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The Question of Which Race it the Most Intelligent?

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by tomjc, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. tomjc

    tomjc Member

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    This is not necessarily a question of which specific race is more intelligent than the other but to examine whether or not such as question has a valid premise.

    If you look at monozygotic twins studies, there is a finding (statistically not due to chance) of a higher correlation of test scores (grades, IQ etc...) between monozygotic twins and dizygotic twins. This means that there are some genes which can be passed on which will give you heritable advantage in intelligence.

    Thus, the question is posed: is the question of is one race more intelligent than another, accounting for socioeconomic status and other variables, a valid question?
     
  2. KingCheetah

    KingCheetah Contributing Member

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    I believe Tan people have the greatest intellect.
     
  3. rhino17

    rhino17 Member

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  4. TreeRollins

    TreeRollins Contributing Member

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    I don't think you can call one race more intelligent than the other. Maybe there are higher frequencies of high intelligence in some races (and I am not even sure about that). There are a lot of variables that you would have to control for.
     
  5. SunsRocketsfan

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    Actually I think this question or topic has a very valid point. Let's not look at intelligence but at physical traits or ability first. Most people will agree there are more black people who are stronger, taller, faster, or can jump higher than others. Most people always say the best athletes are blacks. This is if you define being athletic as being able to run faster or jump higher. This allows them to excel in the NFL or the NBA where these talents are needed.
    Now why are blacks better athletes? Well if you want to look at evolution maybe their environment made it advantageous to excel in these traits. Now if physical traits can be passed from one generation to another I believe so are mental traits. Maybe in another area of the world it was advantageous to to use your mind over your physical traits so that group of people would naturally be more intelligent. Of course this doesnt mean everyone in a certain ethnicity is smarter or stronger but I think in general you might be able draw such a conclusion. Let's take asians in education. I know a lot of people will say they just work harder or their parents beat them if they dont get straight A's. Of course that teaches them work ethics but if you are not smart you are not smart and no amount of studying is going to do anything. I find it pretty amazing that asians are only 3% of the US population yet they are anywhere from 25%-50% of the student population in most top universities in the country.

    Anyways I am no scientist on the topic but just from a high level I think it makes sense. Actually there was a paper published by a few scientists some time ago about this very topic. Of course in our PC world today the media didnt pay much attention to it. I will try to find it if I can.
     
  6. SunsRocketsfan

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    yup I agree.. That was what I was trying to say in my other post. I think you will find higher frequencies of certain traits in certain races.
     
  7. Ottomaton

    Ottomaton Contributing Member
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    Before anybody posts in this thread they should be required to read The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould.

    Every single mistaken notion that will appear in this thread has been made by a million other human beings and been disproved a million times. The patterns of generally well meaning wrongheadedness and bigotry seem to be eternally recursive.
     
    2 people like this.
  8. uolj

    uolj Member

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    In some sense, yes, it is a valid question. The results of that information can be easily misconstrued and/or misused, but that doesn't mean the research itself is invalid. Also, I don't find it to be the most interesting topic, but there are many uninteresting topics that are legitimate things to research.

    I just read something about a study recently that showed some slight variations in intelligence across races. Maybe that's what brought this up? I thought it might have even been posted here. Anyway, I think the question is a valid one and can probably provide some interesting information.
    I think that's what someone means when they say one race is more intelligent than another. I don't think any reasonable person thinks that all members of an individual race have higher intelligence than all other members. And that doesn't even address the question of how to accurately separate people into races.
     
  9. SunsRocketsfan

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    well seems like a interesting book. I will check it out sometime. Here is a quick summary of a paper I found. The link to the full scientific study isnt working so i will try to find another one.

    --------

    Contrary to what many people think, genetics is the primary cause of many of the gaps we see between races. I know many people want the "feel good" answer that any differences are caused by society and environmental differences and will accuse anyone that doesn't think as they do as "racist" but I will have to say this is a complete disservice to science. Blacks are not better in sports simply because they work harder at it nor do Asians thrive in academics simply because they study harder. Genetics play a vital role. There are many scientific studies done on the issue of race and intelligence.

    A general consenus among scientists as published in the Wall Street Journal in 1994 titled "Mainstream Science on Intelligence" shows a consenus among scientists that average IQ are as followed in America. Blacks 85. Whites 100. East Asians 106. Further studies done and published in science journals show IQ to be overwhelmingly genetic. Minnesota Twins Study by Dr. Thomas Bouchard, the most famous twin study done, shows that identical twins separated at birth are significantly more similiar in IQ than fraternal twins raised together with a genetic correlation of .80.

    Cranial size studies show published in the science journal Intelligence 1997, 25, pg 15 shows the average cranial size as followed. Blacks 1,267 cm3. Whites 1347 cm3. East Asians 1364 cm3. The link between cranial size and intelligence are strongly established in several scientific studies published in journals. "Brain Size and Cognitive Ability" in the 1996 issue of the journal Psychonomic Bulletin and Review surveyed all the published research on this topic. It included studies that used the state-of-the-art technique known as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) which gives a very good image of the human brain. There were eight of these studies with a total sample size of 381 adults. The overall correlation between IQ and brain size measured by MRI is 0.44.

    A survey done among scientists in the intelligence field by Snyderman show that the majority of scientists believe that the White-Black IQ gap has a genetic basis by a 3-1 margin compared to scientists who believe the White-Black IQ gap is purely environmental.

    So why are Asians smarter? More specifically Northeast Asians? The scientific theories among scientists today hold the notion that the humans that left Africa 110,000 years ago into colder climates of Europe and Northern Asia required more thought and planning to obtain food than that of Africa. And that Northern Asia had more drastic temperatures than that of Europe. It's evolution at work.

    The absolute hypocrisy in all this is those who believe in evolution but yet believe human races that lived in drastically different environments for 110,000 years will have innate genetic abilities across the board that match exactly. Let's not sacrifice science for political correctness.

    In the following link, this person does a good job listing the scientific evidence on this issue:

    http://boards.billmaher.com/showthread.php?t=12668
    Source(s):
    Andreasen N. C., Flaum M., Swayze V. II, O'Leary D. S., Alliger R., Cohen G., Ehrhardt J. & Youh W. T. C. (1993). Intelligence and brain structure in normal individuals. American Journal of Psychiatry, 150, 130-134.

    Jensen A. R. & Johnson F. W. (1994). Race and sex differences in head size and IQ. Intelligence, 18, 309-333.

    Sarich V. M. (1995). "In defense of The Bell Curve: The reality of race and the importance of human differences". Skeptic, 3, 84-93.

    Dudley, Richard M. "Sources of human psychological differences: The Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart": Comment. Science. Vol 252(5003) Apr 1991, 191. American Assn for the Advancement of Science, US

    Journal Personality and Individual Differences, 2002, Vol. 32, pp.273-316. Professor Richard Lynn

    --------------------
     
  10. SunsRocketsfan

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    again I am not a geneticist so don't bash me if I am way off the wall. But some food for thought is looking at dogs. Different breeds of dogs definitely have different intelligence levels. Labs, Retrievers, German Shepard's, Akitas, etc are very smart dogs and on the other hand you have your Chow Chows who are just dumb :) They are all dogs but clearly have difference intelligence levels that are passed through genes.
     
  11. Ottomaton

    Ottomaton Contributing Member
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    Respectfully, there are so many assumptions that are wrong in that "paper" I don't know where to start. The most glaring is that however you choose to define IQ, that it can be measured as a one-to-one function of biology. Nurture is as important as nature.

    This is all covered in The Missmeasure of Man. As stated, all of the eternal invalid arguments seem to keep popping back up.

    Also, your link doesn't go to a valid address, now that I examine it more closely. Do you have a functional link?
     
  12. SunsRocketsfan

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    here is a functional link to the whole wall street journal paper.

    http://www.lrainc.com/swtaboo/taboos/wsj_main.html

    Mainstream Science on Intelligence

    This public statement, signed by 52 internationally known scholars, was active on the information highway early in 1995 following several rather heated and negative responses to Herrnstein & Murray's The Bell Curve. It was first published in The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, December 13, 1994. An alphabetical listing of the scholars and their home institutions are given at the end of the statement.

    Prologue

    Since the publication of "The BELL CURVE," many commentators have offered opinions about human intelligence that misstate current scientific evidence. Some conclusions dismissed in the media as discredited are actually firmly supported.

    This statement outlines conclusions regarded as mainstream among researchers on intelligence, in particular, on the nature, origins, and practical consequences of individual and group differences in intelligence. Its aim is to promote more reasoned discussion of the vexing phenomenon that the research has revealed in recent decades. The following conclusions are fully described in the major textbooks, professional journals and encyclopedias in intelligence.

    The Meaning and Measurement of Intelligence

    1. Intelligence is a very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. It is not merely book learning, a narrow academic skill, or test-taking smarts. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings -- "catching on," "making sense" of things, or "figuring out" what to do.
    2. Intelligence, so defined, can be measured, and intelligence tests measure it well. They are among the most accurate (in technical terms, reliable and valid) of all psychological tests and assessments. They do not measure creativity, character, personality, or other important differences among individuals, nor are they intended to.
    3. While there are different types of intelligence tests, they all measure the same intelligence. Some use words or numbers and require specific cultural knowledge (like vocabulary). Others do not, and instead use shapes or designs and require knowledge of only simple, universal concepts (many/few, open/closed, up/down).
    4. The spread of people along the IQ continuum, from low to high, can be represented well by the BELL CURVE (in statistical jargon, the "normal CURVE"). Most people cluster around the average (IQ 100). Few are either very bright or very dull: About 3% of Americans score above IQ 130 (often considered the threshold for "giftedness"), with about the same percentage below IQ 70 (IQ 70-75 often being considered the threshold for mental r****dation).
    5. Intelligence tests are not culturally biased against American blacks or other native-born, English-speaking peoples in the U.S. Rather, IQ scores predict equally accurately for all such Americans, regardless of race and social class. Individuals who do not understand English well can be given either a nonverbal test or one in their native language.
    6. The brain processes underlying intelligence are still little understood. Current research looks, for example, at speed of neural transmission, glucose (energy) uptake, and electrical activity of the brain.

    Group Differences

    1. Members of all racial-ethnic groups can be found at every IQ level. The BELL CURVES of different groups overlap considerably, but groups often differ in where their members tend to cluster along the IQ line. The BELL CURVES for some groups (Jews and East Asians) are centered somewhat higher than for whites in general. Other groups (blacks and Hispanics) are centered somewhat lower than non-Hispanic whites.
    2. The BELL CURVE for whites is centered roughly around IQ 100; the BELL CURVE for American blacks roughly around 85; and those for different subgroups of Hispanics roughly midway between those for whites and blacks. The evidence is less definitive for exactly where above IQ 100 the BELL CURVES for Jews and Asians are centered.

    Practical Importance

    1. IQ is strongly related, probably more so than any other single measurable human trait, to many important educational, occupational, economic, and social outcomes. Its relation to the welfare and performance of individuals is very strong in some arenas in life (education, military training), moderate but robust in others (social competence), and modest but consistent in others (law-abidingness). Whatever IQ tests measure, it is of great practical and social importance.
    2. A high IQ is an advantage in life because virtually all activities require some reasoning and decision-making. Conversely, a low IQ is often a disadvantage, especially in disorganized environments. Of course, a high IQ no more guarantees success than a low IQ guarantees failure in life. There are many exceptions, but the odds for success in our society greatly favor individuals with higher IQs.
    3. The practical advantages of having a higher IQ increase as life settings become more complex (novel, ambiguous, changing, unpredictable, or multi-faceted). For example, a high IQ is generally necessary to perform well in highly complex or fluid jobs (the professions, management); it is a considerable advantage in moderately complex jobs (crafts, clerical and police work); but it provides less advantage in settings that require only routine decision making or simple problem solving (unskilled work).
    4. Differences in intelligence certainly are not the only factor affecting performance in education, training, and highly complex jobs (no one claims they are), but intelligence is often the most important. When individuals have already been selected for high (or low) intelligence and so do not differ as much in IQ, as in graduate school (or special education), other influences on performance loom larger in comparison.
    5. Certain personality traits, special talents, aptitudes, physical capabilities, experience, and the like are important (sometimes essential) for successful performance in many jobs, but they have narrower (or unknown) applicability or "transferability" across tasks and settings compared with general intelligence. Some scholars choose to refer to these other human traits as other "intelligences."

    Source and Stability of Within-Group Differences

    1. Individuals differ in intelligence due to differences in both their environments and genetic heritage. Heritability estimates range from 0.4 to 0.8 (on a scale from 0 to 1), most thereby indicating that genetics plays a bigger role than does environment in creating IQ differences among individuals. (Heritability is the squared correlation of phenotype with genotype.) If all environments were to become equal for everyone, heritability would rise to 100% because all remaining differences in IQ would necessarily be genetic in origin.
    2. Members of the same family also tend to differ substantially in intelligence (by an average of about 12 IQ points) for both genetic and environmental reasons. They differ genetically because biological brothers and sisters share exactly half their genes with each parent and, on the average, only half with each other. They also differ in IQ because they experience different environments within the same family.
    3. That IQ may be highly heritable does not mean that it is not affected by the environment. Individuals are not born with fixed, unchangeable levels of intelligence (no one claims they are). IQs do gradually stabilize during childhood, however, and generally change little thereafter.
    4. Although the environment is important in creating IQ differences, we do not know yet how to manipulate it to raise low IQs permanently. Whether recent attempts show promise is still a matter of considerable scientific debate.
    5. Genetically caused differences are not necessarily irremediable (consider diabetes, poor vision, and phenal ketonuria), nor are environmentally caused ones necessarily remediable (consider injuries, poisons, severe neglect, and some diseases). Both may be preventable to some extent.

    Source and Stability of Between-Group Differences

    1. There is no persuasive evidence that the IQ BELL CURVES for different racial-ethnic groups are converging. Surveys in some years show that gaps in academic achievement have narrowed a bit for some races, ages, school subjects and skill levels, but this picture seems too mixed to reflect a general shift in IQ levels themselves.
    2. Racial-ethnic differences in IQ BELL CURVES are essentially the same when youngsters leave high school as when they enter first grade. However, because bright youngsters learn faster than slow learners, these same IQ differences lead to growing disparities in amount learnedas youngsters progress from grades one to 12. As large national surveyscontinue to show, black 17-year-olds perform, on the average, more likewhite 13-year-olds in reading, math, and science, with Hispanics inbetween.
    3. The reasons that blacks differ among themselves in intelligenceappear to be basically the same as those for why whites (or Asians orHispanics) differ among themselves. Both environment and geneticheredity are involved.
    4. There is no definitive answer to why IQ bell curves differ acrossracial-ethnic groups. The reasons for these IQ differences betweengroups may be markedly different from the reasons for why individualsdiffer among themselves within any particular group (whites or blacks orAsians). In fact, it is wrong to assume, as many do, that the reason whysome individuals in a population have high IQs but others have low IQs must be the same reason why some populations contain more such high (or low) IQ individuals than others. Most experts believe that environment is important in pushing the bell curves apart, but that genetics could be involved too.
    5. Racial-ethnic differences are somewhat smaller but still substantial for individuals from the same socioeconomic backgrounds. To illustrate, black students from prosperous families tend to score higher in IQ than blacks from poor families, but they score no higher, on average, than whites from poor families.
    6. Almost all Americans who identify themselves as black have white ancestors -- the white admixture is about 20%, on average -- and many self-designated whites, Hispanics, and others likewise have mixed ancestry. Because research on intelligence relies on self-classification into distinct racial categories, as does most other social-science research, its findings likewise relate to some unclear mixture of social and biological distinctions among groups (no one claims otherwise).

    Implications for Social Policy

    1. The research findings neither dictate nor preclude any particular social policy, because they can never determine our goals. They can, however, help us estimate the likely success and side-effects of pursuing those goals via different means.

    The following professors -- all experts in intelligence and allied fields -- have signed this statement:

    * Richard D. Arvey, University of Minnesota
    * Thomas J. Bouchard, Jr., University of Minnesota
    * John B. Carroll, Un. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    * Raymond B. Cattell, University of Hawaii
    * David B. Cohen, University of Texas at Austin
    * Rene V. Dawis, University of Minnesota
    * Douglas K. Detterman, Case Western Reserve Un.
    * Marvin Dunnette, University of Minnesota
    * Hans Eysenck, University of London
    * Jack Feldman, Georgia Institute of Technology
    * Edwin A. Fleishman, George Mason University
    * Grover C. Gilmore, Case Western Reserve University
    * Robert A. Gordon, Johns Hopkins University
    * Linda S. Gottfredson, University of Delaware
    * Robert L. Greene, Case Western Reserve University
    * Richard J.Haier, University of Callifornia at Irvine
    * Garrett Hardin, University of California at Berkeley
    * Robert Hogan, University of Tulsa
    * Joseph M. Horn, University of Texas at Austin
    * Lloyd G. Humphreys, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    * John E. Hunter, Michigan State University
    * Seymour W. Itzkoff, Smith College
    * Douglas N. Jackson, Un. of Western Ontario
    * James J. Jenkins, University of South Florida
    * Arthur R. Jensen, University of California at Berkeley
    * Alan S. Kaufman, University of Alabama
    * Nadeen L. Kaufman, California School of Professional Psychology at San Diego
    * Timothy Z. Keith, Alfred University
    * Nadine Lambert, University of California at Berkeley
    * John C. Loehlin, University of Texas at Austin
    * David Lubinski, Iowa State University
    * David T. Lykken, University of Minnesota
    * Richard Lynn, University of Ulster at Coleraine
    * Paul E. Meehl, University of Minnesota
    * R. Travis Osborne, University of Georgia
    * Robert Perloff, University of Pittsburgh
    * Robert Plomin, Institute of Psychiatry, London
    * Cecil R. Reynolds, Texas A & M University
    * David C. Rowe, University of Arizona
    * J. Philippe Rushton, Un. of Western Ontario
    * Vincent Sarich, University of California at Berkeley
    * Sandra Scarr, University of Virginia
    * Frank L. Schmidt, University of Iowa
    * Lyle F. Schoenfeldt, Texas A & M University
    * James C. Sharf, George Washington University
    * Herman Spitz, former director E.R. Johnstone Training and Research Center, Bordentown, N.J.
    * Julian C. Stanley, Johns Hopkins University
    * Del Thiessen, University of Texas at Austin
    * Lee A. Thompson, Case Western Reserve University
    * Robert M. Thorndike, Western Washington Un.
    * Philip Anthony Vernon, Un. of Western Ontario
    * Lee Willerman, University of Texas at Austin
     
  13. SunsRocketsfan

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    here is a very good link to the Paper or Study in question called "The Bell Curve" by Herrnstein & Murray

    http://www.indiana.edu/~intell/bellcurve.shtml

    It's long so I wont paste it here. I just started reading bits of it definitely seems very interesting so I will read the whole thing when I get a chance

    ---
    The Bell Curve, published in 1994, was written by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray as a work designed to explain, using empirical statistical analysis, the variations in intelligence in American Society, raise some warnings regarding the consequences of this intelligence gap, and propose national social policy with the goal of mitigating the worst of the consequences attributed to this intelligence gap. Many of the assertions put forth and conclusions reached by the authors are very controversial, ranging from the relationships between low measured intelligence and anti-social behavior, to the observed relationship between low African-American test scores (compared to whites and Asians) and genetic factors in intelligence abilities. The book was released and received with a large public response. In the first several months of its release, 400,000 copies of the book were sold around the world. Several thousand reviews and commentaries have been written in the short time since the book's publication.
    -----
     
  14. tomjc

    tomjc Member

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    I think from reading that article there is definitely an innate intelligence difference between races. Let's look at the issue of Starcraft, Chinese males constitute more than 10% of the world's population and a significant amount of them enjoy playing computer games. South Korea has a population of less than 50 million people, 2 races, similar ethic backgrounds, and I would assume the Chinese computer players can compete in similar facilities for professional gaming as Koreans and some of them love Starcraft just as much. But you ask anyone in the world and they'll tell you, if you're a Korean SC player you're going to be better at it even if you put 1 Korean, 1 Chinese, and 1 non asian SC player with no prior exposure to Starcraft, I believe the Korean will win.
     
  15. uolj

    uolj Member

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    Why do you think that is an assumption? It can be tested through separated twin studies. What evidence do you have that nurture is as important as nature with regards to IQ?

    Oh, and please forgive me for not wanting to read an entire book to get the answer. ;)
     
  16. uolj

    uolj Member

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    This likely has nothing to do with race-related intelligence. In fact, I'd say that this type of thinking is why the topic of race-related intelligence is taboo.
     
  17. SunsRocketsfan

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    okay apparently it's a 700 page book which I wont have time to read or buy right now. but the above link I gave gives a good summary.
     
  18. tomjc

    tomjc Member

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    This is not true. The argument is made that Nature is >> Nurture, if you look at the twins study. Also the above post mentions that Asians >> Blacks in IQ test. You can't blame that on a faulty test because Asians I will argue have less of a cultural perspective on an IQ test written in English with English logically trained processes of thinking than Blacks. Also both races fall in the lower range of socioeconomic status canceling the nurture effect.
     
  19. SunsRocketsfan

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    also I dont understand why it's such a taboo topic. If people can talk about blacks being better athletes why cant people talk about certain races being better at academics?
     
  20. Ottomaton

    Ottomaton Contributing Member
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    [rquoter]
    21. The reasons that blacks differ among themselves in intelligence appear to be basically the same as those for why whites (or Asians or Hispanics) differ among themselves. Both environment and genetic heredity are involved.

    22. There is no definitive answer to why IQ bell curves differ across racial-ethnic groups. The reasons for these IQ differences between groups may be markedly different from the reasons for why individuals differ among themselves within any particular group (whites or blacks or Asians). In fact, it is wrong to assume, as many do, that the reason why some individuals in a population have high IQs but others have low IQs must be the same reason why some populations contain more such high (or low) IQ individuals than others. Most experts believe that environment is important in pushing the bell curves apart, but that genetics could be involved too.

    24. Almost all Americans who identify themselves as black have white ancestors the white admixture is about 20%, on average- and many self-designated whites, Hispanics, and others likewise have mixed ancestry. Because research on intelligence relies on self-classification into distinct racial categories, as does most other social-science research, its findings likewise relate to some unclear mixture of social and biological distinctions among groups (no one claims otherwise).

    [/rquoter]

    Not exactly a ringing endorsement for racial genetic determinism.
     

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