Intelligent Design Origin Of Life

Why are “skeptics” the most gullible people around?

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Readers will perhaps recall Brian Miller’s fact check of an overblown RNA origin of life claim which, if true, might have netted the researchers a Nobel. Curiously, neurologist Steven Novella fell for it. Brian Miller has the story:

Novella is a prominent atheist who jumped at the chance to promote the secular creation narrative of life’s origin. In his blog post, he even included a figure from an article published in the journal Cell depicting the RNA world hypothesis. The diagram includes a long RNA chain folded into an enzyme-like structure (aka ribozyme) that can perform biologically relevant functions such as replicating RNA templates. The diagram depicts the journey of the ribozyme and neighboring peptides into modern cellular machinery.

However, Novella’s depiction of the experiment is completely inaccurate. The RNAs did not fold into ribozymes that replicated other RNAs or directly performed any other function. Instead, the investigators supplied all the cellular machinery to manufacture proteins. They also supplied the “host” RNA that encoded the information to generate proteins that replicated RNA templates. The “translation-coupled RNA replication (TcRR) system” did not generate anything truly novel or grow in biologically relevant complexity. The RNAs solely acquired mutations that altered the translated replicase’s efficiency and accuracy.

Brian Miller, “Yale’s Steven Novella Falls for Origin-of-Life Hype” at Evolution News and Science Today (March 24, 2022)

And the irony:

The irony of Novella’s pollyannish description of the research is that he is a host of The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast…

If Novella had consistently applied his hype-detection tools to the press release from the University of Tokyo, he would have described the research in dramatically different terms.

Brian Miller, “Yale’s Steven Novella Falls for Origin-of-Life Hype” at Evolution News and Science Today (March 24, 2022)

But he won’t, of course. His skepticism only points in one direction.

Note: Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor has been known to clash with Novella on matters more closely related to the discipline. See, for example, Tales of the mind: A neurologist encounters the house of mirrors Materialism is an intellectual trap, out of which neuroscience needs to climb. Neurologist Steven Novella refutes himself. He first asserts that everything he knows is an illusion. Then he insists that his illusions slap him in the face with reality.

By the way, the University of Tokyo paper is open access.

You may also wish to read:

So why aren’t the RNA OOL researchers in the running for the Nobel Prize? When a story is the one people need to believe, they don’t ask for detailed demonstrations of how it could have happened that way. Chances are, they don’t even want them because then they would be responsible for knowing that it didn’t really happen.

and

OOL claim: RNA molecule develops complexity following Darwinian evolution. Bottom line: A lot of the machinery that supposedly spontaneously created complexity was in fact borrowed. We’re told that James Tour gets quite angry about what amounts to cheating in the claims about origin of life.

33 Replies to “Why are “skeptics” the most gullible people around?

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    There’s an important difference between Branded Skeptics vs people who just view the world skeptically. Branded Skeptics are often agents provocateurs working for Deepstate, explicitly paid and assigned to make the real skeptics look horrible. If not Deepstate, they’re cynical opportunists riding the movement for power and money. Ron Hubbard turned the UFO craze into a massive wealthy cult specializing in blackmail and lawsuits, while the people who were just trying to seek the truth were stigmatized as loonies.

    Novella doesn’t really fall into either category. He’s a rigidly orthodox enforcer who occasionally and superficially uses the skeptic disguise, but nobody is fooled by it. Maybe he’s fooling himself, but I doubt it.

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    Could we be looking at symptoms of selective hyperskepticism? For, if one is unduly hyper suspicious and dismissive towards what is actually reasonably warranted for a claim of a certain kind, typically that’s because one has uncritically accepted something else that is not as sound as is imagined. Hence, the question of crooked yardsticks that make what is actually straight, accurate and upright seem to be wrong. And yes, this is mind bending. To help sort it out, we need to pay close attention to self evident first truths of reasoning.

  3. 3
    martin_r says:

    The irony of Novella’s pollyannish description of the research is that he is a host of The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast

    exactly :)))))))))))))

    A Darwinist as a sceptic :)))))) Good joke :))))))

    A Darwinist can believe anything … the more nonsensical the better …

  4. 4
    chuckdarwin says:

    Martin_r @ 3

    A Darwinist can believe anything … the more nonsensical the better …

    Not quite anything, e.g., people rising from the dead, virgin birth or driving demons into swine. Credulity does have its limits…..

  5. 5
    martin_r says:

    CD

    A virgin birth :)))))))
    I heard it so many times in my debates …
    It is soooo funny that you guys still mentioning it in the era of in vitro fertilization (IVF) :)))))))

    Chuck, surprise surprise:

    “WOMEN WHO HAVE NEVER HAD SEX GIVE ‘VIRGIN BIRTH’ THROUGH IVF, SAY DOCTORS”

    https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/women-who-have-never-had-sex-give-virgin-birth-through-ivf-say-doctors-a6670101.html

    Like i said in my previous posts, you Darwinists are mentally in 19st century … always ready to believe anything …

  6. 6
    EvilSnack says:

    A “skeptic” whose skepticism follows an ideological pattern is bigot, not a skeptic.

  7. 7
    Seversky says:

    Is hypercredulity the opposite of hyperskepticism? We see here plenty of examples contributors who are hyperskeptical of the theory of evolution but hypercredulous of their own religious pre-suppositions and any that share and/or support those beliefs. They don’t subject their beliefs to anything like the critical scrutiny they apply to evolution, preferring to worship the Supreme Engineer instead,

  8. 8
    jerry says:

    They don’t subject their beliefs to anything like the critical scrutiny they apply to evolution

    Absolutely not true.

    So why make such a nonsense claim?

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, obviously, there is a part of the point you did not notice:

    if one is unduly hyper suspicious and dismissive towards what is actually reasonably warranted for a claim of a certain kind, typically that’s because one has uncritically accepted something else that is not as sound as is imagined. Hence, the question of crooked yardsticks that make what is actually straight, accurate and upright seem to be wrong.

    That’s why there is need to pay particularly close attention to self-evident, branch on which we all sit first facts, principles and duties. To detect and remove the crooked yardsticks of our day.

    KF

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, did it ever dawn on you that you are implicitly assuming that miracles are impossible, when no amount of evidence of typical behaviour of the world can show that there are never rare exceptions to that usual course? (Which, is tantamount to implicitly assuming there is no God and/or that he would never have occasion to intervene in the world beyond its usual course?) Where, for further illustration, there actually is another category that is vital for rational, responsible reasoning to give credible knowledge etc, freedom of mind and will that rises beyond blindly mechanical and/or stochastic computation. KF

    PS, in the 9th Bridgewater thesis, Babbage pointed out that in fact a sufficient number of witnesses in due circumstances can so mutually support that cumulative credibility becomes far more likely than the opposite. In the case of the most pivotal miracle, there is nothing extraordinary in having two suppers with a close fried, or with witnessing an arrest, trial, public execution and burial. Also, we can readily tell which comes before/after. In the case, the miracle lies in the timeline, not in what was seen. And that is part of why the witnesses could not be shaken by dungeon, fire, sword or worse.

  11. 11
    Seversky says:

    Kairosfocus/10

    PS, in the 9th Bridgewater thesis, Babbage pointed out that in fact a sufficient number of witnesses in due circumstances can so mutually support that cumulative credibility becomes far more likely than the opposite. In the case of the most pivotal miracle, there is nothing extraordinary in having two suppers with a close fried, or with witnessing an arrest, trial, public execution and burial. Also, we can readily tell which comes before/after. In the case, the miracle lies in the timeline, not in what was seen. And that is part of why the witnesses could not be shaken by dungeon, fire, sword or worse.

    Again, the question is, why don’t Christians adopt an appropriately skeptical approach to the evaluation of such evidence as there is for the events recounted in the Gospels?

    Who Wrote The Gospels?

    Though it is evidently not the sort of thing pastors normally tell their congregations, for over a century there has been a broad consensus among scholars that many of the books of the New Testament were not written by the people whose names are attached to them. So if that is the case, who did write them?

    Preliminary Observations: The Gospels as Eyewitness Accounts

    As we have just seen, the Gospels are filled with discrepancies large and small. Why are there so many differences among the four Gospels? These books are called Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John because they were traditionally thought to have been written by Matthew, a disciple who was a tax collector; John, the “Beloved Disciple” mentioned in the Fourth Gospel; Mark, the secretary of the disciple Peter; and Luke, the traveling companion of Paul. These traditions can be traced back to about a century after the books were written.

    But if Matthew and John were both written by earthly disciples of Jesus, why are they so very different, on all sorts of levels? Why do they contain so many contradictions? Why do they have such fundamentally different views of who Jesus was? In Matthew, Jesus comes into being when he is conceived, or born, of a virgin; in John, Jesus is the incarnate Word of God who was with God in the beginning and through whom the universe was made. In Matthew, there is not a word about Jesus being God; in John, that’s precisely who he is. In Matthew, Jesus teaches about the coming kingdom of God and almost never about himself (and never that he is divine); in John, Jesus teaches almost exclusively about himself, especially his divinity. In Matthew, Jesus refuses to perform miracles in order to prove his identity; in John, that is practically the only reason he does miracles.

    Did two of the earthly followers of Jesus really have such radically different understandings of who he was? It is possible. Two people who served in the administration of George W. Bush may well have radically different views about him (although I doubt anyone would call him divine). This raises an important methodological point that I want to stress before discussing the evidence for the authorship of the Gospels.

    Why did the tradition eventually arise that these books were written by apostles and companions of the apostles? In part it was in order to assure readers that they were written by eyewitnesses and companions of eyewitnesses. An eyewitness could be trusted to relate the truth of what actually happened in Jesus’ life. But the reality is that eyewitnesses cannot be trusted to give historically accurate accounts. They never could be trusted and can’t be trusted still. If eyewitnesses always gave historically accurate accounts, we would have no need for law courts. If we needed to find out what actually happened when a crime was committed, we could just ask someone. Real-life legal cases require multiple eyewitnesses, because eyewitnesses’ testimonies differ. If two eyewitnesses in a court of law were to differ as much as Matthew and John, imagine how hard it would be to reach a judgment.

    A further reality is that all the Gospels were written anonymously, and none of the writers claims to be an eyewitness. Names are attached to the titles of the Gospels (“the Gospel according to Matthew”), but these titles are later additions to the Gospels, provided by editors and scribes to inform readers who the editors thought were the authorities behind the different versions. That the titles are not original to the Gospels themselves should be clear upon some simple reflection. Whoever wrote Matthew did not call it “The Gospel according to Matthew.” The persons who gave it that title are telling you who, in their opinion, wrote it. Authors never title their books “according to.”

    Moreover, Matthew’s Gospel is written completely in the third person, about what “they” — Jesus and the disciples — were doing, never about what “we” — Jesus and the rest of us — were doing. Even when this Gospel narrates the event of Matthew being called to become a disciple, it talks about “him,” not about “me.” Read the account for yourself (Matthew 9:9). There’s not a thing in it that would make you suspect the author is talking about himself.

    With John it is even more clear. At the end of the Gospel the author says of the “Beloved Disciple”: “This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true” (John 21:24). Note how the author differentiates between his source of information, “the disciple who testifies,” and himself: “we know that his testimony is true.” He/we: this author is not the disciple. He claims to have gotten some of his information from the disciple.

    As for the other Gospels, Mark was said to be not a disciple but a companion of Peter, and Luke was a companion of Paul, who also was not a disciple. Even if they had been disciples, it would not guarantee the objectivity or truthfulness of their stories. But in fact none of the writers was an eyewitness, and none of them claims to be.

    I forget who was credited with the original quote but to paraphrase, I wouldn’t hang a dog based on that sort of evidence.

  12. 12
    chuckdarwin says:

    KF @ 10

    And that is part of why the witnesses could not be shaken by dungeon, fire, sword or worse.

    Apropos Seversky’s posting regarding authorship of the gospels, you know full well that there is virtually no evidence of martyrdom of any of the so-called witnesses, including Peter and Paul. What there is is second, third, and fourth-hand hearsay, even weaker than the evidence for witnesses that Christians claim witnessed Jesus post-mortem.
    To me the most perplexing of the latter is the account Paul gives in Corinthians about the “500.” Not a single one of these folks is identified, not a single one provides testimony, not a single neutral, non-biblical account exists of the incident, and in fact many of them are claimed to conveniently be already dead at the time Paul is writing.

  13. 13
    Scamp says:

    CD:
    To me the most perplexing of the latter is the account Paul gives in Corinthians about the “500.”

    Not to cast doubt on the resurrection but I have always had a problem with people using the 500 witnesses to support the argument for resurrection as if the magnitude of the number 500 provided additional evidentiary support for the resurrection. At best, the 500 witnesses is hearsay.

  14. 14
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    🙂 So today few anonymous tell us that they don’t believe in Christianity(a religion) but they believe that life appeared by chance. No scientific evidences(evolution is a science? 😉 ) but they believes anyway… because scientists will sort out the problem later. Science doesn’t work like that .
    PS: Flash news: Science is not about beliefs it’s about evidences that atheists fail to provide.
    Religion is about worldview and morality . Blind faith is on atheists not on Christianity.

  15. 15
    JVL says:

    Scamp: Not to cast doubt on the resurrection but I have always had a problem with people using the 500 witnesses to support the argument for resurrection as if the magnitude of the number 500 provided additional evidentiary support for the resurrection. At best, the 500 witnesses is hearsay.

    A lot more than that were witnesses to the Miracle of the Sun in 1917. Many of them are named and on the record.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_the_Sun

    Newspapers published testimony from witnesses who said that they had seen extraordinary solar activity, such as the Sun appearing to “dance” or zig-zag in the sky, careen towards the Earth, or emit multicolored light and radiant colors. According to these reports, the event lasted approximately ten minutes.

    What does this say about the reliability of ‘eyewitness’ accounts?

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, this isn’t a blog for theological exploration, but it is interesting that we have folks who have 500 witnesses that could not be shaken, stuck crossways in the gullet. KF

  17. 17
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: Folks, this isn’t a blog for theological exploration, but it is interesting that we have folks who have 500 witnesses that could not be shaken, stuck crossways in the gullet.

    Name one of them. Any one of them. If you can’t, how do you know they existed at all? You choose to believe they existed and said what is claimed but the only evidence is a copy of a copy of a copy . . . of a document or letter. In a court of law would you find such evidence compelling? If I said I heard 500 people claimed to have seen you embezzle funds from your country’s treasury do you think that evidence alone would be enough to find you guilty?

    I think faith is a wonderful gift that some people have received; it sustains them and gives them comfort and peace. I think that’s great; in some sense I am . . . jealous?. But faith is not the same thing as evidence. Don’t confuse the two.

  18. 18
    Querius says:

    JVL @17,

    Yes, human testimony is indeed notoriously unreliable! For example
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJG698U2Mvo (I failed miserably)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubNF9QNEQLA (I failed blissfully and completely)

    Did you do any better than I did?

    But people are nevertheless still convicted in courts of law on (often multiple) eyewitness testimonies with grave consequences.

    Detectives investigate and consider such testimonies and lawyers question them in court as they should for good reason, looking for collusion, deliberate prevarication, or “inattentional blindness.”

    J. Warner Wallace is a retired cold-case homicide detective who, as an agnostic, decided to apply his interview skills and analysis of the written testimony about a special cold-case murder–the written accounts of the murder of Jesus of Nazareth.

    He wrote a book on his professional techniques, experiences, what he looks for in testimonies, and what he concluded about the gospels:
    https://www.amazon.com/Cold-Case-Christianity-Homicide-Detective-Investigates/dp/1434704696

    Most of the alleged 500 witnesses were personally accessible at the time of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (I Cor. 15:6) and Paul invites his readers to check with them on what they saw. Some Christians likely did so. One early Christian interviewed as many eyewitnesses as he could find, writing about his interviews.

    What also survived are writings by what are termed “hostile witnesses” around that time. The testimonies of hostile witnesses are particularly valuable in trial courts.

    Now, nearly 2,000 years later, we can still come to some reasonable conclusions about the 500 alleged witnesses. For a discussion on this specific topic, you might want to look at some of the comments and questions posted here:
    https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/647/what-happened-to-the-500-witnesses-in-1-corinthians-15

    But faith is not the same thing as evidence. Don’t confuse the two.

    Oh, I definitely agree. My faith isn’t founded on faith, but primarily the evidence from personal experience, life decisions, wisdom, and then my subsequent investigations on historical documents and archaeological evidence. But none of this will convince you.

    So, try this. Find something delicious that you really like from a different culture and then try to get people who are unfamiliar to try it.

    – Try reasoning with them.
    – Try collecting testimonies of other people who like it.
    – Try referring to its popularity.
    – Try telling them that it tastes a lot like chicken (or whatever).

    Ask yourself, “Why won’t they try it?”

    Personally, I was successful only on a couple of occasions. One occasion turned out to be a complete disaster.

    On a date with my wife, I got her to try sushi at an expensive Japanese restaurant. Everything was going great until, in the dimly lit restaurant, she picked up a ball of wasabi with her chopsticks and before I could stop her, popped it into her mouth! Her eyes opened wider than I ever recalled and I could almost see the smoke coming out of her ears. To this day, she won’t touch it!

    -Q

  19. 19
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    But faith is not the same thing as evidence.

    But to discover an evidence you have to be imbued with the spirit of truth. .Oopsy this in the religion district because the truth is hated in this world.
    Oopsy there is a branch of science that decided the truth 100 years ago (“darwinian evolution is a fact”) and whoever dare to trespass this truth is sacrificed on the darwin altar and we think we are more evolved than middle ages people? This is worse than slavery.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAM52U-BJ6k&t=209s

  20. 20
    Querius says:

    Oh, and there are some carefully documented medical miracles such as this one:
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550830720300926?via%3Dihub

    Click on the View PDF link to see the whole paper, including photographs.

    If you’re anything like me, your first reaction is to be immediately skeptical. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be, but I think trust is a decision and often requires building it up by degrees based on successful “baby steps” to begin with.

    Considering the number of frauds and con artists in religious organizations, business investment, exercise and diet industries, and every other human endeavor involving money and power, I do think a fair amount of caution and reflection is very reasonable!

    -Q

  21. 21
    Querius says:

    Lieutenant Commander Data @19,

    Brilliant analysis in the video! Thank you for sharing it.

    -Q

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Those eager to dismiss the NT record as contradictory would be well advised to consult the late, distinguished John Wenham on the most notorious test case: https://archive.org/details/easterenigma00wenh I took time, myself, to compare and tabulate, expecting the usual pattern of gaps and diversity on details surrounding a core that is characteristic of valid eyewitness testimony. To my shock, the accounts dovetailed cleanly on careful examination drawing in that Bethany is about 2 mi E of Jerusalem, that the city straggled N-S, and crucifixion etc were on N (near the Temple), also that there was a circle of women of the company of disciples who provided logistics etc, the accounts came together in a strong whole. BTW, it is in fact plausible that Mary of Bethany and Mary formerly of Magdala are the same individual, a real life prodigal. Similarly, it seems that many of the figures in the Gospels are actually relatives of one another and of Jesus; a familiar cultural pattern. And surely, a responsible harmony should take precedence over hyperskeptical disharmonies put up to dismiss what is uncomfortable. KF

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, of the five hundred, the most prominent 20+ are readily identified right there in the 55 AD text written to authoritatively answer needless controversy; based on official summary testimony c 35 – 38 AD: Mary of Magdala and other women of the company of disciples, Simon aka Kepha or in Gk Petros, the other ten surviving disciples, Jesus’ immediate and wider family, most prominently James, Jude, his mother, sisters as well as aunts, uncles and in laws, John Mark, the two candidates to be reckoned as qualified to take the place of Judas, etc. In short, people closely familiar with Jesus for years or for a lifetime. In the case of James his brother etc, that witness turned them from seeing their older brother as an embarrassment and suspected lunatic to realising yes, Messiah. That you seem unaware of this tells us your skeptical dismissiveness reflects patent unfamiliarity with the underlying basic facts, including why the majority [but not all] were still alive but a decade later would be particular targets for death. Note, Gallio in Corinth was brother of Nero’s Chief Minister, Seneca and gave a crucial ruling c 51 that bought a crucial 15 years until that twisted murderer in chief hit on the idea of the false charge of treasonous arson. KF

    PS: I suggest you research Gary Habermas and his assessment of minimal facts. http://www.garyhabermas.com/ar.....202012.pdf is a good start.

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, try to get people to eat Durian fruit or Jack Fruit or what in my native land is called ‘tinkin toe [the locust fruit — delicious but reeks of butyric acid]. I guess oysters count. Then, there are black mottled ripe bananas. KF

    PS, Mon, you left off follytricks, the most lucrative con game of all.

    PPS, Wiki on Durian: >>Some people regard the durian as having a pleasantly sweet fragrance, whereas others find the aroma overpowering and unpleasant. The smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust, and has been described variously as rotten onions, turpentine, and raw sewage. The persistence of its odour, which may linger for several days, led certain hotels and public transportation services in Southeast Asia to ban the fruit. However, the nineteenth-century British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace described its flesh as “a rich custard highly flavoured with almonds”. The flesh can be consumed at various stages of ripeness, and it is used to flavour a wide variety of savoury and sweet desserts in Southeast Asian cuisines. The seeds can also be eaten when cooked. >>

    To some we are the savour of life, to others, of death.

  25. 25
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @24,
    Regarding Durian fruit, YES, I’ve had it once (!), both as a natural custard and baked into a promising sort of brownie! It was the second most disgusting thing I’ve ever eaten!

    First place goes to a gift of Japanese “pickled plums,” which I received as a kind gift from a visiting Japanese professional and, misunderstanding that it was supposed to be used sparingly as a flavoring, instead popped into my mouth whole, chomped it, and somehow forced myself to swallow it down smiling as thousands of my taste buds spontaneously died in protest. He gently suggested the intended use afterwards . . .

    However, Durian fruit smells like sweaty gym socks that haven’t been washed in a month, has a smooth and creamy texture with a taste something like a confusing cross between a mashed banana and garlic. Later, when you decide you’ve actually survived the culinary catastrophe and are now quietly plotting to murder the person who got you to eat it, there’s this really weird hankering for another bite!

    There are locations in Asia where it’s forbidden to take Durian fruit onto public transportation. And there are special varieties of Durian fruit that command ridiculously high prices.

    For the rest of you, you’ve been warned!

    -Q

  26. 26
    Querius says:

    P.S.

    PS, Mon, you left off follytricks, the most lucrative con game of all.

    I know this is OT, but dare I ask what a “follytrick” is?

    -Q

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, a version on politics, typical of the Caribbean. {= Folly + Tricks] KF

  28. 28
    Scamp says:

    Querius:
    There are locations in Asia where it’s forbidden to take Durian fruit onto public transportation.

    Years ago I stayed in a hotel in Bangkok that had signs on every door that durian was not allowed in the hotel.

  29. 29
    Querius says:

    So, anyone here still curious about in trying durian fruit? Let us know what happened.

    Here’s a clip of a wild orangutan feasting on durian. How they are able to chew through the tough, spiky skin is impressive!
    https://youtu.be/Fc4-I3fBPhs?t=87

    -Q

  30. 30
    kairosfocus says:

    Do we then christen this the Durian Fruit principle?

  31. 31
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus,
    Ok, how about this . . .

    The Durian Fruit Principle is proposed to describe the strong aversion to a bad initial experience or anecdotal knowledge projected on all future experiences involving durian fruit, or possibly even all fruit.

    -Q

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, that fits as to means of propagating the adverse reaction, and then we have contrasting reactions and hesitation or irrational rejection of what is at core sound. Complete with savour of life/ savour of death. We need to consider carefully why we react as we do. KF

  33. 33
    Querius says:

    Yes, and a decision for complete honesty rather than rationalization makes self-reflection valuable and illuminating.

    -Q

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