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unit 11 That Astounding Creator-Nature

That Astounding Creator—
Jean George

Presented by Luo Zhaohui South China Normal University


God or Nature ?

Purpose of the article
? To show that some physical features of animals, no matter how odd, are the result of nature’s work to facilitate their survival in their particular environment. ? To illustrate the effect that nature (natural environment) can have on the biological features of a certain species.

Darwinism ? On the Origin of Species
? Charles Darwin dominated 19th century science, for he discovered the laws governing the evolution of man himself. For many centuries before Darwin, people in the west had been led to believe each verse of the Bible as literally true. Genesis said that the earth and all things were created by God in six days and each species of animal life was separately created and that man was created in God’s own image. Then in the middle of 19th century, Darwin changed this deeply established idea and shocked the world with his theories of species, adaptation and evolution.

? Darwin described the origin of all living things as a process extending over millions of years. He declared that every living thing on earth, including man ,evolved from one or a few common ancestors. He proved that the more complex species evolved from the simpler through a process of natural selection. He put man into a place in the animal world and traced his decent from other species.

? Darwinism designates a distinctive form of evolutionary explanation for the history and diversity of life on earth. Its original formulation is provided in the first edition of On the Origin of Species in 1859. This entry first formulates ‘Darwin's Darwinism’ in terms of five philosophically distinctive themes: (i) probability and chance, (ii) the nature, power and scope of selection, (iii) adaptation and teleology, (iv) nominalism vs. essentialism about species and (v) the tempo and mode of evolutionary change.

? Both Darwin and his critics recognized that his approach to evolution was distinctive on each of these topics, and it remains true that, though Darwinism has developed in many ways unforeseen by Darwin, its proponents and critics continue to differentiate it from other approaches in evolutionary biology by focusing on these themes.

Organization and development
thesis statement: ? Begin with question, call for reader’s attention Illustrations: features of animals less well-known or rarely observed. What ? Conclusion: if any adaptation is possible, nature has tried it.

? Questions: ? In what sense is Nature the creator? And Why is it astounding? ? How does the author organize and develop the text after the introduction?

? Key points: ? The relation between animals and their living environments. ? Evolution is a process of adaptation to various. environmental features or needs. ? Nature has shaped all kinds of creatures.

Mode of development ( by illustration)
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Adaptation to various environmental features or needs: (1) Questions to arouse reader’s interest (2-5) Land animals (6-7) Deep-sea problems (food, nuptial) (8) Sound (9) Food (10) The need to catch elusive prey (also food) (11-14) The need to defend oneself and ward off attack or hostility ? (15-17) Losses and additions accounted for by adaption

Dictionary Work
? lily pad— The large, floating leaf of a water lily; ? niche —(ecology) the position of an organism in a community of plants and animals; ? sleek— Well-groomed(修饰); having a very neat clean appearance; ? bobbing — Moving up and down; ? strainer — Filter; sieve; ? canyon — A deep narrow steep-sided valley; ? swirl— Move quickly with twisting turns;

? fry — The young of fishes; ? vulnerable — Not well-protected (from); capable of being attacked; ? tidemark — The highest point or perhaps the lowest point that the sea reaches on a shore; ? forage — Wander about looking for food; ? preposterous — Absurd; ? spur — A sharp, piercing instrument; ? switchblade — A pocketknife the blade of which is held by a spring and released by pressure on a device on the handle of the knife; flick knife;

? ward off — repel, turn aside; keep away from ? nemesis — The nemesis of a person or thing is a situation, event, or person which causes them to be seriously harmed, especially as a punishment. Something that causes misery, destruction or death; (pl. nemeses) 天谴, 报应,惩罚,天敌 ? Herpetologist — One who studies reptiles and amphibians; ? molt —(of birds, insects, reptiles, etc.) shed the feather or skin that will be succeed by a new growth; ? lunge — A sudden forward thrust; ? bizarre — Markedly unusual

Library Work
? Moose 麋 ? Grebe ??鸟 (pi ti) ? Pickerelweed 眼子菜 ? Koala 树袋熊 ? Eucalyptus 桉树 ? Angler fish 鮟鱇鱼,琵琶鱼 ? Bullfrog 牛蛙 ? Shrew 地鼠 ? Woodcock 丘鹬(yu,音同玉)鸟

? Snipe 鹬 (woodcock?) ? Sea anemone 海葵 ? Jacana 水雉 ? Lizard 蜥蜴 ? Skink 石龙子 ? Hawk 鹰 ? Portuguese man-of-water 僧帽水母 ? Lungfish 肺鱼

? Mayfly 蜉蝣 (不同于“浮游”) ? Reindeer 驯鹿 ? Scorpion 蝎子 ? Toucan /`tu:k? n/巨嘴鸟 ? Horned toad 角蟾,角蜥



Angler fish


Woodcock /snipe 鹬鸟

sea anemone

jacana /?a:s?ˋna:/


Portuguese man-of-war





horned toad/horny toad

? Style of language and its effect ? Thematic significance and message conveyed (nature, animals, mankind, survival of the fittest, natural selection, adaptation…)

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