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Archsage

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« Reply #30 on: December 29, 2011, 07:09:36 am »
Alexander wrote: It seems to me that WLC wants to avoid being labeled a creationist while never showing any real support for evolution.

   

   What are you talking about? WLC is a creationist in the truest sense of of the term.

   

   WLC also follows contemporary science (and anyone with rational sense would be keen on not supporting their entire view on the fickle nature of current human understanding of natural phenomena). And while descent with modification is accepted by all rational thinkers, life from non-life and the appearance of the rational mind within this world without any form of external intervention is no where near as accepted or supported as mere evolution, as described by Darwin, is.

   

   So the problem with your post, Alex, is two-fold. (1) that you display a common misunderstanding of the term "creationist" and (2) that you display a common misconception of the "evolution".
“It is of dangerous consequence to represent to man how near he is to the level of beasts, without showing him at the same time his greatness. It is likewise dangerous to let him see his greatness without his meanness..."  –Blaise Pascal

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wonderer

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« Reply #31 on: December 29, 2011, 08:08:24 am »
Archsage wrote:
Quote from: gregwilson
It'd be quite a movie watching how whales evolved from cow-like beings.

Lol! For all the talk of how theism is nothing but fantasy... seems a bit ironic, right?


To add to the irony, there is this quote from you Archsage:

The problem with YEC is that they worship the Scriptures. The Bible was never intended to speak of the mysteries of Creation. Never. Which is why the Genesis account is so vague... God didn't want to sit down with Moses telling Him how He made things.

As for the literalism, this was proven quite satanic a few chapters later in Genesis...

"The world needed that of us, to maintain—by our example, by our very existence—a world that would keep learning and questioning, that would remain free in thought, inquiry, and word." - Alice Dreger

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The Watcher

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« Reply #32 on: December 30, 2011, 01:55:29 am »
blank wrote:
Quote from: gregwilson
I'm sorry, I think you came to the wrong thread.  The question already assumed the truth of Christianity, and pondered whether or not evolution fits under the belief system.


Isn't the OP open to the proposition that Christianity is false? One shouldn't be so hasty.


The OP responded that his view was like mine (Christianity is true and evolution is not unbiblical per se but scientifically weak)

blank wrote:
Quote from: gregwilson

Faith is simply believing in something you cannot physically demonstrate.  I don't have faith that I am sitting in a chair right now as I can physically show that I am.  Science, true science, is not faith-based.


Actually, religious faith is something much more than that. It also includes believing something in the absence of evidence or contrary to the available evidence.

gregwilson wrote:
A skilled chemist can isolate oxygen or hydrogen in a laboratory demonstrably and repeatedly.  Is the same true for macroevolution?  Where has macroevolution been demonstrated in a laboratory?  Or do you have a time machine where we can go back 65 million years and set up a time-motion camera to watch macroevolution?  It'd be quite a movie watching how whales evolved from cow-like beings.


You need to realize firstly that science is much more than what one does in a lab. After all, people have never seen sabre toothed cats before, they didn't see the asteroid impact at the Yucatan peninsula 65 million years ago, neither have they seen the reversal of the magnetic poles of the earth. Yet they are ideas based on science. Also, no one has seen Noah's ark or evidence of it neither have they seen the Garden of Eden despite the availability of satellites yet some still believe stories about them.


I hate having to be direct, but I don't think you grasp the gist of my argument.  I never said science is only empircal tests in a laboratory, but of course this is only where it can be "proven" (demonstrated repeatedly in an isolated environment).  I furthermore never denied sabre-toothed tigers (which we have complete fossils of!) nor asteroids shaping the Yucatan (a one time event).  

What I did deny in a somewhat sarcastic manner (or at least show skepticism toward) is macroevolution in which a cow-like being (or at least some land mammal) slowly morphed into a 80 ton sea-dwelling mammal.  We should have rampant fossil evidence of this happening if it did yet we only have a few remnants of intermediaries (if that is what they are indeed).  The number of structural changes is immense in value, so the question becomes how immense?  David Berlinski has said no scientists dare estimate a figure but has a rough estimate himself in the thousands or tens of thousands.  His guess may be wrong, granted, but the point is that a number of structural changes had to occur for a whale to survive from its land-dwelling ancestors (skin, breath apparatus, birthing method, etc.).  Yet when he presses evolutionary biologists for an answer of how many they don't want to give one or don't have one.

So, being a decently logical human being, like Berlinski I cannot accept a purely naturalistic view of the world until it provides more concrete data and evidence (I'm not holding my breath).  I don't take Noah's ark or the Garden of Eden on anything but faith so I don't see your point there, unless you are saying evolution is a matter of faith (which is what I've been arguing).

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blank

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« Reply #33 on: December 30, 2011, 02:26:57 am »
gregwilson wrote:
Quote from: blank
Quote from: gregwilson
I'm sorry, I think you came to the wrong thread.  The question already assumed the truth of Christianity, and pondered whether or not evolution fits under the belief system.


Isn't the OP open to the proposition that Christianity is false? One shouldn't be so hasty.


The OP responded that his view was like mine (Christianity is true and evolution is not unbiblical per se but scientifically weak)


Okay. So you and the OP have closed your minds to the chance that Christianity is false.

gregwilson wrote:
Quote from: blank
Quote from: gregwilson

Faith is simply believing in something you cannot physically demonstrate.  I don't have faith that I am sitting in a chair right now as I can physically show that I am.  Science, true science, is not faith-based.


Actually, religious faith is something much more than that. It also includes believing something in the absence of evidence or contrary to the available evidence.

gregwilson wrote:
A skilled chemist can isolate oxygen or hydrogen in a laboratory demonstrably and repeatedly.  Is the same true for macroevolution?  Where has macroevolution been demonstrated in a laboratory?  Or do you have a time machine where we can go back 65 million years and set up a time-motion camera to watch macroevolution?  It'd be quite a movie watching how whales evolved from cow-like beings.


You need to realize firstly that science is much more than what one does in a lab. After all, people have never seen sabre toothed cats before, they didn't see the asteroid impact at the Yucatan peninsula 65 million years ago, neither have they seen the reversal of the magnetic poles of the earth. Yet they are ideas based on science. Also, no one has seen Noah's ark or evidence of it neither have they seen the Garden of Eden despite the availability of satellites yet some still believe stories about them.


I hate having to be direct, but I don't think you grasp the gist of my argument.  I never said science is only empircal tests in a laboratory, but of course this is only where it can be "proven" (demonstrated repeatedly in an isolated environment).  I furthermore never denied sabre-toothed tigers (which we have complete fossils of!) nor asteroids shaping the Yucatan (a one time event).


Please I prefer it if you're direct. Since you understand that science isn't only what is demonstrated in a laboratory, then why will you try to limit evolution to that? Considering the immense diversity of the organisms, the timescales, and environments involved, why will you want to suggest that all these properties must be demonstrated in a lab?

gregwilson wrote:
What I did deny in a somewhat sarcastic manner (or at least show skepticism toward) is macroevolution in which a cow-like being (or at least some land mammal) slowly morphed into a 80 ton sea-dwelling mammal.  We should have rampant fossil evidence of this happening if it did yet we only have a few remnants of intermediaries (if that is what they are indeed).  The number of structural changes is immense in value, so the question becomes how immense?  David Berlinski has said no scientists dare estimate a figure but has a rough estimate himself in the thousands or tens of thousands.  His guess may be wrong, granted, but the point is that a number of structural changes had to occur for a whale to survive from its land-dwelling ancestors (skin, breath apparatus, birthing method, etc.).  Yet when he presses evolutionary biologists for an answer of how many they don't want to give one or don't have one.


Let me get this straight. Are you saying that one major reason why you disagree with the idea of evolution because lots of structural changes were needed and biologists didn't give Berlinski a figure?
Have you considered the timescales involved? Have you considered what 1 million years looks like?
Also, you do realize that fossilization is a rare event so we are lucky to find the fossils that we do have.
Sure the structural changes are immense but there was enough time for this to occur and there is evidence located within the organisms themselves and the environment upon which the relevant conclusions were drawn.

gregwilson wrote:
So, being a decently logical human being, like Berlinski I cannot accept a purely naturalistic view of the world until it provides more concrete data and evidence (I'm not holding my breath).  I don't take Noah's ark or the Garden of Eden on anything but faith so I don't see your point there, unless you are saying evolution is a matter of faith (which is what I've been arguing).


Maybe you're not considering the data and evidence in the way you should. My question is why do you even accept Noah's ark or the Garden of Eden as being actual events.
As I said before, religious faith isn't the type of faith people generally wish to avoid in their regular dealings with other people except of course when they get to their particular favourite religion.

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Alexander

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« Reply #34 on: December 30, 2011, 03:00:42 am »
Archsage wrote:
Quote from: Alexander
It seems to me that WLC wants to avoid being labeled a creationist while never showing any real support for evolution.


What are you talking about? WLC is a creationist in the truest sense of of the term.

WLC also follows contemporary science (and anyone with rational sense would be keen on not supporting their entire view on the fickle nature of current human understanding of natural phenomena). And while descent with modification is accepted by all rational thinkers, life from non-life and the appearance of the rational mind within this world without any form of external intervention is no where near as accepted or supported as mere evolution, as described by Darwin, is.

So the problem with your post, Alex, is two-fold. (1) that you display a common misunderstanding of the term "creationist" and (2) that you display a common misconception of the "evolution".


You might not understand what I mean when I use the term 'creationist', but I doubt that you misunderstand what I mean when I say evolution. But, just so we are clear. "Creationist" is usually considered a pejorative and even if you disagree I think the point remains that WLC would never refer to himself as a creationist (the most specific I've heard him say is that he is somewhere between an ID proponent and supporter of theistic evolution). I would also say that WLC only follows contemporary science as far as it supports his faith. I remember listening to a podcast of his where he talked about the evidence for evolution, and even from my own point of view as a layman he seemed out of his element and it didn't seem like he actually read the book he was referring to (I might be wrong but if I remember correctly he was answering a question about Richard Dawkins and The Greatest Show on Earth).

All of this alludes to one big problem I have with some Christians ; it seems to me that he is only concerned with science when it comes to promoting Christianity and doing what he can to evangelize. When the science goes against that message he attempts to soften the blow or twist it to fit with his point of view. This isn't a problem unique to WLC, but that doesn't excuse him from criticism either.

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The Watcher

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« Reply #35 on: January 06, 2012, 02:09:12 am »

blank wrote:
Okay. So you and the OP have closed your minds to the chance that Christianity is false.

Because this is a Christian apologetics website, and the OP is himself a Christian, I didn’t think it necessary to launch into a ten page thesis about the evidences for Christianity.  We can debate the evidences for God and Christ’s divinity elsewhere, but here the question is does the theory of evolution make sense on its own?

blank wrote:  
Please I prefer it if you're direct. Since you understand that science isn't only what is demonstrated in a laboratory, then why will you try to limit evolution to that? Considering the immense diversity of the organisms, the timescales, and environments involved, why will you want to suggest that all these properties must be demonstrated in a lab?

The better question is why should I accept this account of the past until it can be demonstrated?  Remember, it is the naturalist who claims evolution’s superiority.  The current naturalistic account of the history of the planet doesn’t seem convincing in many regards, and these objections should be answered seriously if the evolutionist is to persuade me.

blank wrote:

Let me get this straight. Are you saying that one major reason why you disagree with the idea of evolution because lots of structural changes were needed and biologists didn't give Berlinski a figure?
Have you considered the timescales involved? Have you considered what 1 million years looks like?
Also, you do realize that fossilization is a rare event so we are lucky to find the fossils that we do have.
Sure the structural changes are immense but there was enough time for this to occur and there is evidence located within the organisms themselves and the environment upon which the relevant conclusions were drawn.

The timescales should be in the evolutionist’s favor.  It would arguably take millions of generations and years for the evolution of a whale to occur so enough fossils should be evident to prove the theory.  But the point Berlinski was trying to drive home is that if macroevolution were a solid theory it would be more specific.  It would be able to estimate the number of structural changes from land mammal to whale and demonstrate how they could have occurred despite the seeming odds against such an evolution.  But strangely, scientists are light on these specifics.  The point in contrasting a chemist isolating oxygen and the theory of evolution is that one doesn’t require faith (I can witness a chemist demonstrate this procedure repeatedly) whereas one does (I cannot see macroevolution and the evidence against it is astounding).  So I don’t believe in the macroevolutionary account commonly given by naturalists because the evidence is lacking, not because the scientists couldn’t produce a figure.  Of course, the reason they couldn’t produce a figure was because whales didn’t evolve from land-dwelling creatures but you get the point.

blank wrote: Maybe you're not considering the data and evidence in the way you should. My question is why do you even accept Noah's ark or the Garden of Eden as being actual events.
As I said before, religious faith isn't the type of faith people generally wish to avoid in their regular dealings with other people except of course when they get to their particular favourite religion.

Let me ask you this, what slam dunk evidence is there to prove evolution?  Einstein’s relativity predicted a certain phenomenon in the case of a solar eclipse, and soon astronomers and other scientists were able to demonstrate that Einstein was correct.  What is it that evolution can predict to show its certainty?  It can only theorize as to what happened, not what is going to happen in a controlled environment.  To me, this moves it from a serious scientific postulation to a mere story.  At some point, unless time travel is discovered, it seems everyone should have a large degree of scientific agnosticism toward the history and diversity of life on Earth.

Lastly, I don’t claim scientific or historic proofs to support my belief in Noah’s ark or the Garden of Eden.  I am totally ignorant to either event occurring in history, and wouldn’t know about them had God not had Moses write the stories down in the Torah.


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blank

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« Reply #36 on: January 06, 2012, 08:18:59 am »
gregwilson wrote:

Quote from: blank

Okay. So you and the OP have closed your minds to the chance that Christianity is false.


Because this is a Christian apologetics website, and the OP is himself a Christian, I didn’t think it necessary to launch into a ten page thesis about the evidences for Christianity.  We can debate the evidences for God and Christ’s divinity elsewhere, but here the question is does the theory of evolution make sense on its own?



I'm not looking for a thesis on the evidence for Christianity per se, I'm more interested in the sorts of things that you and the OP may find acceptable as evidence. I would also like to know that you're open to revising previous ideas.

gregwilson wrote:
Quote from: blank

Please I prefer it if you're direct. Since you understand that science isn't only what is demonstrated in a laboratory, then why will you try to limit evolution to that? Considering the immense diversity of the organisms, the timescales, and environments involved, why will you want to suggest that all these properties must be demonstrated in a lab?


The better question is why should I accept this account of the past until it can be demonstrated?  Remember, it is the naturalist who claims evolution’s superiority.  The current naturalistic account of the history of the planet doesn’t seem convincing in many regards, and these objections should be answered seriously if the evolutionist is to persuade me.



Do you accept the idea that the earth once had a super continent? Can it be demonstrated? Do you accept the idea that crocodiles used to live in the Sahara Desert?

gregwilson wrote:

Quote from: blank


Let me get this straight. Are you saying that one major reason why you disagree with the idea of evolution because lots of structural changes were needed and biologists didn't give Berlinski a figure?
Have you considered the timescales involved? Have you considered what 1 million years looks like?
Also, you do realize that fossilization is a rare event so we are lucky to find the fossils that we do have.
Sure the structural changes are immense but there was enough time for this to occur and there is evidence located within the organisms themselves and the environment upon which the relevant conclusions were drawn.


The timescales should be in the evolutionist’s favor.  It would arguably take millions of generations and years for the evolution of a whale to occur so enough fossils should be evident to prove the theory.



I hope you know that fossilization is a rare event. And that fossils can be quite difficult to find so we don't need millions of fossils to know that certain organisms were once available.

gregwilson wrote:

But the point Berlinski was trying to drive home is that if macroevolution were a solid theory it would be more specific.  It would be able to estimate the number of structural changes from land mammal to whale and demonstrate how they could have occurred despite the seeming odds against such an evolution.  But strangely, scientists are light on these specifics.  The point in contrasting a chemist isolating oxygen and the theory of evolution is that one doesn’t require faith (I can witness a chemist demonstrate this procedure repeatedly) whereas one does (I cannot see macroevolution and the evidence against it is astounding).  So I don’t believe in the macroevolutionary account commonly given by naturalists because the evidence is lacking, not because the scientists couldn’t produce a figure.  Of course, the reason they couldn’t produce a figure was because whales didn’t evolve from land-dwelling creatures but you get the point.



First of all, the complexity that biology deals with is quite different from that of chemistry so they have different approaches to what they study.

Secondly, Berlinski's request is quite absurd as far as I can see because we do not have the living specimens. What we have are fossils and other lines of evidence like biochemistry and DNA so even if one were able to give Berlinski a figure, how would he be able to confirm it? This of course also ignores other facts like the environment in which the organism evolved, the the other organisms it competed against etc.

Scientists are right to ignore such requests because there is simply no way to get such information. We cannot even get such information about the number of structural changes between modern humans and australopithecenes yet he wants something for ancestors much farther back.


gregwilson wrote:
Quote from: blank
Maybe you're not considering the data and evidence in the way you should. My question is why do you even accept Noah's ark or the Garden of Eden as being actual events.
As I said before, religious faith isn't the type of faith people generally wish to avoid in their regular dealings with other people except of course when they get to their particular favourite religion.


Let me ask you this, what slam dunk evidence is there to prove evolution?  Einstein’s relativity predicted a certain phenomenon in the case of a solar eclipse, and soon astronomers and other scientists were able to demonstrate that Einstein was correct.  What is it that evolution can predict to show its certainty?  It can only theorize as to what happened, not what is going to happen in a controlled environment.  To me, this moves it from a serious scientific postulation to a mere story.  At some point, unless time travel is discovered, it seems everyone should have a large degree of scientific agnosticism toward the history and diversity of life on Earth.



Maybe you should take a look at this part of the article which shows some predictions of the theory. Should they also have a large degree of scientific agnosticism toward the history of the physical structures found on the earth like mountains, valleys, canyons, gorges etc.

gregwilson wrote:

Lastly, I don’t claim scientific or historic proofs to support my belief in Noah’s ark or the Garden of Eden.  I am totally ignorant to either event occurring in history, and wouldn’t know about them had God not had Moses write the stories down in the Torah.


You're not basing your belief on scientific or historic evidence what then are you basing it on? A story that a man was told by God to write about the origin of the earth in the Bronze Age?

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wonderer

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« Reply #37 on: January 06, 2012, 09:16:52 am »
gregwilson wrote: The better question is why should I accept this account of the past until it can be demonstrated?  Remember, it is the naturalist who claims evolution’s superiority.  The current naturalistic account of the history of the planet doesn’t seem convincing (to Greg Wilson) in many regards, and these objections should be answered seriously if the evolutionist is to persuade me.


Fixed that for you.  Of course personal incredulity on your part would be a fallacious basis for an argument.

So what have you done to educate yourself on the evidence for evolution?  Have you read Coyne's "Why Evolution is True", Dawkins' "The Greatest Show on Earth", Miller's "Only a Theory"?  Or have you (as seems likely) only read propaganda generated by people invested in preventing the acceptance of evolutionary theory?

The timescales should be in the evolutionist’s favor.  It would arguably take millions of generations and years for the evolution of a whale to occur so enough fossils should be evident to prove the theory.  But the point Berlinski was trying to drive home is that if macroevolution were a solid theory it would be more specific.  It would be able to estimate the number of structural changes from land mammal to whale and demonstrate how they could have occurred despite the seeming odds against such an evolution.  


This is simply unreasonable.  I'm an electrical engineer.  I can't predict with accuracy the steps which will be taken in getting a new product into production, and such products are much simpler than whales.  Why in the world would you think it reasonable for a biologist to estimate the number of genomic changes it took to get from terrestrial artiodactyls to whales?

BTW, for a look at how Berlinski comes across to someone who is actually educated on biology see here.

So I don’t believe in the macroevolutionary account commonly given by naturalists because the evidence is lacking, not because the scientists couldn’t produce a figure.  Of course, the reason they couldn’t produce a figure was because whales didn’t evolve from land-dwelling creatures but you get the point.


I'll just quote a comment by Coyne from that thread I linked above:

Okay Chris, I now expect you to explain, and with calculations, not “intuition,” why selection would have been ineffective in forming whales from terrestrial artiodactyls in about ten million years. You’ll need some estimates of mutation rate, selection intensity, gene number, generation time,and so on to do this. If you can show definitively that selection for this (or for the reptile/mammal transition, which took much longer) could not work, you’ll be famous.

You might be aware that one attempt to show that selection could create a camera eye from a pigmented eyespot showed that it was highly effective and highly creative, and remarkably quick.

I suspect your doubts about selection are not based on scientific considerations, but are being extracted from your nether parts. If you can show us otherwise, do so here. If you can’t, go away and raise your unfounded doubts about the power of selection over at an ID website.

Remember, I want calculations, not some unfounded “revelation” you have that selection isn’t fast enough or “creative” enough.


So there you go.  Jerry Coyne himself says that you will be famous if you can falsify whale evolution, rather than simply make unsupported assertions that "whales didn’t evolve from land-dwelling creatures".  Please, by all means, demonstrate your brilliance.


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Don Quixote

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« Reply #38 on: January 06, 2012, 11:06:04 pm »
209vaughn wrote:

I am close follower of WLC, but I have a question that has  been eating at me that I need WLC to shed some light on.

Question:
If Christianity and Evolution were to co-exist in harmony along side eachother - at what point did our evolving ancestors recieve their souls?  And at what point are they considered "humans", as we understand ourselves as today.

At what point have did we evolve from "animal" to "human" that God loves and sent his Son to save.

I think WLC would say he leans towards theistic evolution that is guided not unguided like that of Ayolla-see his debate. By this be believes ID has merit at lest in that it is a subject that should not be kept off the table. Ayolla is the biologist equivalent of Einstein by getting him "off the hook " of evil by allowing "nature to play dice-not god".
In his England tour he said he was my a layperson on the subject hand holds to Behe and Dempskis views.  I believe it is their views that genetic studies show the Y chromosome man to date around 70,000 yrs ago from which we all came.

A harder thing to distinguish is the theistic directed evolutionist from the old earth progressive directed creationist say like Hugh Ross fame.
Abiognesis and the 6 creative days of genesis seem to have to do with these.
As WLC points out evolution is an accordion term so until we know what real terms we are to uses it makes it hard to discuss what we disagree on.
If at first you don't succeed...don't try skydiving!

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Archsage

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« Reply #39 on: January 06, 2012, 11:11:00 pm »
wonderer wrote:
Quote from: Archsage
Quote from: gregwilson
It'd be quite a movie watching how whales evolved from cow-like beings.

Lol! For all the talk of how theism is nothing but fantasy... seems a bit ironic, right?


To add to the irony, there is this quote from you Archsage:

The problem with YEC is that they worship the Scriptures. The Bible was never intended to speak of the mysteries of Creation. Never. Which is why the Genesis account is so vague... God didn't want to sit down with Moses telling Him how He made things.

As for the literalism, this was proven quite satanic a few chapters later in Genesis...



How, exactly, does that "add to the irony" that I raised?
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