Read the texts and answer the questions 1-10. Choose a, b, c or d. 240
The Blood-Type Theory
Human blood comes in four different types, namely A, B, AB and O. In most of the world, most people are ignorant of which blood type they possess, since it is important only if they have to undergo an operation which requires a blood transfusion. In Japan, however, things are different, since a large proportion of the population believes that blood type determines personality and, as a result, over 90% of the population are aware which type they are.
This linking of blood type and personality has ramifications across life, but is especially prominent in prospective relationships and employment. For example, in Japan one popular way to meet romantic partners is to go to specialised venues which conduct speed dating. A single man and woman sit alone together at a table for just a few minutes. Then a bell rings, and they go to sit with someone new. Some such venues hold dating sessions which are limited to men or women of a particular blood type. For those who believe in the blood-type theory, this seems to maximise their chance of finding someone special.
The current popularity of the idea exploded in the 1970s following the publication of a book by Masahiko Nomi, even though he was a lawyer and broadcaster who had no medical or psychological training. His ideas were largely anecdotal, and many critics thought it mere superstition, but the book nevertheless sparked great interest in the general public. Now his son, Toshitaka, continues to promote the theory, and nowadays it is ubiquitous in Japanese popular culture, featuring on morning TV, women’s magazines and best-selling self-help books.
Much like horoscopes in the West, the blood group theory is regularly debunked by scientific experimentation, yet it retains popular appeal.
1.According to the passage, in Japan
a.people associate blood types solely with personality traits.
b.a complicated scientific theory relating blood types to personality has been developed.
c. many more people than elsewhere know which type of blood they have.
d.blood transfusions are made only for certain types of blood.
2. How is the blood-type theory used in speed dating?
a. People go to tables according to their blood types.
b. Dating couples talk about the theory and what it means.
c. Some people want to meet only people of a particular blood type.
d. People try to guess the blood type of their date.
3. What is true about the popularity of the blood-type theory?
a. It became popular due to the writings of a father-and-son team.
b. It is popular because of a traditional idea in Japanese culture.
c. It is not as popular as it was in the 1970s.
d. It became popular following experiments conducted by Masahiko Nomi.
4. What does scientific testing show about the blood-type theory?
a. Scientific testing supports the theory.
b. Scientific testing refutes the theory.
c. Scientific testing is inconclusive.
d. The theory has not been scientifically tested.
5. Why is the blood-type theory so popular in Japan?
a. It gives people something to talk about.
b. It makes social interaction easier.
c. It is used as a way to make friends.
d. Japanese people find it very entertaining.
The Piltdown Man
Ever since 1859, when Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution, a desperate race had been on between scientists to discover the evolutionary intermediate between apes and humans. But this so-called ‘missing link’ was proving very elusive. In 1912, an amateur archaeologist called Charles Dawson said he had found a skull in Barkham Manor, Piltdown, in Sussex, England. At the time, scientists thought the skull genuine, and that Dawson had indeed discovered the missing link. He became famous almost overnight. Nevertheless, it later transpired that the skull was a forgery, made from a human skull only about 500 years old with its jaw replaced by that of a female orangutan, with the bones stained to make them appear older.
It remains unknown, however, who made the skull, and whether Dawson knew it was a fake. Fingers have been pointed not only at Dawson, but at various other scientists and people said to be his enemies, but nobody knows for sure. The motivation for the hoax is also unknown. One theory is patriotism. Given that sensational discoveries of early humans had recently occurred, first in Germany and then in France, and given the patriotic one-upmanship of pre-First World War Europe, huge pressure was on British scientists to show that Britain had also played a major role in human evolution. Piltdown man seemed a godsend in this respect, since it made Britain seem to be the birthplace of mankind.
Even if patriotism was not the motivation for Piltdown man, it certainly
made it harder for British scientists to see it for the hoax that it was.
Indeed, despite its inconsistencies with other early humans discovered
in the wake of Piltdown, which would normally have
precipitated critical testing much sooner, it was over 40 years
before re-examination showed the Piltdown skull to be
6. What was the ‘missing link’?
a. A clue in a scientific investigation.
b. A kind of scientific theory.
c. A piece of evidence which had been lost.
d. A kind of ancient human ancestor.
7. Who orchestrated the hoax?
c. A group of British scientists
d. Nobody knows
8. What turned out to be true about the discovery?
a. It had bones of two different creatures.
b. It was constructed and painted in a laboratory.
c. It was a modern human’s skull.
d. It was made of a synthetic material.
9. Where had important finds been made before 1912?
a. Germany only
b. France and Germany only
c. Britain only
d. Britain, Germany and France
10. Why did it take a long time to re-examine the Piltdown skull?
a. It was in harmony with other discoveries.
b. British scientists wanted it to be genuine.
c. Its owner would not give permission.
d. Scientists thought more testing would damage it.