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Offline infokill

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Intelligent evolution?
« on: 20/04/2007 11:05:48 »
First of all I dont believe in any God or the supernatural, just as I don't believe in the "Tooth Fairy". I do believe in evolution. I have many questions on this and I hope the one I am asking I can get to make sense...

I find it hard to believe that the process of Evolution is based on random mutation and natural selection as a result of those 'random' mutations.

Would it be possible that something in us (maybe our DNA for instance) is able to determine that mutations or changes are required to adapt to the current environment and as our bodies are growing and making these changes (however slight they are) we also pass this information down to genetic offsping to continue in that direction of mutation?
For example, in whales it is assumed that the nostril has slowly over generations made its way to the top of the head and whales with this mutation are fitter to survice and have greater chance of genetic succession. Surely whales dont look at another whale with a nostril higher than usual and think "I want to prorecreate with you!", so sexual selection may not play a role. Is it possible that as the whale is growing up from birth it is trying to change its genetic structure to adapt to the environment, and passes this information or instruction to genetic offsping (just as instict is passed on to offspring thru DNA).

Just a thought and I am probably but interested to see what others think on the topic of what we think so far on evolution. :)



 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Intelligent evolution?
« Reply #1 on: 20/04/2007 11:18:30 »
I have had this discussion many times.  Evolution is a random process but it will select for the most successful species in a changing environment and that must include the ability to evolve and adapt.  Evolution has been going for a very long time and it is very clear that quite large changes can take place in a few thousand years if need be.  The precise functions in the genome of plants and animals are by no means fully known yet and I am sure that once they are better known we will find the genes that help life to adapt to environmental changes.
 

Offline infokill

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Intelligent evolution?
« Reply #2 on: 20/04/2007 12:03:10 »
Yes, but do we 'know' these mutations are random, or do we assume so far?

Agreed, DNA is random in the chemical combinations, and that random combinations can occur from the pool of available genes between and male a female. Also, mutation can occur from inter-breeding, radiation etc, but is it possible that biological changes can be passed thru DNA as instict is also passed?

For example, if I (and my wife) am born with skinny legs (due to genetics), and we both live a lifestyle that results in our legs having to build large muscle mass, are the genes we pass down thru DNA going to produce offspring with the same skinny legs or slightly more muscular legs? (Sorry, terrible example its late! :)

 

another_someone

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Intelligent evolution?
« Reply #3 on: 20/04/2007 14:25:02 »
There are several things you have suggested.

Firstly, the idea that as we grow, we adapt to our environment, and these adaptations are then passed on to our offspring, is what is known as Lamarkian evolution, and in general is discredited (it actually slightly predates Darwins work, and has been superceded by the work of Darwin).

That something within us is able to detect that mutations are required is possible, but that is different from saying that it knows what that mutation might be.  In other words, it may well be that when an organism is under stress, the rate of genetic mutation increases, but it is well established that the way it selects which mutation is the right one for a given situation is by trial and error (i.e. it makes lots of mistakes before coming to a solution that works - but this is true of all development, even scientific advancement is made by a series of mistakes until someone finally comes to the right answer).

For example, in whales it is assumed that the nostril has slowly over generations made its way to the top of the head and whales with this mutation are fitter to survice and have greater chance of genetic succession. Surely whales dont look at another whale with a nostril higher than usual and think "I want to prorecreate with you!", so sexual selection may not play a role. Is it possible that as the whale is growing up from birth it is trying to change its genetic structure to adapt to the environment, and passes this information or instruction to genetic offsping (just as instict is passed on to offspring thru DNA).

Most female whales are not, as far as I am aware, necrophiliacs.

If the ancestor of the whale was forced to spend ever more of its life in the water, then having its nostrils higher up will allow it to swim mostly below the surface without drowning.  If this helped the whales chances of survival, then one has to suspect that a female whale would still prefer to mate with a living male than with a drowned male (just my guess  ;)).
 

another_someone

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Intelligent evolution?
« Reply #4 on: 20/04/2007 14:34:48 »
Yes, but do we 'know' these mutations are random, or do we assume so far?

Agreed, DNA is random in the chemical combinations, and that random combinations can occur from the pool of available genes between and male a female. Also, mutation can occur from inter-breeding, radiation etc, but is it possible that biological changes can be passed thru DNA as instict is also passed?

For example, if I (and my wife) am born with skinny legs (due to genetics), and we both live a lifestyle that results in our legs having to build large muscle mass, are the genes we pass down thru DNA going to produce offspring with the same skinny legs or slightly more muscular legs? (Sorry, terrible example its late! :)

Yes and no.

Certainly, the mother's (probably not the father's) lifestyle during the time she is pregnant will effect the offspring (if she has daughters, it can even effect the grandchildren); but these are not persistent changes - they will not be passed on generation to generation, ad infinitum.

What is more likely to happen is that if a women is living in an environment where strong muscles are a primary requirement, men with strong muscles will have higher social status, and women will preferentially choose mates from males with higher social standing.

The fact that a males social status will attract more females is so apparent that I don't know  whether you would actually require proof for it.

In a sense, I suppose you could argue that this is intelligent evolution - but not intelligence at a cellular level, but rather the females are being intelligent in how they select their mates.
« Last Edit: 20/04/2007 14:49:34 by another_someone »
 

Offline infokill

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Intelligent evolution?
« Reply #5 on: 20/04/2007 21:06:14 »
Sorry, maybe intelligent was not the exact word I should of used in the sense.

What about the change in our jaw structure over time as a result of a changed diet??Random mutation and natural selection at work there??

Sure random mutations accur, and natural selection also plays a hand, but I suppose what Im tryin to get at is the question that our bodies are able to genrically change from the genetics passed down from our prents (due to adaption to the current environment), then the changes made during the process of maturing are passed down to our offspring. Over time the body is genetically changing to the environment, but it hasnt been entirely due to 'random' mutation. Do you see where Im coming from.


Ps. Thanks for all your replies. It's great to find a good forum like this to have an 'intelligent' discussion.
 

Offline infokill

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Intelligent evolution?
« Reply #6 on: 20/04/2007 21:14:46 »
Hmmmm... Just checked out Lamarkian evolution, maybe that was close to what I was thinking.
 

another_someone

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Intelligent evolution?
« Reply #7 on: 20/04/2007 21:39:01 »
Firstly, what is it that you think is inadequately explained by conventional evolutionary theory?  If the present theory explains things adequately, then why complicate matters?

Secondly, by what mechanism would you suggest that Lamarckian evolution should function?  If we grow muscles on our arms, how does that affect the males sperm, much less the females eggs (which, unlike sperm, are all fully formed at the time of birth of a female child)?

The only conceivable mechanism that can possibly effect the DNA of sperm and eggs would possibly be the kind of mechanism that retroviruses use to insert themselves into a hosts DNA.  Although it has been speculated that such a mechanism might be used by the normal cell as a means of cell repair, but it would seem unlikely to be able to change the existing DNA to something drastically different.  Not least, if significant changes to the DNA were happening during a persons lifetime, it would invalidate the the premises used to underpin DNA testing in law courts, DNA testing for disease vulnerability, and would make proof of familial relationships through DNA testing rather questionable.  All of these processes assume that the DNA inherited from one's parents remains substantially the same throughout one's life (insofar as it is possible to measure).
« Last Edit: 20/04/2007 21:45:16 by another_someone »
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Intelligent evolution?
« Reply #8 on: 21/04/2007 22:59:41 »
I just wish to point out that I was not meaning Lamarkian evolution when I talked about the ability to evolve.  It could just be that one reaction to environmental stress is to increase the variability in gametes gemomes that is increase the rate of evolutionary changes but may be much more subtle than this.
 

Offline chimera

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Intelligent evolution?
« Reply #9 on: 02/05/2007 23:39:40 »
Or maybe some not-so-subtle disaster triggers it, for instance a full magnetic pole reversal, and a temporary suspension in our defense against cosmic radiation. This could be over in a few hundred to thousands of years, leaving very little direct evidence in the geological records, but would certainly 'speed up' the tedious process of blind trial and error every now and then.

I don't think life is based on intelligent design, but I do not rule out it may be statistically *inevitable*, however incredibly small the odds. So it pops up out of the woodwork in the long run, design or not - and then Darwin takes over automatically, maybe with a little push here and there from Gaia, throwing one of her tantrums.

But all the 'intelligent design' arguments I've heard to date don't cut enough wood for a decent toothpick, even.  ;)

[edit for double words]
 

Offline dkv

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Intelligent evolution?
« Reply #10 on: 29/09/2007 09:11:59 »
Natural selection is towards those genes which found its way to greater reproductivity and therefore greater fitness.
This is how the "choice" is made. Differential genetic engine automatically produces the new species or makes an old species extinct.
HOWEVER the bees are an classic example of violation of Darwinianism. Where some genes are in receding state... as there reproduction has been stopped.These genes are carried by worker bees.
This gets explained by current theory as evolution "towards" the favourable gene. The Queen bee reproduces heavily and carries that favourable gene. BUT the question is why will some gene carrier stop reproducing. Those who reproduce more carry the responsibility of future. Whereas those which reproduce less or do not reproduce are UNFIT.
This in my opinion is wrong.
The evolution is Towards Sustainable Pleasure.
The number of offsprings depends on the overall happiness of the Group.
There is no intelligent purpose than movement towards greater happiness.
 

Offline dkv

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Intelligent evolution?
« Reply #11 on: 29/09/2007 09:19:14 »
This theory natural selection can be called random.
But some people say Moth chooses its color??!!
How ?
That remains unexplained to me.
I can understand less fit gene over the evolutionary time scale but complete halt in reproduction is unexplainable.
What kind of information Worker Bee carries which should not be propagated?
What are these receding genes?

 

Offline _Stefan_

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Intelligent evolution?
« Reply #12 on: 29/09/2007 09:50:32 »
DKV, all the bees in a colony carry genes which cause sterility. But they are only turned on in some bees and not others (kings and queens). This trait allows female workers to help raise their fertile siblings (and infertile siblings) while only one female devotes resources to producing offspring. This maximizes the survival of the genes which all the bees in the colony share. The non-reproducing members of the colony are not "unfit": their genes still have the opportunity to spread and survive. You can think of a bee colony as a single body, each bee representing a cell. Most of the cells in the body don't produce the next generation of genes, but they are all involved in the process of survival and reproduction. There is nothing in this that contradicts or defies evolutionary theory.
 

Offline dkv

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Intelligent evolution?
« Reply #13 on: 29/09/2007 10:23:40 »
Quote
DKV, all the bees in a colony carry genes which cause sterility. But they are only turned on in some bees and not others (kings and queens). This trait allows female workers to help raise their fertile siblings (and infertile siblings) while only one female devotes resources to producing offspring. This maximizes the survival of the genes which all the bees in the colony share. The non-reproducing members of the colony are not "unfit": their genes still have the opportunity to spread and survive. You can think of a bee colony as a single body, each bee representing a cell. Most of the cells in the body don't produce the next generation of genes, but they are all involved in the process of survival and reproduction. There is nothing in this that contradicts or defies evolutionary theory.
thank you very much.
Female workers raise all siblings even those which are sterile. These sterile siblings will required to further the practice of worker siblings.
QUeen becomes more and more dependent on the  behaviour of sterile workers..So clearly this gene is not receding. It will continue to exist.
And you also said that bee as group acts like an individual.
BUT we must understand the natural seletion ....
Those which produce more go on to become the favourable genes.
Those which reproduce less go on to become extinct.
A favourable genetic characteristic is promoted in population.
This is used to explain why mammals have 4 legs.Because gene of 4 legs were promoted and we dont find mammal with 6 limbs or two limbs.
But in this case the less favoured gene which doesnt reproduce if triggered becomes indispensible to the survival of the fittest.
A huge contradiction.
The less favourable gets reproduced heavily and will continue to prosper becuase the favourable ones will need them.
A six or two limb mammmal could have managed to exist if it created dependency.
Either mammalian understanding is wrong or the Bee phenomenon is wrong.

 

Offline _Stefan_

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Intelligent evolution?
« Reply #14 on: 29/09/2007 11:04:50 »
Are you trying to say that the worker sterility trait contradicts Darwinian evolution because the workers don't get a chance to reproduce, so the trait is a negative one?

If so:
The sterility of the worker bees is just one method of actually increasing the survival rate of the colony's genes. The fertile queen and a retinue of workers and drones start a new colony, in which she produces offspring that are tended by herself and the workers, and which is maintained and defended by the workers. The workers care for both fertile and infertile offspring because, a) the fertile offspring go on to reproduce in the future, and b) the colony needs new workers to replace the old ones. This system works because all of the bees share most of their genes with each other and the genes that dictate this behavior are spread successfully.

The 4 limbs of vertebrates is just one of the phenotypes that promote the survival of a particular genotype. The infertile-worker colony of bees is another strategy that promotes survival of genes. Evolution has no foresight or plan. This means that organisms have to work with the genes they've got, and if the expression of those genes helps them survive, fantastic. When traits evolve that work, the organism can only be content with that. The genes in the sterile bees don't "worry" that the bees that are carrying them won't breed. They only "care" that those same genes will still be reproduced by other bees.
 

Offline dkv

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Intelligent evolution?
« Reply #15 on: 29/09/2007 11:48:42 »
No one works with no one.
This is superficial interpretation of current theory.
Natural selection is nothing but:
The statement that the differential population grows further..
Those gene favoured by reproductive process are reproduced more.
Simple. Its robotic.

In this case we find that those which produce less are also favoured.
The gene pool would have thrived if all of the steriles ones would have reproduced.
This strategy is contradictory to no purpose assumption.
Who is trying to survive ?
Gene or the organism or the species??
Is survival the gene pool the purpose?
(This is what has been concluded by Bee game... if you dont mind)
Let us check this hypothesis:
1.Organism(a kind of gene pool) chooses to survive
Spiders commit suicide to mate. Male pool of gene gets eaten up frequently.
So we say organism do not always choose to survive..
2.A species (both male and female chooses to survive.)
But the gene carries diseases which can collpase the entire gene pool and make the "gene" extinct.
So we say even the gene pool of species do not always choose to survive.
3.Gene chooses to survive- A stupid idea by the theory.

The research is inconsistent with the underlying theory of no purpose.




 

Offline _Stefan_

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Intelligent evolution?
« Reply #16 on: 29/09/2007 13:23:40 »
You haven't understood the theory correctly. Evolution only favors genes which produce bodies that are able to survive long enough to propagate those genes successfully.

The genes would survive more successfully if they produced an organism that "wanted" to survive.

The organism is not the gene pool. "a gene pool is the complete set of unique alleles in a species or population." ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_pool )

Organism suicide is not as simple as you think. There are benefits.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_and_evolution

The gene doesn't actually choose to do anything. How can it? It's just a segment of a molecule. But the gene's purpose is to survive, and Darwinian evolution is the process that determines whether it does survive or not. 

Please read the following pages. Honestly, I don't understand how you could still dispute Darwinian evolution and continue proposing TSP as an alternative after reading these.

http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-evolution.html

http://pandasthumb.org/archives/

http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/s8239.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kin_selection

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altruism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_selection

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inclusive_fitness
 

Offline _Stefan_

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Intelligent evolution?
« Reply #17 on: 29/09/2007 13:25:22 »
Evolution is also not just "Survival of the fittest". It's true that greater fitness can result in greater survival success, but there are other ways to survive successfully.
 

Offline dkv

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« Reply #18 on: 29/09/2007 13:57:18 »
So you admit what I am saying.
It is not only about survival of the fittest.
Survival of fittest is not supreme.Infact it doesnt fit in the logic without creating a purpose and therefore heirarchy depending upon the distance from the purpose..
As against this we have
Towards Sustainable Pleasure.
It explains all.Including the reason to fit.
But it does not insist on replication.


 

Offline _Stefan_

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Intelligent evolution?
« Reply #19 on: 29/09/2007 14:03:48 »
Please read the links, then properly analyze TSP before you continue advocating TSP. You will find that TSP is quite simply wrong. Stop fooling yourself.
 

Offline dkv

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Intelligent evolution?
« Reply #20 on: 29/09/2007 14:17:52 »
Evolutionists have developed several models to explain the apparent contradiction of suicide and evolutionary theory. Denys de Catanzaro has conducted a lot of research into this field. Others, such as Donald H. Rubinstein, and Anne Campbell have also done work in this field. The major difficulty for evolutionists is to explain why an organism would so deliberately harm its own potential reproductive capacity. Suicide seems to be perhaps the ultimate maladaptive trait, other than, perhaps, infanticide of one's own children.

REP: The purpose was never to reproduce but to be happy and create strategies for sustainable pleasure. Suicide is due incorrect interpretation of decrease in Happiness
relative to desired future.
================================================
De Catanzaro begins to explain suicide by saying that differential reproduction is in fact much more important to evolution than is "survival of the fittest." That is to say, that mere survival is not particularly important to passing on genes. Even if someone is short lived, but reproduces a lot, they are likely to have more descendants than someone who lives a long time but does not reproduce very much. The other factor in explaining from the evolutionary perspective is inclusive fitness. Since an individual will share many genes with their relatives, it is in their evolutionary interest to ensure their relatives' survival and reproduction. More of their genes will be present in subsequent generations.

REP:Differential Reproduction ,... you see this is what I am talking about.
Differential reproduction for what ?
How does it work?
How long is long enough?
A complete stupidity
=========================================
De Catanzaro believes that a general theory of suicide can be formed based on a calculation of the "costs of an individual's immediate death to the propagation of his or her genes." He developed a very complex equation that takes the various factors of the subject's potential reproduction, such as dependency of children, remaining reproductive potential, dependence on kin, and others, into account and is able to predict the subject's risk for suicide. Current research has been conducted mostly in the United States, with a large portion of the sample being young, educated, and religious.

REP: Abnormally high.Foolish argument. How is this beneficial may I know? Who wrote this article?
========================================

According to de Catanzaro's variables, those at greatest risk of suicide include the elderly, especially those who are a burden on their family, anyone who is ostracized by their kin, someone unable to provide for their kin, dependent on their reproductively capable kin, or anyone who has difficulty relating with the opposite sex. All of these conditions will lead to emotional and psychological conditions that will make suicide more likely. De Catanzaro cites studies that show that emotions have a physiological basis to show that the self destructive response may be a natural, evolved response to their situation to ensure the continued propagation of one's genes.

REP: HAHAHAHAHAH this guy doesnt know anything about suicidal tendencies.
A child can also attempt to suicide or harm himself if his desires are not fulfilled.
In some cultures elderly might do suicide. But in others this is not necessary.
===================================================

According to this theory those mostly likely to kill themselves would be the elderly dependent on financially pressed children, or someone with little hope of reproducing who is also dependent of kin. Dr. de Catanzaro's theory can also be applied to general self preservation. It can be used to predict how likely a mother or father is to sacrifice herself or himself to save their children, or other situations of that sort. De Catanzaro takes pains to recognize that his formula is only a base on which to predict likelihood of suicide or self sacrifice. He freely acknowledges that suicide is partially a learned behaviour, as is evidenced by the phenomenon of groupings of suicides occurring in short periods of time. He believes that there are many cultural phenomena that will affect any given individual. De Catanzaro also places strong emphasis on the fact that modern expressions of suicide may sometimes be unpredictable because we are in a different environment from that which we evolved in. He believes that there are many more suicides today than there would be in our "natural" environment due to stress and our confrontation with many situations that we have not been selected to deal with.

Another approach explains the differences between the sexes. One theory argues that men die of suicide more often than women because they do not value their lives as much as women. Since men are not essential to the survival of their offspring, and their potential for reproduction is much more varied, men have evolved to be less fearful of taking risks than women have. If a woman under natural conditions were to die, her children would most likely die as well. Therefore women have evolved to be more fearful of death and physical risk than men, and are therefore less likely to die of suicide. Under this theory suicide is just an expression of males' general willingness to take risks.

REP: Hopelessly uncommetable content.
Try something else.
GENE propagate because of suicide.
Try a simple experiment : Commit a suicide and see whether your species genes propagates or not. The population of whites increases or not.
Highly unlikely though I would not comment on the ___________________

The theory remains contradictory to the core.

Try to falsify my statement that :
ALL LIFE FORMS(GENE,CELL,VIRUS,MALE FEMALE,SPECIES etc) MOVE TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE PLEASURE.
If you can falsify then I am fool otherwise you know who is.

 

Offline _Stefan_

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Intelligent evolution?
« Reply #21 on: 30/09/2007 03:13:02 »
1. Your replies to the content in your post are rubbish. You really do have an anti-evolution agenda to be so thick as to not understand the theory properly. It is not difficult to understand once you get over your your false ideologies.

2. Perhaps you should define "pleasure", and describe in detail, with reference to supporting evidences, what exactly TSP is, and how it evolves. Show how the evolution of pleasure is the main goal of evolution, and how a process that has no foresight can possibly have a goal (Oh, of course you don't like the concept of blind evolution either). Give examples of biological phenomena that cannot possibly be explained by Darwinian evolution, and outline how these phenomena evolved by TSP. Shallow statements such as

"As against this we have a purpose of Towards Sustainable Pleasure.
When we say sustaianable it means strategy. Strategy to increase the expereince of pleasure.
AND THEREFORE MIND EXISTS TO CREATE SUPERIOR STRATEGIES for TSP(towards sustainable pleasure)
This suggests that all other functions are derived to perform or exceute TSP"


are not acceptable.
 

Offline dkv

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« Reply #22 on: 30/09/2007 06:31:08 »
Details can be given by any devil.
But the concept is simple and independednt of exact deatils of pleasure because the pleasure is understood by us. It is like understanding meter to measure the distances.
The rubbish part has been frequently understood to be relative. 
In my opinon all the gene replication theory along with spandrels make the whole a dustbin.
AND I CAN ONLY LAUGH.
 

Offline _Stefan_

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Intelligent evolution?
« Reply #23 on: 30/09/2007 07:21:20 »
After all the nonsense you've been so insistently advocating, it's a surprise that you won't even try to validate TSP. Stop wasting our time with this drivel.
 

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Intelligent evolution?
« Reply #23 on: 30/09/2007 07:21:20 »

 

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