Scientists Find 2 Million Old A. Sediba; Creationists Find a 6000 Year Old Dead Ape

Scientists have again embarrassed themselves . . . this time in that fanciful Science Magazine. While creationists (including many of the GOP presidential contenders) have shown that the Earth is only 6000 years old, scientists insist that they have found Australopithecus sediba fossils with the skull, pelvis, hands and feet of the ancient hominin. The fossils with both ape and human characteristics were unearthed three years ago in South Africa.


Palaeoanthropologists are unsure of how to fit A. sediba into the evolutionary chain and some believe it may have evolved into H. erectus. Of course, this depends on a belief in evolution which, with the exception of John Huntsman, is now rejected among our candidates for president on the GOP side. The picture above is a depiction of Huntsman’s standing in polls with GOP voters.

What is interesting is that the article below discusses how the 9-year-old son of one of the scientists discovered the first A. sediba fossil in August 2008 while the two were exploring a collapsed cave system. How cool is that. I am just waiting to see his college application review: “applicants worked as assistant manager at McDonald’s and may have discovered missing evolutionary link for homo erectus.”

Such findings (and such superstitious practices like carbon dating) have been dismissed by creationists in light of passages from in the Bible. This young man may want to skip the application to Bob Jones University or any Texas school offering the graduate degree in “creationist science.”

Source: Scientific American

44 thoughts on “Scientists Find 2 Million Old A. Sediba; Creationists Find a 6000 Year Old Dead Ape

  1. Creationists v evolutionists is not the only battle in town.

    Scientists were squabbling among themselves a while back about Darwinius and Afradapis, two other such finds.

    When there is a fine line, even scientists can debate an issue from two or more positions.

  2. I met a gentleman that is a director for the (state not to be named) Institute for Creation Study’s….needless to say, I listened and was amazed….They do have an interesting way of looking at things…I suppose when you are in a situation where you have to listen and cannot really express your opinion, you can learn a lot….

  3. rafflaw,
    :-) Good morning.

    (I would refer the casual reader to the comments on the “Galileo and the GOP: Huntsman Takes Stand For Science” thread.)

  4. @Dredd

    Although I’m not sure exactly what you mean by creationists vs. evolutionists not being the only game in town, scientists squabbling over the interpretation of one piece of evidence is hardly equivalent to creationists denying the reality of evolution. Evolutionary biologists have often found themselves disagreeing over the proper classification of a fossil. That’s perfectly normal. It hardly blows the theory out of the water, much as creationists try to pretend that it does.

  5. It really worries me when they tear down old automobile manufacturing plants.

    2 million years from now somebody is going to come across Chevrolets from multiple model years and think they are the product of evolution. Who could blame them for their conclusion? They are very likely to find the same basic frame, and even some of the exact same parts.

  6. @Dredd & Hunter:

    A word on terminology: making conclusions about fossils is paleontology.
    That is the science of the history of life and just like in human history there will always be things that can not be known with certainty, because there simply isn’t any conclusive evidence left.

    Evolution on the other hand is the theory that the inherited traits of populations change with selection pressures.
    In other words it is a relatively simple concept of a general mechanism. Evolution is of course central to paleontology, but then it is central to all life sciences. It is a central mechanism in everything living.

    Evolution isn’t disputed, because unlike the history of life on earth (which already happened, and we can only reconstruct it by interpreting the signs it has left) it can be observed:
    Take for example the antibiotic resistance bacteria develop every time a new antibiotic is used wildly. New antibiotics put selection pressure on bacteria and they adapt to survive these pressures: evolution.

    Or the breeds of domestic animals and plants created by selective pressure by man in recorded history: for example a guy named Max von Stephanitz started to breed dogs in January 15,1898 with a very specific goal in mind — the result was the German Shepherd. He put selection pressure on a population of dogs, and the phenotype of that population was drastically changed due to that pressure: evolution.

    To say that the phenotype of populations is static and hasn’t changed since some arbitrary point in time (say the fifth and sixth day of creation) is just demonstratively false. The mechanism we call “evolution” does undoubtedly exist.

    Which species evolved from which (and when, and where, and why) are questions of paleontology, of life’s history.
    Depending on the available evidence these questions may be debated, new evidence may change that debate, and some historical facts may be unprovable (e.g. the behavior of long extinct species), but none of that puts the underlying mechanism of evolution in doubt, because they hold true in other, falsifiable, areas of the life sciences.

    Sorry for the long rant.

  7. anon nurse
    1, September 9, 2011 at 9:50 am
    Why am I suddenly thinking about vaginas?

    ———————————————————

    ROTFLOL … all damn day! Thank you, thank you ….

  8. From the article: “At around 420 cubic centimeters, A. sediba's puny brain compares to those of other Australopithecus specimens and chimpanzees. But a high-resolution synchrotron scan of the brain's impression on the skull shows enlarged frontal areas that are normally associated with humans and linked to higher cognitive abilities, such as planning.”

    ****************

    You can hardly blame these creationist fools. It’s simply ‘brain envy’ at work. Imagine being inferior in brain capacity to a sediba.

  9. “a belief in evolution”

    I’m wondering, where did you get the idea that a basic scientific fact like evolution, which is supported by tons of extremely powerful evidence from molecular biology and other branches of science, is a belief?

    Do you seriously think facts are beliefs?

    Or are you an evolution denier?

    Either way there’s something wrong here.

    Also, why do you invoke politicians when writing about the foundation of biology? What do they know about science?

    http://darwinkilledgod.blogspot.com/

  10. No Way:

    “2 million years from now somebody is going to come across Chevrolets from multiple model years and think they are the product of evolution.”

    *******************

    Isn’t that exactly what they are: products of man-made evolution. In this case, the cars exhibit traits that best suited them for survival – i.e. sales. As new models came on line they kept the most sucessful features like automatic transmissions and added some new desireable traits lilke air conditioning which led to more sales in the environment where that trait was most useful such as the American South and Southwest. While the difference might be that human evolution occurs naturally and our motor vehicles evolve by are own hands, the principle remains the same. Adaption can occur naturally or through intelligent design — our intelligent design, that is, of course.

    Thank you for a wonderful example of evolution and survival of the fittest.

  11. Berliner:

    But a German Shepard is still a dog, it is not a new species. It is a variant on an existing species. I can turn a human being into a very good athlete if given the right gene pool but I cannot turn a human being into a new species.

    Since humans put pressure on the environment rather than vice versa, will we ever evolve?

  12. “Since humans put pressure on the environment rather than vice versa, will we ever evolve?”

    This statement is both wrong and illustrates a fundamental lack of understanding about how feedback works in conjunction with evolutionary processes. Beings and environment effect each other. Environment shapes organisms as it biases certain traits for survival that are better adapted to the environment and what organisms do in that environment (hunt/graze/reproduce/create waste/build) in turn impacts the environment. Humans will evolve further, eventually into a divergent species, provided we don’t kill ourselves first. It’s just a matter of time and environmental pressures influencing adaptation to meet those changes, i.e. natural selection. This discounts that we now have the scientific tools to directly impact evolution in the form of genetics. Our next evolutionary steps may be consciously selected. This option should scare the crap out of you given the long history of bad ideas and poor choices made by humanity.

  13. Roco,

    It would be easy to speciate humans – just isolate a population and breed them for a specific set of traits. Eventually they will lose the ability to interbreed with ordinary humans. It would take a really long time and be ethically reprehensible, but not very hard to do…

  14. Slarti:

    “It would be easy to speciate humans – just isolate a population and breed them for a specific set of traits. Eventually they will lose the ability to interbreed with ordinary humans.”

    ******************

    I think Russ Meyer tried that back in the 1970’s.

  15. Once in awhile, Blouise… Once in awhile…

    (I’d like a little emoticon that’s giving us a “V” (for “victory”, of course ;-) ), but there isn’t one to be had, apparently…)

  16. Thanks for trying, AY. One would think that the “victory” emoticon might work, but… what I want is a little, lame “smiley face” like the one above, holding up it’s little arm and giving us the “V” sign…

    Given my general disdain for “smiley faces”, I hate to use them at all, but what’s a person to do online… 8-)

  17. AN,

    I said that as part of my sense of humor…Others may consider it misogyny..

    I heard one comedienne tell jokes about Joan Rivers….I think she can also be attributed this one as well…

    Joan Rivers was not very good at following directions….then someone told her wet floor…..and she did….

  18. Mespo,

    30 or 40 years would be more than enough generations to speciate fruit flies, but humans would take a little longer to “cook”…

  19. Berliner:

    “Evolution isn’t disputed, because unlike the history of life on earth (which already happened, and we can only reconstruct it by interpreting the signs it has left) it can be observed:”

    Woah! Yes it is disputed. Every day. Mainly because of the lack of evidence. It can’t be observed. Even Darwin noted that the lack of transitional fossils was one of the biggest problems for evolution. We still haven’t found anything that remotely resembles a ‘transitiona fossil’.

    Even though evolution is disputed, evolutionists ‘own the microphone’ so you aren’t going to hear a lot about the problems dealing with evolution. Anyone who dares question the stupid theory are met with all sorts of ad hominem personal attacks, fired, ran out of town, etc… It is really ridiculous.

    “Take for example the antibiotic resistance bacteria develop every time a new antibiotic is used wildly. New antibiotics put selection pressure on bacteria and they adapt to survive these pressures: evolution.”

    What does the bacteria ‘evolve’ into??? Let me guess. More bacteria? Sorry but that doesn’t quite do anything for evolution. What we observe is things coming from their own kind. Bacteria makes more bacteria. Cows make more cows. Dogs make more dogs. What we do not see is anything eventually turning into something else, as evolutionism would have you believe happens over billions of years. We simply do not see evidence of such things happening. Because bacteria can come up with new resistance, that just shows how awsome the ‘programming’ is for the bacteria in the first place.

    “Or the breeds of domestic animals and plants created by selective pressure by man in recorded history: for example a guy named Max von Stephanitz started to breed dogs in January 15,1898 with a very specific goal in mind — the result was the German Shepherd. He put selection pressure on a population of dogs, and the phenotype of that population was drastically changed due to that pressure: evolution.”

    Again, dogs give birth to other dogs. Different breeds doesn’t violate science. It’s still a dog. Remember, evolution doesn’t have someone directing it. We are told to believe it just happens, on its own, over billions of years. You are using an example where someone deliberatley controlled the breeding of dogs. That would more fit the scenario of a Designer at work, or some external force at work, rather than the breeds of dogs eventually coming up with something else at random. That’s an example that opposes evolutionism.

    “To say that the phenotype of populations is static and hasn’t changed since some arbitrary point in time (say the fifth and sixth day of creation) is just demonstratively false. The mechanism we call “evolution” does undoubtedly exist.”

    It does not exist. There isn’t any evidence of evolutionism. Creation of God gives us all the different varieties of living things, breeds, etc… and the programming to carry on over thousands and thousands of years. To think that we are a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy and we are still able to function and have miraculous things going on at the cellular level in our bodies is quite an accomplishment. Something evolutionism could never do. It’s been said that the human body alone is a ‘statistical monstrosity’ for evolution. There simply hasn’t been enough time for ANYTHING to have ‘evolved’.

    “Which species evolved from which (and when, and where, and why) are questions of paleontology, of life’s history.
    Depending on the available evidence these questions may be debated, new evidence may change that debate, and some historical facts may be unprovable (e.g. the behavior of long extinct species), but none of that puts the underlying mechanism of evolution in doubt, because they hold true in other, falsifiable, areas of the life sciences.”

    We don’t have any evidence of things evolving from something else. All this exists as simply ‘just-so’ stories. We are told it has happened but aren’t given any cold hard evidence that leads to a conclusion without a shadow of a doubt. The whole thing about evolution is in doubt, but it is a politically protected sacred cow and we’re not allowed to question it. Just blindly accept it.

    But I don’t.

  20. Fruit Flies Like Pears

    You said this on….http://jonathanturley.org/2011/09/10/erskine-college-professor-fired-for-supporting-science/#comment-266408

    Science isn’t at odds with God. God created science. Science isn’t some kind of entity that has powers. Science is simply knowledge gained by observation. Testable, provable, measurable, weighable, countable, etc… If this nutjob was trying to peddle something other than plain old science, then that’s where the problem is. I’m curious as to what he was trying to teach. If he’s an atheist, like someone said, then there’s the problem. Atheism is devoid of logic and common sense.

    Here you said this:

    We don’t have any evidence of things evolving from something else. All this exists as simply ‘just-so’ stories. We are told it has happened but aren’t given any cold hard evidence that leads to a conclusion without a shadow of a doubt. The whole thing about evolution is in doubt, but it is a politically protected sacred cow and we’re not allowed to question it. Just blindly accept it.

    ********************

    Do you see any conflicts?

    Science isn’t at odds with God. God created science.

    Say what

    Just blindly accept it.

    I think you are a picker and chooser….and you say what fits at the moment….Are you a legislative assistant or in politics somehow….or a concierge someplace? It appears your knows is quite brown….is that a fleck of charmin I note?

  21. Human Ape:

    “a belief in evolution”

    “I’m wondering, where did you get the idea that a basic scientific fact like evolution, which is supported by tons of extremely powerful evidence from molecular biology and other branches of science, is a belief?”

    Appeal to numbers logical fallacy. Just because a lot of people believe something to be true, that doesn’t mean it is.

    Give me one extremely powerful example of all this alleged evidence there is to support evolutionism??? Give me one “FACT” of evolutionism?

    Bacteria coming up with more resistance isn’t evidence. The bacteria is still bacteria. Where evolutionism leaves the road and ventures off into a belief system is when we’re told to believe that a man is a distant relative of a field mouse. Or pineapples and porcupines share a common ancestor. That isn’t anything factual. That is a BELIEF. It’s a just-so story and we are told that it is true, without evidence. Some BELIEVE it to be true.

    “Do you seriously think facts are beliefs?

    Or are you an evolution denier?

    Either way there’s something wrong here.”

    I’m not sure who you were talking to, but I deny evolutionism. It’s all BS – psuedoscience. The evolution nutjobs have to keep perpetuating this foolish idea of evolutionism while knowing deep down there isn’t any evidence, and at the same time, shun people from discussing all the different problems with evolutionism. Therefore, evolutionism has become this politically protected sacred cow and no one dares to open up the hood and see what makes it tick. To do so will invoke all sorts of ad hominem personal attacks.

    Yes there is something wrong. How can so many supposedly intelligent people believe this garbage and even dare call it science, and it has been allowed to grow into this monstrosity that has basically thrown a wrench in the works of modern science. Shameful.

  22. @mespo727272

    “Isn’t that exactly what they are: products of man-made evolution. In this case, the cars exhibit traits that best suited them for survival – i.e. sales. As new models came on line they kept the most sucessful features like automatic transmissions and added some new desireable traits lilke air conditioning which led to more sales in the environment where that trait was most useful such as the American South and Southwest. While the difference might be that human evolution occurs naturally and our motor vehicles evolve by are own hands, the principle remains the same. Adaption can occur naturally or through intelligent design — our intelligent design, that is, of course.

    Thank you for a wonderful example of evolution and survival of the fittest.”

    The problem with the analogy involving cars is, they had a designer. Evolution allegedly goes on, undirectd, unpurposed, unguided, over billions and billions of years. Without any guiding hand. A car, on the other hand, was designed. It had several designers. It was assembled by workers. From the very beginning, it had a purpose and plan. That’s something contrary to the foolish belief of evolutionism.

    For an accurate model of evolutionism, the design of the car doesn’t exist. That’s the end result. Each part of the car, every nut and bolt, every wire, etc… had to have ‘evolved’ previously. Then by who-knows-how, all the parts had to be in the same place at the same time and they had to be together somehow, at the right place, in order to function. The fuel had to have evolved, and made its way into the tank, somehow. The key had to fit, somehow, and was able to start the car, somehow.

    What a friggin’ mess. There’s a lot of ‘somehows’ in there, but yet we are to believe it’s just true. No questions asked. It just happened. That’s all. And we have this alleged pile of evidence to back such a notion up.

    Riiiight. I was born at night, but not last night.

  23. “Woah! Yes it is disputed. Every day. Mainly because of the lack of evidence. It can’t be observed.”

    Whoa! Yes evolution can be observed. It’s observed every day in labs around the world and in the wild. Even in your own species, Fruit Fly. Evolution is mainly disputed by people who don’t understand either evidence or science. Like Fruit Flies.

  24. Gene, maybe FFLP got his science knowledge from comic books. The arguments sound like it. Devoid of both logic and knowledge of how science works. The late Dr. Stephen Jay Gould took great delight in messing with folks like in debates. Watching Gould in action was kind of like watching a cat playing with a hapless mouse before eating it.

  25. Fruit Flies Like Pears,

    If you can give me a falsifiable hypothesis that explains the following two pieces of data better than evolution, then I’ll admit evolution MIGHT be wrong, otherwise I will ridicule you for the brainless religious zealot with zero understanding of science I believe you to be.

    Question #1:

    Why does human chromosome #2 have two centromeres and a third telomere in the center?

    Question #2:

    Why was Tiktaalik found in strata 375 million years old?

    Someone who can’t meet this challenge who is nonetheless compelled to question the veracity of evolution can only be a completely illiterate boob who didn’t have the good sense that evolution gave a bacteria.

  26. And we of small mind have simply wondered why we can’t use our baby picture for our driver’s license photo.

    It couldn’t possibly be because we’ve changed incrementally over time. Where’s the proof in that twiddle?

  27. Woah! Yes it is disputed. Every day. Mainly because of the lack of evidence. It can’t be observed. Even Darwin noted that the lack of transitional fossils was one of the biggest problems for evolution. We still haven’t found anything that remotely resembles a ‘transitiona fossil’.

    ***********************

    No it’s not. We’ve found lots of transitional fossils byt he way:

  28. “What we do not see is anything eventually turning into something else, as evolutionism would have you believe happens over billions of years. We simply do not see evidence of such things happening.”

    *******************

    Tell that to the yellow-bellied three-toed skink which is evolving from oviparious reproduction to live birth.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/09/100901-science-animals-evolution-australia-lizard-skink-live-birth-eggs/

  29. NoWay said:

    “2 million years from now somebody is going to come across Chevrolets from multiple model years and think they are the product of evolution. Who could blame them for their conclusion? They are very likely to find the same basic frame, and even some of the exact same parts.”

    Very possibly true. But then a few years later they’ll stumble upon an original Model T-rex, and their hearts will be atwitter at the fool notion that a Ford could possibly spawn a Chevy.

  30. Gene H.:

    “Whoa! Yes evolution can be observed. It’s observed every day in labs around the world and in the wild.

    Even in your own species, Fruit Fly. Evolution is mainly disputed by people who don’t understand either

    evidence or science. Like Fruit Flies.”

    No, it can’t. First, explain what you are talking about when you say “evolution can be observed”. It’s

    been said that it is easier to nail jello to a tree than it is to get a consistent definition of just what

    evolution is. Some will say evolution is ice melting. So, you can’t dispute that.

    What we’re probably running into again, is a classic evolution bait and switch. On the one hand, you say

    evolution is true, but then point to minute changes WITHIN a kind. Then use a bit of magic and wishful

    thinking, that something can turn into something else over a billion years. So, which are you talking

    about when you say evolution can be observed?

    Otteray Scribe:

    “Gene, maybe FFLP got his science knowledge from comic books.”

    Ad hominem logical fallacy. Just because I don’t subscribe to your belief that man is related to field

    mice, doesn’t mean I’m the one looking in comic books. That’s a classic pot/kettle/black scenario.

    Slartibartfast:

    “If you can give me a falsifiable hypothesis that explains the following two pieces of data better than

    evolution, then I’ll admit evolution MIGHT be wrong, otherwise I will ridicule you for the brainless

    religious zealot with zero understanding of science I believe you to be.”

    Typical response. Because someone dares question the foolish adult fairytale also known as evolutionism,

    you have to get personal and use all sorts of ad hominem and straw man arguments. As a reminder, I’m not

    the one who thinks pineapples and porcupines share a common ancestor. That’s coming from your side of the

    fence. I’m arguing that there is ZERO evidence for such a foolish argument, and on the contrary, we see

    elements of design in living things. We don’t see any evidence that something has the propensity to change

    into something else over billions of years. That’s simply a just-so story.

    And your reaction, coming apart like a two-dollar suitcase, just beacuse I tweaked your politically

    protected sacred cow of evolutionism, speaks volumes. Why get so upset when someone questions your theory.

    If you had any confidence in this fairytale, you would welcome skepticism, not start ranting and raving

    like an angry teenager.

    “Question #1:

    Why does human chromosome #2 have two centromeres and a third telomere in the center?”

    To this day, we still don’t have anything other than speculation, to tie humans to apes. In fact, some

    evolutionists have abandoned such a silly notion in the first place. You are using the logic that follows

    – since jellyfish and clouds are 99% the same, they must have evolved from one another. Wrong – that’s

    SWAG science. Similarities in design points to a common designer. Cats and pigs have 38 chromosomes.

    That means cats evolved from pigs? Or pigs from cats? In addition, evolutionists argument about vestigial

    organs is weak. First, the appendix was a vestigial organ. Now we know it has something to do with the

    immune system. The human tailbone is supposed to be a vesigial. But we know that there are important

    muscles and tendons attached that perform very useful bodily functions. People still argue about the

    alleged leg structures in whales. But those more familiar with whales and whale anatomy knows that the

    structures are actually used in mating. So several strikes for evolutionism. Now you are thinking that

    this is supposed to be proof that we’ve evolved from apes? Quite a stretch, to say the least.

    “Question #2:

    Why was Tiktaalik found in strata 375 million years old?”

    Question: Do the fossils date the strata, or does the strata date the fossils? Here’s what we know about

    the strata. It proves nothing, and it is extremely foolish, to say the least, to use the strata to date

    anything. We observe petrified tree trunks standing vertically in coal mine shafts. Now if we are to

    believe the evolutionists, that tree had to have been upright for billions of years. So the take home

    point is, if you are trusting in the strata to date a skull then you are making a huge assumption to say

    the least. Things have been found in the strata to be a few thousand years old, several feet below

    something that is supposed to be millions of years old.

    “Someone who can’t meet this challenge who is nonetheless compelled to question the veracity of evolution

    can only be a completely illiterate boob who didn’t have the good sense that evolution gave a bacteria.”

    This isn’t a challenge, but more accurately, a revelation that you have built your house on shifting sand,

    thinking you have a firm foundation. You might want to think through things before you run with it. And

    shooting off at the mouth with all these childish insults only makes your side look, well, childish.

    You’re taking healthy skepticism of your belief personally and using emotion rather than rational thinking.

    Martin Fitch:

    “@Slartibartfast: Oh, that one is too easy. I can use the same answer for both — “God put it there.””

    Oops. I forgot. TIME put it there. “billions and billions and billions of years”. Sure, that’s proof.

    mespo727272:

    “No it’s not. We’ve found lots of transitional fossils byt he way:”

    No, we don’t have any transitional fossils. Some of your evolutionists friends have even come up with

    another theory to explain why we don’t have any transitionals. Such as a “gap theory”. You’ve given yet

    more examples of ‘just-so’ stories. No proof, we just have to believe these are tansitionals because, they

    are transitionals. No… that doesn’t feed the bulldog. Do you have any PROOF that these are indeed

    transitionals? When you find bones of any animal, the only thing you can prove is, it’s dead. Virtually

    99% of fossils found are invertebrates. Incredibly complex, fully formed invertebrates. What is the rest,

    that composes like, 1%? The vertebrates that “scientists” try to use lots of imagination and plaster of

    paris to come up with transitional fossils. To date we STILL have nothing that constitutes a “transitional

    fossil”.

    mespo727272:

    Tell that to the yellow-bellied three-toed skink which is evolving from oviparious reproduction to live

    birth.

    Some snakes have eggs, and some snakes have snakes. Could this be a defect? A result of pesticides for

    example? Also, take a step back and look… Because something all of the sudden started giving live birth

    instead of eggs, this means we’re related to a field mouse? We’re needing something substantial.

  31. Sticking your fingers in your ears and screaming NaNaNa does not constitute an intelligent response. Tens of thousands of peer-reviewed papers are available supporting common descent and evolution. Genetics proves evolution; human chromosome 2 is a fusion of ape chromosome 12 and 13 as theorized almost 40 years ago. Evolution has made and continues to make testable predictions like this. If you want to be taken seriously publish some papers making some sort of testable conjecture.

  32. Mespo said:

    “Isn’t that exactly what they (cars) are: products of man-made evolution. In this case, the cars exhibit traits that best suited them for survival.”

    Right as rain. And when far-far-in-the-future auto-ontologists trip over what they surmise is the very earliest parts, they’ll aply dub the car-corpse “MichiganHenryFordicus.

    But there will surely be many who’ll say it’s a Ford of the Lord.

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