今天下午的完形填空初看的是一篇关于动物智能方面的文章，可能算得上是一篇偏重科技的文章，但文章的作者在行文中却闪烁着人文的光辉。此文章最先刊登在2008年5月7日的《纽约时报》上，原文的标题是 The Cost of Smarts，翻译过来就是“聪明的代价”，考研命题专家在选择时，原文的四段只选用了其中的三段。
文章的作者叫 VERLYN KLINKENBORG 生于1952年，是个作家(非小说类)，1997年成为纽约时报的编委之一。他著作颇丰，并在几所大学教授文学课程。1991年，还获得过读者文摘的作者奖。这样一个背景的作者，其写关于智能的文章，其角度一定是不同于普通的科普文章的。
Research on animal intelligence always makes me wonder just how smart humans are. Consider (第1题答案为B) the fruit-fly experiments described in Carl Zimmer’s piece in the Science Times on Tuesday. Fruit flies who were taught to be smarter than the average fruit fly tended (第2题答案为A) to live shorter lives. This suggests that dimmer (第3题答案为D)bulbs burn longer, that there is an advantage (第4题答案为B)in not being too terrifically bright.
Intelligence, it turns out (第5题答案为C), is a high-priced option. It takes more upkeep, burns more fuel and is slow off (第6题答案为A)the starting line because it depends on learning — a gradual (第7题答案为D)process— instead of instinct. Plenty of other species are able to learn, and one of the things they’ve apparently learned is when to stop. (第8题答案为C)
Is there an adaptive value to limited(第9题答案为B) intelligence? That’s the question behind this new research. I like it. Instead of casting a wistful glance backward (第10题答案为D) at all the species we’ve left in the dust I.Q.-wise, it implicitly asks what the real costs (第11题答案为D) of our own intelligence might be. This is on (第12题答案为B) the mind of every animal I’ve ever met.
(Every chicken that looks at you sideways — which is how they all look at you — is really saying what Thoreau said less succinctly: you are endeavoring to solve the problem of a livelihood by a formula more complicated than the problem itself. Thoreau himself would not dispute that he was hoping to recover the chicken’s point of view. He went to Walden Pond “to remember well his ignorance.”)
Research on animal intelligence also makes me wonder what experiments animals would perform (第13题答案为C) on humans if they had the chance. Every cat with an owner, for instance(第14题答案为D), is running a small-scale study in operant conditioning. I believe that if(第15题答案为A) animals ran the labs, they would test us to determine(第16题答案为C) the limits of our patience, our faithfulness, our memory for terrain. They would try to decide what intelligence in humans is really for(第17题答案为B), not merely how much of it there is.Above all(第18题答案为A), they would hope to study a fundamental (第19题答案为A) question: Are humans actually aware of the world they live in? So far (第20题答案为C) the results are inconclusive.