Denial of evolution II

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Hercules Rockefeller, Mar 9, 2009.

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  1. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Very well; but then this perspective is an assumption after all. One makes assumptions about both the perspective and the meat of the narration. If you demand proof from the evolutionary world about their explanation for the state of existence, you should be as free to present that from the theological world, and it should be as available.

    Well, the veracity of "evolution" has been shown innumerable times. The mathematical reality of evolution per se is not in any doubt: allele frequencies change for several general reasons over time: mutation, selection, drift, migration. If we're referring to descent with modification, then evolution also passes the test: we can demonstrate graded changes in morphology over time in several series: fish, amphibians, horses, simians. If you are arguing special creation in contrast, then we can say that it does not explain the sequences observed - why has God raised so many innumerable species and then killed them off? Do amphibians not survive floods? Do sea fish not survive them?

    We ourselves, as a mortal species, are the greatest arbiter of extinction in ten thousand years. Does this not speak to the effect of natural processes on survivorship?

    Best regards,

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  3. Pteriax Registered Member


    I disagree. Every time you change states of energy, there is a net loss. Also, energy always leaves a more dynamic system and travels to a less dynamic one. Further, when chemicals interact, you end with less energy than was initially present, either in molecular bonds or in the catalyst driving the reaction. This entropy prohibits a series of interacting chemicals from becoming more complex; and physics says that entropy never works in reverse. I could illustrate with a metaphor if that's not clear enough.
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  5. Pteriax Registered Member

    One cannot prove or disprove the existence of God, but by ruling out all other alternatives, if that's what you are asking of me. But I am trying to remain on topic here, and debate evolution; which is why I would like to see proof of evolution. If you wish to 'move the goalpost' we can debate the existence of God in another topic, unless it relates directly to evolution.

    Saying it has been proven innumerable times is a logical fallacy and I will not accept that as an answer. It would not be a valid point in any official debate. You have mentioned several ideas that relate to evolution but not shown me how the provide evidence for it. I will wait until you do to address those issues. You then question me about Bible stories, as if that has any bearing on evolution. I believe in God. I do not pretend to know what his purpose in all things is, and could only guess - if the questions were not loaded to begin with. That last question... no, it does not. It only speaks of our ability to consume and destroy everything with little hope for balance and renewal. I don't think it proves anything about evolution, though it demonstrates a thing or two about sin, IMHO.
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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    According to physics, are snowflakes impossible by "naturalistic means"?
  8. Pteriax Registered Member

    Snowflakes have less energy than the water in the air that formed them. Just because it looks nicer doesn't mean it's less entropic. (just guessing at what you are getting at)

    Let's use hydrodynamics as an example: Consider the hydroelectric power possibly supplying some energy to your home. Water vapor in clouds has to lose energy to condense and get back into the river. It loses more (kinetic) energy as it flows downstream to the dam. It expends more energy as it turns the turbines to produce electricity. The water uses up additional energy returning downstream to the ocean. (note that to repeat the cycle the sun must provide energy for the water to vaporize into the atmosphere again - the sun itself being an entropic source of energy that will eventually cease.) Meanwhile, the electricity that reaches your house powers electric lights, giving off the rest of the energy as heat and light.
  9. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Well, this is another question: it would be difficult to rule out all other alternatives or decide that God (your specific one) was the answer. Or perhaps my point is that those who support the "God hypothesis" regress too quickly to that hypothesis. Why might it not be ghosts, or demons, or Satan (a favourite of the Cathars, I might add) or any other supernatural explanation?

    I'm only interested in it here as the "alternative hypothesis" to the naturalistic theory of descent with modification/life/evolution/etc.

    The argument actually falls in two segments here:

    i) evolution, as changes in allele frequencies. I hate to be insistent but this is not in dispute. It is utterly, utterly correct. Allele frequencies do indeed change, as any survey of population genetics will indicate. This point cannot be debated, unless we wish to debate the very existence of mathematics. So, conversely, I cannot accept debate on this point.

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    . We therefore move past this point, accepting this as fact; the dispute (I will assume) arises in whether or not these changes are associated with some outward sign of speciation or:

    ii) Descent with modification: This refers slightly more specifically (although the issue is more properly Neo-Darwinian these days) to outward morphological change and reproductive isolation (for the purposes of debate and sanity I will ignore all definitions of speciation besides the Biological Species Concept, which is the only proper one anyway). This, I think, we can debate since it is to some sectors debatable, unlike the actual definition of evolution per se, above.

    Well, let's start with the biological series of modifications in the descent with modification (DWM) of the horse. I have attached a segment from a popular science site. The bolded text at the top of each section describes a Genus (order of taxonomy above species: several big cats would all be in the Genus Panthera, although the species 'tiger' would be Panthera tigris and lions Panthera leo. The dates given afterwards refer to agreed-upon conventions by researchers. (I should add here that these are not arbitrary dates, but independently evaluated numerous times.) Observe the changing description of each Genus in increasingly recent periods. I've italicized the dates and features.

    The changing age of the fossils and the transient differences strongly suggests a line of modification, does it not?

    Unlike its prior ancestors.

    At the same time, forests were disappearing, being replaced in many places by plains. Adaptation for fast overland travel would benefit the horse in this scenario.

    Again - increasing similiarity to Equus, the modern horse. Toes being lost with decreasing remoteness in evolutionary history, longer legs, and so forth. An animal specializing for the plains, unlike the earlier genera which were in a much more forested environment. (A little old, but forgive me.)

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    With this post, I have done so.

    You argued above that God is the explanation left when all other explanations have been ruled out; I merely wish to ensure we are not too quick to do so, and that what we conclude as "God" is in fact definably that. I caution you that this might well be impossible.

    Good. I believe in God also, and I sympathize with you greatly, Pteriax - these questions are not loaded in any way. I am discussing the issue very honestly with you, and I know that you will do the same.

    But why not? Think, Pteriax: we have destroyed these species, ourselves. We, a humble natural force, have changed the species landscape. Gone is the sabre-toothed cat. Gone, the giant camel, the mammoth, and almost the elephant, the tiger, the bison, the bear. We ourselves impose a new selective regime on the planet, favouring those things that are too small or too unpalatable to be exploited or threaten our livelihoods while simultaneously promoting the biomass of those we employ (cows, goats, dogs). We impose macrochanges to the very planet. Does this not illustrate the seemingly random survivability of some taxa, and the sensitivity of others? Even size is not necessarily a predictor. Why can not the natural environment exert the same pressures?
  10. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Pteriax I am glad you are active here again as you clearly are intelligent and reasonable well informed, perhaps better than me on the evidence for evolution. However, you do seem to be strongly under the influence* of a minority POV about the nature of God.

    I am not quite clear, just how much of evolution you do accept. From your replies I know that you are NOT a Christian Fundamentalist who believes what is exhibited as fact in their museum (Dinosaurs and man living side-by-side, etc. only 6000years ago.)

    I know it is a long way back now, but in view of the evidence do you think God made the preá (described in post 83 and others up to and including 131) as recently as less than 8000 years BP? I.e. is your God still actively guiding the selection of the creatures on Earth? (Or did it all happen by the action of the natural laws and chance variation followed by selection?)
    * I's say “indoctrination,” but don't as I fear that might offend, but that is what beliefs acquired at an early age (before one is capable of critical thought should be called). Excuse me if wrong, but I am assuming that your parents are also Christians. I was too. Even served as the acolyte in the small Lutheran Church I attended with my parents, but I have obviously changed my POV as I grew older and learned more.

    Anyway, if you can find the time, please tell me what you think explains the existence of the preá, if not what I and the experts studying them have been stating. Thanks.
  11. Pteriax Registered Member

    I'm sorry, a minority POV? I would agree that few see the world as I do, but I am not 100% certain that is what you meant.

    I do accept micro-evolution or as I prefer to call it 'speciation' within certain limiting perimeters. Examples being different breeds of dogs, cats, and so forth. Also, when species breed to make a new critter (horse and donkey or lion and tiger both being good examples) the new guy is always a sterile male (a mule or liger in this case).

    I do believe that a new animal could have been created 8000 years ago. That would have been nearing the end of the 5th 'day' during which God created mammals. Creation ceased after aprox. 6000 years ago with the rise of man, IMO. Now that timeline is not 100%... there are minor variables which are unaccounted for that could throw the time off by up to about 2000 years. My current view of the universe was not indoctrinated, I felt differently when I was younger. My parents are Christians, both pastors. That is what drove me away from the church. I went to college at the University of Montana, majored in geology with a minor in paleontology. Became disillusioned by science and scientific authority due to a mind set that undermines objectivity in a lot of the big-wigs in that area. Came back to church - formed my own opinions about God and about science - based objectively on the data. Changed careers. Went into medicine and ministry. Heal the body and the soul. The first code blue I responded to as an EMT was an elderly priest. He died as I did CPR on him. Upper aortic anurism - blood everywhere. My life experiences have shaped me and how I see the world - but I never just accept what someone says at face value because they have a bigger degree than me.

    As far as the prea... perhaps one of the last creatures formed before humankind. I just don't think the evidence is there for the species evolving.

    GeoffP: I will reply to your post, it's just going to take a bit, as it's a lot to go over.
  12. Pteriax Registered Member

    I would have to get into the Bible, Bible history, church history, etc. to adequately explain why it would be God of all potential supernatural causes. I am not sure of the relevance here?

    Very well, then.

    So when we survey the genetics of a population, the allele frequency changes. We witness this change in a species as it continues to not evolve.

    It’s no wonder the thing is old... The “horse sequence” isn’t even used anymore in some modern textbooks. That was first constructed in 1876, when paleontology was brand new. I was under the impression it had been discarded near the end of the 20th century. Perhaps this bit from The Origin of the Species will help illustrate my point:
    “To admit this view [that each Equus species was an independent act of creation] is, as it seems to me, to reject a real for an unreal, or at least an unknown, cause. It makes the works of God a mere mockery and a deception; I would almost as soon believe with the old and ignorant cosmogonists, that fossil shells had never lived, but had been created in stone so as to mock the shells now living on the sea-shore.” –Charles Darwin

    Here is a related article with more detail to it:


    Because we are different. Humans are different.
  13. D H Some other guy Valued Senior Member

    Energy is conserved.
    Wrong. Read up on how air conditioners and heat pumps work.

    Wrong again. Read up on basic chemistry. Energy is a conserved quantity. Heat is a form of energy.

    Wrong yet again. Pick up a rock. Is it composed of a bunch of simple atoms or somewhat complex molecules?

    Physics does not say that entropy never works in reverse. That is a mischaracterization of the second law of thermodynamics taught by creationists. The only limitation placed by the second law of thermodynamics is on the total entropy of a closed system. We intentionally decrease the entropy inside buildings in the summer (air conditioning) and we intentionally increase the entropy outside buildings in the winter (heat pumps). Life does the same.

    In short, nyah, nyah, nyah, I can't hear you. The fact is that evolution has as sound a scientific basis as does the theory of gravity.

    If you mean different in the sense that ponies and horses are different, yes, humans are different. If you mean different in the sense that humans are something completely different than all other animals, you are once again wrong. The difference between humans and chimps is incredibly small.
  14. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Because we do not know enough to be able to distinguish among supernatural causes. Why would the church know in contrast to any other source?

    Well, at least we don't have to argue math.

    I hesitate to point out that that was only nine years ago. But - the sequence still stands remarkably well.

    My dear Pteriax: you have been taken in by a selective quotation from the net. This is a particularly obstinate form of literal buggery the punishment of which should be death. The entire quote is as follows: it does not, in context, constitute the refutation of the evolutionary sequence of horses. Here is a more full citation:

    Yes, I thought that might come up. The "bushiness" of the evolutionary tree doesn't mean that it doesn't show linear trends within lines. It does. While some species were contemporaneous - which is exactly what you'd expect, as various lineages within lines gave way to new ones. The fossil record shouldn't exist as concrete changes in form over time, since all members of the same species shouldn't "transform" into another. Similar forms should be contemporaneous; the overall sequence indicates drastic changes in toe number, tooth length and structure, and size while retaining enough similarity within lineages to be certain of their relatedness. What would the alternative view be?

    How? We're mortal, we're of the natural world. In which way are we different from any other extinctive cause?
  15. stereologist Escapee from Dr Moreau Registered Senior Member

    Thanks DH for pointing out that Pteriax has a mistaken notion about entropy and energy. The important word here Pteriax is closed as in closed system.

    Pteriax must realize that he eats and breaths and grew up. He went from 1 cell to many.

    How can this be missed by anyone?
  16. Pteriax Registered Member

    Since we are back to arguing without evidence... NO. At least not as you imply.

    This one is hilarious! Be educated on thermodynamics before arguing it with someone. When you air condition a car for example, heat works its way in. You must constantly continue to use energy to cool the air. Eventually (as the state of entropy of your car increases and the energy decreases) you (an outside source) will have to fuel it back up.

    Again, be educated before arguing something. You now look like a real idiot. Heat is a form of energy of course - how brilliant of you to point that out. And as the heat radiates out from the reaction, that energy is lost forever.

    Simple molecules, actually. And to become more complex something has to add energy to it. I don't even know what you were trying to establish with that rock think but I suppose it's more ignorance manifesting as words on the screen.

    Buildings lose energy constantly as heat and cold are used, and as soon as that energy is gone, they return to the entropic state. And the universe is still a closed system.
  17. Pteriax Registered Member

    They just know a lot about God... It's kind of their thing. I am curious, why do you suppose that we don't know that much about the supernatural?

    Hmm. Well, all that really proves for me is that both sides have been dishonest, leaving us to sort out the truth - of blindly follow whichever fits our own worldview...

    Part of the problem with that is that the toe number for example goes up and back down as well. How do you justify that in some cases they appear to reverse- evolve? Also, these forms cannot simply line up one after the other... The changes are to drastic, and affect too many systems at once - without 6 or 7 intermediaries between each one, it would be difficult to presume that they evolved. I would argue that it is more likely that they were all separate species to begin with.

    I do not believe we are of the natural world. I also believe that we have an immortal soul. Keep in mind that this is my personal belief - I am not trying to prove it.
  18. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    Pteriax, you are definitely beginning to sound like a conventional creationist. You say you are not, but when it squawks like an Archaeopteryx, lays eggs like an Archaeopteryx and has feathers like an Archaeopteryx, then the chances are it is an important transitional fossil.

    You have started hurling ad hominems at DH for his alleged lack of understanding of thermodynamics. Although my own studies in this area are limited to undergraduate work and are now many decades in the past, DH appears to have a better grasp of the fundamentals than you do. Let's look at a couple of points and see where the differences arise and try to resolve them.

    You want to roll with the Laws of Thermodynamics. So do I. Please recall the first Law. No matter how it is phrased the bottom line of this law is that energy is always conserved. You appear to be saying you will run with the second law, but the first law is faulty. Would you clarify your position on the first law please.

    You say "When you air condition a car for example, heat works its way in. You must constantly continue to use energy to cool the air. Eventually (as the state of entropy of your car increases and the energy decreases) you (an outside source) will have to fuel it back up."

    Not exactly correct. In an equilibrium condition heat is continually pumped out of the car. This is only possible on an ongoing basis because the car is not a closed system. It is exactly the same with this planet. The energy to fuel the entropy busting thing called life comes, primarily, from the sun.

    Do you understand that locally, with energy input, entropy can be reversed? If you do not agree with this statement, how do you explain your own day to day existence. Why do you not simply decay to a state of higher entropy?

    You are being addressed from many directions, so I do not wish to overload you. I hope you can find the time to answer these few questions and comment on the points I have made. I also hope you will do so without resorting to personal remarks. These are unhelpful and do call into question your declared intentions. I remain confident you genuinely wish to discuss these points, but as I noted above, your actions will definitely be calling this into question for some.

    I just noted this and thought a comment might help resolve some thoughts for you.
    Where is it lost to Pteriax? I do not believe you mean it is lost from the Universe. It is lost to its surroundings. The surroundings heat up. That is because the reaction is not occuring in a closed system. What is it you do not understand about this? Please don't respond with insults claiming it is I who do not understand. Explain what it is you think is wrong, in detail, with my statements.
  19. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    As a psittaculturist I can assure you with authority that this statement is absolutely false. Large parrot species take seven to ten years to reach sexual maturity, but breeders have achieved three generations of inter-species hybridization. The first generation hybrid offspring of a blue-and-gold macaw and a scarlet macaw is named the Catalina macaw, after the island on which the first one was hatched. The second generation of a Catalina bred back to a scarlet is called a Camelot macaw (arbitrary fanciful naming since the bird is bright orange) and the hybrid parent can be of either sex. Breeding a Camelot (of either sex) back to a scarlet yields a Lavender macaw, so named because of its color.

    The various species of Amazon parrots have been successfully hybridized for multiple generations and are readily available in the pet trade. The same is true of the various species of cockatoos and the various species of conures. (Conures are long-tailed South American psittacines closely related to the macaws, often called imprecisely "parakeets" by British aviculturists. Many conure species have bare skin around their eyes like macaws, whereas parakeets never do.)

    Hybridization of species often produces fertile offspring, contrary to your assertion.

    Come to think of it, the northeastern USA is now being invaded by a stable population of wolf-coyote hybrids. Coyotes are so successful in proximity to civilization that they have spread beyond their original territory as the wolf has declined due to persecution. The two species met in eastern Canada and due to the scarcity of mates many wolves in desperation took coyotes as mates. Their offspring look like gigantic coyotes and are now helping us control the unchecked deer population which, since we killed off our own wolves, are taking over America's cities and denuding our parks and gardens.

    Hybridization is something that usually only happens in captivity, but under stress due to human pressure, it sometimes happens in the wild. The black-headed grosbeak of the Western USA and the rose-breasted grosbeak of the eastern USA also began hybridizing after we cut down the lush forest along the Mississippi River that separated their two habitats. Hybrid grosbeaks now occasionally show up at our feeder in California, having successfully spread over the Rocky Mountains.
  20. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Well, because it's just that: supernatural. How can we collect evidence in the natural world of that which exists beyond the natural world? A weighty question.

    To be honest myself here: only the one side has been dishonest about this quote. This sometimes happens with creationist arguments and it is reprehensible. Darwin's position, as you can see from the quote (and I fully recommend the link) is firmly on the side of evolutionary doctrine.

    Excellent question! Very simply: because evolution is not perfectly directional. The modification of these organisms with respect to each other varies with drift (random allele fluctuations) and selection: at different times and in different locales, selective pressure on toe reduction is relaxed - or else random changes in gene frequency result in a phenomenon similar to the kind of atavisms we sometimes see in horses today. Consider that selection is only in rare cases absolute; usually it's just a proportion of whichever genotypic class is selected against that dies without mating or passing on their genes. Complete selection is usually only more likely in cases where one homozygote is outright lethal during development.

    Well, let's consider these changes: what is the intermediary between four toes (Orohippus) and one (Equus)? You can see three-toed variants from the figure. Two toes might be a harder developmental change, since all the later examples look to have some kind of left-right symmetry. A single gene might knock both toes out. As for the teeth: no enamel to enamel is a single change, really. The morphology of the teeth is also affected by relatively few genes; each of these systems may evolve independently, although their co-evolution would probably be preferred by selection: the Miohippus, spending more time on the newfound grass plains of its era, would benefit by having more complex tooth surfaces to eat the tougher cellulose fibers of these grasses. Its earlier ancestors would have more recourse to tubers, leaf buds, shoots and berries, and would not require such intricate and cemented tooth surfaces, since these foodstuffs are not as tough. There would be little ecological gain from running all over the plains only to be forced to return in the evening to nip at berries (because your teeth simply won't do an effective job on grass), the tigers of the woods patiently awaiting your return.

    Sorry: is that do or do not? It sounded discordant with the next sentence.

    Fair enough; personal beliefs are personal beliefs, whatever Dawkins and his atrocious wife may think. But how are we, as physical beings (corporeal selves, if you prefer), different from the natural world? Are we not components or elements thereof? We are born, live, die, and decay as other things. Can we not, as corporeal elements of this world, exert an effect on its species? Do we not act as agents of selection? The dodo and the passenger pigeon would have something to say about that. Surely you must agree with this?
  21. Saquist Banned Banned

    I don't know as much in the Thermal department as some here do or at least pretend to but the discussion has been fascinating, It's hard to say who knows what at this point.

    Pteriax, you points have been intresting. I've been "listening" intently. But Ophiolite , may be correct, you seem like a fundamentalist (forgive the word) Christian. The evidence does agree with your assessment of speciation, certain areas.
  22. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    I only meant that most humans adhere to some religion that teaches very different "truths" about God, the origins of life, even how many Gods there are, etc. than the Christian teach. AFAIK, none acknowledges that a religious POV, which contradicts their own POV, is equally likely to be true. Objectively, there is no way to decide, which if any is true.
    I gave a lot of facts supporting idea that the Preá evolved from the big island's guinea pigs. Mainly that they are smaller due to the very limited food supply which favors that and now have forward looking eyes. (They have no predators on their tiny island and so do not need to pay the price of poor depth perception associated with side mounted eyes, which prey animals typically have to watch for approach of animal that might eat them the full 360 degrees.)
    I also mentioned that all five factors, which speed the rate of evolution, were present during the 8000 years.

    To again mention these five: A population of only 40 maximum (and less when they were larger) that never lost a favorable mutation by it being eaten, always under the extreme stress with most in each generation dying of starvation, and completely isolated so no foreign genes entered the gene pool, and a very high rate of inbreeding, evolution can be very rapid. (These same factors usually make such a tiny population go extinct. If only one cat were released on their tiny island, the preá would be extinct in about one month.) Normally evolution takes at least 100 times more time to achieve such significant changes. I.e. many facts support, and none contradict, the idea that the preá evolved from a few big Island guinea pigs that got stranded on the tiny, almost barren rocky peak which became an island detached from the big island land mass as the ice age melting raised the sea level.

    It is hard to imagine that back when the sea level had only risen enough to make a 100meter gap (not the current 8km gap) between the big island and what was then a much larger version of the now "tiny island" that there were not at least a few females of the big island guinea pigs and a male stranded in all that area.

    However, I admit that all this supporting evidence could just be chance and God made the preá about 7,500 or less years PB, even though there is not one fact or piece of evidence to suggest that. Strange He would place them ONLY on such a tiny island, where they had little change to survive, but then he did many strange things, such as making 10s of thousands of life forms that now exist only as bones or negative body shape molds in mud now turned to stone. The book of Genesis make much more sense than that - If God wanted men to worship him - just make them, don't mess around with dinosaurs etc. from millions of years first.

    This brings me to a question about your concepts of God’s 6-day construction time line. You indicated day 6 began about 6000 of our years ago (Day 6 was less than 6000 years long as it is now day 7 and God is resting.). Was day 5 and day 4 etc. also about 6000 years long also? Or did God keep changing his wrist watch so that the relationship between one day and ~6000 years changed greatly? If not, then instead of like the fundamentalist, you are claiming the universe is only at most ~42,000 years old.

    Please give a table of your ideas about how long each of God's days is in our years.When you answer, I will get back to you with question off thread about physics, not evolution. i.e. not any assumptions about how many years the dinosaurs existed, but simple physics. (Nothing to due with the big bang theory's model of time either, but something much more simple and well accepted.)
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  23. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Yes, and it is a dam stupid design to be made by a so called "Inteligent Designer"!!

    In my youth I had to have four of my big teeth removed so the remaining would fit in my small jaw. Even so the remaining ones are so hard against each other I cannot get dental floss between them!

    If He exists, He is a dam dumb ID, IMHO.

    PS: When I can I am moving to a universe he made later as even an idiot learns from his mistakes.
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