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New edition of Aeschliman’s Restoration of Man challenges scientism again

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Editor’s note: Today Discovery Institute Press releases the newly revised and expanded edition of Michael Aeschliman’s classic work The Restoration of Man: C.S. Lewis and the Continuing Case Against Scientism. The new edition includes this Foreword by James Le Fanu, physician and author of Why Us?: How Science Rediscovered the Mystery of Ourselves. …

Modern science may imply that the world (and ourselves) are organized “strictly in accordance with mechanistic principles,” but it can scarcely be said to have demonstrated this to be so. On the contrary, impressed — dazzled even — by that overarching historical narrative, it is easy to overlook that its intellectual legacy is almost precisely the reverse of that which is commonly supposed. Those major landmarks — the scientific understanding of the origins of the universe, the creation of the chemical elements, the formation of our solar system and planet and so on — cannot by definition be rediscovered, so the major challenge for science in more recent times has been to refine and elaborate on what is already known. And that has proved surprisingly tricky. For while the broad outline still holds, the practicalities of how (or why) those major events came about in the way they did has proved impervious to scientific scrutiny.

The evidence for the origin of the universe at the moment of the Big Bang 14 billion years ago (or thereabouts) and its sudden dramatic expansion seems compelling enough but only serves to emphasize the inscrutable perplexity of this most influential of scientific theories. The proposition that the universe sprang into existence a finite time ago from nothing (or, at least, from nothing physical) places a heavy (insupportable) demand on any causal explanation that must — by necessity — transcend time, space, matter, and energy.

So, the scientific community has been compelled to acknowledge that the universe must have sprung into existence ab nihilo. It has subsequently emerged that the physical laws of the universe — e.g., gravity, electromagnetism, the strong and weak nuclear forces, the speed of light — are so finely tuned that the slightest alteration in their values would have rendered impossible the subsequent emergence of life on earth. It is very difficult to convey just how precise the values of those forces had to be, but physicist John Polkinghorne estimates their fine-tuning had to be accurate to within one part in a trillion trillion (and several trillion more), a figure greater by far than all the particles in the universe.4 James Le Fanu, “Between Sapientia and Scientia — Michael Aeschliman’s Profound Interpretation” at Evolution News and Science Today:

But isn’t science on a downward trajectory now anyway? Never mind the multiverse nonsense. What about the war on science and the war on math?

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5 Replies to “New edition of Aeschliman’s Restoration of Man challenges scientism again

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    That article is almost like reading sublime poetry.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    As to this specific quote from the article

    Between Sapientia and Scientia — Michael Aeschliman’s Profound Interpretation
    James Le Fanu – September 9, 2019
    Excerpt: The ability to spell out the full sequence of genes should reveal, it was reasonable to assume, the distinctive genetic instructions that determine the diverse forms of the millions of species, so readily distinguishable one from the other. Biologists were thus understandably disconcerted to discover precisely the reverse to be the case. Contrary to all expectations, many DNA sequences involved in embryo development are remarkably similar across the vast spectrum of organismic complexity, from a millimeter-long worm to ourselves.7 There is, in short, nothing in the genomes of fly and man to explain why the fly should have six legs, a pair of wings, and a dot-sized brain and we should have two arms, two legs, and a mind capable of comprehending that overarching history of our universe.
    So we have moved in the very recent past from supposing we might know the principles of genetic inheritance to recognizing we have no realistic conception of what they might be. As Phillip Gell, professor of genetics at the University of Birmingham, observed, “This gap in our knowledge is not merely unbridged, but in principle unbridgeable and our ignorance will remain ineluctable.”8
    https://evolutionnews.org/2019/09/between-sapientia-and-scientia-michael-aeschlimans-profound-interpretation/

    Very rarely will you ever find the true state of the situation stated as clearly as that.

    But I do take exception to the claim that “This gap in our knowledge is not merely unbridged, but in principle unbridgeable and our ignorance will remain ineluctable.”

    There is an answer to the question of “why the fly should have six legs, a pair of wings, and a dot-sized brain and we should have two arms, two legs, and a mind capable of comprehending that overarching history of our universe”, but it is an answer that those who are wedded to reductive materialism and/or methodological naturalism will not like in the least.

    While it is true that Reductive Materialists and/or Methodological Naturalists, (i.e. Darwinists), simply have no clue why any organism may take any particular form that it may take.

    Darwinism vs Biological Form – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyNzNPgjM4w

    It simply is not true that Christian Theists also have no clue how a particular organism achieves its basic form.

    The key to unlocking this mystery is found by looking to quantum biology:

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – Part II – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSig2CsjKbg

    First off it is important to note that quantum entanglement and/or coherence is now found to be pervasive in molecular biology.

    “What happens is this classical information (of DNA) is embedded, sandwiched, into the quantum information (of DNA). And most likely this classical information is never accessed because it is inside all the quantum information. You can only access the quantum information or the electron clouds and the protons. So mathematically you can describe that as a quantum/classical state.”
    Elisabeth Rieper – Classical and Quantum Information in DNA – video (Longitudinal Quantum Information resides along the entire length of DNA discussed at the 19:30 minute mark; at 24:00 minute mark Dr Rieper remarks that practically the whole DNA molecule can be viewed as quantum information with classical information embedded within it)
    https://youtu.be/2nqHOnVTxJE?t=1176

    Quantum criticality in a wide range of important biomolecules – Mar. 6, 2015
    Excerpt: “Most of the molecules taking part actively in biochemical processes are tuned exactly to the transition point and are critical conductors,” they say.
    That’s a discovery that is as important as it is unexpected. “These findings suggest an entirely new and universal mechanism of conductance in biology very different from the one used in electrical circuits.”
    The permutations of possible energy levels of biomolecules is huge so the possibility of finding even one (biomolecule) that is in the quantum critical state by accident is mind-bogglingly small and, to all intents and purposes, impossible.,, of the order of 10^-50 of possible small biomolecules and even less for proteins,”,,,
    “what exactly is the advantage that criticality confers?”
    https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/the-origin-of-life-and-the-hidden-role-of-quantum-criticality-ca4707924552

    Quantum coherence and/or quantum entanglement is a non-local, beyond space and time, effect that requires a beyond space and time cause in order to explain its existence. As the following paper entitled “Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory” stated, ““Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,”

    Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory – 29 October 2012
    Excerpt: “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,”
    http://www.quantumlah.org/high.....uences.php

    Moreover, as the following study found, the greater the number of particles in a quantum hypergraph state, (which is exactly the type of quantum coherence that we have with protein and DNA molecules), the more strongly it violates local realism, with the strength increasing exponentially with the number of particles.

    Physicists find extreme violation of local realism in quantum hypergraph states – Lisa Zyga – March 4, 2016
    Excerpt: Many quantum technologies rely on quantum states that violate local realism, which means that they either violate locality (such as when entangled particles influence each other from far away) or realism (the assumption that quantum states have well-defined properties, independent of measurement), or possibly both. Violation of local realism is one of the many counterintuitive, yet experimentally supported, characteristics of the quantum world.
    Determining whether or not multiparticle quantum states violate local realism can be challenging. Now in a new paper, physicists have shown that a large family of multiparticle quantum states called hypergraph states violates local realism in many ways. The results suggest that these states may serve as useful resources for quantum technologies, such as quantum computers and detecting gravitational waves.,,,
    The physicists also showed that the greater the number of particles in a quantum hypergraph state, the more strongly it violates local realism, with the strength increasing exponentially with the number of particles. In addition, even if a quantum hypergraph state loses one of its particles, it continues to violate local realism. This robustness to particle loss is in stark contrast to other types of quantum states, which no longer violate local realism if they lose a particle. This property is particularly appealing for applications, since it might allow for more noise in experiments.
    http://phys.org/news/2016-03-p.....alism.html

    Darwinists, with their reductive materialistic framework, simply have no beyond space and time cause that they can appeal so as to be able to explain the non-local quantum coherence and/or entanglement of the cell. Whereas Christians readily do have a beyond space and time cause that they can appeal to. As Colossians 1:17 states, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

    Moreover, advances in quantum information theory also support Intelligent Design.

    As the following 2017 article states: James Clerk Maxwell (said), “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”,,,
    quantum information theory,,, describes the spread of information through quantum systems.,,,
    Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,

    The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution – May 2017
    Excerpt: the 19th-century physicist James Clerk Maxwell put it, “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”
    In recent years, a revolutionary understanding of thermodynamics has emerged that explains this subjectivity using quantum information theory — “a toddler among physical theories,” as del Rio and co-authors put it, that describes the spread of information through quantum systems. Just as thermodynamics initially grew out of trying to improve steam engines, today’s thermodynamicists are mulling over the workings of quantum machines. Shrinking technology — a single-ion engine and three-atom fridge were both experimentally realized for the first time within the past year — is forcing them to extend thermodynamics to the quantum realm, where notions like temperature and work lose their usual meanings, and the classical laws don’t necessarily apply.
    They’ve found new, quantum versions of the laws that scale up to the originals. Rewriting the theory from the bottom up has led experts to recast its basic concepts in terms of its subjective nature, and to unravel the deep and often surprising relationship between energy and information — the abstract 1s and 0s by which physical states are distinguished and knowledge is measured.,,,
    Renato Renner, a professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, described this as a radical shift in perspective. Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/quantum-thermodynamics-revolution/

    Again to repeat that last sentence,“Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,

    That statement about entropy being a property of an observer who describes the system, for anyone involved in the ID vs. Darwinism debate, ought to send chills down their scientific spine.

    Simply put, these developments go to the very heart of the ID vs. Evolution debate and directly falsify, number one, Darwinian claims that immaterial information is merely ’emergent’ from some material basis. And number two, these experimental realizations of the Maxwell’s demon thought experiment go even further and also directly validate a primary claim from ID proponents that an Intelligent Designer who imparts information into a biological system is necessary in order to circumvent the second law.

    As to providing us with a real clue as to “Who” this Intelligent Designer might be, at about the 41:00 minute mark of the following video, Dr. Jonathan Wells, who specializes in embryology, using a branch of mathematics called category theory, demonstrates that during embryological development ‘positional information’ must somehow be coming into the developing embryo, ‘from the outside’, by some ‘non-material’ method, in order to explain the transdifferentiation of cells into their multiple different states during embryological development.

    Design Beyond DNA: A Conversation with Dr. Jonathan Wells – video (41:00 minute mark) – January 2017
    https://youtu.be/ASAaANVBoiE?t=2484

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    The amount of ‘positional information’ that is somehow coming into a developing embryo from the outside by some non-material method is immense. Vastly outstripping, by many orders of magnitude, the amount of sequential information that is contained within DNA itself. As Doug Axe states in the following video, “there are a quadrillion neural connections in the human brain, that’s vastly more neural connections in the human brain than there are bits (of information) in the human genome. So,,, there’s got to be something else going on that makes us what we are.”

    “There is also a presumption, typically when we talk about our genome, (that the genome) is a blueprint for making us. And that is actually not a proven fact in biology. That is an assumption. And (one) that I question because I don’t think that 4 billion bases, which would be 8 billion bits of information, that you would actually have enough information to specify a human being. If you consider for example that there are a quadrillion neural connections in the human brain, that’s vastly more neural connections in the human brain than there are bits (of information) in the human genome. So,,, there’s got to be something else going on that makes us what we are.”
    Doug Axe – Intelligent Design 3.0 – Stephen C. Meyer – video (1 hour 16 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvwBaD8-00w&t=4575s

    And as the following article states, the information to build a human infant, atom by atom, would take up the equivalent of enough thumb drives to fill the Titanic, multiplied by 2,000.

    In a TED Talk, (the Question You May Not Ask,,, Where did the information come from?) – November 29, 2017
    Excerpt: Sabatini is charming.,,, he deploys some memorable images. He points out that the information to build a human infant, atom by atom, would take up the equivalent of enough thumb drives to fill the Titanic, multiplied by 2,000. Later he wheels out the entire genome, in printed form, of a human being,,,,:
    [F]or the first time in history, this is the genome of a specific human, printed page-by-page, letter-by-letter: 262,000 pages of information, 450 kilograms.,,,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/11/in-a-ted-talk-heres-the-question-you-may-not-ask/

    As to how thermodynamics itself relates to this immense amount of positional information that is somehow coming into the developing embryo from the outside by some non-material method, work done on bacteria can give us a small glimpse into just how far out of thermodynamic equilibrium multicellular organisms actually are.
    The information content that is found to be in a simple one cell bacterium, when working from the thermodynamic perspective, is found to be around 10 to the 12 bits,,,

    Biophysics – Information theory. Relation between information and entropy: – Setlow-Pollard, Ed. Addison Wesley
    Excerpt: Linschitz gave the figure 9.3 x 10^12 cal/deg or 9.3 x 10^12 x 4.2 joules/deg for the entropy of a bacterial cell. Using the relation H = S/(k In 2), we find that the information content is 4 x 10^12 bits. Morowitz’ deduction from the work of Bayne-Jones and Rhees gives the lower value of 5.6 x 10^11 bits, which is still in the neighborhood of 10^12 bits. Thus two quite different approaches give rather concordant figures.
    http://www.astroscu.unam.mx/~a.....ecular.htm

    ,,, Which is the equivalent of about 100 million pages of Encyclopedia Britannica. ‘In comparison,,, the largest libraries in the world,, have about 10 million volumes or 10^12 bits.”

    “a one-celled bacterium, e. coli, is estimated to contain the equivalent of 100 million pages of Encyclopedia Britannica. Expressed in information in science jargon, this would be the same as 10^12 bits of information. In comparison, the total writings from classical Greek Civilization is only 10^9 bits, and the largest libraries in the world – The British Museum, Oxford Bodleian Library, New York Public Library, Harvard Widenier Library, and the Moscow Lenin Library – have about 10 million volumes or 10^12 bits.”
    – R. C. Wysong – The Creation-evolution Controversy

    ‘The information content of a simple cell has been estimated as around 10^12 bits, comparable to about a hundred million pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica.”
    Carl Sagan, “Life” in Encyclopedia Britannica: Macropaedia (1974 ed.), pp. 893-894

    Thus since Bacterial cells are about 10 times smaller than most plant and animal cells.

    Size Comparisons of Bacteria, Amoeba, Animal & Plant Cells
    Excerpt: Bacterial cells are very small – about 10 times smaller than most plant and animal cells.
    https://education.seattlepi.com/size-comparisons-bacteria-amoeba-animal-plant-cells-4966.html

    And since there are conservatively estimated to be around 30 trillion cells within the average human body,

    Revised Estimates for the Number of Human and Bacteria Cells in the Body – 2016
    Abstract: Reported values in the literature on the number of cells in the body differ by orders of magnitude and are very seldom supported by any measurements or calculations. Here, we integrate the most up-to-date information on the number of human and bacterial cells in the body. We estimate the total number of bacteria in the 70 kg “reference man” to be 3.8·10^13. For human cells, we identify the dominant role of the hematopoietic lineage to the total count (?90%) and revise past estimates to 3.0·10^13 human cells. Our analysis also updates the widely-cited 10:1 ratio, showing that the number of bacteria in the body is actually of the same order as the number of human cells, and their total mass is about 0.2 kg.
    https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1002533

    Then that gives us a rough ballpark estimate of around 300 trillion times 100 million pages of Encyclopedia Britannica. Or about 300 trillion times the information content contained within the books of all the largest libraries in the world. Needless to say, that is a massive amount of positional information that is somehow coming into a developing embryo from the outside by some non-material method.

    On top of all that, and as was highlighted earlier, as far as quantum information theory is concerned, this positional information that is somehow coming into the developing embryo from the outside, by some non-material method, to bring the developing embryo to be so far out of thermodynamic equilibrium, is found to be “a property of an observer who describes a system.”

    The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution – May 2017
    Excerpt: “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/quantum-thermodynamics-revolution/

    In other words, some ‘outside observer’ who, due to the quantum non-locality of the quantum coherence and/or quantum entanglement of biological molecules, must necessarily exist outside the space-time of the universe, is now required in order to give us an adequate causal account for how it is even possible for this immense amount of positional information to somehow be coming into the developing embryo ‘from the outside’, by some ‘non-material’ method.

    Whereas Darwinists, because of their reductive materialistic framework, deny the existence of anything beyond space and time, especially denying that God could possibly be directing embryological development, on the other hand, Christianity just so happens to give us an adequate causal account for exactly Who this outside observer might be Who is imparting this immense amount of positional information into developing embryos. As Hebrews chapter 4 verse 13 states, “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

    Hebrews 4:13
    And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

    And as Psalm 139:13-14 states, “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;”

    Psalm 139:13-14
    For You formed my inward parts;
    You covered me in my mother’s womb.
    I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    Marvelous are Your works,
    And that my soul knows very well.

    One final note, it is also important to realize that quantum information is conserved. As the following article states, In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed.

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time – 2011
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. This concept stems from two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics: the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem. A third and related theorem, called the no-hiding theorem, addresses information loss in the quantum world. According to the no-hiding theorem, if information is missing from one system (which may happen when the system interacts with the environment), then the information is simply residing somewhere else in the Universe; in other words, the missing information cannot be hidden in the correlations between a system and its environment.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....tally.html

    The implication of finding ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, and ‘conserved’, quantum information in molecular biology on such a massive scale, in every important biomolecule in our bodies, is fairly, and pleasantly, obvious.
    That pleasant implication, of course, being the fact that we now have very strong empirical evidence suggesting that we do indeed have an eternal soul that is capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies. As Stuart Hameroff states in the following video, the quantum information,,, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed.,,, it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”

    Leading Scientists Say Consciousness Cannot Die It Goes Back To The Universe – Oct. 19, 2017 – Spiritual
    Excerpt: “Let’s say the heart stops beating. The blood stops flowing. The microtubules lose their quantum state. But the quantum information, which is in the microtubules, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed. It just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large. If a patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says, “I had a near death experience. I saw a white light. I saw a tunnel. I saw my dead relatives.,,” Now if they’re not revived and the patient dies, then it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”
    – Stuart Hameroff – Quantum Entangled Consciousness – Life After Death – video (5:00 minute mark)
    https://www.disclose.tv/leading-scientists-say-consciousness-cannot-die-it-goes-back-to-the-universe-315604

    Verse:

    Mark 8:37
    Is anything worth more than your soul?

  4. 4
    Somerschool says:

    I am going to gently take exception to the phrase “multiverse nonsense.” I sharply disagreed with the early 20th century “logical positivists” who argued that all talk about God was “nonsense” because it could not be proven true or false; I would rather not see “my team” repeat what I believe to be that logical error. Even if we cannot prove that a multiverse does (or does not) exist, it is not “nonsense,” in my opinion. (I wish it was my “humble opinion,” but I know myself too well to make that claim).

    Instead of falling into the same name-calling ways of our Darwinian opponents, I suggest we follow the lead of several Discover Institute authors and start working out an effective evidence-based counter to the multiverse concept. As it happens, we have a GREAT way to prove that the two primary multiversal concepts are wrong–or, at least, that they cannot explain terrestrial biology significantly better than convential Darwinism does.

    Here’s the argument: in a “weak anthropic principle many world interpretation” universe, humans are here to ask questions about our own existence because (a) literally EVERYTHING that is physically possible will happen in some timeline, (b) humanity is physically possible in THIS timeline, and (c) that’s why we are here to ask questions about it. To use an analogy, we are billionaires because in one timeline, the lottery ticket that we bought won so here we are.

    The problem with the “WAP/MWI” scenario is that, while it can explain why WE are billionaires, it cannot explain why our next door neighbor is also a billionaire. There are many species that demonstrate irreducibly complex structures that are NOT derived from anything along the human ancestral line. The most obvious example of this are BIRDS, which have many features that cannot be explained by Darwinian microevolution (which may be more accurately described as “devolution”) from any creature that is a direct ancestor of modern humans. The odds against ANY irreducibly complex structure evolving by chance are so huge that it COULD not have happened in any plausible universe. Intelligent design and MWI both provide a mechanism by which humans could have arisen; MWI (standing alone) does NOT provide a mechanism by which humans and birds could have arisen.

    The same argument applies to MWI’s more-sophisticated cousin, the Participatory Anthropic Principle. In this model, there are NOT an infinite number of parallel timelines (which seems like a step towards sanity to me). Instead, an observer some 14 billion years after the Big Bang CAUSES the universal wavefunction to “collapse” into that one timeline–which literally means the future possible observation CAUSES all the past actual events. It’s a WILD idea, but that doesn’t make it wrong.

    What makes it WRONG is that it can’t explain birds, either. If some human (let’s call him “Adam,” shall we?) “observed” the universe and caused all the other infinite possibilities to vanish, we could explain HIS existence, as well as every direct ancestor. We would expect to find an ecosystem complete with every “devolved” species that microevolves away from some ancestor of Adam. There would presumably be apes, monkeys, primitive mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, simple chordates, simple multicellular creatures, eukaryotes, and prokaryotes. But where does the octopus come from? Where do insects come from? Where, again, do the birds come in?

    The multiverse is NOT nonsense. Rather, the simple models of a multiverse are provably unable to explain the facts of biology as we know them.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related note to post 2 and 3:

    Richard Sternberg on the Trail of the Immaterial Genome
    https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/intelligentdesign/episodes/2019-09-11T13_37_45-07_00
    On this episode of ID the Future, Dr. Richard Sternberg, research fellow at the Biologic Institute, speaks on his mathematical/logical work showing the difficulty of identifying genes purely with material phenomena, and that DNA doesn’t have all that’s needed to direct the development of organisms. The math, he says, is even showing gaps in the computability of what happens in the cell, which could help shed light on how machine-like organisms are or are not, how evolvable they are, and whether artificial life is possible.

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