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英语美文-植物学

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植物学是研究植物的学科,在人类知识的历史上占有特殊的地位。几千年来,这是一个人类除了模糊的洞察力之外,对任何事物都没有任何认识的领域。我们今天不可能确切地知道我们石器时代的祖先对植物的了解,但是从我们对仍然存在的前工业化社会的观察来看,对植物及其特性的详细了解肯定是非常古老的。这是合乎逻辑的。植物是所有生物甚至其他植物的食物金字塔的基础。它们一直对人们的福利极为重要,不仅是食物,而且还有衣服、武器、工具、染料、药物、住所和许多其他用途。今天生活在亚马逊丛林中的部落能够识别数百种植物,并且知道每种植物的许多特性。对他们来说,植物学本身没有名称,甚至可能根本不被认为是“知识”的一个特殊分支。不幸的是,我们越是工业化,就越远离与植物的直接接触,我们对植物学的认识就越模糊。然而,每个人都在不知不觉中获得了大量的植物学知识,很少有人认不出玫瑰、苹果或兰花。大约一万年前,生活在中东的新石器时代的祖先们发现某些草可以收获,它们的种子下一季耕种的产量会更高。这是人类和植物之间的新关系迈出的第一步。谷物被发现了,从谷物中诞生了农业的奇迹:可耕种的农作物。从那时起,人类越来越会控制生产生活的几个工厂,而不是在这里有点小从有很多品种,野生,成千上万年的积累的知识经验和亲密与植物在野外将开始消失。

Botany, the study of plants, occupies a peculiar position in the history of human knowledge.For many thousands of years it was the one field of awareness about which humans had anything more than the vaguest of insights. It is impossible to know today just what our Stone Age ancestors knew about plants, but from what we can observe of preindustrial societies that still exist a detailed learning of plants and their properties must be extremely ancient. This is logical. Plants are the basis of the food pyramid for all living things even for other plants. They have always been enormously important to the welfare of people not only for food, but also for clothing, weapons, tools, dyes, medicines, shelter, and a great many other purposes. Tribes living today in the jungles of the Amazon recognize literally hundreds of plants and know many properties of each. To them, botany, as such, has no name and is probably not even recognized as a special branch of "knowledge"at all. Unfortunately, the more industrialized we become the farther away we move from direct contact with plants, and the less distinct our knowledge of botany grows. Yet everyone comes unconsciously on an amazing amount of botanical knowledge, and few people will fail to recognize a rose, an apple, or an orchid. When our Neolithic ancestors, living in the Middle East about 10, 000 years ago, discovered that certain grasses could be harvested and their seeds planted for richer yields the next season the first great step in a new association of plants and humans was taken. Grains were discovered and from them flowed the marvel of agriculture: cultivated crops. From then on, humans would increasingly take their living from the controlled production of a few plants, rather than getting a little here and a little there from many varieties that grew wild - and the accumulated knowledge of tens of thousands of years of experience and intimacy with plants in the wild would begin to fade away.
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