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Casey Luskin on testability in science, especially with reference to ID

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Hello, now don't lose your temper, Sal, I'm back! The party's over, but I forgot to make what is the most important point, and I'll copy this, and of course it's up to the other moderators whether they will post it, or you will as well. The million dollar point: Perhaps the electrical universe point of view is considered too "out there, perhaps the more conventional plasma cosmology is more "credible". Yet despite the evidence, despite the fact of observations, main stream scientists cling to unobservable "dark matter", "dark energy". That is all relevant to ID because despite the issue that Casey raised of testability, it won't mean a damn to your "opponents", and I won't be mean and call them Shadows or from the Dark Side or whatever. But the leaders have an agenda. The followers obey the leaders. They will interpret black as white and white as black. And they will ostracize anyone who proposes an alternative to their cherished "Humanistic religion", as James P. Hogan calls it. They find comfort in believing there is nothing greater than the human mind, and that nothing exists outside of matter and energy, although I'm sure they have no clue what matter and energy are. (Anyway, Gonzalez wouldn't respond to me on plasma; on the other hand, how much of a martyr would the poor man want to be?) Look at this essay about the "lawn sprinkler"; NASA personnel got indignant and defend the lawn sprinkler, despite all the contrary evidence. http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2006/arch06/060210hhtornado.htm ######################################################################################### The explanation begins with these words: “Stellar jets are analogous to giant lawn sprinklers. Whether a sprinkler whirls, pulses or oscillates, it offers insights into how its tiny mechanism works. Likewise stellar jets, billions or trillions of miles long offer some clues to what's happening close into the star at scales of only millions of miles, which are below even Hubble's ability to resolve detail”. Those who know what a plasma discharge is might say, “if you think a lawn sprinkler offers a good analogy for the picture above, put a sprinkler in space and try it”. Any attempt to understand stellar jets across light years of space in terms of a nozzle on one end should be a career-ending embarrassment. To explain the narrow tornado-like jet, the Hubble page says: “Material either at or near the star is heated and blasted into space, where it travels for billions of miles before colliding with interstellar material." Does a star have the ability to create collimated jets across (not billions, but) trillions of miles by merely 'heating' material in its vicinity? The matter in the jet is hot and it is moving through a vacuum. If one is to use an analogy with water, the better example would be a super-heated steam hose. It will not form a jet of steam for more than a few feet before the steam disperses explosively. The authors’ explanation not only contradicts simple observation and experiment, it contradicts the century-old gravitational theory on which the entire page is based. Under the popular theory of star formation, it is matter "falling" inward under the influence of gravity that creates stars. No one proposing this “nebular hypothesis” ever imagined, in advance of recent discoveries, that after gravity accomplished its mass-gathering feat, it would give way to a more powerful force evident in the jet. (As for the reference to collisions with interstellar material, that is based entirely on the bizarre explanation itself, not on anything actually observed.) ################################################################################################################## My sad conclusion is that should scientists find results based on the tests Casey identifies, or others, it won't convince the establishment. Again, Arp won't get telescope time (I pled his case to a Jesuit astronomer who is pro-Darwin; no surprise he ignored me.) So, I suggest that "stealth" microbiologists tow the party line, and after tenure conduct their tests. I think life responds and adapts to the environment, that there's nothing random about it. Polka dot bears, blue bears, pink bears, striped bears, and a white bear which becomes a Polar Bear? Bill Dembski talked about the mathematics. Even if you are Pro Einstein, his take on "time" is that it slows under acceleration. OK, do the reverse, speed up time and let's see if the chemicals self-organize. Sorry I e-talked too much, but I think you understand. No matter what the results, neo-Darwinists will never abandon their "faith". If there's any more compelling argument against ID, ironically the best is human behavior! Kidding. Take care. Casey's test: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2006/01/intelligent_design_is_empirica.html Latest essay on "Stumbling over assumptions", which I think is relevant with the Taliban members of the Darwinians: http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2006/arch06/060814astronomy_assumptions.htm P. Phillips
Hi, Sal, let me not stay longer than I should at this party. Your conclusion is correct: I think your links on heretical information show that the problem of double standards are not unique to IDers, but may IDers just ruffle more feathers. lol That is correct as the Politically Incorrect Guide to Science and Kicking the Sacred Cow, which cites Dr. Dembski, discuss at length. What surprises me is the lack of humility, the arrogance, the emotion of the "preists" of Evolution or any other dogma. The entire chapter attacking neo-Darwinism is available via the below link. That doesn't mean all these alternative "takes" are true, but they are worthy of consideration, I think, without their proponents suffering abuse. Good night, and take care. http://www.baen.com/chapters/W200407/0743488288.htm?blurb Scientists are Only Human —and Not Immune to Dogma. A New York Times Bestselling Writer Examines the Facts in the Most Profound Controversies in Modern Science. Galileo may have been forced to deny that the Earth moves around the Sun; but in the end, science triumphed. Nowadays science fearlessly pursues truth, shining the pure light of reason on the mysteries of the universe. Or does it? As bestselling author James P. Hogan demonstrates in this fact-filled and thoroughly documented study, science has its own roster of hidebound pronouncements which are Not to be Questioned. Among the dogma-laden subjects he examines are Darwinism, global warming, the big bang, problems with relativity, radon and radiation, holes in the ozone layer, the cause of AIDS, and the controversy over Velikovsky. Hogan explains the basics of each controversy with his clear, informative style, in a book that will be fascinating for anyone with an interest in the frontiers of modern science. P. Phillips
P Philips wrote: "Good morning (my time), Sal, thank you for posting my comments" Just as an FYI, on threads I start I have some control over what gets posted. On threads such as these posted by other authors, I have no control over what comments are allowed or precluded. Even though the subect of the thread was double-standards, I think your links on heretical information show that the problem of double standards are not unique to IDers, but may IDers just ruffle more feathers. lol scordova
Oops1! Sorry, bad link on Deep Impact predictions. Here's the correct one: http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2005/arch05/050704predictions.htm Plasma Galaxies: http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2006/arch06/060602plasma-galaxy.htm Wikipedia - neutrality disputed on Plasma Cosmology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_cosmology Dent in Space Time, part II: http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2006/arch06/060327blackhole.htm Deep Impact, smoking gun: http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2006/arch06/060113smoking.htm Finally, "Things that are impossible" http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2005/arch05/051229impossible.htm In the event, my point is Casey is correct, but that I believe that observations invalidate a "multiverse" or Woody Allen's or Steven Weinberg's point of view. Quoting now: http://www.friesian.com/existent.htm WOODY ALLEN: That's quite a lovely Jackson Pollock, isn't it? GIRL IN MUSEUM: Yes it is. WOODY ALLEN: What does it say to you? GIRL IN MUSEUM: It restates the negativeness of the universe, the hideous lonely emptiness of existence, nothingness, the predicament of man forced to live in a barren, godless eternity, like a tiny flame flickering in an immense void, with nothing but waste, horror, and degradation, forming a useless bleak straightjacket in a black absurd cosmos. # # # # # Weinberg, a "big banger" on atheism here: http://cotimotb.siteburg.com/wiki/index.php?wiki=AtheismTapesTwo So, maybe Allen is funny. Then again, a Plasma based cosmology, with galaxies birthing new galaxies, intrigues me and is much more hopeful. I think Jack Arnold's insight and how the thoughts just came to him perhaps indicative of "inspiration" as divinely inspired. http://www.owenbarfield.com/Encyclopedia_Barfieldiana/Ideas_Concepts/Inspiration.html Isaac Asimov attacked a Space: 1999 episode entitled THE BLACK SUN for its misnomer. But note that the writers provided (if you ever saw an unedited version) a role for God in human destiny. I think, although I respect Asimov as a great teacher, the deisim offended him. But he wrote about his writing and ideas using the concept of inspiration, even if he did not believe. Does God reach out to atheists especially if they create mass media? It's a thought worth pondering. http://www.space1999.org/features/episode_guide/year_one/y1ep3-the_black_sun.html Excerpt: "The others are left to face the unknown as they are drawn closer and closer towards the black mass... and into it. Koenig and Bergman suddenly realise that they have become transparent. All sounds stop. Koenig believes time has stopped. Their appearance changes. With startling rapidity, they age into old, old men. Eons old, perhaps. A thought strikes Keonig that the whole universe is nothing but living thought. A child's voice is heard as the two men find themselves walking among the stars. Every star, perhaps, is just a cell in the brain of the universe, and the child's voice is heard to say 'You think at what you call the speed of light. In eternity, I have no hurry. I think a thought, perhaps, in every thousand of your years... I am the known and the unknown. The seen and the unseen. All things come me (sic!). I am not part of them.' " P. Phillips
Good morning (my time), Sal, thank you for posting my comments. That is interesting news about your alma matter, and there are two views on plasma cosmology, the Eric Lerner approach, which is more conventional, and the "electrical theorists", who are perhaps even more outcasts or heretics than ID proponents. Now, responding to Joseph above, and what is observable and "testable", I find it exciting that the electric theorists and IEEE members have made predictions, see below links on comets, and also the article on earthquakes, which would save lives. Do I believe plasma cosmology is a 'complete world view'? Probably not, but the appeal to me, although the proponents may or may not be atheists, is that ID scientists rightly say their theory does not show the "Designer" is God. But, if, say, a galaxy is a scaled up atom, for instance, then to me I believe *one* mind is responsible. OK, for those with open minds, and don't think like Woody Allen the Universe is going to run down into nothingness, here are more links to explore. On the problems of the 'Hubble Constant': http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2006/arch06/060811expandinguncertainty.htm A 'dent' in space time? http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2006/arch06/060324spacetime.htm On earthquake prediction: http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2006/arch06/060404earthquakes.htm http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/dec05/2367 And on the predictions before Deep Impact: http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/dec05/2367 The IEEE, Plasma Cosmology and Extreme Ball Lightning http://www.holoscience.com/news.php?article=88edua1k Eric Lerner's site: http://bigbangneverhappened.org/ # # # # # # # # My own belief is that plasma and electrical phenomenon play a far greater role in the Universe, and I don't understand the opposition, as I don't understand demonizing ID. Wal Thrornhill, of Holoscience, responded to me: > Dear Wal, > > I sent links to friend on recent Thunderbolts essays, and he wrote: > > It's one thing to suggest that there are other influences besides gravity in the structure and behavior of the galaxy; it's something else to claim that >*ALL* of the accepted knowledge is somehow wrong or, at best, astray. Not only that, but the claims in your sites are also guilty of inaccuracies. One >glaring one is that we've got a satellite in solar orbit right now testing the "twisted space-time" idea, and so far, Einstein is correct. Okay, besides >that, while we can't actually "see" a black hole, we can see the accretion disk if its close enough, and we can plot orbital velocities of stars and >other masses circling a black hole. There's something in there, podnur, and it ain't thunderbolts. > > I wonder if you'd comment. > > Best, > > P.S. Hi PS, I don't have time to address all the questions I receive at the moment. Just a few comments: No one is claiming that ALL accepted knowledge is wrong, just that many accepted theories are incorrect. Satellites testing Einstein's ideas do not allow for an alternative model that can explain the results without invoking his metaphysics. So they cannot prove that Einstein's view is correct, just that an effect, which may have another explanation, was found that supports Einstein. Most people seem to forget that all theories are provisional. A better one may be found in future that will supplant it. See Tom Van Flandern's website, http://metaresearch.org/, for some good arguments against Einstein's warped views. And there are plenty of others now questioning his ideas. And who says that the disks observed are 'accretion' disks? That is an assumption. No interstellar clouds have been observed to collapse. The masses calculated from orbits assumes that gravity is the only force at work. Plasma cosmologists have shown that you can ignore gravity for most purposes when modelling galaxies and star formation. I could go on but your correspondent shows a profound ignorance of plasma behavior and that is the key to understanding the universe. # # # # # # Therefore, the multiverse concept, I think, is totally erroneous, and plasma explains a lot more. Thanks again, Salvador, and you too, Bill and Denyse. I truly am not envagelical about plasma, but I think scientists should not ignore its role. Take care, P.S. P. Phillips
The irony here is the same people who want an OPEN discussion of any multiverse idea are the some of the same people who do NOT want an OPEN discussion about ID. Whether or not we exist as part of a multiverse system is separate from whether or not said system was the result of intention (ID) or sheer-dumb-luck (anti-ID). I, for one, will not stand in the way of those who wish to pursue a multiverse scenario. However I say the bulk of our efforts should be use to understand what we can observe, test, poke-with-a-stick, yada, yada, yada... Joseph
Unfortunately, Plasma Cosmology is not acceptable, I think, to even astronomers like Guillermo Gonzalez who wrote the Privileged Planet, but adheres to ‘gravity’ based astronomy.
Well, P. Philips you have there professors at my Alma Mater who sympathize with your views. See: www.cosmologystatement.org I guess something is in the waters of Fairfax County that causes GMU to produce so many "heretics". Salvador scordova
Oh, well, here I go again, and probably I won't get a reply, perhaps if I do I hope it is courteous/respectful. In the event, if the readers of Uncommon Descent are willing to challenge dogma, and not exclusively on religious tenets, observational astronomy, if one has an open mind, is revealing tremendous contradictions with "Orthodox" theory. Unfortunately, Plasma Cosmology is not acceptable, I think, to even astronomers like Guillermo Gonzalez who wrote the Privileged Planet, but adheres to 'gravity' based astronomy. [I do agree with Casey, for what it's worth.] http://www.privilegedplanet.com/ So, if anyone is interested, and a remains calm about concepts challenging central dogma, and is willing to examine facts and evidence with an open mind, here are some links: http://www.holoscience.com/news.php?article=9kpgc4td http://www.holoscience.com/news.php?article=gdaqg8df Excerpt: # # # # # # # # # Physics' greatest endeavour has ground to a halt. We are in "a period of utter confusion", said Nobel laureate David Gross [above], summing up last week's prestigious Solvay conference on the quantum structure of space and time. That is worrying because the topic is central to finding a "theory of everything" that will describe every force and particle in nature. Einstein's relativity, which reigned supreme for a century, is a flawed basis for such a theory. Although it deals with gravity, it tells us nothing else about the nature and interactions of matter. Crucially, general relativity is incompatible with quantum theory. Since the 1960s, theorists have struggled to solve this problem, so far to no avail. And the trouble is we have nothing to put in relativity's place. The great hope, string theory, which views particles as emanating from minuscule strings, has generated myriad mathematical descriptions linked to the dance of particles. But these equations tell us nothing about where space and time come from and describe nothing we would recognise. At best, string theory depicts the way particles might interact in a collection of hypothetical universes. For decades, string theorists have been excused from testing their ideas against experimental results. When astronomers discovered the accelerating expansion of the universe, which string theory fails to account for, many string theorists took shelter in a remarkable excuse: that their equations describe all possible universes and should not be tied to matching data in just one of them. But when the theory does not match the one data set we have, is it science? There is a joke circulating on physics blogs: that we can, after all, call our universe unique. Why? Because it is the only one that string theory cannot describe. Should we laugh or cry? http://www.haltonarp.com/ # # # # # # # # Now, one may not agree with all the concepts/hypotheses put forth, but the fact remains that plasma and the electric force are dominant; for these we have evidence. Dark matter, dark energy, superstrings -- all based on faith, misguided faith I think. On another post, I wrote about creativity and inspiration, and perhaps an external source. Bear with me, please, for a moment. Jack Arnold, the director of the film Incredible Shrinking Man, was inspired to write these words that ended the film, with images of galaxies. Consider galaxies as a scalable electrical phenomenon, and perhaps some otherc higher intelligence speaks to some of us when inspired. I find the entropic view of the cosmos pessimistic to the extreme. Here's the relevant dialog: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050539/quotes [closing soliloquy narration] Scott Carey: I was continuing to shrink, to become... what? The infinitesimal? What was I? Still a human being? Or was I the man of the future? If there were other bursts of radiation, other clouds drifting across seas and continents, would other beings follow me into this vast new world? So close - the infinitesimal and the infinite. But suddenly, I knew they were really the two ends of the same concept. The unbelievably small and the unbelievably vast eventually meet - like the closing of a gigantic circle. I looked up, as if somehow I would grasp the heavens. The universe, worlds beyond number, God's silver tapestry spread across the night. And in that moment, I knew the answer to the riddle of the infinite. I had thought in terms of man's own limited dimension. I had presumed upon nature. That existence begins and ends in man's conception, not nature's. And I felt my body dwindling, melting, becoming nothing. My fears melted away. And in their place came acceptance. All this vast majesty of creation, it had to mean something. And then I meant something, too. Yes, smaller than the smallest, I meant something, too. To God, there is no zero. P. Phillips
#8 "And I agree. However one still has to explain that complex starting structure." Joseph, what you says is true but consider that for a NED supporter to have a more complex world to explain is a mere 2nd order problem, being the main one that to (desperately try to) justify the huge improbability of their theory. After all, if they think people MUST buy their theory on a single universe, the shift to multiverse shouldn't be a too much difficult idea for them. Kairos kairos
The Many-Worlds Interpretation (MWI) may have significance as we build quantum computers. However, Barrow and Tipler have shown that even if MWI is true, it would not negate an ID inference. One of the reason their stealth ID classic, Anthropic Cosmological Principle was frowed on by many in the ID community was partly because of their support of MWI. However, I'm glad to see that they have by and large been invited to ID's big tent of late, with Tipler appearing in Bill's book, Uncommon Dissent. However as I poitned, out MWI would not negate a design inference any more than a parallel processing Quantum Computer operating in parallel universes would imply the Quantum Computer was not designed. If the universe is structured this way, that is a parallel quantum computer (which I doubt personally), it would still not negate a ID inference. Regarding Multiverses, it strikes me as pure speculation. At elast MWI has some theoretical support, Multiverses on the other hand are speculations. But even if there are Multiverses, Paul Davies rightly pointed out, the problem would still remain, why would there be Multiverses rather than none at all? One could easily argue that Multiverses were part of a design as well! A regress to an ultimate cause would not be negated even if MWI or Multiverses are true. scordova
Who gave Karl Popper the authority to set the epistemological ground rules for all of the rest of us? I feel like the peasant in Monty Python’s Holy Grail. The peasant asks Arthur, “How did you get to be king? I didn’t vote for you.” Similarly I don’t recall voting to put science in a box marked “falsification line of demarcation – do not open.” I ask this question because the federal courts have literally given Popper’s philosophical musings the force of law in their Establishment Clause cases. In a democracy such as the one in which we live, shouldn’t there have been a vote on this? Back to Python: Arthur explains to the peasant that he became king when the Lady of the Lake gave him Excalibur. To this the peasant replies, “Just because some watery tart threw a blade at you doesn’t mean you have supreme executive authority. True power comes only by a mandate from the masses.” Do the American people know that a German philosopher’s epistemology has been grafted into their fundamental law through the federal courts’ interpretation of the First Amendment? I doubt it. BarryA
Kairos: Joseph, IMHO you have missed the point. A multiverse scenario is invoked by naturalist scientists just as the lifeboat against ID. Kairos, What I am saying is THEY (materialists) missed the point. I know what they are attempting to do. I also realize that in the end they will need some "universe creating machine", even though they may claim they don't have to explain such a thing. The multiverse scenario is like saying you can get IC structures like the bacterial flagellum by whittling away at something (vastly) more complex. And I agree. However one still has to explain that complex starting structure. How many checks can one write without first making a deposit? Sooner or later that practice will catch up to you. Joseph
No one has a better response to the multiverse concept than Alvin Plantinga in his review of Daniel Dennett's Darwin's Dangerous Idea, entitled Darwin, Mind and Meaning. (See here: http://www.veritas-ucsb.org/library/plantinga/Dennett.html) In this review, Plantinga writes (regarding Dennett arguing for multiple universes):
Well, perhaps all this is logically possible (and then again perhaps not). As a response to a probabilistic argument, however, it's pretty anemic. How would this kind of reply play in Tombstone, or Dodge City? "Waal, shore, Tex, I know it's a leetle mite suspicious that every time I deal I git four aces and a wild card, but have you considered the following? Possibly there is an infinite succession of universes, so that for any possible distribution of possible poker hands, there is a universe in which that possibility is realized; we just happen to find ourselves in one where someone like me always deals himself only aces and wild cards without ever cheating. So put up that shootin' arn and set down 'n shet yore yap, ya dumb galoot." Plantinga's tongue-in-cheek comment really shows how anemic this line is.
#2 and #3 - IMHO the real point is that multiverse and many words arguments are much weaker than ID inference. After all it's precisely the opposite of empirical science to argue that something could reasonably exist only because the mathematics modelling the real worlds would provide other theoretical solutions. With the same reasoning we should be forced to speculate that other infinite hidden spatial dimensions actually exist in addition to the detectable 3 ones (or four with GR theory). That's simply non sense in absence of whichever real oproof. Let's consider instead ID inference. In this case the use of mathematics to argue the improbability of a fine tuned universe or of the biological complexity is perfectly sound scientifically. Conclusion: cosmological speculations such as multiverse or many worlds should be classifies as plain pseudo-science!. #5 - Joseph, IMHO you have missed the point. A multiverse scenario is invoked by naturalist scientists just as the lifeboat against ID. Kairos kairos
ID does not exclude any multiverse scenario. I, for one, would not even attempt to put any limit on the designer(s). A multiverse scenario does not refute ID. To me a multiverse scenario would be even more difficult to 'splain under any anti-ID scenario. Just take the difficulties in 'splaining this one and multiply that by the number of '(uni?)verses'. But in the end all we can do is observe, test and study what this universe has to offer, with obvious limitations. CSI and IC are testable concepts. What testable concepts does evolutionism offer? Joseph
johnnyb, I believe the Multiverse theory and the Many Worlds interpretation are 2 different theories. Many Worlds relates to quantum mechanics. When we derive a wave-function (collapse of a wave) from a wave-equation all possibilities are actualized. This is different from the Multiverse theory that Scott is referencing. But still, there is no hard evidence for either. Even for Many Worlds it is still primarily an interpretation.... but the point of that particular interpretation was to circumvent certain consequences that some didn't care for, for philosophical reasons. Doug
When I read the Luskin piece this morning I was trying to think of a thread here in which I could reference it as a comment. I'm glad it has its own thread now. He makes an excellent point of the double-standards inherent in the attempts aimed at excluding ID from discussion with his equation to multiverses - especially as relates to the concept of "testability" as a demarcation.
However, a Nature article from earlier this year noted that this “multiverse” hypothesis is not testable: .... National Academy of Sciences member and Nobel Laureate Leonard Susskind was given print-space--in fact he had a highlighted box-quote--saying that we should not reject the multi-verse hypothesis on the grounds that it isn’t testable. Nature reports: Susskind, too, finds it “deeply, deeply troubling” that there’s no way to test the principle. But he is not yet ready to rule it out completely. “It would be very foolish to throw away the right answer on the basis that it doesn’t conform to some criteria for what is or isn’t science,” he says. (Geoff Brumfiel, "Outrageous Fortune," Nature, Vol 439:10-12 (January 5, 2006) (emphasis added).)
Note that this Nobel laureate's opinion was written in the highly prestigious, peer-reviewed publication. Nature. Luskin follows up the discussions of that hypocrisy with this:
Regardless of this double-standard, I strongly believe ID is testable (see here and here). In fact, Jonathan Wells humorously comments about the state of Darwinist arguments on this point in his new book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design, saying Darwinists criticisms “collaps[e] into a contradiction: ID isn’t science because it isn’t testable, and, besides, it has been tested and proven false.” (pg. 140)
Scott -- I think there's more evidence for the multiverse than you imply. I do not know much about quantum physics, but as I understand it the wave function has multiple solutions. The Copenhagen interpretation is that only one is chosen (and randomly, at that), but the multiverse interpretation is that all are chosen. But the fact remains that the many worlds hypothesis does appear to be untestable, and it does seem that many use it (whether validly or invalidly) to support materialistic hypotheses. johnnyb
The Multiverse notion is nothing more than a fairytale conjured up by those with an epistemological axe to grind. If this idea doesn't smack of a prior commitment to philosophical materialism, I don't know what does. It does not merit serious discussion... even for a second. Scott

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