Mind Philosophy

Roger Penrose: Somehow, our consciousness is the reason the universe is here.

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From Steve Paulson of Wisconsin public broadcasting at Nautilus:

Once you start poking around in the muck of consciousness studies, you will soon encounter the specter of Sir Roger Penrose, the renowned Oxford physicist with an audacious—and quite possibly crackpot—theory about the quantum origins of consciousness. He believes we must go beyond neuroscience and into the mysterious world of quantum mechanics to explain our rich mental life. No one quite knows what to make of this theory, developed with the American anesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff, but conventional wisdom goes something like this: Their theory is almost certainly wrong, but since Penrose is so brilliant (“One of the very few people I’ve met in my life who, without reservation, I call a genius,” physicist Lee Smolin has said), we’d be foolish to dismiss their theory out of hand. Indeed. Naturalism could be just plain bunk.

As I wondered why Penrose keeps hammering away at his theory on consciousness after all these years, I asked him if he thinks there’s any inherent meaning in the universe. His answer surprised me. “Somehow, our consciousness is the reason the universe is here.” So does he think there’s intelligent life—or consciousness—somewhere else in the cosmos? “Yes, but it may be extremely rare.” But if consciousness is the point of this whole shebang, wouldn’t you expect to find some evidence of it beyond Earth? “Well, I’m not so sure our own universe is that favorably disposed toward consciousness,” he said. “You could imagine a universe with a lot more consciousness that’s peppered all over the place. Why aren’t we in one of those rather than this one where it seems to be a rather uncommon activity?

“So, yes, we want to see the purpose of it. I don’t know. Maybe it’s attributing the wrong word. Purpose—what does that mean?” He chuckled. More.

One can’t help wondering if this is suckerbait. Challenged, will Penrose retreat back to the safe little warren of nonsense theories about consciousness? A few are offered below, just to get you started, but we don’t especially recommend it. On the other hand, just for fun, start with, Claim: Science is afraid of animal consciousness. Why? Won’t crackpot theories work as well as they do for human consciousness? What’s different?

See also: Aired on BBC: Consciousness no different than our ability to digest

Thomas Nagel: Daniel Dennett “maintaining a thesis at all costs” in Bacteria to Bach and Back

Physicist: Regrettably, materialism can’t explain mind

Split brain does NOT lead to split consciousness? What? After all the naturalist pop psych lectures we paid good money for at the U? Well, suckers r’ us.

Does the ability to “split” our brains help us understand consciousness? (Apparently not.)

What great physicists have said about immateriality and consciousness

Or else: Consciousness as a state of matter

Rocks have minds?

Researcher: Never mind the “hard problem of consciousness”: The real one is… “Our experiences of being and having a body are ‘controlled hallucinations’ of a very distinctive kind”

Searle on Consciousness “Emerging” from a Computer: “Miracles are always possible.”

Psychology Today: Latest new theory of consciousness A different one from the above.

Evolution bred a sense of reality out of us

Claim: Science is afraid of animal consciousness. Why? Won’t crackpot theories work as well as they do for human consciousness?

So then: Question: Would we give up naturalism to solve the hard problem of consciousness?

Neuroscience tried wholly embracing naturalism, but then the brain got away

52 Replies to “Roger Penrose: Somehow, our consciousness is the reason the universe is here.

  1. 1
    Charles says:

    “Somehow, our consciousness is the reason the universe is here.”

    And yet, I can consciously lie, convincingly, and it doesn’t alter the universe one whit, not for my observations nor for the observations of those who believe my lie.

    If our consciousness determines the universe, why don’t lies change what we observe?

    If the universe determines our consciousness, how can a true universe determine a conscious lie?

    Occam’s razor: They’re not related.

  2. 2
    PaV says:

    That someone as intelligent and rational as Roger Penrose should say something like this only indicates that science is in horrible shape, and that the abandonment of philosophy, especially Aristotelian philosophy, has damaged science greatly.

    What science needs is religious believers. Religious believers are best connected to a realistic basis for ontogeny and cosmology.

  3. 3
    Origenes says:

    The insight that seems to be missing in contemporary “consciousness studies”, has been pointed out at this forum many times:
    blind processes (stochastic or determined) do not get us to free responsible rational personhood.

    Hameroff suggests that microtubules are the quantum device that Penrose had been looking for in his theory. In neurons, microtubules help control the strength of synaptic connections, and their tube-like shape might protect them from the surrounding noise of the larger neuron.

    So microtubules orchestrate synaptic connections into a consciousness? How do they do that? Do they have a plan? Do they steer themselves? What is directing their cooperation?
    Please ….

    Still, you’d need more than just a continuous flood of random moments of quantum coherence to have any impact on consciousness. The process would need to be structured, or orchestrated, in some way so we can make conscious choices.

    Bravo! Yes indeed, let’s have some structure at the very least. Would ‘structure’ explain consciousness? Not likely, but ‘chaos’ sure does not.

    In the Penrose-Hameroff theory of Orchestrated Objective Reduction, known as Orch-OR, these moments of conscious awareness are orchestrated by the microtubules in our brains, which—they believe—have the capacity to store and process information and memory.

    But that is ridiculous you fools! We are right back where we started …. When will you EVER learn? Microtubules do not have the decision-power to form consciousness, rationality and so forth. They don’t have the overview, plan, self-control and so forth that is required to perform such a daunting job. Why would anyone hold that they have all this?

  4. 4
    harry says:

    Rational intelligence is known to be a reality. It isn’t known whether it is only associated with biological human beings. Higher forms of biological life have limited intelligence but none have anything that approaches humanity’s rationality. We don’t know that rational intelligence can only exist in association with biological humanity. This is made clear at the link provided in the article:

    What great physicists have said about immateriality and consciousness.

    And by information at links provided on that page by bornagain77 and by vjtorley.

    So, why is it so difficult for the scientific establishment to admit that currently the only plausible explanation of the origin of life is that it was the result of intelligent agency, and then leave it to metaphysicians, theologians and philosophers to worry about the nature of the being that that rational intelligence was associated with?

    It is so difficult because the scientific establishment now sees its primary responsibility as maintaining methodological naturalism, a strategy for studying the world, by which scientists choose not to consider supernatural causes – even as a remote possibility. Yet they don’t have to assume that the intelligent agent is supernatural. All they have to do is admit that it looks as though a known reality – rational intelligence – was a necessary causal factor in the emergence of life. That’s it.

    Contemporary science has been perverted by atheism. It no longer sees its primary responsibility as the maintenance of a relentlessly objective pursuit of the truth, but instead as the defense of a particular strategy it mistakenly thinks is threatened by the evidence.

    The implications of an intelligent agent of some sort being a causal factor in the emergence of life threatens atheism, but doesn’t really threaten methodological naturalism because rational intelligence is known to be a natural reality.

  5. 5
    Axel says:

    Simply in terms of the title, it is consistent with ‘intersubjectivity’ and my contention that we each live in a little world of our own, integrated and coordinated by God, no longer seamlessly at the quantum level ; a notion first postulated by a Talmudist, perhaps, centuries ago, when he asserted that, when a human being dies, a whole world disappears with him.

    Or am I mistaken in this?

  6. 6
    Dionisio says:

    Nonsense remains nonsense regardless of who says it.

    Perhaps a reason why David Chalmers calls it ‘the hard problem of consciousness’ is because it places science between a rock and a hard place.

  7. 7
    Seversky says:

    harry @ 4

    So, why is it so difficult for the scientific establishment to admit that currently the only plausible explanation of the origin of life is that it was the result of intelligent agency, and then leave it to metaphysicians, theologians and philosophers to worry about the nature of the being that that rational intelligence was associated with?

    Intelligent agency is one possible explanation for the origin of life on Earth. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help with the origin of life itself. There would still be the question of the origin of the intelligent agency that was the origin of life on Earth.

    It is so difficult because the scientific establishment now sees its primary responsibility as maintaining methodological naturalism, a strategy for studying the world, by which scientists choose not to consider supernatural causes – even as a remote possibility. Yet they don’t have to assume that the intelligent agent is supernatural. All they have to do is admit that it looks as though a known reality – rational intelligence – was a necessary causal factor in the emergence of life. That’s it.

    Tell us what you mean by “supernatural” and how we might find evidence that it exists at all and we can evaluate it as a possible cause. Otherwise, it is useless as an explanation.

    Contemporary science has been perverted by atheism. It no longer sees its primary responsibility as the maintenance of a relentlessly objective pursuit of the truth, but instead as the defense of a particular strategy it mistakenly thinks is threatened by the evidence.

    It is a standard creationist canard that science excludes supernatural and/or religious explanations through an ideological commitment to methodological naturalism. The reality is that science will consider anything that can be shown to be causally efficacious. Those who promote their beliefs in supernatural and/or religious phenomena have yet to demonstrate that they are anything other than beliefs.

  8. 8
    Dionisio says:

    Minlie Huang, a computer scientist at Tsinghua University, Beijing and co-author, said: “We’re still far away from a machine that can fully understand the user’s emotion. This is just the first attempt at this problem.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/05/human-robot-interactions-take-step-forward-with-emotional-chatting-machine-chatbot

    How far from a robot that can feel its own emotions?

    BTW, who creates the unconscious robots?

  9. 9
    harry says:

    Seversky @ 7

    Intelligent agency is one possible explanation for the origin of life on Earth.

    Please give me another plausible explanation for the emergence of the digital information-based, self-replicating nanotechnology of single-celled life forms on Earth. I can’t think of one known cause of digital information-based nanotechnology other than intelligent agency.

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t help with the origin of life itself. There would still be the question of the origin of the intelligent agency that was the origin of life on Earth.

    The investigation ends as soon as one arrives at an uncreated intelligent agent, whose existence is not dependent upon another reality, the primary reality whose essence is to be, who might identify Himself as “I AM WHO AM.”

    Tell us what you mean by “supernatural” and how we might find evidence that it exists at all and we can evaluate it as a possible cause.

    supernatural – of, relating to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena;

    You don’t have to know if the intelligent agent is supernatural to realize that intelligent agency was necessarily a causal factor in the emergence of digital information-based, self-replicating nanotechnology. If you insist on finding out if the intelligent agent is supernatural then you have to rule out natural intelligent agents.

    Actually, the existence of one whose essence is to be, who is the primary reality upon which all other realities are dependent, would be the natural, ordinary reality and everything else would be subnatural. Instead of talking about the supernatural and the natural, maybe we should say natural where we now say supernatural, and subnatural where we now say natural. ;o)

    The reality is that science will consider anything that can be shown to be causally efficacious.

    So if the natural Universe — time, space, matter and energy — was known to have a beginning, and since nothing begins to exist without a cause, then science should happily consider a cause for the natural Universe that, of course, wasn’t natural since the natural is what was caused. Right? You can’t get much more causally efficacious than bringing the entire Universe into existence.

  10. 10
    Dionisio says:

    harry @9:

    Please give me another plausible explanation for the emergence of the digital information-based, self-replicating nanotechnology of single-celled life forms on Earth. I can’t think of one known cause of digital information-based nanotechnology other than intelligent agency.

    Please, be nicer to your politely dissenting interlocutors. Refrain from asking difficult questions that they can’t answer well. 🙂

    A couple of years ago I asked a much easier biology question –right here in this website– to a distinguished Canadian biochemistry professor who failed it so embarrassingly that my question was immediately classified as ‘dishonest’ though I still don’t know exactly why. 🙂

    Your question is much more difficult, hence it could be catalogued as offensive or even worse. In any case it’s politically incorrect. 🙂

  11. 11
    Axel says:

    What a mean pair !

  12. 12
    Origenes says:

    Roger Penrose:

    Somehow, our consciousness is the reason the universe is here.

    In other words, dear reader, consciousness ‘somehow’ causes the universe. “But what caused consciousness?”, you might ask. Well, Penrose and Hameroff have that covered as well:

    In the Penrose-Hameroff theory of Orchestrated Objective Reduction, known as Orch-OR, these moments of conscious awareness are orchestrated by the microtubules in our brains, which—they believe—have the capacity to store and process information and memory.

    There is your answer: “microtubules” … Microtubulus, billions and billions of them, cause consciousness.

    Let’s summarize (a coherent picture is emerging here):
    In the beginning there were the Microtubules who caused Consciousness, which in turn ‘somehow’ causes the Universe.

    Questions anyone?

  13. 13
    mike1962 says:

    Do you knuckleheads deny that conscious is primary?

    What a funny group

  14. 14
    Seversky says:

    harry @ 9

    Please give me another plausible explanation for the emergence of the digital information-based, self-replicating nanotechnology of single-celled life forms on Earth. I can’t think of one known cause of digital information-based nanotechnology other than intelligent agency.

    Argument by analogy. Current computer and miniaturized robotic technologies provide useful concepts with which to model what happens in a biological cell, that’s all. They do not necessarily warrant a conclusion of design.

    Consider this, current thinking is that life on Earth began roughly 3-4 bya. If it was created, it was by an intelligence that was already way more advanced then than we are 3-4 billion years later. Why should what they designed then look like what we are just learning to design now? Remember Arthur C Clarke’s dictum about any sufficiently advanced technology being indistinguishable from magic? If some really advanced alien intelligence created or interfered with life on Earth, the chances are we would never know it unless they wanted us to. So are we looking at evidence of design or pareidolia?

    The investigation ends as soon as one arrives at an uncreated intelligent agent, whose existence is not dependent upon another reality, the primary reality whose essence is to be, who might identify Himself as “I AM WHO AM.”

    How do you know you’ve arrived at an uncreated intelligent agent? Do you stop investigating just because He says “I am who am”? How do you know He’s not just pulling a Donald Trump?

    supernatural – of, relating to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena;

    Okay, I’d accept that as a working definition of “supernatural”. Now, what did you have in mind which fits that definition and that we can investigate?

    Actually, the existence of one whose essence is to be, who is the primary reality upon which all other realities are dependent, would be the natural, ordinary reality and everything else would be subnatural. Instead of talking about the supernatural and the natural, maybe we should say natural where we now say supernatural, and subnatural where we now say natural. ;o)

    Why not simplify it still further and just call it all natural but admit that although we know a little about it and are slowly learning more, there’s still an awful lot we don’t know. We could call it “naturalism”.

    So if the natural Universe — time, space, matter and energy — was known to have a beginning, and since nothing begins to exist without a cause, then science should happily consider a cause for the natural Universe that, of course, wasn’t natural since the natural is what was caused. Right? You can’t get much more causally efficacious than bringing the entire Universe into existence

    We have evidence that this universe had a beginning but how do we know it was the beginning?

  15. 15
    Seversky says:

    Dionisio @ 10

    Please, be nicer to your politely dissenting interlocutors. Refrain from asking difficult questions that they can’t answer well

    I have no problem admitting I don’t know where I don’t know. If anything it’s believers who have a problem admitting to ignorance apparently lest they be accused of an unseemly lack of faith or grasp of their chosen theology.

  16. 16
    Dionisio says:

    Seversky @15:

    I have no problem admitting I don’t know where I don’t know.

    OK. Now I have a few simple questions for you:

    1. Do you know what the concept “complex functional specified information” (CFSI) means? Please, respond just “yes” or “no”. No need to explain your answer now.

    If your answer is “no” then you don’t have to read the rest of this comment. Thank you.

    If your answer to question #1 is “yes” then proceed to the following questions.

    2. What does the concept “complex functional specified information” (CFSI) mean?

    3. Do you know any example that illustrates that concept “CFSI”?
    Please, respond just “yes” or “no”. No need to explain your answer now.

    If your answer is “no” then you don’t have to read the rest of this comment. Thank you.

    If your answer to question #3 is “yes” then proceed to the following question.

    4. Do you know any example that illustrates that concept “CFSI” in Biology? Please, respond just “yes” or “no”. No need to explain your answer now.
    Thank you.

  17. 17
    Dionisio says:

    Seversky @15:

    If anything it’s believers who have a problem […]

    What do you mean by “believers”?

  18. 18
    Dionisio says:

    Seversky @15:

    If anything it’s believers who have a problem admitting to ignorance apparently lest they be accused of an unseemly lack of faith or grasp of their chosen theology.

    Assuming you responded the question @17, can you provide an example in this website UD to illustrate your affirmation @15?

    Thank you.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, we are familiar with digital tech and systems, including machine code and NC machines. The differences with cell based life are: (1) 4-state elements (the Russians built 3-state element computers FYI . . . ), (2) molecular nanotech (we are just beginning to go down this road), (3) far greater sophistication, including implementation of a molecular tech von Neumann kinematic self replication capability. In addition, a key point of note is, there is but one plausible source of alphabetic coded text in quantity with associated execution machinery — language-capable intelligence, here, antecedent to cell based life on earth. The attempt to dismiss by mis-applying the “failed/dubious analogy” claim, fails and in fact inadvertently tells us just how strong the argument is. Resort to hyperskeptical dismissal is an indication that the objectors are fending off a strong, but unwelcome case. KF

  21. 21
    harry says:

    seversky @ 14

    seversky: Intelligent agency is one possible explanation for the origin of life on Earth. …

    harry: Please give me another plausible explanation for the emergence of the digital information-based, self-replicating nanotechnology of single-celled life forms on Earth. …

    seversky: Argument by analogy. … [followed by more intellectual dishonesty]

    You avoided giving me another plausible explanation for emergence of the digital information-based, self-replicating nanotechnology of single-celled life forms on Earth. That is because you can’t.

    No analogy is perfect, but some are very good, as is the one between the digital information-based nanotechnology we find in cellular life and man-made, modern technology. Google up biological computer. You will find that restricting one’s conception of computing technology to that which is silicon-based is to be living in the past. Even those with your world view see the analogy:

    The machine code of the genes is uncannily computer-like. Apart from differences in jargon, the pages of a molecular biology journal might be interchanged with those of a computer engineering journal.
    – Richard Dawkins

    DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created.
    – Bill Gates

    Just as it would be virtually impossible for self-replicating robotic equipment to be mindlessly and accidentally assembled, so it is with the digital information-based, self-replicating nanotechnology of cellular life. They are both quite obviously the result of the application of scientific knowledge for a purpose, which is the very definition of technology.

    Just as anybody even slightly familiar with what goes into the creation of modern computerized hardware and software knows you are never going to get self-replicating robotic equipment mindlessly and accidentally, those capable of objectively assessing the likelihood of arriving at digital information-based, self-replicating cellular nanotechnology mindlessly and accidentally – the functional complexity of which is light years beyond our own – realize that that is virtually impossible, too.

    Do you still believe in math? It has been repeatedly mathematically demonstrated that the temporal and material probabilistic resources provided by the entire Universe are hopelessly insufficient to have allowed the mindless and accidental assembly of the proteins required for the simplest conceivable single-celled, reproducing life form. This is why the assembly instructions for the required proteins had to be recorded in the coding regions of DNA by an intelligent agent. To suggest that the coding regions of DNA were correctly populated mindlessly and accidentally is like suggesting that one could repeatedly fill a cargo plane with Scrabble pieces and dump them out over an empty parking lot as the plane flew over it, and eventually there would be a pass over the parking lot where the pieces would land such that they spelled out a coherent mystery novel. That just isn’t going to happen, and neither were the coding regions of DNA going to be populated mindlessly and accidentally.

    When you insist that somehow life came about mindlessly and accidentally, you are like one insisting that the faces on Mt. Rushmore are the result of mindless and accidental, albeit peculiar erosion. You can believe such a thing if you want to do so, but you must admit that doing so requires a huge, blind, irrational faith.

    Until the scientific establishment admits that currently any plausible explanation of the emergence of life on planet Earth must include intelligent agency as a causal factor, it is seriously undermining its credibility. And that is a good thing. It helps people to understand that contemporary science has been perverted by atheism and will remain so until it restores to itself the relentless objectivity genuine science requires.

  22. 22
    Dionisio says:

    KF @20,

    You’ve mentioned a very interesting area of advanced nanotechnology that seems associated with Professor Tour’s expertise, doesn’t it? Thank you.

    Here’s a couple of links to videos that show Dr. Tour’s comments on the subject you referred to:
    https://www.youtube.com/embed/UoXQ75jlT3c
    https://www.youtube.com/embed/_zQXgJ-dXM4

  23. 23
    kurx78 says:

    Topic related =>
    Dissecting Dembski’s “Complex Specified Information” by Thomas D. Schneider
    https://schneider.ncifcrf.gov/paper/ev/dembski/specified.complexity.html
    “So what was Dembski’s mistake? It was that he proposed that the design by necessity had to come from outside the living things, whereas it comes from within them and between the organism and its environment!

    Normally this is called evolution by natural selection.”

    An interesting refutation to Specified Complexity in Information
    (Complex information is generated by living things and environment thanks to natural selection and mutation)

  24. 24
    Dionisio says:

    KF @20:

    the Russians built 3-state element computers

    Thank you for referring to this.

    Here’s some information associated with that interesting ternary computer topic you brought up:
    http://www.computer-museum.ru/english/setun.htm
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Setun
    http://mason.gmu.edu/~drine/Hi.....puters.htm

  25. 25
    Dionisio says:

    #24 addendum:

    More on ternary computers referred by KF @20:

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/TlEILts_pIM
    https://www.youtube.com/embed/TfJxAb0owj8

  26. 26
    Dionisio says:

    Definition of complex according to Merriam-Webster dictionary:

    composed of two or more parts : composite
    hard to separate, analyze, or solve

    Definition of functional

    of, connected with, or being a function

    used to contribute to the development or maintenance of a larger whole

    designed or developed chiefly from the point of view of use

    Definition of specify (in relation to specified):

    to name or state explicitly or in detail
    to include as an item in a specification

    Definition of specific (in relation to specified):

    sharing or being those properties of something that allow it to be referred to a particular category

    restricted to a particular individual, situation, relation, or effect

    Definition of information:

    the attribute inherent in and communicated by one of two or more alternative sequences or arrangements of something […] that produce specific effects

  27. 27
    J-Mac says:

    From the same article:

    “In some ways, Penrose and Hameroff are the odd couple of science. Hameroff is upfront about his spiritual views, talking openly about the possibility of the soul existing after death. Penrose is an atheist who calls himself “a very materialistic and physicalist kind of person,” and he’s bothered by New Agers who’ve latched onto quantum theories about non-locality and entanglement to prop up their paranormal beliefs.

    It seems Penrose and Hameroff viewed consciousness from two, somewhat opposite, angles.

    Penrose from materialistic/atheistic point of view-consciousness is a product of human brain and could be explained by quantum mechanics.

    Hameroff leaned toward the spiritual explanation of consciousness, such as the possibility of existence of a soul that survives death.

    I believe one can still believe in the origin of consciousness as a product of human brain that could be explained by quantum mechanics and still maintain spiritual views.

    Here is why:

    Where was the soul/consciousness before conception?

    Did the soul/consciousness come from the father, mother or both?

    Did the soul come from God? If yes, where was it before being given to the newborn?
    If God gave Adam a soul, he surely forgot to mention it:

    Gen 2:7
    “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul”

    God also forgot to mention to Adam that due to sin, his soul would live on either happily or not so happily…

    Gen 3:19
    “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

    Are we conscious when we sleep? If we are, how do we know that? If we are not, what makes us regain our consciousness?

    BTW: Some people with PTSD reported temporary losing and regaining their consciousness. If they didn’t remember anything then they did remember being conscious…

  28. 28
    J-Mac says:

    I couldn’t edit my last comment even though there were 5 minutes left….
    Message was You don’t have rights to edit

  29. 29
    J-Mac says:

    Further to my #27

    If humans don’t have a soul, what made Lazarus conscious? He must have been resurrected with a new body as he had been dead for over 4 days, which means his body was disintegrated beyond recognition.

  30. 30
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac @27:

    Did the soul come from God? If yes, where was it before being given to the newborn?
    If God gave Adam a soul, he surely forgot to mention it

    Gen 2:7 (ESV)

    “then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.”

    Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries

    formed.

    This figure from pottery making represents God’s activity in shaping each person (Job 10:8–12).

    man . . . from the ground.

    The wordplay in Hebrew, “man” (Hebrew ’adam) and “ground” (Hebrew ’adamah), shows man’s close connection with the ground (2:5, 15; 3:19), and underlies Paul’s later teaching that the first Adam was fashioned in a natural body for an earthly existence. The heavenly Son of Man (Dan. 7:13) shared in this earthly state in order to secure for fallen man a spiritual body of imperishable glory in the resurrection of the redeemed (1 Cor. 15:42–49).

    breathed.

    This figure represents the Spirit’s creative activity (Ps. 104:30; Ezek. 37:1–10, 14).

    living creature.

    The Hebrew here does not say “a living being became man”—man is not formed from preexistent life. Man is differentiated from the animals by bearing the image of God (1:26 and notes), and he shows his authority over the animals by naming them (vv. 19, 20).

    The Origin of the Soul
    by R.C. Sproul
    http://www.ligonier.org/learn/.....-the-soul/

    That we are made up of body and soul is indicated in the creation account:

    “And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul” [Genesis 2:7 (KJV)].

    In the creation imagery man’s body is formed first. But the body without the soul remains lifeless. When God breathes the breath of life into the body, then man becomes a living soul. In this account there is no hint of an eternal or preexistent human soul. The soul is as much a creation as is the body. That the soul survives the grave is not a testimony to its indestructibility or of its intrinsic immortality. The soul as a created entity is mortal. It survives the grave only because it is sustained and preserved by the power of God. It is preserved for eternal felicity for the redeemed; it is preserved for eternal punishment for the damned.

    The soul of man can live without the body; the body cannot live without the soul. Jesus exhorted His hearers: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both the soul and the body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).

    From biblical revelation we know we have souls. The Bible does not banish the soul to some “never-never” noumenal world of agnosticism. Not only do we have souls, but the nurture and care of our souls is a top priority for the Christian life.

    The Duality of Man
    http://www.ligonier.org/learn/.....ality-man/

    Coram Deo

    The Bible teaches duality — man is composed of body and soul that exist together harmoniously. This is different from dualism — body and soul are opposed to one another.

  31. 31
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac @27:

    God also forgot to mention to Adam that due to sin, his soul would live on either happily or not so happily…

    Genesis 2:16-17 (ESV)

    And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.

    Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries

    commanded.

    God’s first words to man assume his ability to choose and his moral capacity and responsibility.

    you shall not eat.

    This unique exclusion, an exception to man’s dominion over the creation (1:29), confronted him with the Creator’s rule over him.

    ICR
    http://www.icr.org/bible/Genesis/2/17/

    not eat of it.

    For true fellowship with God (having been created in His image), man must be free to reject that fellowship. The restriction imposed here by God is the simplest, most straightforward test that could be devised for determining man’s volitional response to God’s love. There was only one minor restraint placed on Adam’s freedom and, with an abundance of delicious fruit of all types available, there was no justification for his desiring the one forbidden fruit. Nevertheless, he did have a choice, and so was a free moral agent, capable of accepting or rejecting God’s will.

    “You Shall Surely Die”
    by Dr. Terry Mortenson
    https://answersingenesis.org/death-before-sin/genesis-2-17-you-shall-surely-die/

    The Hebrew wording of Genesis 2:17 allows for a time lapse between the instantaneous spiritual death on that sad day of disobedience and the later physical death (which certainly did happen, just as God said, but for Adam it was 930 years later). As Scripture consistently teaches, both kinds of death (spiritual and physical) are the consequence of Adam’s rebellion.

    ICR
    http://www.icr.org/bible/Genesis/2/17/

    die.

    “Thou shalt surely die” could be rendered, “Dying, thou shalt die!” In the very day that he would experimentally come to “know evil,” through disobeying God’s Word, he would die spiritually, being separated from God’s direct fellowship. Adam would also begin to die physically, with the initiation of decay processes in his body which would ultimately cause his physical death.

    Genesis 3:19 (ESV)

    By the sweat of your face
    you shall eat bread,
    till you return to the ground,
    for out of it you were taken;
    for you are dust,
    and to dust you shall return.

    Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries

    you are dust.

    Man’s earthly body makes physical death possible.

    to dust you shall return.

    Physical death is both a judgment and a blessing. It renders all activity vain, but delivers the redeemed from earthly frustration and opens the way to an eternal salvation that outlasts the grave (Ps. 73:24; Prov. 14:32).

    Apparently there are different biblical interpretations regarding the association of verse 2:17 with physical death. But there seems to be consensus regarding the spiritual death: all humans are spiritually dead forever – i.e. separated from God’s glorious presence. Only God’s grace can rescue us from that horrendous fate (which we chose), and make us spiritually alive forever, through saving faith in Christ’s redemptive death and resurrection. God will not do it against anybody’s will. Anyone who genuinely desires to be in His glorious presence worshiping Him forever will be given that choice by God’s grace through saving faith in Christ. However, there’s mystery associated with God being fully sovereign and our free will associated with the multiple references to the elect. But that’s off topic in this particular case.

  32. 32
    mike1962 says:

    Of course our consciousness is the reason why the universe exists.

    Why else would this thing exist?

    (This is for the theists)

  33. 33
    Dionisio says:

    The reason everything exists is explained here:

    Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-3

  34. 34
    kairosfocus says:

    D, did a little poking around on esp SETUN and its balanced trit with state possibilities 1/0/-1. The idea of a negative base place value notation also pops up which exploits the idea that (-b)^2m = b^2m, and of course odd values become negative so one adds and subtracts alternative digits, much like the effect we get from using i in complex numbers . . . and that is suggestive, of using complex numbers in computing too. [Can someone tell me why Java did not have complex numbers as a native, core feature? Comparing, say Fortran?] All, quite unusual, but then this pops up as in effect a summary from one formerly interested:

    Zvonko Vranesic, who was with the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer

    Science at the University of Toronto in the early 1970s, writes about the advantages

    and disadvantages of ternary logic:

    “Ternary logic has some useful arithmetic properties, such as allowing the balanced representation

    of numbers. Its main drawback is that there do not exist any practical implementations of

    ternary storage circuits. Thus, if one has to use binary storage devices, it is clear that it makes

    more sense to try 4-valued logic circuits which can interface to the binary memory more efficiently.”

    (Vranesic 14-Mar-2005 [–> It seems SETUN used 2x 2-state elements and threw away one state. Back then . . . 1958, that was based on ferrite cores and their hysteresis curves, where apparently it was too hard to try to get a non mag “zero state” in addition to the two obvious magnetised possibilities, in effect N-up and S-up. Of course, it is noteworthy that IIRC from IBM’s work with such storage, a read on a ferrite bead “ate” its value and it needed to be re-written as part of the read operation.] )

    And he further explains:

    – 16 –

    “The reason why storage devices are binary is that it is easy to use transistors as simple

    switches that have to states, OPEN and CLOSED, which can be interpreted as 1 and 0. There

    are no simple elements that can be implemented using the Integrated Circuit technology which

    would naturally exhibit 3 states.” (Vranesic 17-Mar-2005)

    This correlates with the account D.C. Rine gives on this question. He researched

    during the 1970s at the Department of Statistics and Computer Science of the West

    Virginia University in Morgantown, USA. Rine answers that the interest in multivalued

    logic (of which 3-valued logic is a subset) had to do with the general development

    of microprocessors. In the 1970’s companies such as IBM, Motorola, National

    and others started to explore the combination of 2-state logic with 4-state logic

    in microprocessors to improve speed and memory capacity. Applying the pure scientific

    findings in multi-valued logic to the actual engineering process wasn’t always

    easy.

    “As we studied, and invented, the idea of Technology Readiness (TR) models and Technology

    Maturity (TM), it was discovered that there is a transition for most technologies through 9 different

    TM/TR stages from research ideas inception through integration into existing systems.

    So it took the research inception of n-state logic28 to make its way from purely research (isolated)

    ideas to a maturity and readiness such that the existing computer systems technology

    could accept or interface with 4-state VLSI maturing technology. The very important point to

    observe is that an important point in time much be reached when technologies evolving from

    reach to more mature/ ready technologies can usefully interface with current existing computer

    systems wide technologies. If evolving/maturing new technologies do not reach that

    point in an appropriate time then they will generally never be used in current/existing systems.

    Many interesting and novel research ideas never go beyond the phases from inception to

    stand along maturity, and are therefore never used in existing systems.” (Rine 23-Mar-2005)

    [History of Ternary Computers dot html at GMU, SETUN’s reflections]

    Muy interesante, no?

    Especially, as regards using base 2^n as computational elements and the point that if you are interested in storage a 4-state element is going to be more efficient than 3, on the reasonably available components. So, there seems to be a logic of structure and quantity, technological possibility-linked reason for 4-state storage in molecular nanotech devices. Hence we see a new angle on using 4-state, two complementary pair elements in D/RNA.

    KF

  35. 35
  36. 36
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N2, I second EA on how the 20 min edit time is eating its lower end so if you are close, nope you do not have permission. WordPress gets weirder and weirder. KF

  37. 37
    Dionisio says:

    KF @ 34:
    Si, muy interesante. Gracias.
    Da, ochen interyesno. Spasiba.

    Here’s more:
    https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-22816-2_10

  38. 38
    J-Mac says:

    Dionisio,

    Most sources say more or less the same thing:

    “The History of the Immortal-Soul Teaching

    Despite widespread use of the phrase immortal soul, this terminology is found nowhere in the Bible. Where did the idea of an immortal soul originate?

    The concept of the soul’s supposed immortality was first taught in ancient Egypt and Babylon. “The belief that the soul continues in existence after the dissolution of the body is…speculation…nowhere expressly taught in Holy Scripture…The belief in the immortality of the soul came to the Jews from contact with Greek thought and chiefly through the philosophy of Plato, its principal exponent, who was led to it through Orphic and Eleusinian mysteries in which Babylonian and Egyptian views were strangely blended” ( Jewish Encyclopedia, 1941, Vol. 6, “Immortality of the Soul,” pp. 564, 566).

    Plato (428-348 B.C.), the Greek philosopher and student of Socrates, taught that the body and the “immortal soul” separate at death. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia comments on ancient Israel’s view of the soul: “We are influenced always more or less by the Greek, Platonic idea that the body dies, yet the soul is immortal. Such an idea is utterly contrary to the Israelite consciousness and is nowhere found in the Old Testament” (1960, Vol. 2, “Death,” p. 812).

    Early Christianity was influenced and corrupted by Greek philosophies as it spread through the Greek and Roman world. By A.D. 200 the doctrine of the immortality of the soul became a controversy among Christian believers.

    The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology notes that Origen, an early and influential Catholic theologian, was influenced by Greek thinkers: “Speculation about the soul in the subapostolic church was heavily influenced by Greek philosophy. This is seen in Origen’s acceptance of Plato’s doctrine of the preexistence of the soul as pure mind ( nous ) originally, which, by reason of its fall from God, cooled down to soul ( psyche ) when it lost its participation in the divine fire by looking earthward” (1992, “Soul,” p. 1037).

    Secular history reveals that the concept of the immortality of the soul is an ancient belief embraced by many pagan religions. But it’s not a biblical teaching and is not found in either the Old or New Testaments.”

    http://www.ucg.ca/booklets/wha.....l-teaching

    Ecl 9:5
    “For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten”

    “10Whatever the activity in which you engage, do it with all your ability, because there is no work, no planning, no learning, and no wisdom in the next world where you’re going.”

    Just because you really want to believe this teaching it doesn’t make it true…

    Ecco 3
    …19For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity. 20All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust.…

  39. 39
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac @38:

    What exactly do you mean by “Origen, an early and influential Catholic theologian”?

  40. 40
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac @38:

    Where did the idea of an immortal soul originate?

    Please, tell me, how do you interpret this:

    “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,…” Hebrews 9:27 (ESV)

    Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries:

    to die once, and after that comes judgment.

    Thus both reincarnation and the belief that physical death is the end of personal existence are excluded.

    Christ suffered the common human destiny of death and judgment (v. 28), but for Him the judgment consisted in resurrection and vindication (1 Tim. 3:16).

    This vindication will be fully manifested when He comes again (1 Thess. 1:10).

    See Phil. 1:23.

  41. 41
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac @38:

    Where did the idea of an immortal soul originate?

    Please, tell me, how do you interpret this:

    “I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.”
    Philippians 1:23 (ESV)

    Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries:

    hard pressed.
    Paul wants to be with Christ but also to remain on earth for the sake of the church. This is his dilemma. However, the outcome is in God’s hands, and Paul is confident that God has further work for him to do among the Philippians (vv. 24, 25).

    be with Christ.
    Paul’s language here sheds light on the character of the intermediate state (i.e., the condition of a person between the times of physical death and the resurrection).

  42. 42
    harry says:

    J-Mac @ 38

    Secular history reveals that the concept of the immortality of the soul is an ancient belief embraced by many pagan religions. But it’s not a biblical teaching and is not found in either the Old or New Testaments.

    Life after bodily death — and it was known all along that the body decomposes after death, so life after death must be the life of the soul — is found in both the Old and the New Testaments. In 1 Samuel 28 we find the account of the Witch of Endor arranging for Saul to be able to speak with Samuel who had already died.

    In the New Testament we have after the deaths of the poor man Lazarus and the rich man, Lazarus in the company of Abraham and the rich man in torment. (Luke 16). We have the “cloud of witnesses” of Hebrews 12. We have in Matthew 17 the transfiguration where a glorified Christ is talking with long dead Moses and Elijah, and in Mark 12 and Matthew 22 Christ reminding the Sadducees that God had said to Moses: ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ and proclaiming to them that “He is not God of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.” As is the idea that there is no biblical teaching about the soul living on after bodily death.

  43. 43
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac @38:

    Where did the idea of an immortal soul originate?

    Please, tell me, how do you interpret this:

    “Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:
    He[a] was manifested in the flesh,
    vindicated[b] by the Spirit,[c]
    seen by angels,
    proclaimed among the nations,
    believed on in the world,
    taken up in glory.”
    1 Timothy 3:16 (ESV)

    a. Greek Who; some manuscripts God; others Which
    b. Or justified
    c. Or vindicated in spirit

    Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries:

    mystery of godliness.
    What follows may be a fragment of an early Christian hymn.

    He was manifested in the flesh.
    A reference to the Incarnation, with a hint at Christ’s preexistence.

    vindicated by the Spirit.
    A reference to Christ’s resurrection (Rom. 1:4).

    seen by angels.
    A reference to the Ascension (Acts 1:10, 11).

    proclaimed among the nations.
    “The Authentication of Scripture” at 2 Cor. 4:6.

    taken up in glory.
    A reference to Christ’s exaltation to the right hand of God (Acts 7:56).

  44. 44
    Dionisio says:

    harry @42:

    Thanks.

  45. 45
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac @38:
    Please, tell me, how do you interpret this:

    “And as her soul was departing (for she was dying), she called his name Ben-oni;[a] but his father called him Benjamin.[b]” [Genesis 35:18 (ESV)]
    Footnotes:
    a.Genesis 35:18 Ben-oni could mean son of my sorrow, or son of my strength
    b.Genesis 35:18 Benjamin means son of the right hand

    Matthew Henry’s Commentary

    Rachel had passionately said, Give me children, or else I die; and now that she had children (for this was her second) she died. Her dying is here called the departing of her soul. Note, The death of the body is but the departure of the soul to the world of spirits.

  46. 46
    Dionisio says:

    “that he may deliver their soul from death
    and keep them alive in famine.”
    Psalm 33:19 (ESV)

    Matthew Henry’s Commentary:

    Now let us observe here, to the honour of divine grace, (1.) The regard which God has to his people, Ps. 33:18, 19. God beholds all the sons of men with an eye of observation, but his eye of favour and complacency is upon those that fear him. He looks upon them with delight, as the father on his children, as the bridegroom on his spouse, Isa. 62:5. While those that depend on arms and armies, on chariots and horses, perish in the disappointment of their expectations, God’s people, under his protection, are safe, for he shall deliver their soul from death when there seems to be but a step between them and it. If he do not deliver the body from temporal death, yet he will deliver the soul from spiritual and eternal death. Their souls, whatever happens, shall live and praise him, either in this world or in a better. From his bounty they shall be supplied with all necessaries. he shall keep them alive in famine; when others die for want, they shall live, which shall make it a distinguishing mercy. When visible means fail, God will find out some way or other to supply them. He does not say that he will give them abundance (they have no reason either to desire it or to expect it), but he will keep them alive; they shall not starve; and, when destroying judgments are abroad, it ought to be reckoned a great favour, for it is a very striking one, and lays us under peculiar obligations, to have our lives given us for a prey.

  47. 47
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac @38:
    Please, tell me, how do you interpret this:

    But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol,
    for he will receive me. Selah
    Psalm 49:15 (ESV)

    Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries:

    God will ransom my soul from . . . Sheol.
    While God does not accept a ransom for death (v. 7), He provides one for the psalmist. The key to this Old Testament awareness of redemption from death is recognition of the eternity of God and of His eternal relationship with His people: “he will receive me.” See Mark 12:26, 27.

    MacArthur Study Bible (NKJV)

    But God will redeem my soul…He shall receive me.
    This is one of the greatest affirmations of confidence in God in the Psalms. Although the faithless person cannot buy his way out of death […]

    Matthew Henry’s Commentary:

    I. Why they [those in Christ] should not be afraid of death. There is no cause for that fear if they have such a comfortable prospect as David here has of a happy state on the other side death, Ps. 49:15. He had shown (Ps. 49:14) how miserable the dead are that die in their sins, where he shows how blessed the dead are that die in the Lord. The distinction of men’s outward condition, how great a difference soever it makes in life, makes none at death; rich and poor meet in the grave. But the distinction of men’s spiritual state, though, in this life, it makes a small difference, where all things come alike to all, yet, at and after death, it makes a very great one. Now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. The righteous has hope in his death, so has David here hope in God concerning his soul. Note, The believing hopes of the soul’s redemption from the grave, and reception to glory, are the great support and joy of the children of God in a dying hour. They hope,

    I. That God will redeem their souls from the power of the grave, which includes, (1.) The preserving of the soul from going to the grave with the body. The grave has a power over the body, by virtue of the sentence (Gen. 3:19), and it is cruel enough in executing that powe 2a0b r (Song 8:6); but is has no such power over the soul. It has power to silence, and imprison, and consume the body; but the soul then moves, and acts, and converses, more freely than ever (Rev. 6:9, 10); it is immaterial and immortal. When death breaks the dark lantern, yet it does not extinguish the candle that was pent up in it. (2.) The reuniting of the soul and body at the resurrection. The soul is often put for the life; that indeed falls under the power of the grave for a time, but is hall, at length, be redeemed from it, when mortality shall be swallowed up of life. The God of life, that was its Creator at first, can and will be its Redeemer at last. (3.) The salvation of the soul from eternal ruin: “God shall redeem my soul from the sheol of hell (Ps. 49:15), the wrath to come, that pit of destruction into which the wicked shall be cast,” Ps. 49:14. It is a great comfort to dying saints that they shall not be hurt of the second death (Rev. 2:11), and therefore the first death has no sting and the grave no victory.

    2. That he will receive them to himself. He redeems their souls, that he may receive them. Ps. 31:5; Into thy hands I commit my spirit, for thou has redeemed it. He will receive them into his favour, will admit them into his kingdom, into the mansions that he prepared for them (John 14:2, 3), those everlasting habitations, Luke 16:9.

  48. 48
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac @38:

    Despite widespread use of the phrase immortal soul, this terminology is found nowhere in the Bible.

    Someone could say:

    Despite widespread use of the term “Trinity”, this terminology is found nowhere in the Bible.

    But the concept “Trinity” is implicitly expressed in the Bible.

    As you may have seen in a few preceding comments, the concept of the soul that may exist beyond the physical death –according to God’s will– is implied in the Scriptures, sometimes more clearly than others.

  49. 49
    J-Mac says:

    English Standard Version
    Ezk 18:20

    “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.”

    If the soul can die, then how could it be immortal?

    But if the word soul could mean person or life as it should, then it is much easier to understand most of the verses that seem to contradict each other maybe with the exception of the metaphorical ones where there seem to be a difference between death of a soul/person/life with the hope of resurrection or not.

    Gehenna, Sheol, Hades, hell if accurately translated seem to indicate the difference between death with or without the possibility for resurrection.

    Here are some of the most commonly misinterpreted verses about seeming existence of an immortal soul:

    http://pdf.amazingdiscoveries......-45-48.pdf

  50. 50
    harry says:

    J-Mac @ 49

    There are many indications in the Scriptures (see my post @ 42) that there is conscious life after death even though God’s people knew full well that the body decomposes after bodily death and returns to the dust from which man came: “you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (Gen 3:19) This life after death can only be the life of the soul.

    In Ezek 18:20 where the “soul” dies, one who is living a bodily, earthly life is being referred to, not someone who has already died a bodily death and whose living soul then dies. That makes no sense. It is obvious that what dies is one’s good standing before God, not that one’s soul ceases to exist.

    A bodily resurrection would make no sense if the risen body wasn’t going to be animated by a soul. The body dies. The soul doesn’t. At the resurrection the risen body is reunited to the soul.

  51. 51
    Marfin says:

    J-Mac- Just so I understand your position ,are you saying there is no Resurrection from the dead for mankind, once we die thats it, we are no more.

  52. 52
    Dionisio says:

    harry and Marfin,

    apparently J-Mac missed the question @39?

    https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/roger-penrose-somehow-our-consciousness-is-the-reason-the-universe-is-here/#comment-631128

    Also he didn’t argue against the following comments:

    @30: https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/roger-penrose-somehow-our-consciousness-is-the-reason-the-universe-is-here/#comment-631046

    @31: https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/roger-penrose-somehow-our-consciousness-is-the-reason-the-universe-is-here/#comment-631047

    @40: https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/roger-penrose-somehow-our-consciousness-is-the-reason-the-universe-is-here/#comment-631129

    @41: https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/roger-penrose-somehow-our-consciousness-is-the-reason-the-universe-is-here/#comment-631130

    @43: https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/roger-penrose-somehow-our-consciousness-is-the-reason-the-universe-is-here/#comment-631133

    @45: https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/roger-penrose-somehow-our-consciousness-is-the-reason-the-universe-is-here/#comment-631150

    @46: https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/roger-penrose-somehow-our-consciousness-is-the-reason-the-universe-is-here/#comment-631155

    @47: https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/roger-penrose-somehow-our-consciousness-is-the-reason-the-universe-is-here/#comment-631158

    @48: https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/roger-penrose-somehow-our-consciousness-is-the-reason-the-universe-is-here/#comment-631190

    There’s much more that can be added to the list. Much more. His arguments are void. They seem trollish.

    You may want to consider ignoring his comments.

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