The following excerpt tells of a defining chapter in the life of a budding scientist.

The voyage of the "Beagle" has been by far the most important event in my life, and has determined my whole career; yet it depended on so small a circumstance as my uncle offering to drive (5) me thirty miles to Shrewsbury, which few uncles would have done, and on such a trifle as the shape of my nose. I have always felt that I owe to the voyage the first real training or education of my mind; I was led to attend closely to several (10) branches of natural history, and thus my powers of observation were improved, though they were always fairly developed.

The investigation of the geology of all the places visited was far more important, as reason-(15) ing here comes into play. On first examining a new district nothing can appear more hopeless than the chaos of rocks; but by recording the stratification and nature of the rocks and fossils at many points, always reasoning and predicting (20) what will be found elsewhere, light soon begins to dawn on the district, and the structure of the whole becomes more or less intelligible. I had brought with me the first volume of Lyell's 'Principles of Geology,' which I studied attentively; and (25) the book was of the highest service to me in many ways. The very first place which I examined, namely St. Jago in the Cape de Verde islands, showed me clearly the wonderful superiority of

Lyell's manner of treating geology, compared with that of any other author, whose works I had with (30) me or ever afterwards read. Another of my occupations was collecting animals of all classes, briefly describing and roughly dissecting many of the marine ones; but from not being able to draw, and from not having sufficient anatomical knowl- (35) edge, a great pile of manuscripts which I made during the voyage has proved almost useless. I thus lost much time, with the exception of that spent in acquiring some knowledge of the Crustaceans, as this was of service when in after years I (40) undertook a monograph of the Cirripedia.

During some part of the day I wrote my Journal, and took much pains in describing carefully and vividly all that I had seen; and this was good practice. My Journal served also, in part, as letters (45) to my home, and portions were sent to England whenever there was an opportunity.

The above various special studies were, however, of no importance compared with the habit of energetic industry and of concentrated attention (50) to whatever I was engaged in, which I then acquired. Everything about which I thought or read was made to bear directly on what I had seen or was likely to see; and this habit of mind was continued during the five years of the voyage. I (55) feel sure that it was this training which has enabled me to do whatever I have done in science.

Looking backwards, I can now perceive how my love for science gradually preponderated over every other taste. (60)

1. In lines 8-9, when the author speaks of the first real training or education of my mind, he refers to a. the voyage of the Beagle.

b. the development of his career.

c. the branches of natural history.

d. his powers of observation.

e. the shape of his nose.

2. In lines 13-14, the author says he considers geology far more important due to the fact that a. its structure is obvious.

b. it helped him learn to reason.

c. he made sense out of chaos.

d. play is as important as work.

e. he learned how to study.

3. In line 18, the word stratification most nearly means a. coloration.

b. calcification.

c. layers.

d. composition.

e. location.

4. In lines 21-22, the phrase the structure of the whole becomes more or less intelligible refers to a. the break of day.

b. the ability to predict findings.

c. a comprehensive knowledge.

d. the assurance of correctness.

e. the fitting together of disparate facts.

5. In line 37, the admission that many of the author's manuscripts proved almost useless depends on the notion that a. it is necessary to draw and know anatomy when collecting animals.

b. additional description would have been required for clarity.

c. a rough dissection is better than no dissection.

d. publication requires more finesse than he possessed.

e. describing and dissection are a waste of time.

6. In line 41, the word monograph most nearly means a. a line drawing.

b. a comprehensive treatment.

c. a one page summary.

d. a thorough dissection.

e. a written treatment.

7. In lines 42-45, the author sees the primary value of his journal as being a. a contribution to English society.

b. good preparation for his future work.

c. practice in painstaking description.

d. killing two birds with one stone.

e. to serve as letters home.

8. In line 59, the word preponderated most nearly means a. predominated.

b. postponed.

c. graduated.

d. eliminated.

e. assuaged.

Was this article helpful?

+1 0
Friendly Persuasion

Friendly Persuasion

To do this successfully you need to build a clear path of action by using tools if necessary. These tools would be facts, evidence and stories which you know they can relate to. Plus you always want to have their best interests at heart, in other words, you know what is good for them

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment