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Author Topic:   False dilemma/'created dilemma'
ImagesandWords
Junior Member (Idle past 3359 days)
Posts: 11
Joined: 04-11-2009


Message 1 of 26 (505409)
04-11-2009 8:40 AM


Is there REALLY a dilemma between a cosmology and worldview of a monotheistic, creator God who possesses the ability to reveal Himself to us and the world of 'science' and origin? Or, is this 'dilemma' something we as human beings have 'created' through faulty reasoning and analysis and a very, very strong desire to advance our own causes, whatever they may be? As a born again Christian who believes in the inerrancy of Scripture and one who is endlessly fascinated by both the 'hard' and 'soft' sciences, it is not so clear to me that this may not be the case. I have followed many of these issues and debates, I have spoken with many people(Christians and non-Christians alike), I have followed sites like this one and many other things as well when I can and while there are some very thought provoking and serious questions that are asked, I cannot help but notice that there is alot of misleading and false information from both sides of the issues. Are we REALLY looking for answers or are we looking to 'win' a battle within the larger culture war?
Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by onifre, posted 04-11-2009 9:42 AM ImagesandWords has responded
 Message 4 by Coragyps, posted 04-11-2009 9:59 AM ImagesandWords has responded
 Message 6 by Straggler, posted 04-11-2009 10:34 AM ImagesandWords has responded
 Message 8 by bluescat48, posted 04-11-2009 12:45 PM ImagesandWords has not yet responded
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 Message 26 by Dr Adequate, posted 04-14-2009 12:37 PM ImagesandWords has not yet responded

    
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Message 2 of 26 (505413)
04-11-2009 8:50 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
onifre
Member (Idle past 845 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 3 of 26 (505415)
04-11-2009 9:42 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by ImagesandWords
04-11-2009 8:40 AM


Is there REALLY a dilemma between a cosmology and worldview of a monotheistic, creator God who possesses the ability to reveal Himself to us and the world of 'science' and origin?

No.

Cosmology is dealt with in science while "monotheistic worldviews" are dealt with in theology.

The only dilemma occurs when people try to replace tried and tested theories, which perfectly explain a phenomenon, with their own individual worldview(WV) without any proper evidence to support their (WV), other than faith in it.

Theology is cool. Belief in whatever one wishes is fine. However, the rejection of science because of one of these beliefs, in my opinion, seems like a very stupid thing to do.

Or, is this 'dilemma' something we as human beings have 'created' through faulty reasoning and analysis and a very, very strong desire to advance our own causes, whatever they may be?

Yes, the dilemma is created by humans, humans with religious beliefs.

If creationist learned science a huge veil would be lifted in front of their face expossing the true nature of our world to them. This, I think, would be a huge benefit to both them and our society in general. There is no need for their constant nonsense about evolution and the Big Bang, or whatever else the have a problem with. It really is annoying, but fun to debate, so I guess a part of me doesn't want to see them totally go away. I would be bored not arguing with them.

Are we REALLY looking for answers or are we looking to 'win' a battle within the larger culture war?

Scientists are working as honestly as they can to answer questions about our natural world. Culture wars are irrelevant to their work.


"I smoke pot. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your mouth."--Bill Hicks

"I never knew there was another option other than to question everything"--Noam Chomsky


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by ImagesandWords, posted 04-11-2009 8:40 AM ImagesandWords has responded

Replies to this message:
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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5344
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 4 of 26 (505416)
04-11-2009 9:59 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by ImagesandWords
04-11-2009 8:40 AM


Hi, I&W! Welcome to EvC, and I hope you have a good time here!

Sure, there's a dilemma, but it is, of course, of human manufacture. People wrote the Bible and spilled oceans of ink elaborating on what it means, and people gathered the bodies of knowledge we call science. If you compare those two camps, particularly from an "inerrantist" view, you find irresolvable conflicts. Flowering plants and grasses didn't precede animal life on land. Humans have been around rather longer than the 6000 to 10,000 years many inerrantists claim.

Now, as to whether I'm out to "win:" Yes. I am. I live in Texas, where or State Board of Education just adopted a directive that our high-school textbooks must mention "alternate scientific estimates for the age of the universe." That proposal came from the fundamentalist Christian faction on the Board. Can you, or anyone around here, name a viable, current "alternate scientific estimates for the age of the universe?" Anything significantly different from 13,700 million years?

I've got grandbabies entering the Texas school system. I want them to be exposed to good science in science classes. I want them to be exposed to good literature in literature classes. What I don't want, and what I'm fighting already, is for them to be exposed to superstition based on some good literature masquerading as science.


This message is a reply to:
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ImagesandWords
Junior Member (Idle past 3359 days)
Posts: 11
Joined: 04-11-2009


Message 5 of 26 (505417)
04-11-2009 10:04 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by onifre
04-11-2009 9:42 AM


Response to "onifre"
With all due respect, I am sure you are a bright man. However, I think you have sought out an easy answer to the question. While this is perfectly understandable, and more common than what is desirable, I suggest you re-read the question and re-think your answer; even if it takes an extended period of time.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by onifre, posted 04-11-2009 9:42 AM onifre has responded

Replies to this message:
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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10199
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 6 of 26 (505418)
04-11-2009 10:34 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by ImagesandWords
04-11-2009 8:40 AM


Religion and the Real World
As long as theistic conclusions have no bearing on physical empirical reality there is no real "dilemma" or conflict between religion and science. Notions of an intangible "higher purpose" or "meaning" to the universe and/or our existence in it have no real interraction or crossover with the conclusions of science. Science may even go as far as to suggest that such notions are an inevitable part of the psychology of being human BUT at the end of the day if such notions can be accepted despite this suggestion, if such notions can be accepted on the basis of faith alone, then it becomes more of a philosophical argument as to what one actually means by these things. Science has nothing much more to say on the matter.

The more common problem arises when gods are used as explanations or starting points for for physical phenomenon. Phenomenon as diverse as the very physical idea of a global flood to the less tangible but still scientifically researchable motives and psychology of men. Not to forget the old favourites such as the formation of life, the nature of consciousness and the "creation" of the universe.

When we start invoking gods or any other faith based answers to explain objectively investigatable questions such as the ones above conflict is pretty much inevitable.

Are we REALLY looking for answers or are we looking to 'win' a battle within the larger culture war?

I genuinely believe that science in the widest sense is looking for answers that are objectively "true" with scant regard for any "culture war". It is true that individuals, and even whole scientific cultures, may temporarily get distracted from this purest of pursuits at times. Science is a human endevour after all and humans have desires that are all too seperate from the truth. But the inbuilt quality control and self correcting methods of science - prediction, verification, discovery etc. etc. etc. ensure that such lapses are temporary and that the false conclusions borne of such lapses are eventually exposed for what they are. The continual test of theory against reality is what makes science the powerful and successful tool that it is.

Are we REALLY looking for answers or are we looking to 'win' a battle within the larger culture war?

I think that most religions believe themselves to already have most of the answers that they require and that the "culture war" that they are engaged in is in many cases their chief concern.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by ImagesandWords, posted 04-11-2009 8:40 AM ImagesandWords has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by ImagesandWords, posted 04-11-2009 2:21 PM Straggler has responded

  
ImagesandWords
Junior Member (Idle past 3359 days)
Posts: 11
Joined: 04-11-2009


Message 7 of 26 (505420)
04-11-2009 10:47 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Coragyps
04-11-2009 9:59 AM


Reply to "Coragyps"
Hello. Thank you for your welcome of me to this engaging site. First, I would like to point out unequivocally that I am not a 'young earther' and I do believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. It is not so clear to me that Scripture teaches a literal 6 day creation period that is in opposition to 'science proper' and modern cosmology. Second, the outright hostility that oftentimes accompanies the science in the classroom debate from both factions is unnecessary and unfortunate and the fact that we, as a culture, are now using the U.S. court system to answer what are, essentially, EPISTEMOLOGICAL questions is a sad testament to where we really are in this debate. In my mind this tells me 2 things, at minimum: #1 We, as a culture, scientists included, oftentimes want to do what is legal, not necessarily what is just. #2 That we, as a society, scientists included, must continue to enage each other in this question, honestly and transparently: If you are as familiar with the issue as you portray you must admit that there is enough intellectual dishonesty to go around. I will admit, and if there are any other Christians reading this, you have to also, that our emotions get the best of us just like everyone else and Christians are not always as prepared as they should be when entering these discussions. Open mouth, insert foot. But again, this cuts both ways. Having said this, I can relate, as a parent, to what it takes to raise my child to be a critical thinker. One of the biggest things I try to instill is for them to ask themselves; "Is this question a true intellectual barrier for me or is there prejudice and bias on my part?" No discussion can honestly advance before this question is answered.
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bluescat48
Member (Idle past 2083 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 8 of 26 (505430)
04-11-2009 12:45 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by ImagesandWords
04-11-2009 8:40 AM


Are we REALLY looking for answers or are we looking to 'win' a battle within the larger culture war?

The problem is not winning or losing, it is that there has got to be an understanding of what each side is saying. The point is what is science? and what is religion? When one side attempts to invade the other then the dilemma arises. Where each side stays within its boundaries there is no problem.

as onifre says

Cosmology is dealt with in science while "monotheistic worldviews" are dealt with in theology.

This is correct. Science can only deal with the natural world and must stay out of the supernatural and also theology deals with the supernatural and must stay out of the natural. By injecting the other in either case diminishes the meaning.

This is what was brought out i Edward vs. Aguillard in 1987 when the US Supreme court struck down the Louisiana equal treatment law, with the determination of what was science and what was not. No matter how one tries to cover up the religious aspect of creation/ID, it is stll not science. The dilemma is that since this stiking down of equal treatment, the radical theistic groups are still trying to redefine science to include creation which deals with the supernatural as naturalism.


There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002

Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969

Since Evolution is only ~90% correct it should be thrown out and replaced by Creation which has even a lower % of correctness. W T Young, 2008


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ImagesandWords
Junior Member (Idle past 3359 days)
Posts: 11
Joined: 04-11-2009


Message 9 of 26 (505437)
04-11-2009 2:21 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Straggler
04-11-2009 10:34 AM


Reply to 'Straggler'
I like some of what you had to say. At least you had the intellectual integrity to admit that some scientists within the scientific community DO use their respective discipline as a platform for subjects that ARE NOT scientific for UN-scientific purposes and I concur; It would be unfair and dishonest for me to broad-brush the whole of the scientific community proper into this category. If I have given this impression, my apologies. However, as with many of the assertions out there, the notion that God must be relegated to the supernatural only and 'Science' to the natural is false. First, since 'science' IS attempting to make truth claims about the world we live in, it, by virtue of this fact, is opening itself up to the realm and criticism of philosophy. For 'science' to claim that it (science) and only it is the only what can be known by 'science' or quantified and empirically tested is rational and true is a self-refuting claim for how can this statement itself be quantified and empirically tested? If it cannot, by the statements own standard, it cannot itself be true or rationally held. In short, whether one likes it or not, the VALIDATION of 'science' is outside the realm of 'science'. This is the realm of philosophy and any assertion to the contrary will be a SELF-REFUTING philosophical claim. Second, the use of God as a primary cause or uncaused cause, or what have you, ARE NOT religious claims. Obviously there is much more that could be said but these examples should suffice as to why I disagree with at least parts of some of the not so well-thought out responses to my question.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Straggler, posted 04-11-2009 10:34 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10199
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 10 of 26 (505438)
04-11-2009 3:19 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by ImagesandWords
04-11-2009 2:21 PM


Re: Reply to 'Straggler'
I like some of what you had to say. At least you had the intellectual integrity to admit that some scientists within the scientific community DO use their respective discipline as a platform for subjects that ARE NOT scientific for UN-scientific purposes and I concur; It would be unfair and dishonest for me to broad-brush the whole of the scientific community proper into this category.

That is not exactly what I said and not really what I meant. What I meant was that scienctific investigation, as the result of being a human endevour, can at times be abused. Whether intentionally or otherwise. Whether consciously or otherwise. It is human nature to try to verify that which we subjectively believe or want to be true and nobody is immune from that all of the time.

However - What I also said was that the very nature of scientific investigation applies methods and checks that will ultimately weed out those conclusions which are wrong as compared to reality no matter how much we may desire or believe those false conclusions to be true.

That is the beauty or the horror of the scientific method depending on your point of view.

For 'science' to claim that it (science) and only it is the only what can be known by 'science' or quantified and empirically tested is rational and true is a self-refuting claim for how can this statement itself be quantified and empirically tested? If it cannot, by the statements own standard, it cannot itself be true or rationally held.

Science is essentially a practical discipline. Whatever philosophy or logic may tells us is true regarding the natural world comes a distant second to the conclusions that we draw based on what reality dictates to be true. Ultimately the theory that best matches reality "wins". That is the essence of science.

In this sense science is completely consistent because the methods of science have been demonstrated to work fantastically well in practise. Are you seriously going to dispute the success of science in allowing us to understand and even manipulate physical reality?

Can theology, pure logic or pure philosophy claim any similar practical success? If not then they must be deemed inferior methods of discovering the nature physical reality as compared to empirical scientific investigation.

If it cannot, by the statements own standard, it cannot itself be true or rationally held. In short, whether one likes it or not, the VALIDATION of 'science' is outside the realm of 'science'.

If the root aim of science is to determine the nature of physical reality in a practical sense then by this criteria the ability of science to work in practise wholly validates it's own methods.

This is the realm of philosophy and any assertion to the contrary will be a SELF-REFUTING philosophical claim.

If it comes down to philosophy Vs reality then I am afraid reality wins.

Second, the use of God as a primary cause or uncaused cause, or what have you, ARE NOT religious claims.

Really? Can you explain why not as I think most people would strongly disagree with this apparently obviously false assertion.

Obviously there is much more that could be said but these examples should suffice as to why I disagree with at least parts of some of the not so well-thought out responses to my question.

Prediction and verification in the form of discovery of new physical phenomenon are the hallmarks of of any truly scientific theory. Big Bang cosmology and evolution are two such monumentally well evidenced theories. Theories repeatedly tested against objective reality.

Lacking these key ingredients and the best that we can hope to have is a well evidenced hypothesis. All too often even that standard is lacking and we have instead subjectively derived claims seeking justification by masquerading as scientifically valid conclusions.

Creationism in all it's forms is a case in point.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by ImagesandWords, posted 04-11-2009 2:21 PM ImagesandWords has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by ImagesandWords, posted 04-11-2009 4:40 PM Straggler has responded

  
Rrhain
Member
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 11 of 26 (505439)
04-11-2009 3:51 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by ImagesandWords
04-11-2009 10:04 AM


ImagesandWords responds to onifre:

quote:
With all due respect

Ooh! Time for your first flame!

If you want respect, it will help if you show it. It seems clear that you sought out an easy response to onifre's points. Namely, to not actually respond to them but rather to snidely claim that he simply didn't understand.

You provided no specifics as to where you think onifre went wrong, no clarification of points you made to help straighten things out, no analysis of anything at all. Instead, you simply said, "I suggest you re-read the question and re-think your answer."

Well, I would say you need to re-read onifre's response and re-think your answer.

Especially if it takes an extended period of time.

There, now, wasn't that helpful? Is onifre's point making more sense to you now? Did anything in this post help you understand what he was trying to say?

No?

Doesn't that tell you something?


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by ImagesandWords, posted 04-11-2009 10:04 AM ImagesandWords has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by ImagesandWords, posted 04-11-2009 4:48 PM Rrhain has responded

    
Rrhain
Member
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 12 of 26 (505440)
04-11-2009 4:21 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by ImagesandWords
04-11-2009 10:47 AM


ImagesandWords writes:

quote:
If you are as familiar with the issue as you portray you must admit that there is enough intellectual dishonesty to go around.

No, I don't have to admit that at all. In fact, I expressly and flatly deny it. The overwhelming majority of intellectual dishonesty is coming from the creationist side of the table. Why? Because they routinely refuse to provide any evidence of their claims or methodology to back them up. There is a reason that you don't find any creationist articles in the journals. It isn't because of a Vast Conspiracy to Suppress the Truth (C). It's because they simply don't have the goods.

And while I agree on a certain level that using the courts to determine a science question borders on the absurd, there is something to be had by the process. That is, it allows us to do a meta-analysis of what the state of the science is. This is a common process in medical investigations where you take a look at the various independent studies, examine them for commonalities, and see if there is some sort of pattern to the results.

The Dover trial was very telling in this way. Behe, an actual molecular biologist who has been published, was shown to be less than honest when it comes to his claims. He insists that there is no data on certain subjects, no papers published, no studies, nothing.

Well, it turns out that the most insignificant search of the literature would have shown that to be wrong. When Behe was on the stand and made this claim, the opposing counsel started bringing out the papers Behe claimed didn't exist and put them on the witness stand in front of Behe. They ended up piling so high that Behe had to ask that they be removed because he was having a hard time seeing.

This is the sort of intellectual dishonesty that comes from the creationist camp. They are continually chanting the mantra of "Teach the controversy!" as if there were any controversy to teach. It isn't that science has all the answers to all the questions. It's that the questions we have concern the details of how evolution took place, not if. There is a difference between two mathematicians arguing over whether the six millionth decimal of pi is a 2 or not and them arguing over whether pi is an integer.

When you have one side of the question bringing forth mountains of evidence and the other side blithely insisting that none of it exists and providing no evidence of their own, how is a person who is not aware of the work of scientists and is not experienced enough in the workings of science to know how to find out what evidence exists supposed to make a decision?

This relates to my signature and the ridiculousness of the request coming from the creationist side of the table: That we are somehow supposed to entrust our intellectual rigor to seventh-graders. That if can't be understood by a junior high school student, then it clearly isn't legit science.

Science is hard. And there's a lot of it. It takes more effort than most people are willing to put into it in order to become proficient in just a single subject area. Why would anybody want us to lie about the state of the science?


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by ImagesandWords, posted 04-11-2009 10:47 AM ImagesandWords has not yet responded

    
Rrhain
Member
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 13 of 26 (505441)
04-11-2009 4:39 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by ImagesandWords
04-11-2009 8:40 AM


ImagesandWords writes:

quote:
Is there REALLY a dilemma between a cosmology and worldview of a monotheistic, creator God who possesses the ability to reveal Himself to us and the world of 'science' and origin? Or, is this 'dilemma' something we as human beings have 'created' through faulty reasoning and analysis and a very, very strong desire to advance our own causes, whatever they may be?

That depends.

Does your conceptualization of god require certain physical aspects of reality to be in a certain way? As a common example, does your conceptualization of god require there to have been a global flood approximately 4250 years ago? If so, then there will be a problem when we examine the earth and determine that no, there wasn't a global flood at any time, let alone 4250 years ago.

Thus, the question is: Is it not possible that god does exist but not in the way you think?


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by ImagesandWords, posted 04-11-2009 8:40 AM ImagesandWords has responded

Replies to this message:
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ImagesandWords
Junior Member (Idle past 3359 days)
Posts: 11
Joined: 04-11-2009


Message 14 of 26 (505442)
04-11-2009 4:40 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Straggler
04-11-2009 3:19 PM


Second reply to 'Straggler'
While I do see some merit in your response I think you are capitulating somewhat on your first point. The language you use belies this. The thrust of my argument on this point is this; When some of those within the scientific community, especially those who are well-known or esteemed, even if temporarily, for whatever reason, advance and/or advocate a position that has no REAL, OBJECTIVE basis (The myth behind man-made global warming for example) in scientific fact, the damage is done to the rest of society, the common man. In todays POLITICAL climate it almost doesn't matter anymore whether the scientific community sorts itself out later (to paraphrase). Ideas have consequences and somebody must pay. Incidently, it is no secret that many scientists must constantly seek out funding for their research or it 'dies', so the pressure to produce tangible results must be enormous and human nature being what it is, I suppose the lure of a seemingly endless supply of research money, in whatever form, is overwhelmingly tempting. In reference to your second point the answer is absolutely not! Modern science has produced innumerable valuable advances in every area and facet of our lives. To deny this would be absurd and border on delusional. However, in your zeal to make your point you have overlooked the fact that without philosophy and logic, science would be nothing more than mere voodoo, religion, the very thing science does not want nor should be. You have inverted this relationship so, yes, philosophy can and does claim just as much, if not more pratical success, even if it is achieved vicariously. On the third and fourth points I reiterate the just mentioned answer. Let's not be obscurantists. On the fifth point, again, you are employing faulty logic. Even if most people did disagree with my point it does not make my claim false. Look at what I said. I am not using God in a theological, religious sense to promote theology or religion. Here I am using God as a mere philosophical concept or perhaps a theoretical entity needed in some sort of an explanation. Aristotle and Newton used this concept quite well even though Newtons appeal was later falsified. But that is beside the point. Lastly, I am not here addressing creationism in any of its forms. However, to use the term 'evolution' in its broadest sense to portray some sort of high achievement is misleading. "Macro-evolution" has plenty of difficulties to deal with. I have no problem with 'micro-evolution' on the level of, say, viruses.
This message is a reply to:
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ImagesandWords
Junior Member (Idle past 3359 days)
Posts: 11
Joined: 04-11-2009


Message 15 of 26 (505443)
04-11-2009 4:48 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Rrhain
04-11-2009 3:51 PM


Response
Hello. I think that, for whatever reason, you missed the point of my response to onifre. I CLEARLY stated that I thought he was bright enough to go back and look more closely at the question. To read between the lines a little and draw some other conclusions. Don't make a mountain out of a molehill. Besides, if that is his real image beside his response, he looks old enough to me to speak up for himself.
This message is a reply to:
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