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Author Topic: Intelligent Design  (Read 12011 times)

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carl

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Re: Intelligent Design
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2008, 01:56:00 PM »

Mack,

    Several questions are mixed up here. Evolution is one question, how hard is it to create living material from inorganic materials is a second, and the origins of man and the universe are others. They are not properly related.

1) Even the Catholic Church now accepts that living organisms evolve in the short term. Without the process of evolution, we would have no dog or flower shows, no specialized work animals, no improved plants for food or raw materials. These species and individuals were all evolved from less-suitable species and individuals by human breeders and gardeners - survival of the desirable. Genetics were proven to work in plants by Gregor Mendel, an Augustinian monk in the mid-1800's, even though he couldn't explain exactly how it worked. The process of evolution does not speak at all about God or the origins of the universe, and is not related to those questions in any way. Read The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawson.

2) Whether life *can* arise spontaneously has been answered already. I do not have a reference at the moment (I'm pretty sure it was in a Scientific American) but a researcher put inorganic compounds in a closed system, added some electricity to simulate lightning storms, and produced various proteins common to living organisms within 6 months (I think that was the time line). While your statistics claim to "prove" that complex features such as eyes could not appear by random mutation, the numbers do not include the fact that there was more than one experiment being carried on at a time. In fact, each of the millions of potentially habitable planets had billions or trillions (or many more) of simultaneous experiments going on.
    And any type of life is suitable to start. We have life that exists on oxygen (animals), carbon dioxide and photosynthesis (plants), hydrogen sulfide (in deep ocean vents), and probably several other types that I'm forgetting, or that have yet to be discovered. Other planets, with other beginning inorganic mixtures, could create many other types.
    As someone mentioned earlier on this thread, once any single one of those experiments produced *any* kind of life, the probability that life *might* evolve becomes 1.0 (i.e. certain). Since life replicates itself, by definition, the number of even partially-defective organisms will increase, unless conditions change.
    After that, it is entirely possible that life could be carried by comets or other space debris, or by space-traveling beings if you prefer, to seed other planets which had not yet produced living compounds. Speculation, true, but *possible*.

3) Whether life on Earth *did* arise spontaneously, the existance and nature of god(s), and the original creation of the universe are currently open to research and debate. I'm not involved in this question any more. If there is a god, or more than one, I personally reject the notion that s/he specifically cares about any individual(s) on Earth. At best, we are an ant farm - perhaps collectively interesting, but individually, not at all.

BTW, which edition of your "Book" are you quoting to support your position? There are some differences. E.G. it turns out that in the original text, Mary was not necessarily described as a virgin, and that there was a subtle (or perhaps intentional) mistranslation either when translating into Greek, or from Greek into another language. Don't the words "King James version" indicate there are other versions and that a Human created (or at least took credit for) at least one of the versions?

Best,
Carl
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Mack Ravensline

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Re: Intelligent Design
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2008, 02:30:59 PM »

1) Even the Catholic Church now accepts that living organisms evolve in the short term. Without the process of evolution, we would have no dog or flower shows, no specialized work animals, no improved plants for food or raw materials. These species and individuals were all evolved from less-suitable species and individuals by human breeders and gardeners - survival of the desirable. Genetics were proven to work in plants by Gregor Mendel, an Augustinian monk in the mid-1800's, even though he couldn't explain exactly how it worked. The process of evolution does not speak at all about God or the origins of the universe, and is not related to those questions in any way. Read The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawson.
True enough there is a great amount of variety within species. The problem comes in when science tries to account for transitions between species. There is a great deal of variation allowable by genetics within the the same size spiral. Where the problem comes in is when you try to add a chromosone. That has never been proven.
2) Whether life *can* arise spontaneously has been answered already. I do not have a reference at the moment (I'm pretty sure it was in a Scientific American) but a researcher put inorganic compounds in a closed system, added some electricity to simulate lightning storms, and produced various proteins common to living organisms within 6 months (I think that was the time line). While your statistics claim to "prove" that complex features such as eyes could not appear by random mutation, the numbers do not include the fact that there was more than one experiment being carried on at a time. In fact, each of the millions of potentially habitable planets had billions or trillions (or many more) of simultaneous experiments going on.
    And any type of life is suitable to start. We have life that exists on oxygen (animals), carbon dioxide and photosynthesis (plants), hydrogen sulfide (in deep ocean vents), and probably several other types that I'm forgetting, or that have yet to be discovered. Other planets, with other beginning inorganic mixtures, could create many other types.
    As someone mentioned earlier on this thread, once any single one of those experiments produced *any* kind of life, the probability that life *might* evolve becomes 1.0 (i.e. certain). Since life replicates itself, by definition, the number of even partially-defective organisms will increase, unless conditions change.
    After that, it is entirely possible that life could be carried by comets or other space debris, or by space-traveling beings if you prefer, to seed other planets which had not yet produced living compounds. Speculation, true, but *possible*.
Two things. One, where did these amino acids come from? What created the atmospheres to produce these? Was it actual life? or just the building blocks of life? There is a big difference. It was a closed system, however the materials were produced where? Have they ever created matter from nothing? The experiment does not show that evolution is a fact by any means. When they can actually show those protiens forming into actual life, then they have something. When they can actually show it happening in nature then I will concede the point. Until then it is far from proof. When they do an experiment like this, they are starting with something. There is nothing that shows how it got to that point. The creation of these starter chemicals is a big issues, then showing how anything evolves from there is another thing entirely.

3) Whether life on Earth *did* arise spontaneously, the existance and nature of god(s), and the original creation of the universe are currently open to research and debate. I'm not involved in this question any more. If there is a god, or more than one, I personally reject the notion that s/he specifically cares about any individual(s) on Earth. At best, we are an ant farm - perhaps collectively interesting, but individually, not at all.
By making this statement, you show a belief system. As an agnostic, (which is exactly what you just described) you may not have a church you go to, but your beliefs do color your opinions.
BTW, which edition of your "Book" are you quoting to support your position? There are some differences. E.G. it turns out that in the original text, Mary was not necessarily described as a virgin, and that there was a subtle (or perhaps intentional) mistranslation either when translating into Greek, or from Greek into another language. Don't the words "King James version" indicate there are other versions and that a Human created (or at least took credit for) at least one of the versions?

Best,
Carl
The different versions of the Bible are translations from their sources. English was not what the Bible was written in, so since there is some arguement on translation, the Bible has been translated several times from the closest we have to the original sources. I have several source books that show the different ways that the original Greek words could be translated, and between the several versions you can get a pretty decent idea of the intent of the original writers. I have read through the Bible several times in several different translations and have a decent grasp on what is written, however study of the Bible is a lifelong quest. I work as a Chaplain and still have much to learn about the Bible. I look forward to asking the one who inspired it all someday.
Thank you for bringing this back to civil though,
Mark
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AndromacheNY

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Re: Intelligent Design
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2008, 01:05:57 AM »


Mark,

I'm so impressed! I had no idea you were fluent in Hebrew, Greek, Syraic, Latin, and Aramaic.

Kudos.

Molly

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Mack Ravensline

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Re: Intelligent Design
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2008, 10:02:19 AM »

Mark,

I'm so impressed! I had no idea you were fluent in Hebrew, Greek, Syraic, Latin, and Aramaic.

Kudos.

Molly


Obviously I am not fluent in all those languages, but I do have reference books that allow me to see what the original words were, and the different ways they can be translated. I have done this for several sections of the Bible when I am doing heavy research for a Bible study or when someone challenges what I believe effectively enough that I am forced to look over the texts intensely. The greek language has several word for Love. Which word was used makes a big difference in seeing what kind of relationship they are talking about. There is a different work for familial love as opposed to friendship Love or Passionate Love for example. Knowing which was used is important for understanding what was intended.
   When I say I have read several translations, I speak of The King James Version, The New Living Translation, New American Standard Version, and the New International Version primarily, plus several Amplified versions. Each of these translations I have read several times and I have a Parallel Bible that has the first four versions side by side so I can compare those texts.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2008, 10:11:02 AM by Mack Ravensline »
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Re: Intelligent Design
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2008, 10:58:43 AM »

Have you read the Jehovah's Witness version?  That one's quite different, especially the part where JC is tied to a stick.  I prefer to infer overall effect than direct textual translation.

Speaking of ID and all that funky stuff: I recently read a book called "Calculating God."  The premise was that aliens land on earth convinced that the universe was indeed created by an intelligent being of some kind, and was scientifically provable.  It's not a bad read and not religiously preachy.  Still a work of complete fiction, but if the universe was created purposefully I like to believe it was in the manner put forth in there; otherwise, the big bang was simply the aftereffect of the previous universe collapsing in on itself and everything here on our little spheroid is 1/infinite chance.
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Mack Ravensline

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Re: Intelligent Design
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2008, 12:51:50 PM »

Have you read the Jehovah's Witness version?  That one's quite different, especially the part where JC is tied to a stick.  I prefer to infer overall effect than direct textual translation.

Speaking of ID and all that funky stuff: I recently read a book called "Calculating God."  The premise was that aliens land on earth convinced that the universe was indeed created by an intelligent being of some kind, and was scientifically provable.  It's not a bad read and not religiously preachy.  Still a work of complete fiction, but if the universe was created purposefully I like to believe it was in the manner put forth in there; otherwise, the big bang was simply the aftereffect of the previous universe collapsing in on itself and everything here on our little spheroid is 1/infinite chance.

Actually I have read the Jehovah's witness version, specifically so I can talk to them and point out the differences and why they are significant.
No I have not read that book, but it sounds like an interesting read. I am not a big fan of the Big Bang theory per se, it just does not make sense to me in many ways, however the reason I studied this many years ago is because I took alot of Science classes at Stockton State and DeVry Tech, and had many questions. Most of which were answered through study. I have not done a great deal of study since then, and many things have been found out since then. I find it all very interesting.
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cattana423

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Re: Intelligent Design
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2008, 01:00:01 PM »

I'm just a dumb un educated hippy but i have a question. if a god did create everything why didnt he/she/it do a better job? Someone pointed out how unlikely protien strands are to be created and matched correctly. unfortunatly the truth is they often go wrong. a whole host of birth defects and problems are caused by this . the human body is much more like a badly designed goldberg device then it is a effecient devinely smooth working machine that stands as a testement to the grace of a god .not to mention the rate at which species cease to keep up and become extinct. what did the dodo do to god ?most time the answer from the religious is " its gods will his reasons are unknowable " but that always seemed like a cop out and not a bit scientific. and then there is the bit about proof destroying faith ,also known as the babel fish theory,so wouldnt god have been smart enough to cover something as simple as transitional fossils or sea silt? ( hey if other people can use douglas adams so can I )
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Frigemall

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Re: Intelligent Design
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2008, 01:18:14 PM »

I'm just a dumb un educated hippy but i have a question. if a god did create everything why didnt he/she/it do a better job? Someone pointed out how unlikely protien strands are to be created and matched correctly. unfortunatly the truth is they often go wrong. a whole host of birth defects and problems are caused by this .
Considering how we abuse our bodys and feed them full of chemicals and other products, as well as doing things like interfamilial marriage, it is a wonder there are not more problems. God made us adaptive, and allowed us to change within our species to fit our environments, just not to change to another species.

the human body is much more like a badly designed goldberg device then it is a effecient devinely smooth working machine that stands as a testement to the grace of a god .not to mention the rate at which species cease to keep up and become extinct. what did the dodo do to god ?most time the answer from the religious is " its gods will his reasons are unknowable " but that always seemed like a cop out and not a bit scientific.
True, again I say God gave us the ability to move about and take dominion over the planet. To do this we must be able to adapt to our climates. It is amazing how different two people are. The reason why many times species become extinct is simply because they are either hunted to extinction, the climate changes and the species is not able to adapt quickly enough and is not smart enough to overcome it's troubles. The Dodo did nothing to God. It simply was not able to adapt, and was probably hunted down by man who was given the responsibility of watching over these creatures.
and then there is the bit about proof destroying faith ,also known as the babel fish theory,so wouldnt god have been smart enough to cover something as simple as transitional fossils or sea silt? ( hey if other people can use douglas adams so can I )
I am not sure what point you are trying to make here. The lack of transitional fossils and the lack of sea silt are two of the problems with the theory of evolution. These help to show that the Earth is most likely much younger than evolutionist believe, and that God created the species. As the species spread out across the globe they adapted and multiplied. Some were not able to survive and died out. Others were able to survive and some thrived. Natural Selection and Evolution are mutually exclusive. Most creationists and ID scientist have no problem with adaptation within species. This is observable and there are many fossils showing it. There are no transitional fossils however that show what was supposed to be changes that occured over many years. If a fish turned into a reptile, there would be transitional fossils with partial transformations. If reptiles turned into birds there would be some reptiles with feathers. None of these things have been found. If evolution was true there would be far more evidence of it. If the Earth was as old as evolutionist claim, the laws that govern nature would have to be fairly consistant. The problem with evolutionists is that when they encounter a problem with their theory they simply try to create some circumstance that can account for the inconsistancy, hypothesize and then publish it as the way it must have been. When that is disproven, they simply come up with another scenario, and so on. Instead of acknowledging that it is a possibility they could be wrong they simply try to make it fit. That is why I say evolutionary science is based on faith.
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LucasJamison

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Re: Intelligent Design
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2008, 04:21:14 PM »

Setting aside my general annoyance and indignation WRT ID and proponents there of (for reasons previously noted and otherwise), I present without (much) additional comment, the opinion of the US district court in the case of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.

http://www.pamd.uscourts.gov/kitzmiller/kitzmiller_342.pdf

I was actually poking around here for one of the references cited (which I recalled being particularly relevant), and realized (duh) that the important sections were elaborated upon in the opinion itself.

It's worth reading because it makes the points I would make, in more neutral language and with much greater patience, than I could ever muster. Guess I'll never be a federal court judge, eh? ;p
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Bulova

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Re: Intelligent Design
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2008, 08:19:14 AM »

http://www.pamd.uscourts.gov/kitzmiller/kitzmiller_342.pdf

I was actually poking around here for one of the references cited (which I recalled being particularly relevant), and realized (duh) that the important sections were elaborated upon in the opinion itself.
I think it important to note that the judicial ruling presented here does NOT invalidate the concept of ID. It does, however, invalidate the idea that ID is a science, concluding that it is based on religious belief (whether or not the Designer is referred to as "God") and therefore fails the "Establishment clause" and is not a valid subject to be taught in secular Public Schools (where the appearance will be that "Government" would be giving official sanction to a religious belief).

It also did me the favor of citing substantial caselaw that supports my expressed "Separation of Church and State" positions. Although now I find I have to expand it to: Not only does "Government" have the authority to prevent displays and activities that could be interpreted as it "respecting" a religion or religious belief, it has the specific Constitutional responsibility to do so.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2008, 09:18:21 AM by Bulova »
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LucasJamison

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Re: Intelligent Design
« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2008, 09:03:51 AM »

I think it important to note that the judicial ruling presented here does NOT invalidate the concept of ID. It does, however, invalidate the idea that ID is a science, concluding that it is based on religious belief (whether or not the Designer is referred to as "God") and therefore fails the "Establishment clause" and is not a valid subject to be taught in secular Public Schools (where the appearance will be that "Government" would be giving official sanction to the concept).

That's not really a distinction worth making.
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Bulova

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Re: Intelligent Design
« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2008, 09:08:53 AM »

Whether life *can* arise spontaneously has been answered already. I do not have a reference at the moment (I'm pretty sure it was in a Scientific American) but a researcher put inorganic compounds in a closed system, added some electricity to simulate lightning storms, and produced various proteins common to living organisms within 6 months (I think that was the time line). While your statistics claim to "prove" that complex features such as eyes could not appear by random mutation, the numbers do not include the fact that there was more than one experiment being carried on at a time. In fact, each of the millions of potentially habitable planets had billions or trillions (or many more) of simultaneous experiments going on.
    And any type of life is suitable to start. We have life that exists on oxygen (animals), carbon dioxide and photosynthesis (plants), hydrogen sulfide (in deep ocean vents), and probably several other types that I'm forgetting, or that have yet to be discovered. Other planets, with other beginning inorganic mixtures, could create many other types.
    As someone mentioned earlier on this thread, once any single one of those experiments produced *any* kind of life, the probability that life *might* evolve becomes 1.0 (i.e. certain). Since life replicates itself, by definition, the number of even partially-defective organisms will increase, unless conditions change.
Two things. One, where did these amino acids come from? What created the atmospheres to produce these? Was it actual life? or just the building blocks of life? There is a big difference. It was a closed system, however the materials were produced where? Have they ever created matter from nothing? The experiment does not show that evolution is a fact by any means. When they can actually show those protiens forming into actual life, then they have something. When they can actually show it happening in nature then I will concede the point. Until then it is far from proof. When they do an experiment like this, they are starting with something. There is nothing that shows how it got to that point. The creation of these starter chemicals is a big issues, then showing how anything evolves from there is another thing entirely.
Mark,

You display an ignorance of the conditions and purpose of the experiment that Carl was citing. Now, "ignorance" is no sin, and is easily corrected. But your "two things" resulted in many more than two questions.

After the creation of the Universe (whether by Big Bang, a "theory" greatly supported by modern techniques of empirical observation of the energy levels remaining and detectable in the current Universe, or by some other, unexplained means; and the only time in the history of the Universe that I know of where matter was created from nothing) galaxies were formed. These galaxies consist of stars (suns), planets, other bodies and scattered matter. The various celestial bodies, themselves, were formed by the natural condensation and collection of matter by gravity and other natural forces.

The "something" with which scientists began the "origin of life" experiment is the knowledge of the conditions on the early Earth which they replicated in the laboratory. Scientists took advantage of research that has determined the chemical composition of the early Earth oceans (I'll use a technical term here: "water and stuff"), and put that mixture in a container to isolate it from the modern-day environment. It then took advantage of research that has determined the composition of the early Earth atmosphere, and the resultant prevailing climate conditions and reproduced THAT in the container. And yes, lightning (electricity) is one thing determined to have existed at one point in this early Earth environment. They didn't have to know how those conditions came to be, or what created the atmosphere and oceans that existed then. They only had to know that they did exist in that composition.

After the addition of kinetic (heat) energy (which would have come from sunlight on the early Earth), the result was the "spontaneous" formation of simple amino acids from the water and nitrogenous compounds. It was a revelation to scientists, and went far to explain the origin of life on Earth.

It would, however, be very difficult to show this happening in nature today, because those specific conditions no longer exist on Earth. That the result could be replicated in a laboratory indicates that a similar result would occur in nature, and that the laboratory result probably did occur naturally on early Earth.

Once this experiment proved that the building blocks of Terran life could arise from reactions of simple nitrogenous compounds, the next step (not yet replicated in a laboratory) is to generate a simple organism from those building blocks. But it is not a far cry to consider that once you have the amino acids, they can be chemically combined to form proteins. And some of the simplest forms of virus are nothing but a strand of protein.
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Bulova

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Re: Intelligent Design
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2008, 09:12:58 AM »

I think it important to note ...
That's not really a distinction worth making.
And here is where we have a difference of opinion. Obviously, I thought it was important, and therefore "worth making." But note that I am also not arguing for or against ID, except that I also think that ID falls into the realm of a "religious belief."
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Re: Intelligent Design
« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2008, 01:02:18 PM »

That's not really a distinction worth making.
And here is where we have a difference of opinion. Obviously, I thought it was important, and therefore "worth making." But note that I am also not arguing for or against ID, except that I also think that ID falls into the realm of a "religious belief."

In as much as ID is a religious mythology, it's about as interesting to me as any other contemporary religion -- not at all, save for the historical and current social / political relevance of its adherents actions.

Where ID is also a sociopolitical movement and propaganda campaign by believers to redefine science entire and derail the progress of human technical advancement and growth, I think it is important to actively oppose that movement in all forms.
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Re: Intelligent Design
« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2008, 02:30:33 PM »

    I read carefully through that legal case. It did nothing to invalidate ID or creationism. I have never said anything else but that the actual inception of the world was supernatural, the science comes in by showing it is possible and by showing the glaring flaws in the THEORY of Evolution. This mostly started because Dave posted that Evolution was FACT. I posted all this to prove that it is far from fact, and can be shown to be possible by using science that another theory (ID) is at least possible. As far as whether the courts rule that because it is supernatural in nature and not thereby provable with science, I can not argue that. ID scientist can just show flaws in Evolution and then show that aspects of Creationism / Intelligent Design are possible.
   As far as the experiment is concerned, yes I understand the experiment. In a closed environment, they took conditions which they could not produce exactly because the elements they used were from today and not from then, however similar they may be. They also have never created any actual life as we know it, and also how did all these building block come into place at just the right levels for this to happen on such a large scale. That example is demonstrative of the fact that when all the elements are placed in the right balances and subjected to just the right weather patterns, which also had to come from somewhere, they can generate the building blocks needed for life. Is this not exactly what (ID) is? Some higher intelligence creates the atmospere for life to come about then adds energy and still we can't produce actual life. Believe me if they could do that they would have, if it was such an easy jump. One of my arguements has always been, 'Where did all these elements and proper conditions come from?'
   The Big Bang theory still relies on something having been there to start with, at least energy. Niether evolution nor ID will ever be proven, until it can be recreated. Neither can be done unless God creates something for us to see, or scientists can show they can create something out of nothing, then make it evolve into a higher lifeform. I don't see either happening, at least in our lifetimes, so I will believe in my faith and you will believe in yours, but make no mistake, both are a theory based on faith. Yours in scientists who work from an idea and make what they observe fit their theory. And mine where I believe in my God and what he says and try to show those of you who will only believe in scientific data it is at least as viable a theory as yours.
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