It is hard to predict howscience is going to turn out, and if it is really good science it is impossibleto predict. If the things to be found are actually new, they are by definitionunknown in advance. You cannot make choices in this matter. You either havescience or you don"t, and if you have it you are obliged to accept thesurprising and disturbing pieces of information, along with the neat andpromptly useful bits.
The only solid piece ofscientific truth about which I feel totally confident is that we are profoundlyignorant about nature. Indeed, I regard this as the major discovery of the pasthundred years of biology. It is, in its way, an illuminating (启发) piece of news.It would have amazed the brightest minds of the 18th century Enlightenment (启蒙运动) to be told byany of us how little we know and how bewildering (迷惑) seems the wayahead. It is this sudden confrontation (对抗) with the depth and scopeof ignorance that represents the most significant contribution of the 20th centuryscience to the human intellect. In earlier times, we either pretended tounderstand how things worked or ignored the problem, or simply made up storiesto fill the gaps. Now that we have begun exploring in earnest, we are gettingglimpses of how huge the questions are, and how far from being answered.Because of this, we are depressed. It is not so bad being ignorant if you aretotally ignorant; the hard thing is knowing in some detail the reality ofignorance, the worst spots and here and there the not-so-bad spots, but no truelight at the end of the tunnel nor even any tunnels that can yet be trusted.
But we are making abeginning, and there ought to be some satiaction. There are probably noquestions we can think up that can"t be answered, sooner or later, includingeven the matter of consciousness. To be sure, there may well be questions wecan"t think up, ever, and therefore limits to the reach of human intellect, butthat is another matter. Within our limits, we should be able to work our waythrough to all our answers, if we keep at it long enough, and pay attention.
1. It can be inferred from the passage thatscientists of the 18th century .
A) thought that they knew a great deal andcould solve most problems of science
B) wereafraid of facing up to the realities of scientific research
C) knew thatthey were ignorant and wanted to know more about nature
D) did moreharm than good in promoting man"s understanding of nature
2. According to the author, really good science_______ .
A) wouldsurprise the brightest minds of the 18th century Enlightenment
B) willproduce results which cannot be foreseen
C) will helppeople to make the right choice in advance
D) willbring about disturbing results
3. Which of thefollowing statemcnts is NOT true of scientists in earlier times?
A) Theyinvented false theories to explain things they didn"t understand.
B) Theyfalsely claimed to know all about nature.
C) They didnot believe in results from scientific observation.
D) They paidlittle attention to the problems they didn"t understand.
4. The authorbelieves that ______ .
A) man canfind solutions to whatever questions concerning nature he can think up
B) man can not solve all the problems he canthink up because of the limits of human intellect
C) sooner or later man canthink up all the questions concerning nature and answer them
D)questions concerningconsciousness are outside the scope of scientific research
5. What is theauthor"s attitude towards science?
A) He isdepressed because of the ignorance of scientists.
B) He isdoubtful because of the enormous difficulties confronting it.
C) He is confidentthough he is aware of the enormous difficulties confronting it.
D) He is delighted because of theilluminating scientific findings.