Ed Board Extremists Target Social Studies

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Having done what they could to muck up the state’s science curriculum standards, fringe right-wingers on the Texas State Board of Education are now moving to politicize the social studies curriculum for public schools. Texas Freedom Network just sent out the following press release:

The Texas State Board of Education is set to appoint a social studies curriculum “expert” panel that includes absurdly unqualified ideologues who are hostile to public education and argue that laws and public policies should be based on their narrow interpretations of the Bible.

TFN has obtained the names of “experts” appointed by far-right state board members. Those panelists will guide the revision of social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools. They include David Barton of the fundamentalist, Texas-based group WallBuilders, whose degree is in religious education, not the social sciences, and the Rev. Peter Marshall of Peter Marshall Ministries in Massachusetts, who suggests that California wildfires and Hurricane Katrina were divine punishments for tolerance of homosexuality.

It gets worse.

Barton, former vice chairman of the Texas Republican Party, is a self-styled “historian” without any formal training in the field. He argues that separation of church and state is a “myth” and that the nation’s laws should be based on Scripture. He says, for example, that the Bible forbids taxes on income and capital gains. Yet even such groups as Texas Baptists Committed and the Baptist Joint Committee have sharply criticized Barton’s interpretations of the Constitution and history.

Barton also acknowledges having used in his publications and speeches nearly a dozen quotes he has attributed to the nation’s Founders even though he can’t identify any primary sources showing that they really said them.

Some state board members have criticized what they believe are efforts to overemphasize the contributions of minorities in the nation’s history. It is alarming, then, that in 1991 Barton spoke at events hosted by groups tied to white supremacists. He later said he hadn’t known the groups were “part of a Nazi movement.”

In addition, Barton’s WallBuilders Web site suggests as a “helpful” resource the National Association of Christian Educators/Citizens for Excellence in Education, an organization that calls public schools places of “social depravity” and “spiritual slaughter.”

And what in the world is the point of putting a right-wing evangelical minister on a social studies panel?

The Peter Marshall Ministries Web site includes Marshall’s commentaries sharply attacking Muslims, characterizing the Obama administration as “wicked,” and calling on Christian parents to reject public education for their children.

Marshall has also attacked Roman Catholic and mainline Protestant churches. In his call for a spiritual revival in America last year, he called traditional mainline Protestantism an “institutionally fossilized, Bible-rejecting shell of Christianity.”

Says TFN’s Kathy Miller:

“It’s absurd to suggest that Texas universities don’t have accomplished scholars in the field who are more qualified than ideologues who share a narrow political agenda. What’s next? Rush Limbaugh on the ‘expert’ panel? It’s clear now that just appointing a new chairman won’t end this board’s outrageous efforts to politicize the education of our schoolchildren. It’s time for the Legislature to make sweeping changes to the board and its control over what our kids learn in public schools.”

“With Don McLeroy’s confirmation hanging in the balance in the Senate and lawmakers considering 15 bills that would strip the state board of its authority, these board members continue trying to push extremist politics into Texas classrooms. It’s as if they’re daring the Legislature to call them on it.”

The full press release is available here. You can learn more about Barton here and Marshall here.

83 Responses to “Ed Board Extremists Target Social Studies”

  1. Curly Says:

    **Palm to Face**

  2. PaulM Says:

    I think we can begin calling Kay Bailey Governor Hutchison now. This will clearly be used against Perry in his re-elcetion bid.

    This proves the SBOE has no political sense whatsoever. The Legislature must be livid.

  3. TXatheist Says:

    David Barton is a liar…http://www.positiveatheism.org/writ/founding.htm….and if that is too short of a list read Chris Rodda’s book “Liars for Jesus” like I am. Barton and gang purposely distort history for their xian revisionist desires.

  4. scotth Says:

    The legislature needs to alert the textbook manufacturers, “hold the presses, we’re gonna have us a do over here in Texas”.

    Clean up the SBOE and have them start over on nearly everything done in the last several months. The can start with the re-instating the last-minute-substituted English curriculum and moving forward from there.

  5. PHarvey Says:

    Barton is a pathological liar. These types are scary. Nothing they say can be trusted. In his mind it is ok to lie as long as it justifies and defends his Christianity.

    Go figure.

  6. James F Says:

    Curly,

    That’s not enough. For situations like this you need the double facepalm. Actually, it could use something stronger….

    This is a national disgrace and word needs to be spread.

  7. Dennis Mick Says:

    With wild-eyed ideological nuts still running it, it’s small wonder the GOP is fading abruptly off the national stage. I’m waiting for the TX Repub party to follow suit.

  8. PHarvey Says:

    It seems to me that this behavior over social studies is something the average person can understand. Science is difficult for the general public, but this should be something that everyone understands.

    This should outrage everybody!

  9. PHarvey Says:

    The lesson of political history is that extremists never survive. Once a party goes too extreme, they shrink and lose power as they further away from the middle.

    If the Republicans let the SBOE get away with this, and support it, then I think they will begin to be viewed as extremist and will lose voters.

    The political pedulum swings back and forth, once it swings far left or right, it always swings back to the middle eventually. This may be the beginning of the end of the far right in Texas.

    I hope its not just my wishful thinking.

  10. Charles Says:

    In my opinion, David Barton is a a DOMINION THEOLOGY fruitcake, as evidenced by his avid support of the so-called Christian Nation Movement. People like Barton are always running around accusing mainline Christians of being APOSTATES, but the fact of the matter is that Dominion theology is itself APOSTATE, and I can prove it using scripture.

    The dominionists believe it is their duty to take over the government of the United States, abolish the U.S. Constitution (along with all existing federal, state, and local laws), and replace them all with the Old Testament law in the Bible. Everyone, including all Christians, would be required to submit to this law and follow it to the letter—or suffer the consequences in the most cruel and torturous of ways. So, other than the fact that it is just plain insane, what is the problem with that you say?

    CHRISTIAN DOMINIONISM AND DOMINION THEOLOGY ARE HERESY (especially for Christians).

    The scriptures say:

    1) “But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter” (Romans 7: 6).

    2) “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Romans 10: 4).

    3) [Instead of living under the Old Testament law, Christians should]. “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13: 8 and 10)

    This whole dominionist notion that Christians had to become “Judaized” under the law to be truly faithful Christians was one of the principal heresies that the early 1 st Century disciples and apostles had to fight against. The New Testament is filled with their fight against it. Dominionism is nothing more than warmed over legalism. You show me a so-called Christian dominionist, and I will show you a heretic—an apostate who really has abandoned the faith.

    Note Scripture No. 3 again. Read it. The Christian Neo-Fundamentalists might give lip service to it, but the fact of the matter is that they despise it deep down inside. To them, it is little more than “weakness personified.” They would rather not hear it, and they especially would rather not do it.

    “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” Teaching false history and warped social studies to the school children of Texas IS working ill to one’s neighbor. There is no love in it. In Dantes “The Divine Comedy,” the lowest and most insufferable region of Hell is reserved for betrayers of all stripes. Dominionist-driven social studies standards constitute a betrayal of innocent children who are trusting us to teach them true history. It will be interesting to see which members of the Texas SBOE betray our children.

    Sermon Over. Here is the closing hymn. I hope the Christian Neo-Fundamentalists on the Texas SBOE will listen to the part about those “whose chances look dimmer.” Here it is:

  11. Coragyps Says:

    D’ya think Barton and Marshall ever wear polyester/cottom blend shirts? I sure hope not…..

    This is CRAZY!

  12. Charles Says:

    Ya know? Let them secede. Then they won’t poison American schoolchildren with their rubbish.

  13. J.R. Says:

    This does sound scary. We need to get rid of the SBOE forever. We don’t need any non-experts running our public school curriculum and textbooks.

  14. Rocket Mike Says:

    Thanks, Charles, for the good background.

    If the Lege doesn’t do something substantial about this mess, then we need to start waking up every sane Texan and get them to the polls this next time around. A normal – issues based – campaign doesn’t work for the SBOE races. The districts are too large, and the whole campaign is under the RADAR for most voters. And the straight ticket voting allows the brainless re-election of the BLZ’s.

    To the ramparts!

  15. Brian Says:

    Texas has always been politicized when it comes to social studies. In order to get a history textbook published it has to pass the boards of Texas, Florida, and California which are among the biggest markets. The study and teaching has always been contested also. If you want to learn a sad story about hypocrisy, find yourself a university professor who was teaching back in the early nineties when Lynne Cheney was given the task of updating our national standards in U.S. History as part of the Goals 2000 program. Clinton comes to office and thinks it is a good idea and adopts the program without any changes. guess who is out front charging (and fund raising) that those damn liberals “aren’t teaching our high schools about George Washington.” You guessed it Lynne Cheney.

  16. Charles Says:

    TFN:

    Do we have a new Charles here or am I being impersonated? There is a post from Charles above that I did not write. Hey, you know its not from me—too short.

  17. Joe Lapp Says:

    I don’t see how anyone at this point can doubt the SBOE left-wing’s intent to religiously indoctrinate our children.

    Someone really should create a web page of bullets that connect all the dots in a way that makes this undeniable at a glance.

    I’m glad TFN made a press release of it. I hope it gets some traction. Thanks for doing the homework TFN!

  18. Larry Fafarman Says:

    Contrary to what you Darwinists want to believe, teaching the criticisms of evolution has nothing to do with this garbage. There ought to be a separate elected Board of Evolution Education so voters could vote for board candidates strictly on the basis of the candidates’ views on evolution education. That stupid SB 2275 bill, which transfers the board’s duties to the governor-appointed commissioner of education, goes the other way by mixing up evolution education with all other issues!

    TFN said,
    –Barton also acknowledges having used in his publications and speeches nearly a dozen quotes he has attributed to the nation’s Founders even though he can’t identify any primary sources showing that they really said them.–

    To me that is no worse than Judge Jones, who showed extreme prejudice against intelligent design and the Dover defendants — regardless of whether or not ID is a religious concept — by saying in a Dickinson College commencement speech that his Kitzmiller v. Dover decision was based on his cockamamie notion that the Founders based the establishment clause upon a belief that organized religions are not “true” religions. He said,

    . . . . this much is very clear. The Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry. At bottom then, this core set of beliefs led the Founders, who constantly engaged and questioned things, to secure their idea of religious freedom by barring any alliance between church and state.

    http://www.dickinson.edu/commencement/2006/address.html

    Unfortunately, this idiot can’t be voted out of office. Crackpots come in all flavors.

  19. rusty Says:

    Sheesh – another religious whackjob. These people should NOT be allowed into positions with ANY kind of power.

    “Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” – Mark Twain

    We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.
    ~ Gene Roddenberry

    Religion: The only known contagious psychosis.

  20. Spanky Says:

    i want the GOP to keep their Bull8*hit going because, as they do ,they will continue to shoot themselves in the foot. too funny.

    go GOP!!

    GOP #1!!

  21. Idiots! Says:

    So far, lunatics of the Texas school-board are only hurting Texas students.

  22. Curly Says:

    Larry, Larry, Larry

    “To me that is no worse than Judge Jones, who showed extreme prejudice against intelligent design and the Dover defendants — regardless of whether or not ID is a religious concept”

    Repeat after me. Intelligent design is nothing. Not a theory, not an idea, nothing, niente, zero, zilch. They repacked a creationist textbook after getting slapped hard by the ’87 edwards v aguillar decision. Remember “cdesign propopenisists”?????? The danger of “intelligent design” is that when scientists can’t figure out some problem, they just shout out that it is “irreducibly complex” and therefore God did it.

    If you want to make a baseless charge of “extreme prejudice” by Jones, prove it. And once again, what is your definition of a “darwinist”?

  23. Buhallin Says:

    Unfortunately, Texas is a big part of the country. Even ignoring the influence on national textbooks, we’re an awfully big state with an awfully big population of students. Writing them off or marginalizing the damage we do to the country by churning them out ignorant and uneducated is dangerous.

  24. Joe Says:

    Thank you once again, SBoE, for making the rest of the country believe that all of us who live in Texas are knuckle-dragging troglodytes.

  25. Barton Paul Levenson Says:

    I certainly hope they get this crackpot off the board. But I’m a little disappointed that any mention of an issue where religious people of any stripe are involved always brings a chorus of anti-religious comments by the militant atheists. For anyone with an open mind, please don’t judge Christians in general, or theists in general, by people like David Barton. He doesn’t speak for me, born-again Christian that I am, nor for most believers.

    And Gene Roddenberry was not in a good position to lecture others on moral behavior. And I say that as a dedicated former teenage Trekkie.

  26. John W. Larner Says:

    Very much appreciate the TFN’s work and the comments on this site. Having served on TEA’s social studies standards committees several times across the 70’s, all that can be said is, wow, was it different in those days! We all were real history and social science teachers and profs struggling to provide meaningful standards which encouraged creative, solid thinking by teachers and students. Also, having served during the same decade several times on TEA’s text adoption committes for history and government books, same thing. Let’s have the best, no dummied-down, slanted trash where the road to that ever-elusive “truth” is blocked. Hope the Texas Council for the Social Studies is alive, well, and creating a ground-swell of concerned opposition to today’s right-wing putsch.

  27. ErnestPayne Says:

    Am beginning to understand why the Mexican’s don’t want Texas back. Any chance the intelligent portions of America could build a fence around Texas?

  28. jonathan Says:

    I wonder if he eats shrimp.

  29. Skylep Says:

    Uh, Larry, I having trouble finding anything incorrect in what the Judge said. Our Founding Fathers were remarkably and vivdily clear on what they thought of organized religion. Patrick Henry called the “religious” men of the churches miscreants and no better than con men. Jefferson was downright fearful of what combining religion with governance could become and it is found not only in his journals but his letters as well. Benjamin Franklin believed that a man’s relationship with God was his own, not to be ruled OR mandated by government. This is also readily found in his writings, and can be found in autobiographies of him dating back a hundred years. Please know what you’re talking about when you say such things.
    As far as intelligent design, that’s not even a science, and even the name is ironically oxymoronic by it’s supporters.

  30. Larry Fafarman Says:

    –Larry, Larry, Larry. Repeat after me. Intelligent design is nothing.–

    Curly, Curly, Curly. Repeat after me. You are a stupid ignoramus. My blog has hundreds of articles about monkey trials. —

    http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/

    Do you think that there is anything that you can tell me about them that I don’t already know?

    –They repacked a creationist textbook after getting slapped hard by the ‘87 edwards v aguillar decision. —

    Edwards v. Aguillard was a different kind of case — the law in question required creation science to be taught whenever evolution was taught. In Kitzmiller v. Dover, intelligent design wasn’t actually taught — there was just an evolution-disclaimer statement. Two other rulings against evolution disclaimers, Selman v. Cobb County and Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish, both came close to being reversed.

    –Remember “cdesign propopenisists”?–

    One book’s substitution of the words “intelligent design” for “creationism” does not change the fact that ID and creationism are not the same. ID is based on scientific observation and reasoning whereas creationism is based on religious sources.

    –The danger of “intelligent design” is that when scientists can’t figure out some problem, they just shout out that it is “irreducibly complex” and therefore God did it.–

    Wrong. ID scientists are always trying to find out more. For example, Michael Behe didn’t stop with his book “Darwin’s Black Box” but followed it with a book titled “The Edge of Evolution.” I found that in my studies of coevolution, it was evolution theory that was the science-stopper! Darwinists dismiss coevolution as simply “mutual evolutionary pressure between different species” — or something like that — and often don’t have much desire to investigate further, since they regard coevolution as no more complicated than isolated evolution. But I, by assuming that coevolution is possibly a big weakness for evolution theory, decided to investigate further and made a lot of interesting discoveries. My thoughts about coevolution are summarized here —

    http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2009/01/summary-of-thoughts-about-co-evolution.html

    –If you want to make a baseless charge of “extreme prejudice” by Jones, prove it.–

    I don’t need to prove it — Judge Jones’ own words have already proved it. Anyone who is too dense to see that Jones’ statement showed extreme prejudice belongs in a mental institution for the profoundly retarded. So far as I know, he never repeated that “true religion” idea again, not even to try to clarify it, and that’s probably because he got a lot of hell for it.

  31. TFN Says:

    Larry writes: “One book’s substitution of the words “intelligent design” for “creationism” does not change the fact that ID and creationism are not the same. ID is based on scientific observation and reasoning whereas creationism is based on religious sources.”

    Very weak. Curly’s example is precisely the kind of evidence you would look for to show that the folks pushing “intelligent design” were simply searching for another way to package creationism so that it would pass constitutional muster in public schools. There’s enough smoke from that gun to send signals to anyone willing to use their own eyes.

  32. Cods Says:

    I think vbear is a poop head.

  33. Ben Says:

    I have the feeling that TFN doesn’t ban Larry from this blog simply because Larry is such a vivid reminder what we’re up against. Probably a wise move. Keep it up, Larry. You’re helping to coalesce the anti-zealot forces.

  34. Coragyps Says:

    “ID is based on scientific observation….”

    “ID scientists are always trying to find out more…..”

    My mom was from Missouri, too, Larry. Show me.

  35. Larry Fafarman Says:

    Skylep Says (May 1, 2009 at 11:54 am ) —
    –Uh, Larry, I having trouble finding anything incorrect in what the Judge said. Our Founding Fathers were remarkably and vivdily clear on what they thought of organized religion.–

    Uh, Skylep, your comment is so stupid that it is hardly even worth responding to. Judges can’t read into the Constitution anything that they damn please, even if they can find some evidence to back it up. A lot of people think that the USA was founded as a Christian nation and claim that they have evidence to prove it — would it be OK for a judge to make that interpretation of the establishment clause? And if Judge Jones’ and your interpretation is correct, then how come it appears nowhere — AFAIK — in court precedents? Judge Jones was expected to be neutral towards organized religions and he was not. If there is nothing incorrect in Judge Jones’ “true religion” statement, then why has he apparently never repeated that statement, not even to try to clarify it? I listened to his full Sept. 2008 talk at Case Western Reserve University and he did not mention his “true religion” idea, though he did mention other previous ideas of his, e.g., his erroneous notion that the work of judges is “workmanlike” and his notion that critics of his Dover decision have no respect for “the rule of law” and “judicial independence.”

    –Please know what you’re talking about when you say such things.–

    Just because you may know some little things that I don’t know doesn’t mean that it was OK for Judge Jones to say what he said.

    Every little thing I say here — even the indisputable things — is under attack. This is really taking away time that I should be spending writing articles for my blog.

  36. Lorenzo Sadun Says:

    These attempts by the social conservatives to push nonsense on our kids are truly offensive, and TFN is doing a great job of exposing it. However, eliminating the SBOE or removing its authority over curriculum is *not* the answer. Education standards, especially in social studies, are never objective. They always reflect our values, and the decision-makers should be accountable directly to the voters.

    We don’t need a different kind of Board. We need better Board members, who will appoint genuine experts and listen to their advice, instead of treating everything as a battle in the Culture Wars. That’s why I am running to unseat Cynthia Dunbar in District 10 (as are several other good people), and why several excellent candidates have lined up to challenge Ken Mercer in District 5. We could all use your support.

  37. James F Says:

    Lorenzo,

    Many thanks to you, and please keep us posted! My biggest question as an outsider is whether or not anyone other than a Republican can win in those districts – any chance of primary contenders as well as general election opponents?

  38. Ben Says:

    Go, Lorenzo!

  39. Ben Says:

    Yes, Larry, I’ve noticed that you haven’t been tending your blog lately. It’s left a gaping hole in my morning. Instead of reading your blog, I have to read things like the Austin American-Statesman or Time magazine. Please quit fooling around here and give your blog the attention it deserves. I’m sure hundreds, if not dozens, of your faithful readers are waiting.

  40. PHarvey Says:

    Lorenzo, any mainstream candidate has our support. But the Discovery Institute will back its own candidates and provide them with campaign funds that you cannot match. DI has found a way to “stack” the SBOE with right wing nut jobs and they won’t stop.

    The only way to prevent the SBOE from being manipulated and corrupted is to take away the bulk of their undeserved power and put it into the hands of professionals and experts. Then far right ideologues have no reason to seek a board seat.

  41. Larry Fafarman Says:

    TFN Says (May 1, 2009 at 12:20 pm) —
    –Very weak. Curly’s example is precisely the kind of evidence you would look for to show that the folks pushing “intelligent design” were simply searching for another way to package creationism so that it would pass constitutional muster in public schools.–

    Wrong. Very strong.

    The publishers of the book Of Pandas and People, the book in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case, did not coin the term “intelligent design”; they only adopted the term in the hope that the book would, as you say, “pass constitutional muster in public schools.” So the term “intelligent design” was not expressly coined for the purpose of “passing constitutional muster in public schools.” Also, the concept of intelligent design is much older than the Supreme Court’s Edwards v. Aguillard decision.

    Also, Pandas was intended to be a textbook. But most of the ID books out there are not intended to be textbooks and so do not need to “pass constitutional muster in public schools,” so why would these ID non-textbooks use the term “intelligent design” instead of “creationism” if what these books are talking about is really creationism?

    There is a big difference between creationism and intelligent design. Creationism — the purely religious kind — can be properly taught by anyone, e.g., typical parents and typical Sunday School and social studies teachers. However, some intelligent design concepts and other scientific & pseudoscientific criticisms of evolution are so technically sophisticated that they can be properly taught only by qualified — and maybe even only by specially trained — science teachers. You Darwinists are talking out of both sides of your mouths — you say that scientific or pseudoscientific criticisms of evolution only “confuse” students, yet you want these criticisms to be taught by unqualified people.

    Instead of looking at all the evidence, you Darwinists cherry-pick your evidence, like the clodhopper who was accused of stealing chickens:

    Defendant to witness: Did you see me go into the henhouse?

    Witness: Yes.

    Defendant: Did you see me come out of the henhouse?

    Witness: No.

    Defendant: Aha! Ise still in that henhouse!

  42. Curly Says:

    Hmm.. Really conflicted. On one hand I get comments like this from Larry which leads me to believe in a small percentage of success.

    “Every little thing I say here — even the indisputable things — is under attack. This is really taking away time that I should be spending writing articles for my blog.”

    On the other hand, I agree with Ben that Larry should tend to his own flock and leave the adult discussions to the rational people.

  43. Buhallin Says:

    “Instead of looking at all the evidence, you Darwinists cherry-pick your evidence”

    This from someone who claims Genesis is consistent by ignoring everything except for the first chapter.

  44. Curly Says:

    “Creationism — the purely religious kind”

    Hey Larry, you mean there is a secular (non-religious) kind of creationism?

    I am not going to debate intelligent design with someone like you. Consider yourself ignored by me in the future. Hey guys, let’s boycott Larry. I have had enough fun.

  45. Rocket Mike Says:

    Lorenzo, welcome to the fray! I don’t know which party you are going to represent in the SBOE election, but the Republican primary is the most vulnerable spot for Dumbar and Mercer. The demographics have been against any non-Republican challangers. So, even if you are going to challange from a different party, please try to get someone to give them hell in the Republican primary.

  46. PaulM Says:

    Consider Larry Boycotted. What he writes is irrational, can’t be logically followed, makes no sense, and is in many ways childish.

    Hey TFN. Its ok to block him now. There is no reason to give him a stage any longer. Our discussions are degenerating because of his presence. He adds nothing. he just irritates a lot of people.

  47. Larry Fafarman Says:

    Buhallin Says (May 1, 2009 at 6:59 pm) —
    –“Instead of looking at all the evidence, you Darwinists cherry-pick your evidence”

    This from someone who claims Genesis is consistent by ignoring everything except for the first chapter.–

    I separated out Genesis 1 because it has the creation story that corresponds to evolution. It would be arbitrary to include the rest of Genesis in the comparison to evolution just because the rest of Genesis also has the name “Genesis.” I’m glad to see that you finally forgave me for initially including Genesis 2 in the comparison.

    Evolution has been called “the creation story of atheism.” LOL

    The main discussion on this issue is in the following thread —

    http://tfnblog.wordpress.com/2009/04/23/is-gov-perry-abandoning-mcleroy/#comment-3456

    Curly Says:
    –“Creationism — the purely religious kind”

    Hey Larry, you mean there is a secular (non-religious) kind of creationism?–

    You have a nerve — you Darwinists are always using the term “intelligent design creationism,” yet you complain when I refer to “the purely religious kind” of creationism. I call it “the purely religious kind” to exclude creation science (scientific creationism), intelligent design, etc., which some people might include under the name “creationism.” These other things use scientific observations and scientific reasoning and so are not purely religious. Instead of saying “the purely religious kind,” I could have called it “biblical creationism,” but that would exclude non-biblical creation stories.

    –Consider yourself ignored by me in the future. —

    That suits me fine — that way I would not have to waste time answering your stupid comments.

    PaulM Moans:
    –Hey TFN. Its ok to block him now. There is no reason to give him a stage any longer. Our discussions are degenerating because of his presence. He adds nothing. he just irritates a lot of people.–

    “I’m always kicking their butts — that’s why they don’t like me.”
    — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

  48. Ben Says:

    I’d say Larry is the equivalent of Frank Burns.

  49. Ben Says:

    Larry, please visit this site:

    http://www.stmichael.pair.com/

    I think I found the relevant description:

    Diabolic Subjugation – The term indicates a voluntary pact–implicit or explicit—with Satan, by which we submit to the lordship of the demon. There are also involuntary times with the evil one; these cases fall into the preceding categories, especially the most severe: possession.

  50. Charles Says:

    If you go to Larry’s blog, he says that he created it because so many other blogs kick people off. Yet, he is always on other people’s blogs trying to get other people to go to his. Does that mean that he has been kicked off so many blogs that this is the only one left other than his own? Fascinating.

    Well. I have to tell you the truth. I have been kicked off two blogs myself. The ultra-rightwing fruitcake fringe hates me. By day, I am a mild-mannered scientist who works quietly at his job. However, as night falls, I metamorphose into a superhero known as “Mirrorman.”

  51. mark Says:

    If we are unable to determine the truth of a matter to be brought up in our educational system, all sides need to be impartially represented and the final decision left to the student. Don’t let these [deleted] decide what our children are taught.

  52. James F Says:

    I metamorphose into a superhero known as “Mirrorman.”

    You know I’ll change
    If change is what you require
    Your every wish
    Your every dream, hope, desire

    Here come the mirror man
    Says he’s a people fan
    Here come the mirror man

  53. Charles Says:

    I like it.

  54. Buhallin Says:

    “I separated out Genesis 1 because it has the creation story that corresponds to evolution.”

    Actually, you STILL haven’t read it enough to understand it, even after all that. The whole point I was making was that Genesis 1 and 2 are BOTH creation stories. Basing your claims on Genesis 1 while intentionally – and PROUDLY – dismissing the contradictory evidence in Genesis 2 has now gone beyond ignorance and into maliciousness, which kindly assumes you were simply ignorant in the first place.

    I don’t waste my time on liars, Larry.

  55. Kver Says:

    Has anybody tried to take this tack when dealing with Intelligent Design types:
    Your basic assumption is that if we look at all of the “fiddility bits” of cells we will find proof positive that an Intelligent Designer made some things that couldn’t have possibly evolved out of billions of years of mutation and random chance. So that a sort of “Made by God” sticker is applied to everything on the molecular level? If so, then you have just completely short circuited “religious faith” because any thing that you can infer to prove “God did it” means that faith in a supreme being is no longer required. On the other hand you are taking a slap at the almighty for his NOT being able to create a system that evades modern technology. Thus a derivative of the Intelligent Design movement would be “Our God is so stupid he left proof behind of his hand in creation” Hmmm, the ramifications of this are fairly astounding.
    1) The need to attend church is no longer required. The faith of millions in that God is there is no longer required. Stay home and get on with living. God IS there.
    2) To see this miracle of his revealing, every member of organized religion with need to take a college level micro-biology program to fully understand these new proofs. Lord knows what is written on Neisseriae bacterium? (Probably a little sign that says: Does not play well with others)
    3) All world religions will need to convert to Micro-Biology as their new “bible.” Tee-shirts that exclaim “We didn’t just outsmart the Darwinist, we outsmarted God!” become hot, must have items for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Ramadan.
    4) Because churches are no longer required (just big lecture halls at campuses) all that money for upkeep and paying the priest (or rabbi, etc.) can be directed to universities. A win-win situation. After all it’s hard to fight over beliefs anymore when the proof was right there in the packaging all along.
    5) Only people with the skills at working with DNA, micro-biology, and the new field “Designist Reading” can have a say in the matter. Answer in Genesis and that crowd of non-biologists will need to dissolve and file into the lecture halls for their training and education.

  56. der Brat Says:

    It is almost comical how every series of comments degenerates into a religious, creation-evolution, ignorance-driven series of diatribes. This started as commentary on the fact that members of the SBOE will next deal with social studies.

    In social studies, which includes geography, the connection with the bible is that it is a flat-earth, geocentric book. However, I doubt that even McLeroy or Dumbar … er … Dunbar will try to stick with that as literal truth on the subject. Any Christian that does not accept flat-earth “theory” is of the cafeteria variety.

    So, to be anything other than a cafeteria Christian (or other non-believer) is to be blind to many facts of the natural world. The bible is a book cobbled together from the works of several different people over different eras of history, and, its editors were woefully inept at avoiding factual errors and internal and logical inconsistency. As someone who is not a biblical scholar I can say this because I agree with Mark Twain’s comment that, “It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”

  57. Larry Fafarman Says:

    Buhallin barfed (May 2, 2009 at 10:35 pm) —
    –I don’t waste my time on liars, Larry.–

    When a public commenter at the SBOE hearings used the word “lying,” chairman McLeroy interrupted her, saying, “you can’t use that word here.” I think he had the right idea.

    –The whole point I was making was that Genesis 1 and 2 are BOTH creation stories. —

    I know that and never said otherwise. But only Genesis 1 has the complete creation story corresponding to all of evolution. Genesis 2 has only the creation of humans.

    Remember, you wanted to include all of Genesis in the creation story for the purpose of determining the creation story’s consistency — you said,
    This from someone who claims Genesis is consistent by ignoring everything except for the first chapter.

    –Basing your claims on Genesis 1 while intentionally – and PROUDLY – dismissing the contradictory evidence in Genesis 2 —

    I never “PROUDLY” dismissed the contradictory evidence, bozo. And there is no big contradiction — there only appears to be an inconsistency as to when humans were created. And if it is assumed that Genesis 2 only describes exactly how humans were created and not when humans were created, then there is no inconsistency at all! Genesis 2 says,

    These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,

    And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

    But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.

    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.

    And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed . . . . . . etc.
    King James version

    Nothing there specifically says when humans were created, and the mere fact that the above description of the creation of humans follows the statement that god rested on the seventh day does not necessarily mean that the creation of humans occurred after the seventh day.

    In contrast to the fairly straightforward creation story, the gospel is full of inconsistencies, illogic, ambiguities, and unintelligibility, and there is not just one gospel story but four of them! And both the gospel and the creation story contain the supernatural, so there is nothing to choose between them on that account. Yet the Darwinist cafeteria Christians accept the gospel literally but do not accept the creation story literally. These holier-than-thou Darwinist cafeteria Christians look down upon those who interpret the bible differently from the way they do. William Jennings Bryan said,
    If those who teach Darwinism and evolution, as applied to man, insist that they are neither agnostics nor atheists, but are merely interpreting the Bible differently from orthodox Christians, what right have they to ask that their interpretation be taught at public expense?

    However, unlike Bryan, I am not proposing that evolution not be taught in the public schools, but I think that scientific and pseudoscientific criticisms of evolution should be taught in public schools.

    Buhallin, you are not interested in having an intelligent conversation — you just want to play one-upmanship and “gotcha.”

  58. PaulM Says:

    Larry, you’re a nut.

  59. Larry Fafarman Says:

    Kver Says (May 2, 2009 at 11:42 pm ) —
    –Has anybody tried to take this tack when dealing with Intelligent Design types:
    Your basic assumption is that if we look at all of the “fiddility bits” of cells we will find proof positive that an Intelligent Designer made some things that couldn’t have possibly evolved out of billions of years of mutation and random chance . . . . .Thus a derivative of the Intelligent Design movement would be “Our God is so stupid he left proof behind of his hand in creation”–

    Yes, people have “tried to take this tack” with the ID types — William Dembski said,

    Howard Van Till’s review of my book No Free Lunch exemplifies perfectly why theistic evolution remains intelligent design’s most implacable foe. Not only does theistic evolution sign off on the naturalism that pervades so much of contemporary science, but it justifies that naturalism theologically — as though it were unworthy of God to create by any means other than an evolutionary process that carefully conceals God’s tracks. (emphasis added)

    der Brat Says (May 3, 2009 at 12:58 am) —
    –It is almost comical how every series of comments degenerates into a religious, creation-evolution, ignorance-driven series of diatribes. This started as commentary on the fact that members of the SBOE will next deal with social studies. —

    This comment thread did not “degenerate” into a debate about religion — religion was in the original TFN post.

    –In social studies, which includes geography, the connection with the bible is that it is a flat-earth, geocentric book . . . Any Christian that does not accept flat-earth “theory” is of the cafeteria variety. —

    Where does the bible say, imply or suggest that the earth is flat? And the bible only suggests geocentrism because the earth was created before the heavens were created. Also, it is a big myth that educated people prior to Columbus and Magellan believed that the earth is flat — see

    http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2008/10/flat-earth-straw-man.html

    Charles Says (May 2, 2009 at 10:07 am ) —
    –If you go to Larry’s blog, he says that he created it because so many other blogs kick people off. —

    Yes, but afterwards I discovered other good reasons for having a blog, e.g.: (1) a blog organizes and indexes information and ideas for future reference; and (2) you can link to articles in your blog (as I have done here).

    A lot of people have the mistaken idea that only trolls are kicked off of blogs.

    Ed Brayton kicked me off his blog permanently because my literal interpretation of a federal court rule was different from his preconceived notion of the purpose of the rule.

    I was kicked off of intelligent design blog Uncommon Descent because I complained that the blog had too much campaigning for Obama. Later, chief UD blogger William Dembski made the same complaint. I was denied reinstatement because I am a holocaust revisionist.

    PZ Myers kicked a commenter off of Panda’s Thumb for not sending money to the National Center for Science Education.

    One would think that John Kwok, who has called criticisms of Darwinism “mendacious intellectual pornography,” would be a perfect fit for PZ Myers’ Pharyngula blog, but Kwok was added to PZ’s “killfile dungeon” list of banned commenters. BTW, I am proud to be first on the list.

    Sometimes I can get around bans by using false names or anonymous proxies (which have IP addresses that are different from your or your ISP’s proxy IP address). But often the bloggers don’t just ban you but also ban your ideas, e.g., the blog of the Florida Citizens for Science requires me to have my ideas about coevolution pre-approved by “experts” before I can post them on the blog.

    IP address blocking is illegal or frowned upon in Europe and should be illegal in the USA.

    Often it is the most persuasive comments and commenters that are censored — unpersuasive comments and commenters are allowed to stay to show the supposed weakness of the opposition.

    Blogs where arbitrary censorship of visitors’ comments is practiced should not be cited by scholarly journal articles, court opinions, the established news media, or other authorities.

    PaulM Says:
    –Larry, you’re a nut.–

    “I’m always kicking their butts — that’s why they don’t like me.”
    — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

  60. Rocket Mike Says:

    La Fafa even quote mines the Bible. He leaves out the verses that say God created the animals after man in Genesis 2, whereas the animals are created first in Genesis 1.

    He appears to want to confuse people with talk about “when” man was created to gloss over the inconsistancy in the order of creation between the two versions.

    Here are the operative Genesis 2 verses that he left out;
    2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
    2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

  61. Larry Fafarman Says:

    Rocket Mike Moans,
    –La Fafa even quote mines the Bible. He leaves out the verses that say God created the animals after man in Genesis 2, whereas the animals are created first in Genesis 1. —

    I myself noticed that apparent omission of mine, but I wanted to see if anyone else would find it. You did. Congratulations. But I had no original intention to deceive.

    –Here are the operative Genesis 2 verses that he left out;
    2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
    2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

    But those verses do not actually say that god created the beasts and fowls after he created man. God may have decided before he created man that he would also create the beasts and fowls and actually created the beasts and fowls before man was created. The verses of Genesis 2 are not necessarily in chronological sequence.

    Admittedly, the combination of Genesis 1 and 2 could have been better written. But see how god is testing our faith by making Genesis 1 and 2 appear to be inconsistent?

    Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. John 20:29, King James version

    And this initial appearance of inconsistency in the chronological order of creation is nothing compared to the rampant inconsistencies, illogic, ambiguities, and unintelligibility of the gospel.

  62. jsb16 Says:

    Now I see why Larry’s here: he’s not just afraid that Texan children will learn biology instead of religion, he’s afraid they’ll learn history as it happened, instead of ignoring details that don’t fit his preconceived notions. Or perhaps he has some other “revision” of the Holocaust in mind that doesn’t deny the genocide…

  63. PaulM Says:

    La Fafa is not trying to gain cedibility with well read, educated people. He is appealing to the scientifically uneducated masses with his nonsense.

    Hey Larry, if you really have something (weaknesses, etc.), why don’t you present it at the university level and in scientific peer reviewed journals instead of trying to sway popular public opinion with your silly blog.

    If even half of the nonsense you spew was right, you would have a Nobel Prize by now if only you would present it in scholarly journals for peer review.

  64. Ben Says:

    Larry, when you touch holy water, does it burn?

  65. Charles Says:

    I do not think Larry is appealing to the uneducated masses because I am not sure they ever visit this blog. If they did, we would have long strings “attaboy” posts. Has anyone here ever seen an attaboy post for Larry?

  66. Charles Says:

    Someone above complained about the original post on social studies curriculum standards degenerating into a discussion on religion. You have to understand that this is both inevitable and proper because, just like in the science standards, the Texas SBOE is driven purely by narrow, personal religious motivations in their attempt to retool the social studies curriculum. There is also some traditional far right-wing paranoia, some bowing to conspiracy theory, and the lunatic ravings of Hal Lindsay/Tim LaHaye thrown in as seasoning.

    I could write a diatribe here, but I will spare you and jump to the ending. Here goes:

    “… and when the Great Liberal Crisis dawns, it will be used as the excuse to take away all of our neo-conservative lunatic rights and turn over American sovereignty from God to the the demon-driven United Nations. The United Nations will then be in a position to establish a one-world government. It will do so. This will set the final stage for the arrival of the Anti-Christ, who will then take over the one-world government.”

    I suppose the idea behind this is that if we teach our children David Barton’s false American history, our children will believe that America really is the second Israel established for that purpose by God himself, that they can make God happy by buying plenty of AK-47s, hand grenades, and rocket launchers when they grow up, kill all the liberals before they can generate a Great Liberal Crisis, retain American sovereignty, keep the United Nations in check, and prevent the Anti-Christ from taking the world stage.

    What’s the problem with that? Well, if you subscribe to Christian Neo-Fundamentalist theology, the big problem with that is that the advent of the Anti-Christ is not something people can stop. It is inevitable. It is going to happen no matter what these people teach their children or what those children do. You would think that they would have wised up to that by now and just let history take its appointed course—if it has indeed been appointed.

  67. Larry Fafarman Says:

    -jsb16 Says:
    -Or perhaps he has some other “revision” of the Holocaust in mind that doesn’t deny the genocide…–

    My views about the holocaust have nothing to do with my views about evolution, except: (1) my views about both reflect my willingness to question official dogma and (2) I believe that Darwin influenced Hitler.

    Your bringing up this off-topic issue of my views about the holocaust is just an ad hominem attack. Why can’t I be right about evolution even if I am wrong about the holocaust?

    BTW, the basic principle of my views about the holocaust is that a “systematic” Jewish holocaust was impossible because the Nazis had no objective and reliable ways of identifying Jews and non-Jews.

    PaulM Says:
    –Hey Larry, if you really have something (weaknesses, etc.), why don’t you present it at the university level and in scientific peer reviewed journals instead–

    There is more to life than peer review. Judge Jones’ touted Kitzmiller v. Dover decision was not “peer-reviewed” — i.e., it was never reviewed by a higher court. I made up this little limerick about that —

    Judge Jones once said that peer review
    is needed to show that something’s true.
    But that’s OK,
    he didn’t say
    his Dover ruling was peer-reviewed too.

    LOL

    Anyway, I am not a biologist and so I have no “peers.” Since when do peer-reviewed scientific journals accept articles from non-scientists? Can you give me a single example? Your insistence on “peer review” is just a cop-out. Everyone is welcome to come to my blog and leave comments about my views on coevolution —

    http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2009/01/summary-of-thoughts-about-co-evolution.html

  68. Curly Says:

    PaulM:

    He who shall not be named will respond with a link to its website and article on co-evolution and discuss how it has been banned, unfairly scrutinized, and not listened to. Just wait and see.

    We really should just ignore “he who shall not be named”. It was fun for a little bit.

  69. Curly Says:

    Some additional comments by “it”:

    http://www.jewcy.com/post/jewish_intelligent_design_proponents_are_jewish_uncle_toms#comment-22141

    Oh “it’s” favorite two themes again.

    A great post by Ed Brayton

    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2006/05/good_ol_larry_fafarman_part_2.php

    There is also this quote gem on another post from Ed Brayton’s blog:
    “I don’t think I am being immodest when I say that I am a great unrecognized legal genius.”

    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2007/07/fafarman_loses_it_again.php

  70. PaulM Says:

    Larry, you admit you are not a biologist and have no peers but you write about all the problems with evolution (and many other things) and want to be considered credible. But you are not an expert on anything. All this from a retired 62 year old mechanical engineer.

    Well, you have convinced me that you are immensly qualified to revise history and overturn the overall concensus of science (sarcasm).

    You are a great example of why we must protect society from the damage nuts like you can do if allowed to run rampant and unchecked.

    From now on you will be ignored by me and In hope everyone else will follow suite.

  71. Ben Says:

    Has anyone here ever been able to swivel his or her head a full 360 degrees?

    Anyone?

  72. Larry Fafarman Says:

    TFN, I demand that I be given carte blanche to make any kind of response to comments that attack me personally. “Curly” posted links to articles on Ed Brayton’s blog that are highly derogatory of me. Previously you would not publish my comment that called Ed Brayton “Fatheaded Ed” and a “BVD-clad blogger.” As for Curly, he is a stupid crackpot. I demand that your discriminatory treatment of me cease forthwith.

  73. TFN Says:

    Larry, we’re not particularly inclined to handle “demands” nicely. We’ve allowed quite a few of your own epithets over time. Go back and check your posts. But are insults like “Fatheaded Ed” really necessary to further a discussion or to defend yourself? Of course not. We’d prefer everybody pull back a bit on the insults.

  74. Ben Says:

    Yes, let’s forego the insults, and instead ask the hard questions that need to be asked. Like these:

    Larry, has your bed ever levitated off the floor? Have you ever spoken in the voice of a priest’s dead mother?

  75. Kver Says:

    Larry:
    I thought you wouldn’t rise to meet my parody/satire, I guess that’s what I get for thinking.

  76. Curly Says:

    I apologize for posting the links and will refrain from additional comments towards “you-know-who” in the future. The links were posted for the forum members to show a pattern of unwilling cooperation, ludicrous commenting topics, demands and harassment. This isn’t a new thing and only issolated to this blog. The pattern goes back several years and extends to several blogs/sites. I just wanted to clarify my purpose for doing so.

    I look forward to commenting on your well-researched articles in the future.

  77. Larry Fafarman Says:

    Kver Says:
    –Larry:
    I thought you wouldn’t rise to meet my parody/satire, I guess that’s what I get for thinking.–

    What? I responded to your “parody/satire” right here —

    http://tfnblog.wordpress.com/2009/04/30/ed-board-extremists-target-social-studies/#comment-3567

    And your comment wasn’t even directed at me. Since when am I expected to respond to everything that is posted here?

    BTW, did Chris Comer file an appeal of the dismissal of her wrongful termination suit against the Texas Education Agency? If not, time has run out for her.

  78. Buhallin Says:

    “Buhallin, you are not interested in having an intelligent conversation — you just want to play one-upmanship and “gotcha.””

    For the record, I’m very interested in having an intelligent conversation.

    That’s why I’ve given up conversing with Larry.

  79. Kimberly Griffith Says:

    I’m on the social studies TEKS revision committee. I have a bachelor’s degree in government and a master’s degree in education; I’ve been teaching for 12 years. My grade-level committee has four teachers and two university professors on it. We’re trying to update the current TEKS, take into consideration the revisions recommended by the Texas Social Studies Council, and remain virtually aligned with other grade levels. We’re volunteers, and we considered this task an honor. We have been woefully unprepared for the libel and slander that has greeted us since the SBOE released our first draft for approval by the Texas Public Policy Foundation. There has been no indication so far that ANYBODY on the SBOE has even read our recommended revisions; they’ve been relying on ‘expert’ (not the revision committees; we’ve been painted as commie pinko anti-Americans) opinions. I dread going back this summer to listen to the ‘experts’ that have been appointed to oversee our work; the ironic thing is, the experts are already on the revision committees.

  80. Charles Says:

    Kimberly.

    You have my utmost sympathy and empathy. It must be an awful circumstance. As I have said before, this whole sordid saga is like the witch trials in medieval Europe and Salem, Massachusetts. The only difference is that ideas are on trial rather than people. However, if you think about it, you will see that people are wedded to their ideas about as much as kinship weds one to other people. It must have been an awful trauma for a man to see his innocent wife burned at the stake in the Middle Ages. In many ways today (in all this mess), it is just about as traumatic to see the innocence of “truth” burned at the stake by narrow-minded and self-righteous religious zealots, but that is precisely what we are witnessing.

    When I was a child, I remember reading about the witch trials and similar matters like Aztec human sacrifice in my Golden Book Encyclopedia and thinking, “Boy, am I ever glad no one is stupid enough to do that kind of stuff these days!!!” So much for childhood innocence. As an adult, I think the truth of the matter is that human nature as a whole never really changes and that every time and place in human history (including our own) has a small handful of people who are just itching for a chance to be the one who lights the wood under an innocent “witch” or who craves the opportunity to rip out a human heart with an obsidian blade and offer it to the gods. If we have learned anything from human history, we should have learned that such people need to be identified as soon as possible and stopped before they hurt themselves and other people.

  81. TXatheist Says:

    Larry, if ID is not religion then why was the original founder of ID, Philip Johnson, also the one to push the Wedge Strategy which is nothing more than an attempt to say evolution can’t explain every detail and therefore ID should be discussed? I’m for discussing ID in comparative religion classes or mythology class but there is nothing testable about ID.

  82. DaveY Says:

    bye bye Larry. Go tend to your blog if that’s what you want & stop wasting our time & your hot air.

  83. Gerri Allen Says:

    I must confess I have not read ev ery word in this email, but I am sick at heart at what appears to have happened to so much of our population. Ev en our president “lost it” and called the actions of a policeman who arrested a man for being in his own house “stupid.” I agree with our president. When you consider our national politics along with our education problems (Doesn’t Texas rank 47th or 48, somewhere near the bottom of the list of states?) I fear we will soon be a third world country. Or worse–because we know how to make so many weapons that can kill millions of people. A nd obviously we do LOVE WAR . Right now we have another well-educated and extremely intelligent couple in the White House. But what intelligence and goodwill can do appears to be no match for the mean lunatics who follow one ideology. What can we do? What we are doing is not getting our country what we need. Sincerely, Gerri Allen

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