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A debate on the conseqences of biological evolutionary forces.

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posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 01:18 AM
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a reply to: TinfoilTP

not at all. There are some things that are better about each of the described organisms and some aspects that were not as well adapted as us. It doesn't describe entropy in the least. Do you really think that the Australopithecines were a superior organism to Homo Habilis? That Ororin Tungensis or Saehlanthropus Tchadensis were superior to the variety of Australopithecines? Come on... What I said was that some aspects of other Hominins were superior to aspects of modern man. As Neandertal were a contemporary who descended, just like we did, from H. Heidelbergensis, how does Entropy apply? We didn't descend from them, we are closely related like cousins. Same with Homo Altaiensis. All descended from Heidelbergensis within a similar time frame, there is no descent from one to the other. Were H. Erectus superior to us other than being better suited to upright bipedalism? Hell no. Our brains are significantly larger, we crafted better tools and most importantly, we are still here. The only thing supporting your view is confirmation bias from reading between the lines. And humans are just one of countless species that have roamed the earth. There's a huge difference between adapting to an ecological niche and being superior let alone losing complexity. Evolution is in no way bound by the 2nd law of Thermodynamics no matter what you want to believe. Please refamiliarize yourself with it. It applies only to closed systems. Earth is an open system.




posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 01:18 AM
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a reply to: chr0naut

Considering there is no such thing as a static environment, more or less complexity nor de-evolution, this thread is already loaded with misconceptions before it even starts.

Lets be honest, you baited the hook while trying to say you don't really want to look like you're fishing....



posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 01:19 AM
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originally posted by: aorAki

originally posted by: chr0naut


To me, by observation, it appears that there has been an overall 'direction' of life processes towards biological complexity, functional efficiency and integration with existing lifeforms. Yet in a stochastically neutral environment, it should be expected that there would be equal movement contrary to those concepts. For the purposes of this discussion, I'll call this 'devolution'. Do you know of devolutionary examples and, if there are such devolutions, why are they not as equally apparent as evolutionary ones?


Is this your own wording?

I ask because:

To me, by observation, it appears that there has been an overall ‘direction’ of life processes towards biological complexity, functional efficiency
and integration with existing lifeforms. Yet in a stochastically neutral environment, it should be expected that there would be equal movement
contrary to those concepts. For the purposes of this discussion, I’ll call this ‘devolution’. Do you know of devolutionary examples and, if there
are such devolutions, why are they not as equally apparent as evolutionary ones?


source



Ouch... plagiarizing is a big fat no no around here last time I saw the T&C



posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 01:36 AM
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a reply to: TinfoilTP

If we were able to detect UV with our eyes, we would not be able to see our surroundings, would be essentially blind and probably die getting eaten by lions.

"Evolution should have led to these types of things"? Your argument makes no sense.



posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 03:39 AM
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originally posted by: aorAki

originally posted by: chr0naut


To me, by observation, it appears that there has been an overall 'direction' of life processes towards biological complexity, functional efficiency and integration with existing lifeforms. Yet in a stochastically neutral environment, it should be expected that there would be equal movement contrary to those concepts. For the purposes of this discussion, I'll call this 'devolution'. Do you know of devolutionary examples and, if there are such devolutions, why are they not as equally apparent as evolutionary ones?


Is this your own wording?

I ask because:

To me, by observation, it appears that there has been an overall ‘direction’ of life processes towards biological complexity, functional efficiency
and integration with existing lifeforms. Yet in a stochastically neutral environment, it should be expected that there would be equal movement
contrary to those concepts. For the purposes of this discussion, I’ll call this ‘devolution’. Do you know of devolutionary examples and, if there
are such devolutions, why are they not as equally apparent as evolutionary ones?


source


It appears to be a messed up search result on another website.

Perhaps they are cross-scripting in ATS content because they don't have enough original stuff of their own. Perhaps the mods should look into it?

But I did write the OP in my own words and only post it on the ATS "Origins and Creationism" forum.



edit on 19/7/2015 by chr0naut because: I have informed the mods of the issue.



posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 03:41 AM
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originally posted by: peter vlar

originally posted by: aorAki

originally posted by: chr0naut


To me, by observation, it appears that there has been an overall 'direction' of life processes towards biological complexity, functional efficiency and integration with existing lifeforms. Yet in a stochastically neutral environment, it should be expected that there would be equal movement contrary to those concepts. For the purposes of this discussion, I'll call this 'devolution'. Do you know of devolutionary examples and, if there are such devolutions, why are they not as equally apparent as evolutionary ones?


Is this your own wording?

I ask because:

To me, by observation, it appears that there has been an overall ‘direction’ of life processes towards biological complexity, functional efficiency
and integration with existing lifeforms. Yet in a stochastically neutral environment, it should be expected that there would be equal movement
contrary to those concepts. For the purposes of this discussion, I’ll call this ‘devolution’. Do you know of devolutionary examples and, if there
are such devolutions, why are they not as equally apparent as evolutionary ones?


source



Ouch... plagiarizing is a big fat no no around here last time I saw the T&C


Yes, but I didn't plagiarize, it would appear that another site is stealing content.



posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 03:51 AM
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a reply to: chr0naut

Without addressing what I think you are trying to get at, I have to object to your terminology and what your phraseology is saying about your understanding of something very fundamental to the idea of evolution.

The word 'devolve' is extremely problematic. There is simply no such thing. Populations just evolve, then they evolve again, and again, and again, generation after generation after generation after generation. There is no forward or backward, there is just change.



To me, by observation, it appears that there has been an overall 'direction' of life processes towards biological complexity, functional efficiency and integration with existing lifeforms.


This is a common, but extremely critical misunderstanding of evolutionary processes. There is no "direction" in evolution. There is only 'go with what works'.

Mutations are random remember? There is no "direction" in random. If some mutation 'works' to improve survivability of the individuals that carry that mutation then that mutation remains in the population. That is what the natural selection filter does, it 'decides' what works better at that moment in that environment.

In contrast to mutation, natural selection is not random, and neither does it have "direction". It has no bias towards complexity, efficiency, no goal to create 'high lifeforms'. Natural selection is just a descriptive term that we have hung on the process of finding useful mutations and filtering out the damaging.



Yet in a stochastically neutral environment,


"Stochastically neutral" - you mean 'truely random' yes? Remember, mutation is random, natural selection is NOT.



it should be expected that there would be equal movement contrary to those concepts.


I think you mean that if a mutation occurs that causes a population of butterflies to change from yellow to red, why shouldn't we expect a 'counter' mutation to occur to change them back to yellow again.

This is a reasonable question. The difficulty is in the word 'expect'. Remember mutation is random - the entire concept of random is that we cannot 'expect' to predict the next value. A new mutation may occur at the same spot, but it might be to turn it blue, not back to yellow. even if the mutation did 'revert' to yellow, why would we expect it to return to the population in general?

Remember populations evolve, not individuals. An individual gets a mutation and passes it on to the population when it reproduces. Natural selection decides if the mutation is beneficial or not. Since the entire population changed from yellow to red in the first place, there must have been some benefit to being red. Now that yellow has reentered the population, for it to regain its place, there will have to be a positive benefit for yellow over red, once again.



For the purposes of this discussion, I'll call this 'devolution'.


There is that assumption of 'direction' again. Use of the word implies that there is a goal, that each evolutionary movement somehow results in a 'more evolved' organism. In fact every organism, every single one, is 100% fully evolved. Always and forever. A yellow butterfly is fully evolved. If the yellow butterfly population evolves to become red, the red butterfly is fully evolved. If the red butterfly population evolves to become yellow, the yellow butterfly is fully evolved. The butterfly is not evolving from yellow to red and 'devolving' to become yellow again. The yellow butter fly is evolving to become red and the red butterfly is evolving to become yellow.



Do you know of devolutionary examples and, if there are such devolutions, why are they not as equally apparent as evolutionary ones?


There are many examples of populations that have evolved 'complex' structures and then 'lost' those structures. The most obvious example I can think of off the top of my head is fish that originally could see just like any other fish, but when they became isolated in caves where there was no light lost the use of their eyes. In the cave environment, eyes are a useless 'expense' to maintain. Random mutation provided the opportunity for natural selection to find a better use for the brain function dedicated to processing visual information.

Whales and dolphins and the like are not sea animals that became land animals that 'devolved' to become sea animals again. There is no 'devolveing' to it. They just evolved. And then they evolved again. And then they evolved again...



edit on 19/7/2015 by rnaa because: grammar



posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 04:11 AM
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a reply to: chr0naut



Surely, then, single cellular organisms have also arisen from multicellular ones and this will have occurred with nearly the frequency that multicellular have arisen from unicellular.


Again, there is no goal towards complexity. There is only what works.

Natural selection 'decided' that multicellular organisms had an advantage in some environments that could then be exploited. Natural selection also 'decided' that single cell organisms worked really well in some environments.

Once a population of multi-cell organisms were fully exploiting an environment that single cell organism populations could not exploit as well (or at all) what would be the advantage of a multi-cell organism evolving to a single cell organism? It is perfectly possible for a single cell organism to evolve from a population of multicell organisms, however, since the environment is providing an opportunity for multi-cell organisms that single-cell organisms cannot exploit the single-cell organisms are not going to survive unless they can find some way to sucessfully exploit that environment in a way the multi-cells cannot.

Would we ever know if that happened? Unlikely. Maybe somebody who studies the animal populations of deep-sea vents for a living might have an idea of how it could be done, but I doubt it.

Is it impossible to imagine, or is it against Evolutionary Theory in some way? Not at all (IMO).

Will a population of canaries (a multi-cell organism) evolve into a bacteria? Highly unlikely. Less likely than the sun not coming up tomorrow I would think.



posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 04:26 AM
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originally posted by: hydeman11
a reply to: chr0naut

Howdy,

If that is what you are looking for, I could see some potential reasons for difficulty in finding the evidence you seek. Cellular organisms do not preserve well in the rock record, so morphological determinations of species would be difficult. Even then, genomic evidence would be the best information, and genes certainly do not preserve to well in rocks.

I don't know why you believe multicellular organisms should evolve into unicellular organisms at "nearly the same frequency" as the other way around (nor do I see any means to quantify the frequency of which multicellular organisms evolved from unicellular organisms... presumably, it only needed to happen once if life has common ancestry, right?) That said, the conditions in which single celled organisms presumably evolved into multicellular organisms was a period in which there was no competition for such multicellular organisms. In the modern world, there exist single celled organisms to compete with any "devolved" unicellular organisms. The niche is already filled.

That said, there has been a rather interesting (but fruitless, by my untrained opinion) argument for HeLa cells being designated a unique species.
en.wikipedia.org...

Of course, all of this falls under the mainstream viewpoint covered by evolutionary theory, so I understand if you don't agree. If that is the case, I suppose I would appreciate further clarification as to why you think life should change with the same frequency from multicellular to unicellular as from unicellular to multicellular. Also, I would be curious if anyone here could further clarify how often multicellularity has arisen.

Sincere regards,
Hydeman

In response to your above question, I do believe it is a problem of misinterpreting evolutionary theory. Evolution has no desired end goal of complexity. Evolution is a response to changes in environmental conditions, more than anything. If you look for an endless striving for complexity under the theory of evolution, of course you will not find it. There are other examples, I'm sure. I picked phacopid trilobites because I collect them. Perhaps a more familiar example would be vestigial organs, like the appendix.


My supposition of comparative frequency of gaining or loosing evolutionary traits is based upon the random nature of mutation.

I do understand that selection pressures and other factors AFTER the point of mutation, would come into play, but selection pressures cannot change an organism under MES processes. That is entirely dependent on the genetic change being introduced by mutation (and less so by genetic drift as it falls from the 'vogue' of MES).

From a genetic standpoint, the deletion of a block of genetic code is more likely (and therefore more frequent) than successful insertion of new code. This would mean that deletion of a trait (which is dependent upon that block of deleted code) should be more common than the rise of a new trait.

Selection pressures are of course agnostic of deletion or insertion issues, so we should see more examples (or rather a higher frequency) of "loss of trait" type changes.

An example of where a deletion would become a selection advantage is the deletion mutation CCR5delta32 which confers immunity to AIDS among other things (but also makes the carrier more susceptible to other diseases). In parts of the world where HIV AIDS is epidemic, there is a selection pressure advantageous to carriers of the mutation.


edit on 19/7/2015 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 04:49 AM
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originally posted by: Syyth007
a reply to: chr0naut

We have an idea that lifeforms evolved from non-complex to complex forms from the fossil record - but the reason devolution doesn't occur more often, is because the established population that branched off from a less complex population usually has better genetic viability, and usually, those two populations compete for resources - the population that can survive longer, and breed more successfully wins, and will out breed and dominate other populations.

Complexity compounds over time, but complexity doesn't always garuntee biological success, but usually, biodiversity in a population spells success, as there are more available avenues for genetic propagation.

I hate to use this example, but we as a species are capable of inflicting a nuclear war on this planet that would kill off most complex lifeforms on this planet - in this situation, genetic complexity wouldn't be a successful trait, and the hardier less complex lifeforms that are established on this planet would still be able to reproduce, while the much more genetically complex lifeforms would die off rather quickly.


Yes, I starred your post and can see how, say, a tardigrade or cyanobacteria would have advantages in a harsher environment than bigger, more complex organisms.

But in the case of tardigrades, why aren't we absolutely swarming with them, surely they are the fittest survivors of all?



posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 05:05 AM
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originally posted by: Bleeeeep
a reply to: chr0naut

The body doesn't show the "complexity" of the forces / process.

For example, in the above users post about eyes, the change to the system, that is, the change within the eyes' of trilobites, were added steps, not a loss of steps or complexity.

E.g. If evolution was the process of solving a math problem, 5-1=4 is more complex than 4.

That is, you're trying to measure a process by its outcome, but the process and outcome are separate things. (5-1=4 is not the same as 4.)


but yeah, you make a good point about trying to measure evolution through the body, when it's really the force or spirit which we should be trying to measure.


But surely the scientific examination of evolutionary processes demands that we measure the processes by the outcomes observed and from the records preserved. A comparison of the two is telling of the intervening processes, even if we have not directly observed their occurrence.

Do you have any ideas as to how we might go about measuring the force or spirit in a way compliant with scientific method? At present the best I that can conceive for such measurements are far too subjective to be scientifically acceptable.



posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 05:11 AM
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a reply to: chr0naut

It would appear I owe you an apology. After looking Through the rest of that site, I noticed a lot of their titles were very similar to some ATS threads I read earlier and after clicking on a couple of them it certainly appears that they are the ones rabidly plagiarizing ATS for content. Please accept my apology for insinuating any wrong doing on your behalf without proper due diligence.



posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 05:24 AM
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originally posted by: TinfoilTP

originally posted by: hydeman11
Howdy,

Interesting question with an equally interesting answer. Are you aware bees see in ultraviolet?

www.bbc.com...

Sincere regards,
Hydeman


And yet we don't.
If we are the pinnacle of evolutionary processes how can that be?


That is actually (in part) what I was trying to 'get at'. If we are "the pinnacle" it implies a direction to evolution.

Personally, I don't think we should call ourselves the pinnacle of anything. If evolution happens without a direction, then we are merely a passing phase, there is no particular significance in our stage of evolution. There will be change and we will be an ancient and extinct primate.

That is why in the OP I spoke of looking forward speculatively and why I was trying to establish if there was a perceptible direction to evolutionary processes.

If there is no actual direction, then we may loose the traits we think have "put us at the top" because there never was a top in the first place, and all traits can come and go arbitrarily.

But I believe I see a direction, a progress. True, it may be an arrogant anthropocentricity, but it also might not.

As I don't think of what I don't think of, I am posing these questions to the brains trust here. To get other ideas and opinions.


edit on 19/7/2015 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 05:30 AM
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originally posted by: peter vlar
a reply to: chr0naut

It would appear I owe you an apology. After looking Through the rest of that site, I noticed a lot of their titles were very similar to some ATS threads I read earlier and after clicking on a couple of them it certainly appears that they are the ones rabidly plagiarizing ATS for content. Please accept my apology for insinuating any wrong doing on your behalf without proper due diligence.


No worries.

By the way, I respect your contributions to this and other posts. Cheers to some good discussion!



posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 05:35 AM
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originally posted by: peter vlar
a reply to: TinfoilTP

self awareness and knowledge of science doesn't make us the pinnacle of evolution though. It just makes us more knowledgeable than those who came before us. That's you forcing an anthropic principle where it doesn't belong. Physically, Neandertal and in some ways, Homo Erectus were superior to the humans walking the Earth today. Neandertal were likely just as smart as we are, were far stronger, could hunt over longer distances, had better tools than the first humans who met them on their way out of Africa. Erectus was better at walking and running than we are and didn't have the back problems people do today. We are each adapted to our niches. It doesn't make one superior to the other, just more suited at some things than others.


Perhaps the fact that they did not survive and we did tells something about how viscous we can be?



posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 05:40 AM
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originally posted by: hydeman11
a reply to: peter vlar

Howdy,

I'm not familiar with European phacopids, but I don't see why they couldn't be similar to American populations, especially if the trilobites are from a period of time before much opening of the Atlantic. Interesting you should mention the Eldgredgeops vs. Phacops naming thing. It hasn't stuck with collectors, although Eldgredge's papers seem to indicate enough morphological distinctions to support the change (which has, in my limited experiences, been accepted). Of course, I was referring to the order Phacopida (which the genus Eldgredgeops is a member of).

And yes, I agree that this example of lessening eye facets is still evolution in response to environmental differences and natural selection. However, I thought this particular case of evolution was one such example that fit the OP's defined "devolution." Perhaps I am not being clear myself... When I write that there is an apparent directive force, I emphasize the "apparent." It appears that way, yes. But as you say, yes, it is natural environmental pressures directing evolution.

Don't get the wrong idea. I'm a proponent of modern evolutionary theories (and I must bring up punctuated equilibria because we are mentioning Eldgredge), but I don't mind allowing others to operationalize their own terms. If I can demonstrate that 'devolution' is still evolution, then what do I care what it is called? Although I do admit it muddies the issue, at least initially.

As for the multicellularity issue, I'm not really sure. You've hit the issue dead on. There is a lot of Earth history that is currently unknowable and may forever be unknowable. Genetic information may be the best available resource. However, I suppose the "consensus" is now at least 46 independent evolutions of multicellularity? Haven't read the cited papers yet though...
en.wikipedia.org...

And on somewhat related note, you seem pretty knowledgeable about trilobite evolution and lifestyles yourself. I'm glad I'm not the only one around who likes the little arthropods. Whatsmore, they are significant to the modern understanding of evolution. As for the diet of Eldredgeops, I do believe the hypostome is suggestive of a predator, too.

scholar.google.com...

Finally, let me thank you for making me clarify myself. I'm not the clearest or most concise of writers. You yourself clarified some of the things I was trying to say in a way that I probably could not.

Sincerest regards,
Hydeman


Don't denigrate yourself. You write with clarity and intellect and I appreciate your participation in this thread.




posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 05:53 AM
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originally posted by: ghaleon12
This is just stupid in so many ways. Your effort in an attempt to appear intelligent is readily obvious. The question, which you hinted at but didn't even outright say, has been addressed in evolutionary biology, long ago, numerous times.


I'm not really clear on exactly whom you were addressing this reply to, but I will assume it was me as I am the OP.

I believe I tried to express my questions unambiguously.

Please inform me of the question that I hinted at but did not say outright. Perhaps explaining how you inferred it and cite exactly where it has been addressed in evolutionary biology.

If you were addressing your post to someone else, then I apologize for the presumption.

You can also click on the "Quote" and "Reply" links at the top of a post to assist others in identifying the context of your response.



posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 06:10 AM
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a reply to: rnaa

Thank you for responding to my post.

I agree that the the wording "devolution" is not particularly apt. On consideration, even "loss of complexity" is also inexact. I think a better wording would have been "loss of genetic traits".

But I will stick with the idea that I perceive a preferential direction to the process of evolution. This does not mean that the reverse does not happen. Nor does it mean that I am implying some sort of intelligence behind the evolutionary processes.

I am aware and agree that evolution should not have a preferential 'direction'.

I will confess that I may even be deluding myself that I perceive such a 'direction', but I do see it and not subtly!


edit on 19/7/2015 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 02:29 PM
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originally posted by: chr0naut


Yes, but I didn't plagiarize, it would appear that another site is stealing content.



Yes, it would seem like that, so you have my apologies as well.



posted on Jul, 19 2015 @ 02:30 PM
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a reply to: chr0naut

Howdy,

I'm not a geneticist, so I don't know if deletions are more common than insertions. For the purposes of this discussion, let me just grant that they are in my ignorance.

However, even if there are genetic deletions, how can we be sure those deletions will not result in a new morphological trait? In other words, why should genotypic changes always result in a loss of a trait and not the gain of a new one? My limited understanding of genetics suggests that phenotypic traits are often controlled by multiple genes anyway, so why should new configurations of genes not also result in new phenotypic expressions? Although, I must admit I've not studied anything biological for some years...

But I think I see where we might have some fruitful discussion. You seem to be viewing evolution from an individual perspective. That is, you are looking at how individuals "undergo" evolution. If that is true, and do correct me if I misunderstand you, then there really isn't much to discuss. Under MES, individuals do not evolve. Only populations do, so you are right that organisms themselves cannot be changed by selective pressures.

So I now imagine your question is, "Why do we not see organisms that have lost traits as frequently as we see organisms that have gained traits?"

Although I am not sure that geneticists do not see exactly that, I could offer two possible hypotheses... First, we don't see organisms that "lose" major traits because they are indeed maladaptive to their environment. For example, if an organism is born without skin, it's chance of survival is not very good and the trait will not be propagated to be studied by humans. In this way, we really cannot decouple selective pressures from maladaptive traits, as we need to be able to find and study the trait in the wild or else we cannot document it.

Second, I've mentioned this above, but what we might see as a loss of trait could be coupled with other morphological traits that directly result from such a genetic "loss." In that way, we see a loss in one place but a gain elsewhere. It is merely an artifact of a fallible anthropic lens.

Of course, these are speculative hypotheses. I have no sources to cite of any such examples. I'm no geneticist or biologist, either, so treat everything I've said with a grain of halite.

Sincere regards,
Hydeman




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