Blunt Talk From Connelsville

From the Connelsville Daily Courier, a Pennsylvania newspaper, comes this blunt assessment of the merits of evolution. The essay is by guest columnist Rosemary Fike:

The United States of America no longer can be called a Christian nation. In fact, we could be called a nation of fools. We are quietly allowing our schoolchildren to be taught Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution although it is not supported by the evidence.

To the contrary, it has been proven that evolution is a scientific impossibility. It appears as if a fanatical cult has overtaken the scientific community, bringing lawsuits against anyone who dares attempt to contradict their flawed theory.

Now we have a generation of children being taught in school that they are just accidents of nature and have evolved from algae. Where are the 70 percent of Americans who claim to believe in God, and what exactly do they believe? (Emphasis Added)

A creationist lecturing others about fanatical cults. Lovely.

There follows the standard litany of creationist flapdoodle. No transitional forms. Scientists can’t explain the origin of life. Evolution is untestable. I especially liked this:

Another big problem for evolutionists is the “laws of probability,” which clearly show that it is impossible for life to evolve from nonliving matter. Random impersonal chance, no matter how long the time period, does not produce complexity and organization; it only produces greater chaos and disorganization. Things just do not evolve upward as evolution requires.

Of course, there are no laws of probability. Not in the sense Fike intends at any rate. But given that you think such things exist, why would you put the expression in sneer quotes?

But just in case you’ve missed the point, Fike sums it up nicely:

Critics point to the removal of any notion of God from public schools and its replacement with Darwinism as leading America’s youth down the path of increasing violence. Darwinism brings hopelessness and despair; Creationism brings value and significance.

I’ll let the reader devise his own reply. For the moment, I am speechless.


  1. #1 J-Dog
    September 11, 2006

    Well, Jason… She makes a lovely little case for de-evolution… from homo sapiens, to homo headuptheglutius maximus

  2. #2 Zigman
    September 11, 2006

    Not only is she completely ignorant as to the scientific basis for evolution, she falls prey to the patriotic myth of America… christian nation indeed *hmph*

  3. #3 Zigman
    September 11, 2006

    blasted mouse lol… meant to follow that statement up. Our founding fathes were pirates, thieves, conmen, smugglers, and the worst dregs that Europe had to offer. Religion wasn’t really a huge factor in America’s founding, money was. And yet people continue to go on about America being a “christian nation”. The first amendment, with it’s equal protection of all faiths from government interference (and vice versa), should be the strongest indicator that the U.S.A. is not a christian nation nor a theocracy of any sort. Not that that stops any of the religious reich *sigh*

  4. #4 CaptainMike
    September 11, 2006

    Someone should write the paper and explain concisely and clearly why she is wrong. I’d do it, but I don’t really have the background to refute her claims as comprehensively as should be done.

  5. #5 Dave S.
    September 11, 2006

    That evilution must sure work fast. She quotes Lincoln bemoaning how many have replaced God with reason in a speech (given on April 30, 1863, although she does not say so). Considering that the first edition of Darwin’s Origin was just published in November of 1859, it really permeated American society lickity-split. Before then things were apparently perfect.

    Not counting slavery.

  6. #6 RPM
    September 11, 2006

    “Now we have a generation of children being taught in school that they … have evolved from algae.”

    Someone needs a refresher on her eukaryotic phylogeny. Algae (ie, plants) and us (ie, humans, animals, or unikonts) are on two very different branches of the eukaryotic tree. If any teacher ever told students that they evolved from algae, that teacher would merit a slap across the back of the head.

    For every sentence a creationist writes, a paragraph must be written to correct the errors and present the truth.

  7. #7 Tulse
    September 11, 2006

    Critics point to the removal of any notion of God from public schools and its replacement with Darwinism as leading America’s youth down the path of increasing violence.

    Funny, since youth violence is decreasing.

  8. #8 JohnnieCanuck
    September 12, 2006


    Well on the other hand, youth violence stats are down at least partly because of a declining number of youths in the population.

    Of course, back on the other hand, the lower birth rate is caused by rampant use of unChristian birth control techniques.

    You know, it just occurred to me. Fike actually got one thing right. Well, yes it takes a little quote mining, but even so.

    Darwinism brings hopelessness and despair; Creationism brings value and significance.

    If understanding that god is not essential causes reduced church attendence, then collection plate offerings will suffer and so will the bank accounts and life styles of priests and preachers everywhere. Creationism in the schools and government will indeed add value and significance to church coffers.

    She’s YALFJ – yet another liar for jesus

  9. #9 Simon
    September 12, 2006

    God Bless America.

    But thank Christ I live in Europe.

  10. #10 John Pieret
    September 12, 2006

    Creationism brings value and significance.

    Let’s just drop that sucker in the Universal Translator …

    Ignorance is its own reward

    Ah, thought so . . .

  11. #11 joe c.
    September 12, 2006

    So, Jason, are you going to write the paper with a reply? I hope so!!

  12. #12 Peter T
    September 12, 2006

    You could write as many papers as you like, it would do no good, you are a member of an evil cult after all. Don’t knock the U.S. you/they have a beautiful constitution, crafted by minds of the type we will be lucky to see ever gathered together ever again. Use the constitution and protect it. Keep these 14th century idiots out of your schools, they are the past, the future is the important thing and well worth fighting for. I never get over how amazing evolution is and never (believe me, ask my friends) get bored of extolling its breadth and depth to anyone who stands still for a minute!

  13. #13 AL
    September 12, 2006

    Evolution replacing creationism is the same as saying God is dead. Teaching both “schools” of thought without emphasis on Christ or Moses or Mohammed, with careful inclusion of the beauty and wonderment (in both creation and evolution) along with the ethical inheritance from the creationist writings is a fair idea to me. creationist thought and culture is all about social structure, wisdom and human laws. Most of it is illustrative of practical living. Nothing in Evolution deals with these things.
    Total replacement of God culture by Darwin is like replacing a banquet with a menu about the banquet…all facts, no nurishment.

  14. #14 Peter T
    September 12, 2006

    Evolutionary biology isn’t a religion, it’s an evidence based, predictive, scientific theory. The creationists have decided that this is the line that cannot be crossed, science is just what it is. If someone wants to teach kids morals based on old stories that’s one thing but don’t pretend it can tell them anything more than what characters in those stories did/felt. I’d prefer morals to be taught by looking at modern (dare I say relevant?) situations and considering the outcomes – get children thinking. There are many beautiful creation stories (some nasty ones too), looking at them can be an interesting way to frame human kind’s interest in its origin.

  15. #15 AL
    September 12, 2006

    Actually history pared with personal and social lessions is a great moral teacher. History classes I took disincluded these
    lessons and stayed on the rote learning method. Are there any moral or ethical lessons built in to the school systems anywhere in public schools or has the ACLU sued to disinclude such damaging information?

  16. #16 Zigman
    September 12, 2006

    You can’t legislate morality, hence the issue with teaching morality in schools. You’re going to offend someone, somewhere, with whatever moral system you teach in a school. I think, perhaps, a better thing to teach in schools (and less controversial) is logic and critical thinking. I was never taught morality by my school, it was the duty and priveledge of the parents to teach morality. If we give students in, say, high school a mandatory logic class or a critical thinking class, it may help to expand their thoughts to encompass other ideas, such as variant morality systems.

  17. #17 AL
    September 12, 2006

    Strange that we can’t legislate morality yet we have millions in prisons at the ccost of billions for breaking the legislated laws. -Largely because they were never taught the laws made by the legislators who say we can’t legislate moral laws. All moral laws except for private morality are legislated anyway because they have to do with harm to others and or their property.
    “Bind love and mercy around your neck and write them on the tablets of your heart.” -Solomin
    “Don’t do unto others that which you would not have done unto you.” -Moses
    Jeez! We wouldn’t want to teach that awfull stuff. If this is not an example of throwing the baby out with the bath water then I don’t know what is.

    Frankly, there is not one great passage of “scripture” that is not illustrative of practical living.

  18. #18 David D.G.
    September 12, 2006

    Really, AL? What about those passages forbidding people to wear mixed fabrics? Or telling you to stone your son to death if he disrespects you? Or forcing a rapist to marry his victim?!? Not exactly what I’d call “practical”!

    ~David D.G.

  19. #19 AL
    September 12, 2006

    Thats the bathwater, idiot.

  20. #20 AL
    September 12, 2006

    Far more dangerous, and damning are the teachings -allowed in school- (legislated by social geniuses like you) that suggest that human life has no value or intrinsic meaning, and that moral absolutes like “thou shall not kill” are just silly stories made up by dogmatic fools who really don’t understand the new and improved God of cold reason.

  21. #21 Zigman
    September 12, 2006

    AL, most of the teachings in school now days are all about self esteem boosting, there’s nothing being taught about how life has no value or meaning. And thou shalt not kill is not a moral absolute, there are many grey ares. Being a soldier is one, defense of one’s life is another. Granted those are still weighty matters (my grandfather gave up the life of a preacher because his colleagues couldn’t resolve that very issue with military service), however it is not an absolute. Reality is not black and white, it is a myriad of greys, and being able to discern and cognize an ethical response the infinite conundrums we are faced with each day is more daunting and complex than a set of dogmatic absolutes can handle. That is why we have trial by jury, and the belief that one is innocent until proven guilty.

  22. #22 Peter T
    September 12, 2006

    Hmmm… atheists don’t worship deities, not even cold reason. I personally enjoy: art, admittedly the type where you can tell what the thing is :*); watching and listening to orchestras – how can so many individuals work together to produce such beautiful music where a moment ago all you could hear was the individual instruments? Oh, and reading fiction. Cold reason doesn’t tell me to do these things.

    Not killing people is a good idea – I’m all for that, but I don’t need the threat of Hell (or prison) to reach that conclusion. Dawkins has wondered if Christians really believe they would be out murdering all day long without Hell hanging over them. Come on, I know plenty of Christians, and a couple of Muslims, they’re actually much nicer than that!

  23. #23 Zigman
    September 12, 2006

    Just realized how off track we’ve gotten, the main point of this particular blog post is that we’ve got a crazed fundie stating that all of the evils in the world right now are the sole product of the teaching of evolution to our children, and that, if we didn’t have that and had God in schools instead, that everyone would be clean cut, blonde haired and blue eyed (even the asians, hispanics, and african americans 😉 ). The fact that this is an outright lie and that religion (of any type) hasn’t stopped (and in some cases encouraged) violence over the years apparently means nothing to Mrs. Fike.

  24. #24 Paul Merda
    September 12, 2006


    Where the hell are you getting these ridiculous thoughts from? AS if schools teach that life has no meaning or value, who does that and where? Provide one solid example please! The only thing one needs for morality is empathy. As an agnostic, I don’t prescribe to you silly notions and yet I live a full happy life, haven’t been imprisoned or hell I haven’t even harmed anyone physically or emotionally in years, yet you tell me I am incapable of these feats using reason as my only absolute… You sir, are full of crap!

    As David D.G. pointed out, there is plenty of cruddy scripture too, ya know the ones that no one follows…

  25. #25 Fred
    September 12, 2006

    I wish I lived in 1862 (before Darwin published), because the world was 100% perfect back then. Everyone had morals and there were no wars or murders or crime. Damn you Darwin! It’s all your fault!

    And damn you scientists for inventing air conditioning and heating! And double damn you scientists who are studying our genes to prevent or cure diseases!!!

  26. #26 AL
    September 12, 2006

    Paul, Thank goodness for your mother and dad…..Their absolute foundations apparently rubbed off on you.
    We will see if the idea of empathy alone will bring into harmony over the genreations the violent classrooms and murderous gangs roaming the streets of LA and a thousand other citiies as kids less fortunate than -you- flock to anything because they have nothing solid to stand on, other than a bushel of nebulous conflicting ethical blab, 5% of which is retained.
    Less moral absolutes!! Wheeee! + situational ethics! -for countless arbitrary decisions among confused feel good kids that have no substancial base of discipline and no place to go equals a much larger park full of heroin and meth addicts discussing the possibilities of beasteality……. and a machiavellian President with an intern under his desk while talking long distance to terrorist leader Arafat.

    When society has no absolutes by which to make daily arbitrary decisions, a most dangerous thing happens….society itself becomes– absolute…..

  27. #27 Zigman
    September 12, 2006

    Al, what are you even talking about? You’re all over the place with that post, all of it pure verbal fluff and no substance. Your post is almost an incoherent ramble… please do clarify just what exactly it is you’re trying to say.

  28. #28 SLC
    September 12, 2006

    Re Al.

    You take a shot at Clinton for having sex in the oval office. How about the current occupant of the White House who stole the election of 2000 and lied us into war? This current occupant is a drunken, coke-snorting, pot-smoking, draft-dodging lier.

  29. #29 The Ridger
    September 12, 2006

    If evolution “teaches” anything, it is that we are *all* kin. If any of us are God’s children, we all are, for we all share the same DNA. Note the IF: evolution is silent there. If you believe in God, evolution will only tell you that you can not scientifically call yourself “a separate people”. Evolution removed the justification for calling others subhuman, because it shows how closely related we all are. If religion teaches us to love our brothers, evolution tells us who our brothers are: everyone.

    If you want to complain about situational ethics, etc., fine. But that’s not evolution. And a brief glimpse into pre 1850’s history proves that such thinking existed before then, along with youth violence and murder and war and genocide… sometimes with good Christian justifications.

    If society is going to hell in a handbasket, it’s not evolution’s fault. Didn’t God say, after the Flood, “man is evil in his heart from his birth”?

  30. #30 Peter T
    September 13, 2006

    I feel AL’s last response was quite enlightening, enlightening in the way that it falls back on fear. If you don’t teach religion then all these bad things are going to happen. As others have pointed out, these bad things have been happening for a long time now, well before Darwin. I know, I know: lies, damned lies and statistics but, the URL I’ve included makes for food for thought. I tell you what, if I’m wrong and there is a god, I’ll meet you in Hell and we’ll discuss where we both went wrong: there are so many gods and they mostly seem the jealous type, so the chances you’ve picked the right one are pretty low 🙂

  31. #31 AL
    September 13, 2006

    Ridgeman, Evolution didn’t remove any justification for us to call others sub-human. The new testament did. “Christ is all and in all.” “All have sinned and all have fallen short if the glory of God.”

    This is modern Christianity. Anti racist. Self esteem boosting. Peace loving.
    “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow black and white, we are precious in his site, Jesus loves the little children of the world.”
    We faught wars against those who would take these freedoms from us, yes.

    Now,Go ahead and dig up something from the crusades 500 years ago. Anybody can say they are a Christian, or a Mason , or a member of the AARP and go out and kill millions.
    It has nothing to do with new testament thought or teaching. …Nothing.
    Hitler said he was a christian, yet lived and behaved as the exact opposite of everything it stood for. (His chriistianity was replaced with some new teaching……….
    Darwinism. Atheism. Marksism. Stalinism, Neitzche, Freud——
    All of these were in their own field, denigrators of intrinsic…..intrinsic- human value, to the death of tens of millions of “God” fearing nice people.

  32. #32 Bill Snedden
    September 13, 2006

    AL, “intrinsic value” is a philosophically incoherent concept. “Value” cannot be intrinsic, by definition. Value presupposes a “valuer”: a person to whom the object in question is valuable. It describes a relationship between object and subject, not a pre-existing condition in the object itself. “Value” is subjective by definition. Darwinism cannot therefore have destroyed any claimed objectivity or intrinsicity of value as it could not have existed in the first place.

    What fundamentalists fear is the destruction of a relationship between God and Man that they believe is the foundation for the value of Man’s life. But there is simply no reason why the truth of Darwinism should necessitate that destruction. Darwinism could be God’s mechanism to create and sustain life on Earth and the relationship between God and Man could be exactly as it is in the Creationist model.

    Further, moral realism is fully compatible with Naturalism and there are objectivist moral systems that don’t require God or the supernatural to motivate them. So the notion that Naturalism leads to the destruction of value is also false.

  33. #33 Zigman
    September 13, 2006

    I may be wrong, my biblical studies are a little rusty, but did not Jesus say that he came not to bring peace, but a sword? As with any text, you can interpret the words to say many things, and while yes, the main gist of the new testament is peace, there are still (as with any religious faith) aspects of violence. As for invoking Godwin’s Law, well, Hitler (like all madmen) is a special case. I place him right there with Torquemada, Stalin, and the two teens who led God’s Army in Myanmar… they are unbalanced and certainly not representative of any group no matter their claims (save the group of “sociopath”). As for the “death of tens of millions of “God” fearing nice people”, well, I’m sorry but that’s a bit outrageous. Reality is not a safe place, and people of ALL faiths die each day. The number of people who die of starvation, disease, and natural causes each day is mind numbing. But, it is not the fault of Evolution, Darwinism, Marxism, Freud or any of the other lines of thought that you pointed out. People died before those concepts were even thought of, and in mass numbers. Trying to pin the blame of the ills of the world on the thoughts and ideas you disagree with is merely scapegoating.

    And to Bill, thank you very much for you clear, consise post defining the terms “intrinsic” and “value”, and for showing the error in their use in Al’s post.

  34. #34 Simon
    September 14, 2006

    AL: “Far more dangerous, and damning are the teachings that suggest that human life has no value or intrinsic meaning”.

    But Christianity suggests that human life has no meaning, AL, so how can you accuse atheism/evolution?

    Look at the Christian story – why does the Christian god create humanity? For what purpose?

    I have been told we were created to glorify the Christian god. But I am also told the Christian god does not NEED to be glorified. He is already glorious without us.

    Therefore, in the Christian story, humanity ADDS nothing. Our existence is pointles and futile. The Christian god created us on a whim for no purpose other than it “pleases him”.

    What’s worse – we have to live for eternity in this pointless existence. At least with atheism, there’s an end to it.

  35. #35 AL
    September 15, 2006

    Zigman, You need anomoly (relative to billions of believers over 2 thousand years of christianity) to make any kind of sickly case.
    Look at Simons’ attitude. I rest my case. Most Evo-atheists see life as pointless. Imagine 3 generations following a country/society 90% atheist, and a congress then, full of atheists who generally agree that we live in a pointless existance. How long will a constitution of equal rights last if there is no point to it. -And who will be standing by with the power of convictions to provide a listless society with their absolutes? “Ya Gotta Serve Somebody” -Dob Dylan

    Simon: Try reading ead the new testament. “Christ is All and in All” is a way of letting people know that “God created us in his own immage” This is a beautiful image for us to retain about ourselves, -crapped upon- by the “truths” of Nietzche.
    You are wrong about Jesus meaningless teaching. He was simply warning about life persuits that bring emotional death and the darkness of meaningless, and then, encouraging persuits that bring healing and meaningfullness–Serving each other. Empathy etc etc…

    Bill: If there are no absolutes, then there is no intrinsic value. For value to exist in reality is must be associated with an energy source and a set of convictions (beliefs) bla bla.Agreed. As a matter of fact there is no value or quality with athiestic/ existential philosophy.

    My children to me, have intrinsic value.They have life. Intrinsic value is within the constitution: Life, liberty, and the persuit of happyness. These, statements have intrinsic value “with” the precurser of corresponding dilligent activity. These truths bring Life, with values of such deep substance, and universal quality when executed faithfully that the “seem” to radiate value by themselves.
    Statements like “the word of God” etc.are of a discriptive nature-analogy-metaphor—–Get it???
    —A thesaurus, I believe has no mass and therefore no potential for kenetic energy….bla, bla LOL. Therefore to a thesaurus there is no such thing as intrinsic value GRANTED
    Are you a thesaurus? A thesaurus is objective. Maybe it has intrinsic balue?
    You make a good attorney with nitpicking and parceing words. Truth with no POTENTIAL intrinsic value produces death.
    “He who is not busy living is busy dieing” -Bob Dylan

  36. #36 Zigman
    September 15, 2006

    Al, that makes no sense at all, please clarify. An anomoly (sic)to make any kind of sickly case? I’m sorry but I dont’ understand what you’re trying to say there. As for the Constitution, it’s almost completely non christian. The first amendment is counter to most of the 10 commandments. And history has shown that theocratic nations (in general) are some of the most despotic. Your entire post is once again disjointed and fragmented. If you could please explain more coherently what exactly it is you are trying to say, rather than fractured thoughts just coupled with song lyrics.

  37. #37 AL
    September 18, 2006

    Sorry zig. I didn’t mean to confuse you. What I said was that you use special cases to put down the whole of Christianity.
    Slow down and turn off your ideology filter, get a right brain.

  38. #38 Zigman
    September 19, 2006

    Al, how do I do that? You’re the one who invoked Godwin’s Law. As for “slow down and turn off your ideology filter”, erm, perhaps you should look in a mirror when you say that.

  39. #39 AL
    September 19, 2006

    zIGMAN WROTE: Not that that stops any of the religious reich *sigh* Substitute “craized fundie” or religious reich and you have invoked the same.

  40. #40 AL
    September 19, 2006

    Zigman, you have nothing to offer except personal attack and “makes no sense default.” You are policing the evolution sit with no argument for your “side”
    I have no side. I only respond to what I see as one sided and ideologically motivated regarding evolution.
    This is where I see science failing in the closed world of Darwinian study.
    —A stochastic approximation method functions by placing conditions on iterative step sizes and whose convergence is **guaranteed** under mild conditions.

  41. #41 AL
    September 19, 2006

    Evolutionary theory, as the “answer” is the latest in a series of historical world views. And as such will eventually be overturned by another thought system. Its fate, like that of “world views” before it, will also be viewed by some future generation as being naïve and ignorant.

    Evolution is a scientific study of a limited theory by its nature; “everything came from things before it.” This theory progresses either into an unsolvable problem of “absolute nothing” or more troubling, into absolute something. Like the string theorists (tiny string could be the ultimate “one thing”) if it’s all just string, then where is the strings’ intention to build coming from. (don’t get confused)What empowers the primary string to combine itself to make the incredible engines of evolutionary change?

    Those who insist that “Evolution” is the ultimate and final word nothing on the subject are deluding themselves. They do this not for scientific reasons; for there is abundant evidence that evolution is deeply flawed. Instead they hold religiously to evolution for selfish personal reasons – to live in the illusion that they are “right” and to avoid at all costs the pain of personal growth. They live in and are nurtured by the flattery that they are the most intelligent and enlightened people to have ever lived. Their narrow minded and self “righteous” attitudes make meaningful dialog all but impossible.

  42. #42 AL
    September 21, 2006

    A snip from somewhere….
    Cytologists now realize that a living cell contains hundreds of
    thousands of different complex parts such as various motor proteins
    that are assembled to produce the most complex “machine” in the
    Universe-a machine far more complex than the most complex Cray super
    computer. We now also realize after a century of research that the
    eukaryote protozoa thought to be as simple as a bowl of gelatin in
    Darwin’s day actually are enormously more complex than the prokaryote
    cell. Furthermore, molecular biology has demonstrated that the basic
    design of the cell is

    essentially the same in all living systems on earth from bacteria
    to mammals… In terms of their basic biochemical design… no living
    system can be thought of as being primitive or ancestral with respect
    to any other system, nor is there the slightest empirical hint of an
    evolutionary sequence among all the incredibly diverse cells on earth
    (Denton, 1986, p. 250).

    This is a major problem for Darwinism because life at the cellular
    level generally does not reveal a gradual increase in complexity as it
    ascends the evolutionary ladder from protozoa to humans. The reason
    that all cells are basically alike is because the basic biochemical
    requirements and constraints for all life are the same:

    A curious similarity underlies the seemingly varied forms of life
    we see on the earth today: the most central molecular machinery of
    modern organisms has always been found to be essentially the same.
    This unity of biochemistry has surely been one of the great discoveries
    of the past 100 years (Cairns-Smith, 1985, p. 90).

    The most critical gap that must be explained is that between life and
    non-life because

    Cells and organisms are very complex… [and] there is a surprising
    uniformity among living things. We know from DNA sequence analyses
    that plants and higher animals are closely related, not only to each
    other, but to relatively simple single-celled organisms such as yeasts.
    Cells are so similar in their structure and function that many of
    their proteins can be interchanged from one organism to another. For
    example, yeast cells share with human cells many of the central
    molecules that regulate their cell cycle, and several of the human
    proteins will substitute in the yeast cell for their yeast equivalents!
    (Alberts, 1992, p. xii).

    The belief that spontaneous regeneration, while admittedly very rare,
    is still attractive as illustrated by Sagan and Leonard’s conclusion,
    “Most scientists agree that life will appear spontaneously in any
    place where conditions remain sufficiently favorable for a very long
    time” (1972, p. 9). This claim then is followed by an admission from
    Sagan and Leonard that raises doubts not only about abiogenesis, but
    about Darwinism generally, namely, “this conviction [about the origin
    of life] is based on inferences and extrapolations.” The many
    problems, inferences, and extrapolations needed to create abiogenesis
    just-so stories once were candidly admitted by Dawkins:

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