Directions: There are 2 passages in this section. Each passage is followed by some questions or unfinished statements. For each of them there are four choices marked A）, B）, C）and D）. You should decide on the best choice and mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 2 with a single line through the centre.
Questions 46 to 50 are based on the following passage.
Humans are fascinated by the source of their failings and virtues. This preoccupation inevitably leads to an old debate: whether nature or nurture moulds us more. A revolution in genetics has poised this as a modern political question about the character of our society: if personalities are hard-wired into our genes, what can governments do to help us? It feels morally questionable, yet claims of genetic selection by intelligence are making headlines.
This is down to “hereditarian” （遗传论的）science and a recent paper claimed “differences in exam performance between pupils attending selective and non-selective schools mirror the genetic dif erences between them”. With such an assertion, the work was predictably greeted by a lot of absurd claims about “genetics determining academic success”. What the research revealed was the rather less surprising result: the educational benefits of selective schools largely disappear once pupils’ inborn ability and socio-economic background were taken into account. It is a glimpse of the blindingly obvious—and there’s nothing to back strongly either a hereditary or environmental argument.
Yet the paper does say children are “unintentionally genetically selected” by the school system. Central to hereditarian science is a tall claim: that identifiable variations in genetic sequences can predict an individual’s aptness to learn, reason and solve problems. This is problematic on many levels. A teacher could not seriously tell a parent their child has a low genetic tendency to study when external factors clearly exist. Unlike-minded academics say the inheritability of human traits is scientifically unsound. At best there is a weak statistical association and not a causal link between DNA and intelligence. Yet sophisticated statistics are used to create an intimidatory atmosphere of scientific certainty.
While there’s an undoubted genetic basis to individual difference, it is wrong to think that socially defined groups can be genetically accounted for. The fixation on genes as destiny is surely false too. Medical predictability can rarely be based on DNA alone; the environment matters too. Something as complex as intellect is likely to be affected by many factors beyond genes. If hereditarians want to advance their cause it will require more balanced interpretation and not just acts of advocacy.
Genetic selection is a way of exerting influence over others, “the ultimate collective control of human destinies,” as writer H. G. Wells put it. Knowledge becomes power and power requires a sense of responsibility.In understanding cognitive ability, we must not elevate discrimination to a science: allowing people to climb the ladder of life only as far as their cells might suggest. This will need a more sceptical eye on the science.As technology progresses, we all have a duty to make sure that we shape a future that we would want to find ourselves in.
Questions 51 to 55 are based on the following passage.
Nicola Sturgeon’s speech last Tuesday setting out the Scottish government’s legislative programme for the year ahead confirmed what was already pretty clear. Scottish councils are set to be the first in the UK with the power to levy charges on visitors, with Edinburgh likely to lead the way.
Tourist taxes are not new. The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has a longstanding policy of charging visitors a daily fee. France’s tax on overnight stays was introduced to assist thermal spa （温泉）towns to develop, and around half of French local authorities use it today.
But such levies are on the rise. Moves by Barcelona and Venice to deal with the phenomenon of “over tourism” through the use of charges have recently gained prominence. Japan and Greece are among the countries to have recently introduced tourist taxes.
That the UK lags behind is due to our weak, by international standards, local government, as well as the opposition to taxes and regulation of our aggressively pro-market ruling party. Some UK cities have lobbied without success for the power to levy a charge on visitors. Such levies are no universal remedy as the amounts raised would be tiny compared with what has been taken away by central government since 2010. Still, it is to be hoped that the Scottish government’s bold move will prompt others to act. There is no reason why visitors to the UK, or domestic tourists on holiday in hotspots such as Cornwall, should be exempt from taxation—particularly when vital local services including waste collection, park maintenance and arts and culture spending are under unprecedented strain.
On the contrary, compelling tourists to make a financial contribution to the places they visit beyond their personal consumption should be part of a wider cultural shift. Westerners with disposable incomes have often behaved as if they have a right to go wherever they choose with little regard for the consequences. Just as the environmental harm caused by aviation and other transport must come under far greater scrutiny, the social cost of tourism must also be confronted. This includes the impact of short-term lets on housing costs and quality of life for residents. Several European capitals, including Paris and Berlin, are leading a campaign for tougher regulation by the European Union. It also includes the impact of overcrowding, litter and the kinds of behaviour associated with noisy parties.
There is no “one size fits all” solution to this problem. The existence of new revenue streams for some but not all councils is complicated, and businesses are often opposed, fearing higher costs will make them uncompetitive. But those places that want them must be given the chance to make tourist taxes work.