Esoteric Dissertations from a One-Track Mind

September 16, 2009

The Only Show On Earth: The Evidence for Creation

Filed under: books, humor, religion, science — Tags: , , , — codesmithy @ 10:26 am

John Crace produced a piece of satire of Richard Dawkins’ new book The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution.  The good professor complained in the comments that he thought it was off the mark.  Crace didn’t really capture Dawkin’s flavor.  So, I decided to give it a go.  I used an excerpt from “The Times” as the basis. It probably follows the original too closely, and I certainly wouldn’t be able to defend myself from charges of plagirism, but hopefully it hits the mark of a hypothetical bizarro-Dawkins, who I’ve named Dick Rowlings.

Quick, Hide the Children!  The Evolutionists are Coming!

An excerpt from The Only Show On Earth: The Evidence for Creation by Jesus’ Chaplain Dick Rowlings

Imagine that you are a Sunday School teacher eager to impart your knowledge of the Bible into young children. Now, the Bible is a very long book and it takes repetition, repetition and more repetition before those young ones will stop asking silly questions and just accept what they are being told. Yet you find your time continually preyed upon by a baying pack of mis-educated young children who insist that we share a common ancestor with all living creatures. Therefore there was no Adam and Eve as it is written in Genesis, and therefore there was no original sin.

Instead of devoting your full attention to explaining how God gave us rainbows as a sign that He would never flood the whole world again, you are forced to divert your time and energy to a rearguard defense of the propositions that God exists and the foundational doctrines of the church! A proposition that would make you weep like a statue of Mary if you weren’t so busy repeating: the Bible is true, because it is the word of God, because it says so!

Fashionably, liberal Christians chime in to insist that the story of the flood and creation are just allegory. Good thing they aren’t real Christians, because this is a slippery-slope. Once you accept the fact some of the Bible might not be true, you start questioning every part. It is no longer good enough to say the Bible is true, because it is the word of God, because it says so! You would need evidence independent of God’s word in order to decide the question, which is just silly because what better evidence could you have than God’s word?

The plight of many religious teachers is no less dire. When they attempt to impart the central and guiding principles of faith, they are harassed with unending questions and constantly admonished for their answers, as if God’s own words were not good enough. It is a sad state of affairs to have one’s time wasted with smirks and folded arms of obviously misdirected children. It is requires many discussions with the children’s parents before they will start to display the proper attitude (I find threatening to take away their Christmas presents to be particularly effective in adjusting children’s attitudes, Jesus is the reason for the season after all).

It is frequently, and correctly, said by many prominent scientists and engineers that science, in principle, has nothing to say about religion. Steven Jay Gould, an atheist and biologist, promoted “non-overlapping magisteria” which is another way of saying that science is a trade, and that is all it is, a trade. We can look at the scientists themselves for proof of this, always pointing out how studying E. Coli bacteria will allow us to create new drugs for fighting  drug resistant bacteria that spontaneously came into existence (I suspect this is part of God’s plan to keep the scientists employed.  Isn‘t He so thoughtful?).

Science may show us how to build a better mouse-trap, with the help of a little divine inspiration of course, but science tells us nothing about the universe we inhabit or helps us understand where we came from or where we are going. For that, we need the Bible. Thinking that science reveals any truth about the nature of our existence is “scientism” which is obviously a wrongheaded philosophy because it doesn’t accept the authority of the Bible, God‘s own words!

The Only Show on Earth is about the positive evidence for creation. The Bible already provides 100% certainty that we were specially created in God’s own image. But, I will provide additional evidence that makes us at least 1,000,000% sure.

We are like detectives who come on the scene after a crime has been committed. The murderer’s actions have vanished into the past. This is exactly why the only reliable evidence we will have is written eyewitness testimony of the being who was actually there: God. This is not intended as an anti-atheist book. I’ve done that, it’s another very tall hat and slightly different collar. Although, I’m happy to say “Those Deluded Atheists” has apparently become a little bit of an international best-seller with brisk sales in Turkey.

By the end of this book you will see that creation is an inescapable fact, and we should praise God’s astonishing power. Hallelujah! God created everything within us, around us, between us, and his works are present in the flowers, the clouds and especially rainbows (for more about rainbows see my book “God Gave Us Rainbows, The End.”) Given that, none of us were around when God created everything, we shall revisit the metaphor of the detective having to blindly rely on eyewitness testimony. We all know that there is no more reliable and trustworthy source of evidence than eyewitness testimony, but it is better than that. It is the eyewitness testimony of the most honest, intelligent, loving and interesting being you could possibly wish to meet, and someday, some of us will. I will also show how we can use this testimony to integrate other facts that some atheistic evolutionists claim refute creation such as, the similarities of DNA code that fall neatly into a family tree. Well thanks to the eyewitness testimony we know that this is actually proof of God reusing the same designs, isn‘t He so smart? Vestigial organs, we know these serve purposes in the body, such as the newly discovered ability of the appendix to help fight infection.  A truth real Christians knew before those scientists with their microscopes could figure it out.  Fossils?  The result of the flood. The list goes on and on. In short, you won’t put down this book doubting creation, because if you do, you are calling God a liar!

Did I say 1,000,000% certain? More like 10,000,000%.

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August 24, 2008

The Genius of Richard Dawkins

Filed under: culture, science — Tags: — codesmithy @ 9:53 am

Richard Dawkins finished up the series The Genius of Charles Darwin for Channel 4 and various youtube can be tracked down for those interested in watching.  In the series, Richard Dawkins takes some jabs at the god hypothesis.  I don’t agree with Dawkins on everything.  His attitude towards the science teachers seemed a little harsh.  I highly doubt a science teacher in the United Kingdom are tenured.  As a student of evolution, he should be adept at recognizing aspects of the environment that favor the behavior the teachers exhibited.

Nevertheless, Richard Dawkins is an unreasonable man.  It is part of what makes him great.  His goal is not to adapt himself to the world he finds himself in, but rather to change the way the world thinks.

Dawkins is simply uncompromising when it comes truth we see with our own eyes.  Science demands skepticism, it encourages us to ask questions and provides a way, albeit meticulous, to answer them.  Dawkins finds it positively insulting for someone to deny the evidence for evolution, as well he should.  People who deny the evidence for evolution should be considered more fringe than those who deny the evidence for the Holocaust on any objective scale.

It has been said that science is friend that sometimes tells you inconvenient truths.  Dawkins, as a scientific man, embodies that ethos.  Much like his atheism, he just takes it a step further.  He will not allow people to believe a lie.  He rails against the relativism of the age and the moral turpitude it betrays in his colleagues.  Science isn’t the esoteric knowledge confined to privledged elites in ivory towers.  It is to be shared, and if people don’t believe it, then they should be challenged until they relent.

Humanity can simply no longer survive the combination of genius working to make tools to kill one another and the supreme lack of sense to use them.   Evolution is central to understanding there is no savior.  We make our own beds in which we will lie.  Believing the untrue but comforting is a recipe for disaster.  Thank goodness for people like Dawkins to wake us from our delusion; the best type of friend there is.

July 20, 2008

Modern Science Writing

Filed under: books, culture, science — Tags: — codesmithy @ 10:21 am

I finished reading The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing edited by Richard Dawkins.  I can’t think of another book that I so enjoyed reading.  It is an anthology, and therefore suffers from uneven tone and style.  The upshot is that there are a few authors I would like to read more of, such as Lancelot Hogben, Lee Smolin, and of course Carl Sagan.  It also convinced me not to read Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time of which there is a brief selection in the book.

I think the book is best enjoyed in small doses.  This sensibility comes from the fact that one should be thinking when reading it, not about the words on the page, but what it says about us, and the universe we live in.  What we are, what we are made of, the indifferent rules that govern us and what the implications are for the limited freedom we do enjoy.  As an thought experiment, try to imagine the life of an individual carbon atom, formed by a nuclear reaction in a star, which just so happened to find itself trapped in limestone on earth.  Imagine further that this atom somehow manages to enter into the carbon cycle where it might become part of you.  Part of your DNA, your hair, your brain.  But a carbon atom’s existence as literally part of you is just less than a blink of an eye in the grand-scale of its experience.  Every atom of your being has some extraordinary tale of natural history.  This is the mind-expanding world one enters as one reads the pages of Modern Science Writing.  How terribly parochial many of our conceptions of the world seem when placed on the canvas of the cosmos.

This is knowledge that deserves to shared, deserves to be contemplated by all mankind.  But when pondering this, there comes another crashing reality of natural history, how I came to read the book.  Perhaps I am guilty of projecting my particular aesthetic onto the rest of humanity, but nevertheless the book costs approximately $35.  The local county library has 1 copy, and there are two holds as I write this.  The point is that the high price of this book has a practical effect, it limits the knowledge to a specialized class.  Kate Muir points out that “the Victorians, with their public lectures and royal societies, gloried in debate and celebrated the thrills of fresh knowledge.”

I don’t think think it is quite fair to critique the popular culture of different eras.  Bemoaning the anti-intellectualism of the masses on one-side without considering how science is presented seems a tad disingenuous.  It is natural that science gets more specialized as it progresses.  A predictable consequence of this is that it may take work to make discoveries fit for mass consumption, as opposed to the Victorian era, where some new discovery could just be presented.

The danger that the discoveries of science become esoteric knowledge of a specialized class is real.  To guard against this, science must be communicated to the public, freely and openly.  Hence we find ourselves in contradiction, as to gain access to the knowledge is comparatively expensive and ignorance is free.  When should science pass into our shared cultural heritage, and should it take as long as some piece of fiction?  Is there some better way to compensate scientific authors for their work?

In closing, I don’t begrudge the money I did pay for the book.  It is extraordinary.  I enjoyed as much to think that it deserves to be integrated as part of our cultural heritage as quickly as possible.  But, this knowledge is constrained by the societal conditions in which it was produced.  Does science exist for the benefit of a specialized class, or is its purpose to enlighten humanity?  In the context of current economic conditions, it rests in the former more than the latter.

July 13, 2008

Ramanujan and 1729

Filed under: books, math — Tags: , , — codesmithy @ 11:32 am

I’ve been reading The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing an anthology put together by Richard Dawkins.  It provides another good reason why life is far more interesting than the human imagination.  In it, there is a piece by C. P. Snow that speaks of relationship between Ramanujan and G. H. Hardy.  Ramanujan died at the age of 32. I can’t help but wonder what discoveries he would have made if his life had not been tragically cut short.

G. H. Hardy deserves credit for being able to recognize genius when it confronted him, especially since some of his colleagues apparently didn’t.  Hardy is said to have made the following comment about Ramanujan’s work: “must be true, because, if they were not true, no one would have the imagination to invent them.”  This dynamic is related by Snow in a anecdote he relays when Hardy visits Ramanujan in the hospital.

Hardy used to visit him, as he lay dying in hospital at Putney.  It was on one of those visits that there happened the incident of the taxicab number.  Hardy had gone out to Putney by taxi, as usual his chosen method of conveyance.  He went into the room where Ramanujan was lying.  Hardy, always inept about introducing a conversation, said, probably without a greeting, and certainly as his first remark: ‘I thought the number of my taxicab was 1729.  It seemed to me rather a dull number.’  To which Ramanujan replied: ‘No, Hardy!  No, Hardy!  It is a very interesting number.  It is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways.’

That is the exchange as Hardy recorded it.  It must be substantially accurate.  He was the most honest of men; and further, no one could possibly have invented it.

How someone just knows that, I will never know.  But from the informal glancing at Ramanujan’s work, he saw numbers differently.  How much of this was a product of not being substantially formally educated, I don’t know.  I do think that learning in a more open-ended fashion, as Ramanujan did, has benefits.  Hardy made some remarks in a similar vein.

Regardless, I double-checked Ramanujan assertion, although there are a few caveats.  Since we are dealing with cubes, we will limit ourselves to whole numbers.  The sum of cubes that one arrives at 1729 are 1^3 + 12^3 = 1729 and 9^3 + 10^3 = 1729.  1729 turns out to be smallest.  The two distinct sum sequence is as follows.

1 12 9 10 1729
2 16 9 15 4104
2 24 18 20 13832
10 27 19 24 20683

In the context of the book, it is meant to show how people of a scientific persuasion see the world differently.  Where one person sees something bland, another sees it as a source of wonder.  In a certain sense, every number has something special about it.  Ramanujan’s gift was seeing what that special thing was.

May 14, 2008

Richard Dawkins: What is Natural?

Filed under: culture, environment, politics, science — Tags: — codesmithy @ 7:53 am

(h/t Richard Dawkins)

Richard Dawkins gave a talk at the “New Scientist & Greenpeace Science debates” where he examines what is “natural.”  In it, he explains the “natural” thing for the human species to do is wreck the planet.  It is “natural” for us, as one species in nature, to maximize our short-term prospects, to be greedy.  This selfishness combined with our unprecedented success now puts us at odds with some of the ecosystems on which we depend.  These ecosystems are straining under the pressure we have inflicted either intentionally or unintentionally in pursuit of our immediate needs.

Dawkins believes the human species is uniquely poised to meet this challenge between short-term greed and continuing prosperity.  The giant brain which has been such a boon to our immediate success as a species can be applied to issues surrounding our long-term survival.  As Dawkins states, this is anything but a natural prospect.  In fact, it means setting aside short-term impulses in exchange for long-term goals.  Dawkins believes we have the capacity for such action and I agree.  The only question is if we have the collective will to carry it out.  The simple answer is: we’d better, but reality will be the ultimate judge.

April 18, 2008

Ben Stein is (S)expelled?

Filed under: film, humor, religion, science — Tags: , , — codesmithy @ 7:13 am

Apparently there is another alternative theory that “big science” doesn’t want us to know about.

If sexual reproduction is so unassailable, what is big science so afraid of?  Why not just let “Avian Transportation Theory” speak, then say you ignorant fool, you didn’t know this, this and this.  Teach the controversy!

(h/t to the “Sex Maniac” himself)Richard Dawkins Suave

The less funny version is in limited release this Friday.  I would recommend going out of your way not to see it.  You’ll never get that hour of your life back.  The National Center for Science Education has a counter-site to Expelled.   I’m all for listening to what the other side has to say, if they are intellectual honest.  Ben Stein and his film Expelled are neither.  There is a difference between exploring another person’s point of view and subjecting yourself to one-sided, intellectually dishonest propaganda.  The second is rarely worthwhile.

April 14, 2008

Dawkins on Real Time With Bill Maher

Filed under: film, media, politics, science — Tags: , , , — codesmithy @ 6:19 am

Richard Dawkins was on Real Time With Bill Maher.  One thing that sort of amazes me is Dawkins’ surprise at people who believe the myths of the Bible.  He seems to be of the opinion that scientists tend to be of more of the Einsteinian persuasion.  God is a euphemism for the awe and wonder of the universe, instead of a figure in ancient fiction.

My only guess at why the revelations of Bible thumping scientists surprise Dawkins is because he is unfamiliar with the amount of compartmentalization, lack of reflection, and inconsistency the majority of people are willing to endure, especially intelligent people.  While “The God Delusion” remains on the New York Times best-sellers list at the 16th spot, “90 Minutes in Heaven” is holding strong at 8th spot.  So while 1.5 million copies seems like an achievement, “90 Minutes in Heaven” has sold about as many (1.4 million in print according to their website Book Info).

“90 Minutes in Heaven” remains unreviewed by the New York Times despite being on the list 76 weeks now.  In another example of how the mainstream media coddles religious believers, Time reviewed Ben Stein’s film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.  Titled “Ben Stein Dukes it Out with Darwin” which is unsound on its face because evolution is more than just Darwin, discoveries from DNA to Tiktaalik have reinforced evolutionary theory beyond any evidence Darwin presented.  In fact, it is more like fundamentalist religion versus modern biology.

Given that the article was published April 10th, I’m disappointed the article states:

It’s impossible to know from the handful of examples he cites how widespread the problem is, but if there’s anything to it at all, it’s a matter well worth exposing.

Michael Shermer in Scientific American does a much better job deconstructing the claims of expulsion.  No need to conjecture about how widespread the problem is: it doesn’t exist.  It serves as an example of how lies get spread through the media.  Jeffrey Kluger isn’t a reporter, he is a stenographer.  Time and its reporter are too intellectually lazy to look into Stein’s claims to discover they are baseless.  It doesn’t seem to occur to the organization that the intellectual dishonesty displayed in other aspects of the movie also permeate this aspect to it and thus consider the claims skeptically.  Instead, it is given the benefit of the doubt.

The reason for this is apparent in the final paragraph.

In fairness to Stein, his opponents have hardly covered themselves in glory. Evolutionary biologists and social commentators have lately taken to answering the claims of intelligent-design boosters not with clear-eyed scientific empiricism but with sneering, finger-in-the-eye atheism. Biologist P.Z. Myers, for example, tells Stein that religion ought to be seen as little more than a soothing pastime, a bit like knitting. Books such as Christopher Hitchens’ God Is Not Great and Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion often read like pure taunting, as when Hitchens pettily and pointedly types God as lowercase god. Tautology as typography is not the stuff of deep thought. Neither, alas, is Expelled.

It’s those damn holier-than-thou taunting atheists.  How dare Hitchens not capitalize god?! (Not an evolutionary biologist you say, not in the movie, no matter). And well, obviously, that excuses Stein then.  He is allowed to lie, misrepresent and slander because he made the film in a fit of rage!

Seriously, out of a review that consists of five paragraphs, one is dedicated to apologizing for Stein because three semi-prominent atheists (one of which is not even a scientists) have repeated stated Intelligent Design is not science (which it obviously is not).  They do so unequivocally and unapologetically.  Why do they do so?  Because unlike Kluger and Time, they have a basic respect for the truth, they go looking for answers, they just won’t repeat what someone told them without doing some basic research first, and when someone says something they know to be untrue, they will call them on it.  Properties sorely missing from Kluger’s “reporting.”

March 21, 2008

Expelled from Expelled

Filed under: culture, film, science — Tags: , , — codesmithy @ 7:42 am

This is why reality will always be stranger than fiction.  PZ Myers, biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris, was not allowed to see an advance screening of the movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.” A movie he was interviewed for under false pretenses.  Well, apparently the producers of the movie anticipated that PZ Myers might make such an attempt at their screening.  However, what they didn’t seem realize was that Richard Dawkins was going to be in Minnesota for the 34th Annual Nation Conference of American Atheists.  So while they kept Myers out, they let the Dawkins in.  Apparently there was a Q and A session after the movie where Dawkins asked why PZ Myers had been, well, expelled from seeing the film.  Here is an account from a Christian perspective.  (h/t Chris)

I must say, Dawkins is a brave man.  If it were me, I would watch the film, keep my mouth shut, and leave.  However, it is exactly that type of tenacity which makes Dawkins such a strong advocate for reason, and entertaining to watch.

March 9, 2008

90 Minutes with Richard Dawkins

Filed under: books, culture, media, religion — Tags: , , , — codesmithy @ 1:00 pm

Richard Dawkins came to University of California at Berkeley on his University Tour. Unfortunately, I ran into some traffic on the way over, and hence arrived late. Late, as it turned out, just wasn’t going to cut it. The event sold out. There was a book signing afterwards, but having left my hardcover edition at home I didn’t feel like picking up another copy just for Dawkins to sign it. Resigned to my fate, I returned home from the bust.

In the bigger scheme of things, it is no great loss. I had already read “The God Delusion.” I’m already an atheist. I’ve watched quite a few of his presentations online. I highly doubt he would have covered any ground that I was previously unaware of. The draw of going to such events are the questions from the audience, but those tend to be very hit or miss.

Although, it was my personal failure for not arriving early enough, only having seating for 705 people seems to guarantee some people would be left out. If they would have gone with Zellerbach Hall, everyone interested would have been able to attend. I imagine the student group setting up the lecture didn’t do so because of the cost differences, and possibly because they didn’t believe Dawkins would be able to sell out Wheeler Auditorium. If that is the case, Dawkins seems to be a character of unanticipated popularity.

Thus, I always find myself at a little bit of a loss looking at the best sellers list. There are many fine books on the paperback non-fiction best seller list. “The God Delusion” is sitting above Friedman’s “The World is Flat” at 14. However, look at 5 on the list, “90 Minutes in Heaven”? It has been on the list 71 weeks whereas Dawkins’ book has only been on the list for 9.

To my surprise, Amazon recommends buying “90 Minutes in Heaven” with “23 Minutes in Hell” by Bill Wiese, thus exposing a fatal flaw in Amazon’s recommendation system. It should be recommending “Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time” by Michael Shermer, but I digress. Although, I’m still searching for “56 Minutes in Purgatory” so I could rest easy knowing there was a modern version of the Divine Comedy, but so far no luck.

However, the underlying point is here criticism. Dawkins has been criticized a lot, from an absurd caricature on South Park to endless litanies of his shrillness and stridency in advocating atheism. It is telling that the New York Times has not reviewed “90 Minutes in Heaven.” However, Jim Holt plays his role as an enabler for religious belief with an excellent review of “The God Delusion.” I want to say, there is nothing wrong with the review. It is well written. Points are well-argued with context, although I might not agree with all of them. I honestly wish all reviews were done as well as Holt’s of “The God Delusion.”

It is unfortunately the intrinsic state of atheism to be unable to deliver an absolutist knockout blow. The crux of the problem is Descartes’ evil deceiver. We can be confident in our own thinking, but since our perceptions of the world are fallible, it is necessary to admit we could be mistaken about everything else. However, the probability of this being the case is very low. This uncertainty is why many philosophers go reaching to god, just like Descartes did. God provides a way to assert something with absolutes, however introducing god produces as many issues as it answers. It is also true that this abstract, necessary metaphysical god to assert certainty is very different from one that we would associate with any religion. It is at best a metaphysical crutch that allow seemingly sensible people to cram all their superstitious belief into and pretend it is OK. Hence, atheists are caught in a catch-22 with the superstitious enablers who apparently want to run away from Occam’s razor.

Again, the issue isn’t the review. It is what the New York Times chooses not to review. Holt complains of logical sloppiness in Dawkins’ book. How about holding that standard to “90 Minutes in Heaven?” What, one of their reviewers could not find time to read a 208 page book in one of 71 weeks it has been on the best sellers list? It is in the nonfiction section no less. I’ll bet there is more truth in “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien than “90 Minutes in Heaven,” but at least O’Brien had the decency to call his work fiction.

Look at what people are claiming about Piper’s story:

The first is that he was dead for 90 minutes. I don’t know that I’ve heard of anyone being dead for that long and being resuscitated. The second is that if they were, they were in fact helped by a physical or medical technician to be revived. Don Piper was not, he simply came back to life for no apparent reason other than God. The third is that he came out with no internal injuries which given his circumstances was improbable to the extreme. That is why I give him great credibility.

I don’t know if the author of the post actually knows how credibility is supposed to function, and I highly suspect it is a marketing piece but still let’s take the post author at his word and assume he read the book. Piper “came back to life for no apparent reason other than God.” Piper rose from the dead with no help. The man was not breathing, his heart was not pumping, he was dead for 90 minutes and just woke up. We know brain cells die within 5 minutes of not receiving oxygen, and this man survived 90. Piper can help write a book and preach afterwards. How is this not one of the most talked about medical case studies in history?

If Dawkins deserves to be publicly criticized for his “tone [being] smug and the logic occasionally sloppy.” Doesn’t Piper deserve the same? Dawkins isn’t the one claiming to have gone to heaven and to have been raised from the dead by God with no physical earthly help, after all.

February 15, 2008

Richard Dawkins and Madeline Bunting Discuss Religion

Filed under: culture, religion, science — Tags: , , — codesmithy @ 1:14 pm

Richard Dawkins and Madeline Bunting have a discussion on some of the topics raised in Dawkins’ book “The God Delusion.”  Dawkins’ main contention was quite simple: the existence of an omnipotent and omniscient being is a scientific question.  A universe with a God in it is quite different from a universe without one.  Science can and should aid our reasoning in determining the basic truth of statements such as: did Jesus have a father?

Bunting does a respectable job of waffling through the discussion.  She criticizes Dawkins’ strategy, complaining that confronting people’s beliefs is not a proper way to get them to like you.  Ironically, Blunting has particular difficulty in explaining exactly what belief is and whether or not she believes Jesus had a father.  She was, at that point, displaying a classic case of cognitive dissonance.  Her eventual out was her ill-defined “emotional” truth.  Truths that at their heart are personal and subjective.  Why particular Biblical claims fall into this category when they can clearly be objectively verified, Blunting fails to properly explain.  The most likely explanation is that they simply have no other refuge.

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