the passage ?

A) Darwin's Theory Modified
B) How Animals Evolve
C) Evolution in Hard Places
D) Where Did Large Sea Animals Originate
Passage 3

A classic series of experiments to determine the effects of overpopulation on communities of rats was conducted by a psychologist, John Calhoun. In each experiment, an equal number of male and female adult rats were placed in an enclosure. The rat populations were allowed to increase. Calhoun knew from experience approximately how many rats could live in the enclosures without experiencing stress due to overcrowding. He allowed the population to increase to approximately twice this number. Then he stabilized the population by removing offspring that were not dependent on their mothers. At the end of the experiments, Calhoun was able to conclude that overcrowding causes a breakdown in the normal social relationships among rats, a kind of social disease. The rats in the experiments did not follow the same patterns of behavior as rats would in a community without overcrowding.

    The females in the rat population were the most seriously affected by the high population density. For example, mothers sometimes abandoned their pups, and, without their mothers' care, the pups died. The experiments verified that in overpopulated communities, mother rats do not behave normally. Their behavior may be considered diseased, pathological (病理学的).

    The dominant males in the rat population were the least affected by over population. Each of these strong males claimed an area of the enclosure as his own. Therefore, these individuals did not experience the overcrowding in the same way as the other rats did. However, dominant males did behave pathologically at times. Their antisocial behavior consisted of attacks on weaker male, female, and immature rats. This deviant behavior showed that even though the dominant males had enough living space, they too were affected by the general overcrowding.

    Non-dominant males in the experimental rat communities also exhibited deviant social behavior. Some withdrew completely, avoiding contact with other rats. Other non-dominant males were hyperactive, chasing other rats and fighting each other.

    The behavior of the rat population has parallels in human behavior. People in densely populated areas exhibit deviant behavior similar to that of the rats in Calhoun's experiments. In large urban areas, such as New York City, London, and Cairo, there are abandoned children. There are cruel, powerful individuals, both men and women. There are also people who withdraw and people who become hyperactive. Is the principal cause of these disorders overpopulation? Calhoun's experiments suggest that it might be. In any ease, social scientists and city planners have been influenced by the results of this series of experiments.

31. Calhoun stabilized the rat population ____.

A) when it was double the number that could live in the enclosure without stress
B) by removing young rats
C) so that there was a constant number of adult rats in the enclosure
D) All of the above are correct

32. Which of the following inferences can NOT be made from the first paragraph?

A) Calhoun's experiment is still considered important today.
B) Overpopulation causes pathological behavior in rat populations.
C) Stress does not occur in rat communities unless there is overcrowding.
D) Calhoun had experimented with rats before.

33. According to the passage, which of the following is NOT true?

A) Dominant males had adequate living space.
B) Dominant males were not as seriously affected by overcrowding as the other rats.
C) Dominant males attacked weaker rats.
D) The strongest males are always able to adapt to bad conditions.

34. The author implies that the behavior of the dominant male rats is sometimes parallel with

    that of _____.

A) cruel, powerful people
B) people who abandon their children
C) hyperactive people
D) people who would like to keep to themselves.

35. The main point of this passage is that _______.

A) although rats are affected by overcrowding, people are not
B) overcrowding may be an important cause of social pathology
C) the social behavior of rats is seriously affected by overcrowding
D) Calhoun's experiments have influenced many people

Passage 4

In the past, concern about a man-made warming of the earth has concentrated on the Arctic because the Antarctic is much colder and has a much thicker ice sheet. But the weather experts are now paying more attention to West Antarctic, which may be affected by only a few degrees of warming: in other words, by a warming on the scale that will possibly take place in the next fifty years from the burning of fuels.

   Satellite pictures show that large areas of Antarctic ice are already disappearing. The evidence available suggests that a warming has taken place. This fits the theory that carbon dioxide warm the earth.

   However, most of the fuel is burnt in the northern hemisphere, where temperatures seem to be falling. Scientists conclude, therefore, that up to now natural influences on the weather have exceeded those caused by man. The question is: which natural cause has most effect on the weather?

   One possibility is the variable behavior of the sun. astronomers at one research station have studied the hot spots and "cold" spots (that is, the relatively less hot spots) on the sun. as the sun rotated, every 27.5 days, it presents hotter or "colder" faces to the earth, and different aspects to different parts of the earth. This seems to have a considerable effect on the distribution of the earth's atmospheric pressure, and consequently on wind circulation. The sun is also variable over a long term: its heat output goes up and down in cycles, the latest trend being downward.

Scientists are now finding mutual relations between models of solar-weather interactions and the actual climate over many thousands of years, including the last Ice Age. The problem is that the models are predicting that the world should be entering a new Ice Age and it is not. One way of solving this theoretical difficulty is to assume a delay of thousands of years while the solar effects overcome the inertia of the earth's climate. If this is right, the warming effect of carbon dioxide might thus be serving as a useful counter-balance to the sun's diminishing heat.

36. Experts used to believe that the chief reason for global warming is______.

A) that most fuel is consumed in the northern hemisphere
B) human activities
C) natural influences and carbon dioxide
D) the solar energy
37. The article is written to illustrate ______.

A) the greenhouse effect
B) the solar effects on the earth
C) the models of solar-weather interactions
D) the factors responsible for the global climate
38. In spite of the greater consumption of fuel in the northern hemisphere, temperatures seem to be falling. This is_____.

A) possibly because of the melting of the ice caps in the poles
B) mainly because the levels of carbon dioxide are rising
C) partly due to the variations of the output of solar energy
D) because the sun presents its "colder" face to the earth

39. On the basis of the models, scientists are of the opinion that ______.

A) the climate of the world should be becoming cooler
B) it'll take thousands of years for the inertia of the earth's climate to take effect
C) the man-made warming effect helps to increase the solar effects
D) the new Ice Age will be delayed by the greenhouse effect

40. If the assumption about the delay of a new Ice Age is correct _______.

A) the increased levels of carbon dioxide will warm up the earth even more quickly
B) the greenhouse effect will work to the advantage of the earth
C) the best way to overcome the cooling effect will be to burn more fuels
D) ice will soon cover the northern hemisphere

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