富兰克林讨论了两个情感： ambition（野心） & avarice（贪婪）。 这两种情绪不可避免地导致政府中出现针对职位的争斗。而且参与争斗的人都是会不择手段获取权利和金钱的人。而对权利和金钱的渴望， 统治阶级对金钱的欲望来自于对人民的税收，这与人民的根本福祉相悖。
本文取自理查德·道金斯的The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution
The passage is adapted from Wray Herbert: On second thought: outsmarting your mind's hard-wired habits.
本文是社科类常考的内容：人类的经济行为economic behavior。本文讨论了人类的一种选择倾向：即根据对事物和货币的熟悉度，赋予该物品更高的价值。为了证实这个观点，文章做了三个实验：给了志愿者们带有的华盛顿的头像的一美金硬币，另一个是含有Susan B头像的一美金硬币，得出结论Susan不值钱。为了进一步证明的该行为的普遍性，实验人员给了被实验者并不存在的印有杰斐逊头像的2 dollars （现实中不存在）， 人们由于对其不熟悉，给予其的购买力价值相对较低。
Passage 1 Robert Hazen的Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life's Origin
Passage 2 Biochemists Resurrect: molecular fossils: findings challenge the attempts about origins of life
第一篇文章讲述的是科学家对到底是DNA产生蛋白质，还是蛋白质产生DNA这个问题陷入了鸡生蛋蛋生鸡的无解循环。最后发现了RNA解决了这一问题，实现了理论大和谐（RNA World Theory）
第二篇文章反驳了第一篇文章的观点，及RNA World Theory不存在，进而由Carter教授提出了一个新的观点，即Urzymes，并由此推断出此物质可能与远古生命的存在形态相关。
“Make Your Home Among Strangers”
BY Capo Cruet
I scanned my mind for what this could be about. Had I left a supply closet or fridge unlocked? Had I open centrifuged one of the specimens she'd asked me to look at when it was supposed to be closed centrifuged? Had she glanced over my shoulder
at my class notes and seen the list of embarrassing questions only I seemed to have and which I'd scribbled under the heading Things to Look Up Later? I'd been so careful around her so far, hoping to make up for all the times I raised my hand and revealed how little I knew, all the times she caught me pretty much fondling the equipment -the elegant pipettes, the test tube racks that kept everything snug and in place, the magical autoclave incinerating all evidence of use and making everything perfect over and over again. It could've been any or all of these things: she was so smart that I was certain she'd put these observations together and conclude, long before I figured it out, that though I was eager and good at keeping contamination at bay, I wasn't cut out for the hard sciences. I wrote her back, composing my e-mail in a word processing program first
to make sure the green squiggly line of grammar impropriety didn't show up under every clause, and confirmed I could meet with her Monday at noon, right after class. She wrote back a cryptic, That will be more than fine.
The three hours of that week's lab class felt like a goodbye. I stacked each petridish as if it were the last time I'd be allowed to handle those delicate circles of glass. I swished saline solution for longer than was needed, looked at the agar coating the bottom of plates as if its nutrients were intended for me and were about to be withheld. When a question popped into my head, I kept my hand down and didn't even bother to write it in my notebook.
I watched Professor Kaufmann for clues all class but saw nothing, though she'd already proven herself good at masking frustration with kindness. You could drop an entire tray of beakers, and she would smile and in a too-high voice say, That's OK! I sometimes thought I was the only one in the class who saw through her, could tell how very upset she was at all that shattered glass on the floor: I knew it from the way she'd
say Hmmm as she accosted the student culprit with a broom and stood over them, pointing out a missed shard here, a tiny speck there. She'd wait until they put the broom
away before noticing another piece, then instruct them to go back to the closet and bring the broom again.
I approached her lab bench once everyone had left. She was scribbling something
on some graph paper, and I glanced at what she wrote once I was closer. Whatever
it was, it was in German- probably not a good sign- and it was underneath a series
of equations that meant nothing to me and which were in no way related to our
-Liz! she said. Oh, super! Come here, please!
She stood and let me have her seat. I sat there for a good minute, watched her keep working as if she hadn't just asked me to sit down. Her pen dug into the paper and I wondered if she had two brains-wondered if there were a way I could split my own mind like that, be in one place but let my mind hang out wherever it wanted.
She slapped the pen down on her notebook, and without even apologizing for the awkward three or so minutes we'd been right next to each other but not speaking, she said, Thank you for staying after class. I see you're eager
to know what this is about.
-Yes, I said. I tried to keep my back straight; I found trying to maintain good posture more painful than just slouching. Even seated on her high stool, I was still looking up at her. I said, Is everything okay?
-Yes, of course. Thank you for asking.
I figured then that I should stop talking lest I incriminate myself, but she
smiled at me and nodded as if I'd kept speaking, as if I was saying something at that very
-Yes, so, she said. You are enjoying the lab so far?
-I love it, I blurted out. It's my favorite class this semester.
-Super! she said. That's super.
She nodded some more. After a few additional seconds of painful silence and sustained eye contact she asked, Are you interested in becoming a research
I thought I wanted to be a doctor, but that didn't seem
like the right answer.
-Yes, I said. I am.
-Good, super. Because there is something you should do then, a program.
She slipped a hand beneath her pad of graph paper and slid out a glossy
folder. I closed my eyes, not wanting to look at it: here it was, the remedial program for
students needing extra help, forced in front of me like that list of campus resources I'd
printed out last semester as my only hope. The folder was white with a crimson stripe
down the front of it, a gold logo embossed at its center.
-This is connected to my research group. It's a summer position at our field laboratory off the coast of Santa Barbara, in California. You would be perfect for it.
“A Speech that Benjamin Franklin delivered to the United States Constitution Convention”
BY Benjamin Franklin
And of what kind are the men that will strive for this profitable preeminence, through all the bustle of cabal, the heat of contention, the infinite mutual abuse of parties, tearing to pieces the best of characters? It will not be the wise and moderate, the lovers of peace and good order, the men fittest for the trust. It will be the bold and the violent, the men of strong passions and indefatigable activity in their selfish pursuits. These will thrust themselves into your government and be your rulers. And these, too, will be mistaken in the expected happiness of their situation, for their vanquished competitors, of the same spirit, and from the same motives, will perpetually be endeavoring to distress their administration, thwart their measures, and render them odious to the people.
Besides these evils, sir, tho we may set out in the beginning with moderate salaries, we shall find that such will not be of long continuance. Reasons will never be wanting for proposed augmentations; and there will always be a party for giving more to the rulers, that the rulers may be able, in return, to give more to them. Hence, as all history informs us, there has been in every state and kingdom a constant kind of warfare between the governing and the governed; the one striving to obtain more for its support, and the other to pay less. And this has alone occasioned great convulsions, actual civil wars, ending either in dethroning of the princes or enslaving of the people.
Generally, indeed, the ruling power carries its point, and we see the revenues of princes constantly increasing, and we see that they are never satisfied, but always in want of more. The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes, the greater need the prince has of money to distribute among his partizans, and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance, and enable him to plunder at pleasure. There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharaoh-get first all the people's money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants for ever.
“The greatest show on Earth : the evidence for evolution”
BY Richard Dawkins
“on second thought: outsmarting your mind's hard-wired habits”
BY Robetr M. Hazen
“The Scientific Quest for Life's Origin”
BY Robert Hazen
“Molecular fossils: findings challenge the attempts about origins of life”
BY University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Now, research from UNC School of Medicine biochemist Charles Carter, PhD, appearing in the September 13 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, offers an intriguing new view on how life began. Carter's work is based on lab experiments during which his team recreated ancient protein enzymes that likely played a vital role in helping create life on Earth. Carter's finding flies in the face of the widely-held theory that Ribonucleic Acid （RNA） self-replicated without the aid of simple proteins and eventually led to life as we know it.
In the early 1980s, researchers found that ribozymes -- RNA enzymes -- act as catalysts. It was evidence that RNA can be both the blueprints and the chemical catalysts that put those blueprints into action. This finding led to the “RNA World” hypothesis, which posits that RNA alone triggered the rise of life from a sea of molecules.
But for the hypothesis to be correct, ancient RNA catalysts would have had to copy multiple sets of RNA blueprints nearly as accurately as do modern-day enzymes. That's a hard sell; scientists calculate that it would take much longer than the age of the universe for randomly generated RNA molecules to evolve sufficiently to achieve the modern level of sophistication. Given Earth's age of 4.5 billion years, living systems run entirely by RNA could not have reproduced and evolved either fast or accurately enough to give rise to the vast biological complexity on Earth today.
“The RNA world hypothesis is extremely unlikely,” said Carter. “It would take forever.”
Moreover, there's no proof that such ribozymes even existed billions of years ago. To buttress the RNA World hypothesis, scientists use 21st century technology to create ribozymes that serve as catalysts. “But most of those synthetic ribozymes,” Carter said, “bear little resemblance to anything anyone has ever isolated from a living system.”
Carter, who has been an expert in ancient biochemistry for four decades, took a different approach. His experiments are deeply embedded in consensus biology.
Our genetic code is translated by two super-families of modern-day enzymes. Carter's research team created and superimposed digital three-dimensional versions of the two super-families to see how their structures aligned. Carter found that all the enzymes have virtually identical cores that can be extracted to produce “molecular fossils” he calls Urzymes -- Ur meaning earliest or original. The other parts, he said, are variations that were introduced later, as evolution unfolded.
These two Urzymes are as close as scientists have gotten to the actual ancient enzymes that would have populated Earth billions of years ago.
“Once we identified the core part of the enzyme, we cloned it and expressed it,” Carter said. “Then we wanted to see if we could stabilize it and determine if it had any biochemical activity.” They could and it did.
Both Urzymes are very good at accelerating the two reactions necessary to translate the genetic code.
“Our results suggest that there were very active protein enzymes very early in the generation of life, before there were organisms,” Carter said. “And those enzymes were very much like the Urzymes we've made.”
The finding also suggests that Urzymes evolved from even simpler ancestors -- tiny proteins called peptides. And over time those peptides co-evolved with RNA to give rise to more complex life forms.
In this “Peptide-RNA World” scenario, RNA would have contained the instructions for life while peptides would have accelerated key chemical reactions to carry out those instructions.