以史为鉴开创未来Learn from history and blaze a trail for the future

发布时间:2011-09-30 22:53:54


5. Learn from history and blaze a trail for the future


Globally, seismic prediction is still in its stage of development, falling far short of social needs. Recently, Chen Yuntai (2007) and Wu Zhongliang (2007) make quite a good review and strategic analysis of China's seismic prediction research as a science. This paper is just a review of the issue of scientific and technological innovation in terms of history and culture.




5.1 前进道路上的历史包袱

5.1 Historical hurdles to progress


   1. Subconscious submission to authority and conformity --- Maybe it is the primary mental scruple and maladjustment that inhibits and jeopardizes our innovation in science and technology. For the absence the development stage of Capitalism, the feudal cultural and the mentality of centralization of power over the past thousands of years have left deep imprints on us. On the contrary, the development of science is impossible without scientific criticism, and the vigor of thoughts and enormous drive brought about by academic contention are usually luxuries we are not entitled to enjoy without first advocating; 长久以来,我国的神话故事标新立异一直偏少;思想交流过于严肃,学术问题容易政治化,行政干预左右科学观点。一句话,导致中国传统文化中的想象力远远不丰富,思路不活跃,直接损害了科学和艺术创新的灵感和土壤(范文澜,1964)。

 Over the ages, China's traditional culture has been featured with little mythology and originality. In a word, all this has produced a traditional Chinese culture that is far from imaginative, inactive in thought, which has directly undermined the inspiration and soil for innovation in science and art( Fan Wenlan, 1964).


   2. Habitual phenomenological research --- China's seismic prediction, with a phenomenological thinking foundation, has been carrying on the practicable tradition that originated during the Qin and Han Dynasties, being used to making "phenomenon to phenomenon" analyses and good at inference as simple as "learning to read by assistance of pictures", so much so that once some generalization or extrapolation based on observation of phenomena, opinions of forecast will be formed, giving no consideration whether modern science supports such phenomenological relation. Despite the tremendous enhancement and change of observation technology over the past 30 years, the phenomenological research practice has remained the same, no progress in the conventional mentality, making it hard to generalize the successful and unsuccessful experiences of seismic prediction.


It is noted that the Western science and technology is advancing along another road, with a goal of pursuing the order of nature and theoretical frame, making deductive inferences based on experimental causation, a practice that shows slow progress in the initial stage but great vigor later on. The consequent series of modern theories and innovative technologies, including the Plate Tectonics, seismic source dynamics, satellite observation, and etc., though not response to the immediate appeal for seismic prediction, have played a guiding role in seismic prediction.


   3. Analytical method featured with empty philosophy ---- China is no cradle of modern mathematics, physics and chemistry and as such lacks the richness of Western culture these aspects and has have no foundation-laying contribution thereto. It sounds that there is always some charm and lingering appeal missing from a symphony played with imported instruments. Of all the countries of the world, China most urgently calls for the realization of seismic prediction as soon as possible. Yet, though the Government has invested a lot on physical equipment, we lack long-term investment and stringent training in fundamental experiments and fundamental theories. The thinking of our researchers will prove to be on the weak side in terms of quantitative analysis and formal logic. When shifting from perceptual knowledge to rational knowledge, or from phenomena to nature, they tend to find it beyond them, and subconsciously replace professional analysis with empty philosophical talk, a sure sign of


We are inclined to generalize simply issues of different natures as the formula of two elements: " When stress gets concentrated, it will be adjusted; when energy gets accumulated, it will be released", nothing short of the "Yin and Yang dialectics " of the late years of the Western Zhou Dynasty. In contrast, Western scholars tend to approach a problem in terms of theoretical mode, experimental condition, parameter variation, causation, and etc, and it follows that their analysis of nature shows more quantification and rationality.

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