The Three Musketeers vs D’Artagnan

Every few years the world of the supporters of Intelligent Design becomes ecstatic when the founding father of their thought liberating movement – Dr. Michael Behe – publishes a new book against Darwinism…Due to that, apparently some churches’ records show an increased mass attendance, confessions, donations…etc. It is almost as if one the apostles of Jesus Christ wrote another book of the Bible even though Behe clams his publications are not religious but rather scientific…

But not everyone is celebrating… Does this mean the end of evolution?

The Intelligent Design movement has many powerful enemies who not only represent the opposite to ID, or atheistic (materialism), views of life origins. Some even claim to support intelligent design…of sort, as long as that design also includes evolution…Confused? Wait until the debate gets heated… 😉

So, what’s this book kerfuffle all about, one might ask?

Well, in short: some of most profound world views are colliding…again… as Behe and many of his comrades at the Discovery Institute also had published many books and papers in the past.

The Three Musketeers of neo-Darwinism, or some sort of theistic evolutionary theory, involved in the upcoming debate are represented by:

Dr. Richard Lenski – an experimental scientist who claims to have achieved an equivalency of millions of years of human evolution by growing bacteria in the lab for the last 25 years…

Dr. Nathan Lents – Professor of Biology, John Jay College; Admin, The Human Evolution Blog; Blogger, Psychology Today; Author of “Not So Different” and “Human Errors.”

Dr. S. Joshua Swamidass, MD PhD, a professor at Washington University in Saint Louis, the confessing scientists and a Christian, who some believe became “the devil’s advocate” in order to defeat the enemy of true science (in this case represented by neo-Darwinism or evolution) the intelligent design movement and its founding father Michael Behe…

Today, February 7th at 2 pm, of unknown time zone, “the circus” (as Swamidass described it) of the differing worldviews will have begun; the three musketeers against the lone ranger, Dr. Michael Behe, PhD- Professor of Biological Sciences at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.

What’s at stake? Some might agree that everything…

The subject of the first stage of “the circus” and the major speck in the eyes of the three musketeers representing evolution is the book by Michal Behe:

Darwin Devolves: The New Science About DNA That Challenges Evolution

This article criticizing Behe’s book and the discussion blog will appear at Science Magazine:
http://science.sciencemag.org/content/363/6427/590

https://blogs.sciencemag.org/books/2019/02/07/darwin-devolves/

It should be entertaining 😉 I hope to be a small part of it… Some of my colleagues promised to join in as well…

Let the hunger games of Evolution vs ID begin!!! 😉

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453 thoughts on “The Three Musketeers vs D’Artagnan

  1. Mung: That’s your personal interpretation

    So what’s your interpretation? why being so coy about it? come on, Mung, enlighten us

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  2. DNA_Jock: His books seem to be more artfully written.

    But his book is clearly wrong. 100% of the mutations were damaging! Didn’t you read the table he posted?

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  3. dazz: So what’s your interpretation?

    That the ones that were damaging support his claims, not that all mutations were damaging.

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  4. Mung: That the ones that were damaging support his claims, not that all mutations were damaging.

    How so? Also the test wasn’t even conceived to properly detect damaging substitutions as already mentioned. But even if it did, how would the actual ApoB data support his claims if half the substitutions are benign?

    I can totally predict your next move: more evasive bullshit

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  5. Mung: That the ones that were damaging support his claims, not that all mutations were damaging.

    But Behe does claim that all mutations were “very likely to be damaging” in APOB Mung. The original table has two columns. In the one omitted by Behe two of those mutations were predicted to be benign. Even in the mutilated table, there’s two categories for “damaging,” and one category is “less likely” to be “very likely damaging” that the other. Yet, Behe claimed “very likely” for all of them.

    Also, if Behe had checked the nature of those mutations, what was substituted by what, he could have decided which column to trust better, and, even, decide that most of the supposedly damaging mutations were neutral. But he wouldn’t even attempt to do that. I’m left wondering why.

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  6. Behe edited (mutilated, even) Table S7 when he posted it at ENV, but gave it the caption:

    Below is the relevant information from Liu et al.’s Table S7. Those who can understand the table will see that it supports every actual, undistorted claim I made about the polar bear.

    Are you willing to admit, Mung, that that was a dishonest thing to do?

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  7. colewd,
    In the book, Behe claims “…the magnificent Ursus maritimus has adjusted to its harsh environment mainly by degrading genes its ancestors already possessed.”
    If there is some context that I am missing, please provide it.
    Perhaps he has some support for this claim, other than Liu et al, which does not support his claim at all..
    Enlighten me.
    Separately, how would you characterize Behe’s mutilation of Table S7 and his claim that the mutilated table represents the relevant information?
    ROFL.
    Finally, “ad hominem”, you keep using that…

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  8. Mung: The claim the made in his book?

    If he did not misquote his own book in his own blog, then yes, those claims.

    It’s worse than I thought. I just checked the mutations in LYST, and most if not all of them were predicted to be benign in both columns! Yet from his own blog:

    A second highly-selected gene, LYST, is associated with pigmentation, and changes in it are probably responsible for the blanching of the ancestor’s brown fur. Computer analysis of the multiple mutations of the gene showed that they, too, were almost certainly damaging to its function.

    See that he doesn’t say “a few of the mutations”? He says “the multiple mutations.” Behe didn’t exclude any of them from being “almost certainly damaging to its function.”

    Holy crap.

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  9. dazz: I can totally predict your next move: more evasive bullshit

    Meanwhile the rotting corpse of your false claim about Behe continues to stink up the place. Why not do something about it?

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  10. Mung:
    Meanwhile the rotting corpse of your false claim about Behe continues to stink up the place. Why not do something about it?

    Seriously Mung? Read above.

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  11. DNA_Jock: Are you willing to admit, Mung, that that was a dishonest thing to do?

    I don’t know if it was dishonest or not. How am I supposed to tell whether it is dishonest? Behe listed only the damaging but told people where to go to get the full info? That was dishonest?

    It depends on what claims he was making and what claims he thought he was defending. Do I think he deliberately misrepresented something? No.

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  12. Holy crap indeed. Of the seven mutations in LYST, either four* or six are “benign” per Liu et al.
    Six-out-of-seven “benign” becomes “Computer analysis of the multiple mutations of the gene showed that they, too, were almost certainly damaging to its function. ”
    Do tell, book-buyers, is Behe accurately quoting his own book?
    Is the bogus claim in print, or only online?

    I must admit that I had given him the benefit of the doubt on LYST, and assumed that it had suffered loss-of-function. Hey, that might still be the case, but let’s not lie about the data, huh?

    *depending on the algorithm used.

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  13. Mung: It depends on what claims he was making and what claims he thought he was defending. Do I think he deliberately misrepresented something? No.

    Check what I wrote Mung! Don’t answer in haste. Clearly Behe cherry-picked and misrepresented the data. Read above!

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  14. Mung: Meanwhile the rotting corpse of your false claim about Behe continues to stink up the place. Why not do something about it?

    And there’s your evasive BS, hahahaha.
    I stand by what I said

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  15. So the evolutionist canard that he is mis representing claims we got your guys nonsense can we move on to substance?

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  16. colewd,

    Okay. So instead of asking for any evidence that Behe supported his claim that “…the magnificent Ursus maritimus has adjusted to its harsh environment mainly by degrading genes its ancestors already possessed.”, you want to move on to the ‘substantive’ issue of whether there is any evidence to support his claim that “…the magnificent Ursus maritimus has adjusted to its harsh environment mainly by degrading genes its ancestors already possessed.”
    As you wish.
    My previous comment was an invitation to do just that. What evidence can you offer, bearing in mind that Liu et al is no help whatsoever?
    But I should warn you, your argumentum ad anatidae exit from the arena will be seen as an admission that Behe is guilty of mis-representation; it’s your choice to walk away from that conversation.

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  17. Lenski, one of the three musketeers has written 3 responses to Darwin Devolves on his blog:
    3. Is the LTEE breaking bad?

    https://telliamedrevisited.wordpress.com/2019/02/26/is-the-ltee-breaking-bad/

    In it Lenski admits that his LTEE experiment over 70 000 generations has shown that Darwinism mainly breaks down BUT his experiment was not DESIGNED “…to be a test-bed for the evolution of new function…”

    The LTEE was designed (intelligently, in my opinion!) to be extremely simple in order to address some basic questions about the dynamics and repeatability of evolution, while minimizing complications. It was not intended to mimic the complexities of nature, nor was it meant to be a test-bed for the evolution of new functions.”

    So, what was Lenski’s experiment DESIGNED to test then if the evolution of new function wasn’t the goal? Is it the way science is supposed work? Why would spend 30 year on testing things even creationists know and don’t even dispute? 🤔

    Speaking of wasting 30 years not to mention taxpayers money…🤗

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  18. DNA_Jock: I must admit that I had given him the benefit of the doubt on LYST, and assumed that it had suffered loss-of-function. Hey, that might still be the case, but let’s not lie about the data, huh?

    On what evidence would you doubt this?
    Are you trying to become entro-dazz-okapinist?😉
    You can do better than that…Jock

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  19. Though unable to comment there, I still glance at Uncommon descent. If nothing else, Denyse O’Leary often links to interesting science articles. But who do I see commenting in a thread on the release of Michael Behe’s new book:

    I get the distinct feeling that Joshua Swamidass didn’t actually read the book before “reviewing” it. It’s available on Kindle today.

    @ Mung,

    Do you seriously suggest this?

    ETA,

    Upthread, you wrote:

    Meanwhile the rotting corpse of your false claim about Behe continues to stink up the place. Why not do something about it?

    I could ask “Meanwhile the rotting corpse of your false claim about Swamidass continues to stink up the place. Why not do something about it?”

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  20. colewd:
    So the evolutionist canard that he is mis representing claims we got your guys nonsense can we move on to substance?

    So you have no problem with Behe’s obvious misrepresentation of the data? Then I have nothing to add. If your beliefs depend on dishonesty, what can I say?

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  21. J-Mac:
    On what evidence would you doubt this?

    DNA_Jock presented the evidence just above what you quoted J-Mac:

    DNA_Jock:
    Holy crap indeed. Of the seven mutations in LYST, either four* or six are “benign” per Liu et al.
    Six-out-of-seven “benign” becomes “Computer analysis of the multiple mutations of the gene showed that they, too, were almost certainly damaging to its function.”

    Your lack of abilities to read for comprehension continue to baffle me. I think you won’t get it this time around either.

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  22. J-Mac: So, what was Lenski’s experiment DESIGNED to test then if the evolution of new function wasn’t the goal?

    You clearly do not understand how science works.

    Lenski was doing the old “Let’s try this out and see what happens” kind of experiment. And that’s really at the core of science.

    Science is driven by human curiosity. And if you take curiosity to be an emotion, there goes the idea that science must be free of emotion.

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  23. Entropy,

    I don’t think he has or needs to. The data speaks for itself. He provided links to the original data for all to view. You dont like Behe and I got that and your attentmpt to label him is duley noted but the main players respect him so I think you need a new strategy.

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  24. colewd: The data speaks for itself. He provided links to the original data for all to view

    And what is the data telling us, Bill? Please, be specific

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  25. colewd:
    Entropy,
    I don’t think he has or needs to. The data speaks for itself. He provided links to the original data for all to view. You dont like Behe and I got that and your attentmpt to label him is duley noted but the main players respect him so I think you need a new strategy.

    Bill, you didn’t look at the data. You didn’t check my link either. So I repeat: he claims that all the mutations in one gene, LYST, were “almost certainly damaging,” yet the table shows four-to-6 (depending on the method) of those seven mutations to be benign. Do you really not see the problem here? If he misrepresented the data, it doesn’t matter how many others respect him, what matters is the facts, and he’s got them not-just-wrong, but misrepresented.

    Do you really not care if his claims are “supported” that way? Really Bill?

    ETA: I actually liked Behe. I met the guy in person. Finding such clear misrepresentation took me by surprise. Now I’d rather not see him face-to-face. I could not handle the disgust.

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  26. dazz:
    And what is the data telling us, Bill? Please, be specific

    I doubt that Bill will take a serious look. If anything, he’ll answer without looking.

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  27. Alan Fox: I could ask “Meanwhile the rotting corpse of your false claim about Swamidass continues to stink up the place. Why not do something about it?”

    You could ask that. But you failed to state what false claim about Swamidass I made. So it’s just not the same as the comment by dazz, in which he was clearly mistaken, and refuses to be corrected.

    Are you referring to “the distinct feeling” that I have? You think that’s a false claim about Swamidass? It’s not, it’s a claim about me.

    I also have the distinct feeling that Lenski didn’t read the book either before allowing his name to be attached to the Science “review.”

    You realize, do you not, that it was Lents that was asked to write the review and who was provided with the book. How and why were Swamidass and Lenski added?

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  28. Entropy: He claims that all the mutations in one gene were “almost certainly damaging,” yet the table shows four-to-6 (depending on the method) of those seven mutations to be benign.

    Which gene, APOB?

    ETA: Ah, you edited your post to specify LYST?

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  29. Mung:
    Which gene, APOB?
    ETA: Ah, you edited your post to specify LYST?

    Yep. The comment where I first described this one was directed at you.

    I’m surprised and disgusted. Of course, you’ll find a way to justify it to yourself. I don’t care. At this point I lost all the respect I could have had for Behe.

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  30. Now, in his book, Behe explicitly states that he is talking about the mutations under the strongest selection. That has to be taken into account if we want to understand him.

    Any disagreement on that?

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  31. Mung:
    Now, in his book, Behe explicitly states that he is talking about the mutations under the strongest selection. That has to be taken into account if we want to understand him.

    Any disagreement on that?

    I truly don’t know if you’re asking me. Either way, he quotes his own book in his own blog entry. In the parts quoted from the book, he describes the mutations in that gene, with no exclusions (he talks about “the multiple mutations”), as “almost certainly” damaging, the table doesn’t show such a thing.

    Now, your attempt at an excuse: I don’t see how he’d determine that the only one mutation in the gene that’s predicted to be somewhat damaging by both methods, or the three predicted by one of the methods as damaging (two of them benign according to the second method), would be the one(s) under the strongest selection, nor why he’d describe the mutations as if they were “almost certainly” damaging to the function of the gene’s product.

    I’d say that you’re grasping for straws here, and I suspect that you would not be 1% as forgiving if this was a discussion about evolution doing all right without magical intervention (or something else you might not like). So I leave you now to your self-deception. If I continue I might end up insulting you, and there’s no point in that.

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  32. Mung,
    The mutations, rather than the genes? How does Behe distinguish the different selection pressures that apply to the different mutations within the genes under the strongest selection?

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  33. Mung: You realize, do you not, that it was Lents that was asked to write the review and who was provided with the book. How and why were Swamidass and Lenski added?

    I have the distinct impression Joshua Swamidass has read Darwin Devolves. Have you asked him? Lenski is writing his own review, I see, so I would imagine he has.

    ETA a bit late with typo editing

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  34. Mung: Now, in his book, Behe explicitly states that he is talking about the mutations under the strongest selection. That has to be taken into account if we want to understand him.

    Any disagreement on that?

    If you really mean mutations rather than genes, then yes, I disagree with that. It amounts to begging the question.

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  35. “We interrupt our irregularly scheduled blogging to wish the long-term evolution experiment a very fit 31st birthday!”

    31 more years of LTEE by Lenski, which will accomplish what???
    Nothing? Because it has not accomplished anything for the last 31 years?
    The problem seems to be the “design” of the experiment which, for some reason, could not have been adjusted for 31 years and it will not be for the next 31…
    The belief needs to be kept on a life-support… 😉

    https://telliamedrevisited.wordpress.com/2019/02/24/we-interrupt-this-program/

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  36. Alan Fox: I have the distinct impression Joshua Swamidass has read Darwin Devolves.

    Then how do you explain the reviewers missing things that are actually in book?

    Have you examined the content of the review to see how much of it actually engages with something taken from the book rather than focusing on things Behe has written in the past?

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  37. Mung: Then how do you explain the reviewers missing things that are actually in book?

    Have you examined the content of the review to see how much of it actually engages with something taken from the book rather than focusing on things Behe has written in the past?

    Science should retract the review….it’s an embarrassment to good science… whatever that means today…
    ETA: If big newspapers publish their reviews and they are similar to my Kill-Bear, Science will have no choice but to retract the review… Toronto Star is interested in publishing the review by my business partner… 🙂

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  38. Mung: Typical Swamidass. He really did read Behe’s work. Just vague enough to be useless.

    They have the measure of you however.

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  39. OMagain: They have the measure of you however.

    As someone who should be marginalized. Yes.

    The Mismeasure of Mung. Hmm…

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  40. One of the additions to the 3 musketeers, Jerry Coyne, has recently embarrassed himself on public television with the dead notion of human errors=no designer… I just don’t understand why anybody would put Jerry on national television to make a fool of himself? I think that the American Cat Protection Society should complain along with the other societies that get money to protect the society from…I can’t find the word to describe this nonsense… I’m sorry… Is this the Twilight Zone?

    https://evolutionnews.org/2019/03/welcome-jerry-coyne-to-the-exciting-field-of-intelligent-design-research/

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  41. Behe responsible for anti-vaxxing and climate change denialism:

    “Darwin Devolves is being released at a time when science in the U.S. is under assault. Unfounded fear of vaccines has led to measles epidemics. Climate change is causing irreversible damage. And the proper teaching of evolutionary science is being undermined by local school boards. By publishing a response to Darwin Devolves in the flagship journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the AAAS is signaling its willingness to call out pseudoscience and defend the facts supported by scientific research.”
    https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-02/tcuo-dds021119.php

    Could Behe be charged with Kennedy’s assassination?

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  42. 2 more musketeers have joined the mob of bullies to attack and misrepresent D’Artagnan…They are not even hiding their real motives behind the assault:

    ” By reviewing Behe’s latest book, we run the risk of drawing attention—or worse, giving credibility—to his ideas. Books like Darwin Devolves, however, must be openly challenged and refuted, even if it risks giving publicity to misbegotten views. Science benefits from public support. Largely funded by federal grants, scientists have a moral responsibility (if not a financial obligation) to ensure that the core concepts of our respective fields are communicated effectively and accurately to the public and to our trainees. This is particularly important in evolutionary biology, where—over 150 years after On the Origin of Species—less than 20% of Americans accept that humans evolved by natural and unguided processes (Gallup 2014). It is hard to think of any other discipline where mainstream acceptance of its core paradigm is more at odds with the scientific consensus.

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/evo.13710

    Can some please pinch me and assure me this is not a script from the twilight zone?

    https://youtu.be/Gdo3BP3m42I

    I have a dilemma again… the 7 or 8 musketeers have given too many ideas for OPs…🤗

    ETA: I forgot to mention that the misrepresentions are fully supported by the “christian” organization of peaceful scientists…
    This will blow up right in their faces… I guarantee it 😉

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  43. DNA_Jock:
    Thanks for the link, J-Mac. Interesting article.

    This is actually my favorite part of the of the review:

    “Why evolution by natural selection is difficult for so many to accept is beyond the scope of this review; however, it is not for a lack of evidence: the data (only some of which we present here) are more than sufficient to convince any open‐minded skeptic that unguided evolution is capable of generating complex systems. A combination of social and historical factors creates a welcoming environment for an academic voice that questions the scientific consensus. Darwin Devolves was designed to fit this niche.”

    Darwinists have an inherent gift of leaving me wanting more whenever they publish papers or reviews… There is always the killer data, evidence, experiments that didn’t fit, but they do exist…There are always excuses as to why the weaker data, evidence or experiments were mentioned in the paper but the killers were left out…

    Lents has been threatening with the longer, detailed killer data, evidence and experiments paper coming out soon…but I already know its just a bluff to buy out more time for most people to forget his inadequacy…

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  44. Okay, that last sentence broke my irony meter. And I had it turned ALL THE WAY down.

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  45. DNA_Jock:
    Okay, that last sentence broke my irony meter. And I had it turned ALL THE WAY down.

    So, you think, or believe, Lents has something that will kill Darwin Devolves?
    I hope you remember that most Darwinists already acknowledged that Darwin Devolves (breaks) sometimes… due to broken genes in polar bear hair follicle cells…

    What else does he have? The ApoB protein??? You know how those interpretations of data work…they can go either way…sometimes…I’ve already given out enough hints for someone like you to figure it out… 😉

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  46. J-Mac,

    You’d hope that someone who wasn’t bluffing would do more than hint. Indeed, someone with a message to convey might actually convey it.

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