主讲人:周玉亮

技术支持: 四川爱思科技 

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In the beginning, the planet upon which we live was (as far as we now know) a large ball of flaming matter, a tiny cloud of smoke in the endless ocean of space. Gradually, in the course of millions of years, the surface burned itself out, and was covered with a thin layer of rocks. Upon these lifeless rocks the rain descended in endless torrents, wearing out the hard granite and carrying the dust to the valleys that lay hidden between the high cliffs of the steaming earth.

Finally the hour came when the sun broke through the clouds and saw how this little planet was covered with a few small puddles which were to develop into the mighty oceans of the eastern and western hemispheres.

Then one day the great wonder happened. What had been dead gave birth to life.

The first living cell floated upon the waters of the sea.

For millions of years it drifted aimlessly with the currents. But during all that time it was developing certain habits that it might survive more easily upon the inhospitable earth. Some of these cells were happiest in the dark depths of the lakes and the pools. They took root in the slimy sediments which had been carried down from the tops of the hills and they became plants. Others preferred to move about and they grew strange jointed legs, like scorpions and began to crawl along the bottom of the sea amidst the plants and the pale green things that looked like jelly-fishes. Still others (covered with scales) depended upon a swimming motion to go from place to place in their search for food, and gradually they populated the ocean with myriads of fishes.

Words & Expressions

descend: vi. to move from a higher to a lower place; come or go down

torrent: n. a turbulent, swift-flowing stream, a heavy downpour

granite: n. 花岗岩a common, coarse-grained, light-colored, hard igneous rock consisting chiefly of quartz, orthoclase or microcline, and mica, used in monuments and for building

mighty: adj. forceful, powerful

hemisphere: n. 半球a half of a sphere bounded by a great circle

inhospitable: adj. unfriendly, unwelcoming, so disagreeable as to discourage approach

sediment: n. 沉淀物material that settles to the bottom of a liquid

scorpion: n. 蝎子Any of various arachnids of the order Scorpionida, of warm dry regions, having a segmented body and an erectile tail tipped with a venomous sting

myriad: n. adj. a vast number, innumerable, Archaic. Ten thousand

参考译文

最初,我们居住的这颗行星(就目前所知),是燃烧着的一个巨大球体。可相对于浩瀚无边的宇宙,它只不过是一块微小的烟云。几百万年过去了,它的表面渐渐地燃烧殆尽,并覆上了一层薄薄的岩石。在这片生机全无的岩石之上,暴雨无休无止地下着,雨水将坚硬的花岗岩慢慢地侵蚀掉,并把冲刷下来的泥土带到了雾气笼罩的高峰之间的峡谷。最后雨过天霁,太阳破云而出。遍布这颗星球上的众多小水洼逐渐扩展成了东西半球的巨大海洋。
   
随后的某一天,最美妙的奇迹发生了:这个死气沉沉的世界终于出现了生命。  第一个活着的细胞漂流在大海之上。
    它毫无目标地随波飘荡了几百万年。在此过程中,它慢慢发展着自己的某些习性。这些习性使它在环境恶劣的地球上能更容易地生存下去。这些细胞中的部分成员觉得呆在黑沉沉的湖泊和池塘的底部最舒适不过,于是它们在从山顶冲刷到水底的淤泥间扎下根来,变成了植物。另一些细胞则情愿四处游荡,它们长出了奇形怪状的有节的腿,像蝎子一样,在海底植物和状似水母的淡绿色物体间爬行。还有一些身上覆着鳞片的细胞,它们凭借游泳似的动作四处来去,寻找食物。慢慢地,它们变成了海洋里繁若晨星的鱼类。