Let me tell you a story.
It's my first year as a new high school science teacher, and I'm so eager. I'm so excited, I'm pouring myself into my lesson plans. But I'm slowly coming to this horrifying realization that my students just might not be learning anything.
This happens one day: I'd just assigned my class to read this textbook chapter about my favorite subject in all of biology: viruses and how they attack. And so I'm so excited to discuss this with them, and I come in and I say, "Can somebody please explain the main ideas and why this is so cool?"
There's silence. Finally, my favorite student, she looks me straight in the eye, and she says, "The reading sucked." And then she clarified. She said, "You know what, I don't mean that it sucks. It means that I didn't understand a word of it. It's boring. Um, who cares, and it sucks."
These sympathetic smiles spread all throughout the room now, and I realize that all of my other students are in the same boat, that maybe they took notes or they memorized definitions from the textbook, but not one of them really understood the main ideas. Not one of them can tell me why this stuff is so cool, why it's so important.
I'm totally clueless. I have no idea what to do next. So the only thing I can think of is say, "Listen. Let me tell you a story. The main characters in the story are bacteria and viruses. These guys are blown up a couple million times. The real bacteria and viruses are so small we can't see them without a microscope, and you guys might know bacteria and viruses because they both make us sick. But what a lot of people don't know is that viruses can also make bacteria sick."
Now, the story that I start telling my kids, it starts out like a horror story. Once upon a time there's this happy little bacterium. Don't get too attached to him. Maybe he's floating around in your stomach or in some spoiled food somewhere, and all of a sudden he starts to not feel so good. Maybe he ate something bad for lunch, and then things get really horrible, as his skin rips apart, and he sees a virus coming out from his insides. And then it gets horrible when he bursts open and an army of viruses floods out from his insides. If -- Ouch is right! -- If you see this, and you're a bacterium, this is like your worst nightmare. But if you're a virus and you see this, you cross those little legs of yours and you think, "We rock." Because it took a lot of crafty work to infect this bacterium. Here's what had to happen. A virus grabbed onto a bacterium and it slipped its DNA into it. The next thing is, that virus DNA made stuff that chopped up the bacteria DNA. And now that we've gotten rid of the bacteria DNA, the virus DNA takes control of the cell and it tells it to start making more viruses. Because, you see, DNA is like a blueprint that tells living things what to make. So this is kind of like going into a car factory and replacing the blueprints with blueprints for killer robots. The workers still come the next day, they do their job, but they're following different instructions. So replacing the bacteria DNA with virus DNA turns the bacteria into a factory for making viruses -- that is, until it's so filled with viruses that it bursts. But that's not the only way that viruses infect bacteria. Some are much more crafty. When a secret agent virus infects a bacterium, they do a little espionage. Here, this cloaked, secret agent virus is slipping his DNA into the bacterial cell, but here's the kicker: It doesn't do anything harmful -- not at first. Instead, it silently slips into the bacteria's own DNA, and it just stays there like a terrorist sleeper cell, waiting for instructions. And what's interesting about this is now whenever this bacteria has babies, the babies also have the virus DNA in them. So now we have a whole extended bacteria family, filled with virus sleeper cells. They're just happily living together until a signal happens and -- BAM! -- all of the DNA pops out. It takes control of these cells, turns them into virus-making factories, and they all burst, a huge, extended bacteria family, all dying with viruses spilling out of their guts, the viruses taking over the bacterium. So now you understand how viruses can attack cells. There are two ways: On the left is what we call the lytic way, where the viruses go right in and take over the cells. On the [right] is the lysogenic way that uses secret agent viruses.
So this stuff is not that hard, right? And now all of you understand it. But if you've graduated from high school, I can almost guarantee you've seen this information before. But I bet it was presented in a way that it didn't exactly stick in your mind.
So when my students were first learning this, why did they hate it so much? Well, there were a couple of reasons.
First of all, I can guarantee you that their textbooks didn't have secret agent viruses, and they didn't have horror stories. You know, in the communication of science there is this obsession with seriousness. It kills me. I'm not kidding. I used to work for an educational publisher, and as a writer, I was always told never to use stories or fun, engaging language, because then my work might not be viewed as "serious" and "scientific." Right? I mean, because God forbid somebody have fun when they're learning science. So we have this field of science that's all about slime, and color changes. Check this out. And then we have, of course, as any good scientist has to have, explosions! But if a textbook seems too much fun, it's somehow unscientific.
Now another problem was that the language in their textbook was truly incomprehensible. If we want to summarize that story that I told you earlier, we could start by saying something like, "These viruses make copies of themselves by slipping their DNA into a bacterium." The way this showed up in the textbook, it looked like this: "Bacteriophage replication is initiated through the introduction of viral nucleic acid into a bacterium." That's great, perfect for 13-year-olds.
But here's the thing. There are plenty of people in science education who would look at this and say there's no way that we could ever give that to students, because it contains some language that isn't completely accurate. For example, I told you that viruses have DNA. Well, a very tiny fraction of them don't. They have something called RNA instead. So a professional science writer would circle that and say, "That has to go. We have to change it to something much more technical." And after a team of professional science editors went over this really simple explanation, they'd find fault with almost every word I've used, and they'd have to change anything that wasn't serious enough, and they'd have to change everything that wasn't 100 percent perfect. Then it would be accurate, but it would be completely impossible to understand. This is horrifying.
You know, I keep talking about this idea of telling a story, and it's like science communication has taken on this idea of what I call the tyranny of precision, where you can't just tell a story. It's like science has become that horrible storyteller that we all know, who gives us all the details nobody cares about, where you're like, "Oh, I met my friend for lunch the other day, and she was wearing these ugly jeans. I mean, they weren't really jeans, they were more kind of, like, leggings, but, like, I guess they're actually kind of more like jeggings, like, but I think — " and you're just like, "Oh my God. What is the point?" Or even worse, science education is becoming like that guy who always says, "Actually." Right? You want to be like, "Oh, dude, we had to get up in the middle of the night and drive a hundred miles in total darkness." And that guy's like, "Actually, it was 87.3 miles." And you're like, "Actually, shut up! I'm just trying to tell a story."
Because good storytelling is all about emotional connection. We have to convince our audience that what we're talking about matters. But just as important is knowing which details we should leave out so that the main point still comes across. I'm reminded of what the architect Mies van der Rohe said, and I paraphrase, when he said that sometimes you have to lie in order to tell the truth. I think this sentiment is particularly relevant to science education.
Now, finally, I am often so disappointed when people think that I'm advocating a dumbing down of science. That's not true at all. I'm currently a Ph.D. student at MIT, and I absolutely understand the importance of detailed, specific scientific communication between experts, but not when we're trying to teach 13-year-olds. If a young learner thinks that all viruses have DNA, that's not going to ruin their chances of success in science. But if a young learner can't understand anything in science and learns to hate it because it all sounds like this, that will ruin their chances of success.
This needs to stop, and I wish that the change could come from the institutions at the top that are perpetuating these problems, and I beg them, I beseech them to just stop it. But I think that's unlikely. So we are so lucky that we have resources like the Internet, where we can circumvent these institutions from the bottom up. There's a growing number of online resources that are dedicated to just explaining science in simple, understandable ways. I dream of a Wikipedia-like website that would explain any scientific concept you can think of in simple language any middle schooler can understand. And I myself spend most of my free time making these science videos that I put on YouTube. I explain chemical equilibrium using analogies to awkward middle school dances, and I talk about fuel cells with stories about boys and girls at a summer camp. The feedback that I get is sometimes misspelled and it's often written in LOLcats, but nonetheless it's so appreciative, so thankful that I know this is the right way we should be communicating science.
There's still so much work left to be done, though, and if you're involved with science in any way I urge you to join me. Pick up a camera, start to write a blog, whatever, but leave out the seriousness, leave out the jargon. Make me laugh. Make me care. Leave out those annoying details that nobody cares about and just get to the point. How should you start? Why don't you say, "Listen, let me tell you a story"?
①A feature of English in the last 200 years or so has been the birth of a number of national varieties. It is important to note, however, that the different varieties are relatively similar to each other; for the most part, speakers of one variety can understand speakers of another without much difficulty since the grammar of English is essentially the same around the world. The varieties differ in a relatively small amount of vocabulary, which usually serves to make a variety interesting rather than particularly difficult to understand. The main difference between varieties is usually in the pronunciation, which can make comprehension difficult, but which has little to do with the underlying structure of the language itself. English started its international expansion only a few centuries ago and that has not been enough time for major differences among varieties to develop. Also, English-speaking countries tend to be highly literate. This, combined with the development of mass communications, has exposed most speakers to the standard forms of English, and this in turn has tended to limit major variation. Therefore, when we speak of the differences in national varieties, it is important to remember just how similar all the forms of English are.
②So the varieties of English are relatively similar around the world at present, but will this situation last? In the short term, the answer is probably yes. Language change takes time, and we are unlikely to see big changes in the near future. But beyond this, language change is very difficult to predict. It depends on the factors that support or suppress language diversification, and to understand these, we need to understand the purposes for ( a ) a language is used. According to David Graddol, a British linguist who has written on the future of English, English has two main functions in the world: as a means of international communication and as a means to create cultural identities. The first function serves to push English toward greater uniformity, with the ideal being a "standard international variety" of English that people all around the world could speak, thus making international communication easier. However, the second function leads to an increasing number of local or regional varieties, each of which is identified with a local culture. In this way, the people of a particular place can possess their own version of English, thus maintaining their cultural identity while at the same time gaining the benefits of using a language which is well-known internationally.
③Given the prominent position of English in the world today, it might be assumed that the "international communication" function will win out and that the varieties of English will eventually merge into a single World Standard English. This may well happen, given English's very strong position at present, but it is not guaranteed. There are a number of factors that may cause a World Standard English not to develop. First, the priority of printing (which leads to a standard form) is weakening, with more electronic forms of information available online all the time. The new electronic technology often leads to the creation of forms of English that are shortened and which are different from the standard written language in various ways; ( b ), e-mail is currently one of the most common forms of electronic information transfer, and it is often written in a stream of consciousness fashion and sent without being spell-checked or revised. In this way, it often resembles conversation more than conventional written language. This is not surprising, because the original reasons for e-mail were its speed and convenience, and the need to revise carefully would reduce these advantages.
④Another recent phenomenon is text messaging on mobile phones. The phones do not have a full keyboard, and keying in text messages via the number keyboard is somewhat awkward; ( c ), users use abbreviations and symbols to minimize the number of keystrokes required. Also, some phone companies limit text messages to a certain number of characters (for example, 160 characters, including spaces), which encourages the use of various shortened forms. Some examples are given below.
(do you want to be)
miss you so much
⑤The following text dialogue between two University of Nottingham students contains a number of short forms.
Student B: Had a good 1 wit Ben. Cooked me meal, Chick + pasta, notin' changes! U in 4 dnr?
Student A: Yep, lectures til 5. CU then, x
The full English translations of these messages would look like this:
Student B: I had a good one (evening) with Ben. He cooked me a meal, chicken and pasta. Nothing changes! Are you coming for dinner ?
Student A: Yes. I have lectures until 5 p.m. See you then, (kiss)
⑥E-mail and text messaging and the shortcuts they use have raised many questions relating to the spelling and presentation of English. Because speed is important in both, normal rules of capitalization and spelling are often ignored, and shortened forms are common. Will these developments affect the writing of English generally ? So far, the effects on the writing system seem to be confined mainly to the matter of capital letters. They are not given high priority, and people who would never normally dream of writing their own name without initial capital letters find themselves doing so in electronic addresses (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org). Use of small letters ( d ) capitals in the texts of e-mails is increasingly common, and teachers have noticed the habit in students' homework, too. It is also becoming more common in other areas as well, such as advertising.
⑦Thus, electronic forms of communication are producing new written forms of English and some of these reduce the distinction between the written and the spoken forms of the language. This may be more acceptable to societies now than before, as there appears to be a general movement toward a greater tolerance of diversity. Whereas in former times there might have been complaints about incorrectly written English, nowadays people seem increasingly comfortable with the idea that different types of English might be suitable for different purposes and media. These trends may push toward greater diversification of English rather than toward standardization.
⑧A second factor possibly acting against the establishment of a World Standard English is the changing nature of broadcasting. Initially, the development of satellite broadcasting had a unifying influence on English, as large numbers of people in many countries around the world were exposed to standard varieties. But the people watching these programs were mainly the educated and wealthy viewers, ( e ) formed only a small percentage of the potential audience. Because of this, there is now a trend toward international broadcasters "localizing" their programming to reach wider audiences. This involves shaping the programming to the local context, with more locally created material, using local talent, and broadcasting in the local language. Thus, the formerly unifying nature of satellite broadcasting may instead turn into a force for diversification.
⑨A third factor is the nature of English language teaching (ELT). Previously, most of the internationally available, commercially produced materials have used a small number of varieties, most notably American, British, and Australian English, leading to a similar underlying English being taught. The existing commercial ELT producers are unlikely to go away, ( f ) other producers will probably join them. As regional Englishes develop, and perhaps become widely used within regional economic trade zones, countries in those zones may begin to publish aggressively and promote their own materials. It is not difficult to predict that this will happen in China, ( g ) there is a huge internal market, and a number of Chinese publishers are working to meet demand. These publishers may also attempt to market their material in the wider Asian region, especially as China becomes economically more powerful. We can already see similar things happening in other countries. Malaysia is working to become a provider, rather than a recipient, of English language education, exporting English materials to other countries around the region and setting up universities to attract students from around the Southern Hemisphere. The overall effect may be that teaching materials in a number of English varieties will compete for ELT business, thus moving away from the standardized ELT materials in use at present.
⑩In sum, the prominent position of English in the world today suggests that English may well become more unified in the future. However, there are also several factors working against this. Graddol suggests that the most likely scenario for English in the future is that a number of English varieties will continue to compete for usage in the world.
(1) Choose the best way to complete the following sentences about paragraphs ① to ⑨. Do not use the same answer twice.
1 Paragraph ① describes
2 Paragraph ② describes
3 Paragraph ③ describes
4 Paragraph ④ describes
5 Paragraph ⑤ describes
6 Paragraph ⑥ describes
7 Paragraph ⑦ describes
8 Paragraph ⑧ describes
9 Paragraph ⑨ describes
A an example text message together with a standard English version of the same message.
B how electronic communication compares to spoken and written English.
C how publishers in Asia are beginning to produce materials for English teaching.
D how students are beginning to use e-mail abbreviations in their homework.
E how the design of mobile phones has had an effect on the way English is used in text messages.
F how the different national varieties of English are still quite similar despite differences in pronunciation.
G how World Standard English will develop thanks to the establishment of satellite broadcasting.
H the effect of e-mail and text messaging on the use of capitalization in English.
I the fact that educated and wealthy people are likely to be promoters of World Standard English.
J the fact that English speakers are becoming accustomed to different forms of English for different purposes.
K the functions of language which work to make the varieties of English more similar or more diverse.
L the ways in which satellite broadcasters are adapting their programs to local audiences.
M why people around the world prefer to use teaching materials produced in the U.S., U.K, or Australia.
(2) Choose the best word or phrase to put in each of the spaces ( a ) to ( g ). Do not use the same answer twice.
A apart from B as a result C but D for example E if F in addition
G instead of H where I which J who
Answer the questions below after reading the following passage.
①Human intelligence is a puzzle. Although using IQ scores as a measurement of intelligence is controversial, some scientists believe we can use them to argue that intelligence is higher, on average, in some places than in others. And it seems to have been rising in recent decades. Why these two things should be true is also controversial. Recently, however, a group of researchers at the University of New Mexico have suggested the same explanation for both: the effect of 1)infectious disease. If they are right, it suggests that the control of such diseases is crucial to a country's development in a way that had not been understood before. Countries that have a lot of 2)parasites and 3)pathogens not only suffer the weakening effects of disease on their workforces, but also on the personal development of individuals.
②Christopher Eppig and his colleagues make their suggestion in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. They note that the brains of newly- born children require 87% of those children's 4)metabolic energy. In 4 five-year-olds the figure is still 44% and even in adults the brain ― a mere 2 % of the body's weight ― uses about a quarter of the body's energy. Any competition for this energy is likely to damage the brain's development, and parasites and pathogens compete for it in various ways. Some feed on the host's body directly to reproduce. Some, particularly those that live in the stomach, can prevent a person absorbing food. And all parasites and pathogens provoke the host's 5)immune system into activity, which prevents valuable energy from being used for more productive purposes.
③There is a clear relationship between a country's disease burden and the average IQ scores of its people. The higher the country's disease burden, the lower the average IQ scores of its people. This is an example of an inverse correlation. To calculate the disease burden, the researchers used data from the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO has developed the concept of a "disability-adjusted life year" (DALY), which is a measure of overall disease burden. The DALY measures not only potential years of life lost due to early death, but also years of healthy life lost by a person as a result of their being in a condition of poor health or disability.
④The WHO is able to calculate the DALYs which are lost as a result of the impact of 28 infectious diseases. These data exist for 192 countries. The IQ scores came from work carried out earlier this decade by Richard Lynn, a British psychologist, and Tatu Vanhanen, a Finnish political scientist, who analyzed IQ studies from 113 countries, and from subsequent work by Jelte Wicherts, a Dutch psychologist.
⑤At the bottom of the list of average IQ scores is Equatorial Guinea, followed by St Lucia. Cameroon, Mozambique and Gabon tie at third from bottom. These countries are also among those that have the highest infectious disease burden. At the top of the list of countries with the highest average IQ score is Singapore, followed by South Korea. China and Japan tie in third place. These countries all have relatively low levels of disease. America, Britain and a number of European countries follow behind the leaders.
⑤The correlation between disease burden and lower IQ scores is about 67%, and the possibility that this strong statistical relationship occurred by chance is less than one in 10,000. Researchers are always trying to identify strong statistical correlations. They then hope to be able to explain the cause of these correlations. There may be many different possible causes, and researchers have to examine as many possible causes as they can, to give themselves a better chance of identifying the real cause correctly. As scientists say, "correlation is not causation" identifying a statistical relationship does not explain why that relationship exists ― so Mr. Eppig and his colleagues tried to eliminate other possible explanations.
⑥Previous research teams have tried to suggest that income, education, low levels of agricultural labor (which is replaced by more mentally stimulating jobs), and climate (the challenge of surviving extreme weather might provoke the evolution of intelligence) could all be explanations for national differences in IQ scores. However, most of these possible causes are also likely to be linked to disease. By careful statistical analysis, Mr. Eppig and his colleagues show that all of these alternative possible causes of the correlation either disappear or are reduced to a small effect, when the consequences of disease are taken into account.
⑦Importantly, there is also clear evidence that infections and parasites, such as 6)malaria and 7)intestinal worms, have a negative effect on the development of the brain. A study of children in Kenya who survived the version of malaria that occurs in the brain suggests that one-eighth of them suffer long-term damage. In the view of Mr. Eppig and his colleagues, 8)diarrhea is the biggest threat. Diarrhea strikes children 8 hard. It accounts for one-sixth of infant deaths, and even in those it does not kill, it prevents the absorption of food at a time when the brain is growing and developing rapidly.
⑧The researchers predict that one type of health problem will increase with rising intelligence. 9)Asthma and other allergies are thought by 9 many experts to be rising in frequency because the immune systems of young children, unchallenged by infection, are turning against the cells of the body that they are supposed to protect. Some studies already suggest a correlation between a country's allergy levels and its average IQ. Mr. Eppig and his colleagues predict that future work will confirm this relationship.
⑨The other prediction, of course, is that as countries conquer disease, the intelligence of their citizens will rise. A rise in IQ scores over the decades has already been noticed in rich countries. It is called the "Flynn effect" after James Flynn, who discovered it. Its cause, however, has been mysterious ― until now. If Mr. Eppig is right, the almost complete absence of serious infections in rich countries, as a result of 10)vaccination, clean water and the proper treatment of human waste, may explain much if not all of the Flynn effect.
⑩When Dr. Lynn and Dr. Vanhanen originally published their IQ data, they used them to suggest that national differences in intelligence were the main reason for different levels of economic development. This new study reaches the opposite conclusion. It is actually lack of development, and the many health problems this brings, which explains the difference in IQ scores. No doubt, in a vicious circle, those differences help to keep poor countries poor. But the new theory offers a way to break the circle. If further work by researchers supports the ideas of Mr. Eppig and his colleagues, they will have done enormous good by providing policymakers with yet another reason why the elimination of disease should be one of the main aims of development.
(1) Choose the best way to answer each of the questions in accordance with the content of the passage.
1 . Why are researchers especially concerned about the effects of parasites and pathogens on young children ?
A Their developing brains require more energy than those of adults.
B Their immune systems are not yet as developed as those of adults.
C They have a higher rate of infection than adults do.
D They have a lower rate of recovery than adults do.
E None of the above
2. What was the concept of the DALY (disability-adjusted life year) developed to measure ?
A The adjusted average life expectancy
B The daily rate of parasite infections in developing countries
C The inverse correlation between disability and health
D The potential years of active life lost as a result of death or illness
E None of the above
3. How does Japan's DALY score compare to other countries' scores ?
A As high as Singapore
B As low as Cameroon
C Equivalent to that of South Korea
D Higher than that of China
E None of the above
4. Which of the following was NOT used by previous researchers to explain national differences in IQ?
E None of the above
5. What is true of diarrhea according to the passage?
A It causes brain damage in one-eighth of children in Kenya.
B It increases with intelligence.
C It kills 25% of all babies.
D It prevents the absorption of food among children.
E None of the above
6. According to the study by Mr. Eppig and his colleagues, what is the correct sequence of cause and effect?
A Lack of development together with health problems leads to low national IQ scores.
B Low levels of income and education lead to low national IQ scores.
C Low national intelligence leads to lack of development and health problems.
D The challenge of an extreme climate leads to high national IQ scores.
E None of the above.
(2) Which of the following statements agree with what is written in the text? Mark your answers true (T) or false (F).
1. An inverse correlation means that as X increases, Y decreases, or vice versa.
2. A number of studies suggest that there is a positive correlation between the frequency of asthma in a country and that country's average IQ scores.
3. The "disease burden" of a country refers to the cost of providing medical care to people who are ill.
4. The research of Eppig and his colleagues helps to explain why IQ has been rising in rich countries.
5. The research of Eppig and his colleagues largely supports the conclusions of earlier research by Lynn and Vanhanen.
6. The research of Eppig and his colleagues shows that lack of education is an important factor in explaining the national differences in IQ.
In many ways, the family is the most obvious field of conflict in the culture war. Some would argue that it is an absolute battleground. The public debate over the status and role of women, the increase in family violence, the rise of aggressive behavior among teenagers, the growing demand for adequate kindergartens, and so on, fill the headlines of the nation's newspapers, magazines, and intellectual journals on a daily basis. Public demonstrations, speeches and statements for or against any one of these issues mark the significant events of our generation's political history. One might possibly say that this field of conflict is the beginning and end of the contemporary culture war, for the issues debated in the area of family policy touch upon and may even relate to other fields of conflict ― education, the arts, law and politics. In the final analysis there may be much more to the contemporary culture war than the struggle for the family, yet there is little doubt that the debated issues in the area of family life are central to the larger struggle and are perhaps crucial to other battles being fought.
Most who observe the arguments over the family, however, tend to grasp the controversy as a disagreement over how strong the family is. One observer, for example, has described the controversy as one between optimists and pessimists. Both sides, he argued, agree that the family is changing, yet they disagree sharply over the degree, the meaning, and consequences of those changes. The pessimists view rising trends in divorce, single-parent families, double-income couples, couples living outside of marriage, and the like, as symptoms of the decline of the family. The optimists, on the other hand, regard the changes as positive at best and lacking effect at worst and, therefore, they believe that social planning should reflect and respond to the new realities. The American family is not collapsing, the optimists say, but is adapting to new social conditions. The flexibility of the family, therefore, signals that the family is "here to stay."
Observations such as these provide interesting perspective and insight on the matter, forcing us to consider the specific social and economic circumstances of family life. But they miss what is really at stake. The discussion over the family, in fact, reflects fundamental differences in the beliefs and world views of the two groups. The issue, then, is not whether the family is failing or surviving. Rather, the discussion is over what the family is in the first place. If the symbolic significance of the family is that it is a microcosm of the larger society, then the task of defining what the American family is becomes vital to the very task of defining America itself. For this reason it is also a task that embraces the future of American political life.
We human beings of the developed societies have once more been expelled from a garden ― the man-made garden of Euro-American humanism and its ideas about human superiority, uniqueness, and dominance. We have been thrown back into that other garden with all the other animals, insects, and plants, where we can no longer be sure we are so privileged. The walls between "nature" and "culture" begin to crumble as we enter a post-industrial era. Darwinian insights force occidental people, often unwillingly, to acknowledge their literal kinship with the natural world.
Environmentalists and ecological scientists are still in the process of reevaluating how to think about, how to create policy with, nature. The professional resource managers of the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management have been driven, partly by people of conscience among them, into rethinking their old views regarding land use. (1) [ ]
In the more intellectual world of ecological and social theory, people agree less often. Nature writing, environmental history, and ecological philosophy have become subjects of study related to human beings and activities. There are, however, still a few otherwise humane historians and philosophers who still assume that the natural world is primarily a warehouse of materials for humans. That is what the Occident has said and thought for a couple of thousand years.
Right now there are two sets of ideas circling about each other. One group, which we could call the "Savers," places value on the extensive preservation of wilderness areas and argues for the importance of the original condition of nature. This view has been tied to the idea that the mature condition of the ecological environment is a stable and diverse state technically called "perfect balance." (2) [ ] . They can be called the "Users." The "Savers'" view is attributed to the Sierra Club* and other leading national organizations, to various "radical environmentalists," and to many environmental thinkers and writers. The "Users'" view, which has a few supporters in the biological sciences, has already become a favorite of the World Bank and those developers who are vexed by the problems associated with legislation that requires protection for creatures whose time and space are running out. It has been quickly taken up by the industry-sponsored "Wise Use" movement.
Different as they are, both groups reflect the useful view of nature that has long been a mainstay of occidental thought. The "Savers'" idea of freezing some parts of nature into a permanent picture of "uninhabited wilderness" is also to treat nature like an object, kept in a golden cage. (3)[ ].
The "Users" on the local level would claim to speak for communities and workers whose dilemma is real enough, but a little research discloses industry funding. (4)[ ].
Theoreticians and critics have recently ventured into nature politics. Many of them have sided with the "Users" ― they like to argue that nature is part of history, that human beings are part of nature, that there is little in the natural world that has not already been altered by humans, that in any case our idea of "nature" is a projection of our social condition and that there is no sense in trying to preserve an imaginary wilderness. (5) [ ]. These positions still fail to come to grips with the question of how to deal with the pain and distress of real beings, plants and animals, as real as suffering humanity―and how to preserve natural variety. The need to protect natural diversity may be economically difficult and socially controversial, but there are strong scientific and practical arguments in support of it, and it is for many of us a profound ethical issue.
ア．However, to say that the natural world is subject to continual change, that nature is shaped by history, or that our idea of reality is an illusion is not new
イ．On the global scale, their supporters line up with huge forces of governments and corporations, and threaten further destruction of local communities and their natural environment
ウ．This is a time when scientists, self-taught ecologists from the communities, land management agency experts, and a new breed of ecologically aware workers and farmers are beginning to get together
エ．The other position holds that nature is constantly changing, that humans have altered things to the point where there is no "natural condition" left, that there is no reason to value "perfect balance" over any other state of nature, and that human beings are not only part of nature but that they are also dominant over nature and should keep on using and changing it
オ．Some preservationists have been insensitive to the problems of native peoples whose home grounds were turned into protected wildlife preserves or parks, or to the difficulties of workers and farmers who lose jobs as land use policies change
The benefits which would flow from the existence of a global language are considerable, but some commentators have pointed to possible risks. Perhaps a global language will hasten the disappearance of minority languages, or ― the ultimate threat ― make all other languages unnecessary. That would of course place at risk those minorities who speak them.
Will the emergence of a global language hasten the disappearance of minority languages and cause widespread language death? To answer this question, we must first establish a general perspective. The process of language conquest and loss has been known throughout language history, and exists independently of the emergence of a global language. No one knows how many languages have died since humans became able to speak, but there must be thousands. In many of these cases, the death has been caused by an ethnic group coming to be absorbed within a more dominant society, and adopting its language along with its other social practices. The situation continues today, though the matter is being discussed with increasing urgency because of the unprecedented rate at which native languages are being lost, especially in North America, Brazil, Australia, Indonesia and parts of Africa. Some estimates suggest that perhaps 80 per cent of the world's 6, 000 or so living languages will die out within the next century.
The emergence of any one language as global, however, has little to do with this unhappy state of affairs. Recently, the emergence of English as a truly global language has, if anything, had the reverse effect ― stimulating a stronger response in support of a local language than might otherwise have been the case. Movements for language rights, alongside civil rights in general, have played an important role in several countries: the Maori language in New Zealand, the aboriginal languages of Australia, the Native American languages of Canada and the USA, and some of the Celtic languages. Although often too late, in certain instances the decline of a language has been slowed, and occasionally halted.
The existence of vigorous movements in support of language minorities, commonly associated with nationalism, illustrates an important truth about the nature of language in general. The need for mutual understanding, which is part of the argument in favor of a global language, is only one side of the story. The other side is the need for identity, and people tend to underestimate the role of identity when they express anxieties about language injury and death. Language is a major means of showing where we belong, and of distinguishing one social group from another.
Arguments about the need for national or cultural identity are often seen as being opposed to those about the need for mutual understanding. But this is misleading. It is perfectly possible to develop a situation in which understanding and identity happily co-exist. This situation is the familiar one of bilingualism, but it is a bilingualism where one of the speaker's two languages is a global language, providing access to the world community. The two functions can be seen as complementary, responding to different needs. And it is because the functions are so different that a world of language variety can continue to exist in a world united by a common language.
None of this is to deny that the development of a global language can influence the structure and most assuredly the vocabulary of other languages. A global language provides, for example, a fresh source of borrowed words for use by these other languages. Such influences can be welcomed, in which case, people talk about their language being "varied" or "enriched," or opposed, in which case, the metaphors are those of "injury" or "death." For example, in recent years, one of the healthiest languages, French, has tried to protect itself by law against what is widely perceived to be the malignant influence of English. In official contexts, it is now illegal to use an English word where a French word already exists, even though the usage may have widespread popular support: computer for ordinateur. Patriotic speakers from several other countries have also expressed concern with the way in which English vocabulary, especially that of American English, has come to be used on their streets and on their TV programs.
The arguments are carried on with great emotional force. Even though only a tiny part of the vocabulary is ever affected in this way, that is enough to arouse the anger of the patriotic speakers. They often forget that English itself, over the centuries, has borrowed thousands of words from other languages, and constructed thousands more from the elements of other languages ― including computer, incidentally, which derives from Latin, the mother language of French. Few languages are as "pure" or uncorrupted by foreign words as their defenders believe.
この議論を続行させるのは，感情に基づいた大きな力である。このようにして影響を受けるのは，語いのほんの一部でしかないものの，愛国的な話し手の怒りを喚起するには十分である。彼らはしばしば，英語そのものも，何世紀にもわたって他の言語から幾千もの単語を借用し，他の言語の要素からは, computerを含むさらに何千もの語を組み立ててきたことを忘れている。ついでながら, computerという語はフランス語の母体語であるラテン語に由来している。擁護論者たちが思いこんでいるほど「純粋」であったり，外国語によって乱れたりしていない言語はほとんどないのである。