Evolution--yes, no, or maybe?
MOST HELPFUL POSTS
Johnny - posted on 09/25/2010
Just because you are unable to understand or have never seen the evidence which supports the theory of evolution does not in anyway negate it's legitimacy as a solid scientific theory explaining our existence. Creationism of any form is not an opposite scientific argument for existence. It is a concept of a faith and a dogma.
I find it strange that people who are clearly well educated in the details of the scientific theories and are the ones who have done the research and collected the evidence (in all forms) that supports evolutionary theory have not found any suggestion in all that to support the truth of the creation story of the bible. They have found evidence of the great flood and the "ark" written about in biblical lore, and yet no sign whatsoever that God created the earth in 6 days 6000 years ago. Believing that would also negate your ability to believe in the speed of light and the force of gravity. It must be cool in that dark, floaty place where all of you creationists live.
I am not denying the possibility of a god or that a god could have had a hand in creating what has become, there is no scientific evidence to prove otherwise. But continuing to state that evolution theory is bunk when there is overwhelming and completely solid evidence to support it being relatively accurate is absolutely nuts.
"Why can't children here both arguments and decide for themselves."
They can Sherri. There is no reason why children can not hear about evolution and creation. But creation is not a scientific theory backed up by evidence that can be presented in a science class. And evolution is not a religious concept that supports faith & dogma that should be presented in a religious studies or social studies class. There are appropriate places for each concept to be taught. As I said, they are not opposing "theories" at all.
Allison - posted on 09/29/2010
Phew! Just to add a new voice to the thread - but also reiterating what a couple others have said - evolution is a theory just like gravity is a theory. Although it pains me greatly to hear people denying the basic building blocks of our existence, it exists whether they believe it or not :)
I was quite religious until I started college. Then I became a scientist, and after 10 years of studying physics, biology and chemistry, I learned and understood all these discoveries that answered the questions about life and the universe that humans had only been able to guess at over the millenia! And the truth is WAY more awesome, complex, TANGIBLE, steadfast and satisfying than what religion can ever offer, I've got to say!!!
Sure there is no proof that a god doesn't exist, but I am atheist 100% because I now see absolutely no need for one to exist for any reason, and so I just truly believe in my heart that gods were just a (perhaps necessary) fabrication of the human imagination. I think it's great to teach about all religions in this context, alongside all of the mythologies of our ancestors. And I know many MANY people in my family and friends who still believe these stories because they, too, do not fully understand what modern science has proven. Sure there is a LOT left to learn and discover, but I feel SO grateful and lucky to live in a time when we understand and have PROOF to explain SO much about the origins of our universe and our own existence!!! I try every day to teach others about what the science explains, and I hope all children have the opportunity to be taught FULLY the breadth of modern scientific knowledge. FAITH has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with it.
So, obviously I think evolution should be taught in schools, alongside the theory of the atomic nature of matter, theory of gravity, theory of solar energy, theory of germs, etc. etc. None of us could be typing on our incredibly fast, complex computers without "trusting" in the theory of electrons :)
Minnie - posted on 09/23/2010
I'm a Christian, but I believe in evolution. Yesss, we exist.
The way I see it- science won't negate the Bible. Ok- so being that there is so much evidence in favor of supporting a very old universe and evolution then maybe people are misinterpreting the Bible. Maybe it is not so literal as some take it to be.
Johnny - posted on 09/26/2010
Starr, I would agree with you that there is no point in searching for a scientific proof of god. God is about faith, not about reason, and if you need proof to believe, god probably isn't for you. Perhaps one day the human mind may evolve to the point that we are able to comprehend and figure out if there is a god(s) from a "scientific" standpoint, but at this time, it's really all about faith.
But you completely lose me when you say, "Neither side really has "proof" Just as I wasn't there to witness God creating the world, you all werent there witnessing us coming evolving from a freakin monkey." You are right there is no proof of the bible. There is no evidence to back the story of creation contained in Genesis.
However, there is proof that evolution has occurred and human beings are actually able to watch evolution occurring in micro-organisms at this time. We can actually see it happening. Just because you do not know about it and are not educated in it does not mean that there is no proof.
My niece's boyfriend is currently working on his PhD studying the evolution of protein cells in bacteria. He watches evolution on a daily basis.
There is fossil evidence and evidence in our genetic structure that we evolved from apes (not monkeys). If you choose to ignore it, fine, but don't expect people to think that demonstrates anything other than willful ignorance.
Barb - posted on 09/26/2010
Starr, i know your post was suppose to help support your theory of creationism, but all it did for me was to solidify the fact that the Bible, written by man, created by man is a tool to manipulate the masses. "Don't believe the heathens, believe me instead" Keep paying into my beliefs, don't have any of your own.
The History of the bible is very interesting. It was first translated from the original Hebrew and Greek into Latin and then from Latin into English. And even then when it was translated into English it was translated by a man who was locked away in a tower and added a few phrases of his own like "turn the other cheek" or "build your foundation on stone and not sand" "those who live by the sword die by the sword" And thus was born the King James Bible. Although it did help uniform the English language. But then you are quoting out of the NIV (New International Version) which is just another translation of the KJV. So how much is lost in 3 translations?
Have you ever played the game where you stand in a line and someone whispers "i like chocolate chip cookies" in the first person's ear and they whisper what they heard in the next person's ear, and so on and so on until they get to the end of the line and the sentence is now "Let's go horseback riding"?
That is how i feel about the translations of the Bible.
Again, it just solidifies the fact that Religion is used to control the masses with fear, ignorance and guilt.
This conversation has been closed to further comments
Karen - posted on 10/09/2010
I'm a Christian who believes in Evolution (although I most days wish there were more of it going around (not naming any names...)) Anyway, I went to Catholic school and we were taught Darwin's Theory of Evolution. As far as I know it is still a valid scientific theory - a lot of fact to back it up but a theory nonetheless. I guess, since none of us were there to watch all of the changes it will remain a theory. So, evolution and religion can mix, at least in my experience they did. And, unless you believe that there were 7 24 hour time periods at some moment in which all of this happened, there's nothing in religion that says that evolution can't have occurred. Since I didn't have the pleasure to be invited to the initial creation, who am I to say that the days were exactly 24 hours anyway? So, it could have happened in 7 really loooooong days.
Now, about that evolution thing - I have more than a few candidates to name that need more of it, and a few that disprove the theory every day...
Pamela - posted on 10/09/2010
This article is worth reading. Frankly, I am a creationist - in other words I believe God created the whole kit and kabootle. I am also an intelligent design person because I think God is pretty stinking smart and this whole universe (and whatever else is out there) is doggone amazing. The way systems work on this planet alone, ingenious! But I am also an evolutionist - because there is plenty of evidence for it - genetics present strong evidence for evolution.
Frankly this whole "young earth" thing is quite new - it didn't really take hold until the early 1900's. I tend to be - theologically speaking anyway - a little suspicious of "new" ideas, especially when those "new" ideas produce some rather bad fruit. Young earth creationism has created some of the worst division between religion and science; it has put obstacles in the path of investigating Christ for so many people. It has been made a "doctrine" by many Christian groups (and it isn't that! Not by a long-shot). It discourages investigation, inquiry, and thinking. It puts humankind in a box (because God is never in a box) and demands belief in a faux science. Can't get my head around that.
Isobel - posted on 10/08/2010
it is a fact...dogs DID come from wolves...they just haven't become a separate species yet because you can still breed them together...I doubt, though that it'll be much longer before they can't...a chihuahua and a wolf? There will soon be a dog that cannot mate with a wolf, and when it happens, it'll be the final proof of macro evolution.
Sally - posted on 10/08/2010
Actually, the more fossil record we uncover, the fewer possible "between" species we find. Many of the "between" species found so far have been proven to be hoaxes or not what we first thought they were. One of Darwin's big "proofs" was that we didn't have enough evidence yet. As the evidence piles up, more of it seems to be trying harder to disprove him. His theory could be true, but it has NOT been proven so yet. At this point in scientific understanding Darwinian evolution is as much a religion as any other theory.
Johnny - posted on 10/07/2010
Human beings have only been analyzing and studying evolution for 175 years making it exceedingly unlikely that we would have had the opportunity to observe an occurrence of macro evolution as it is happening. However, there is ample fossil and genetic evidence to support the current theories of evolution, micro & macro. There is most likely information that we are unaware of at this time that will be uncovered in later scientific study that could well change our understanding of these issues. But insisting that evolution is false because wolves did not become dogs and we have not been able to observe an occurrence of macro evolution is a false argument.
For a good basic explanation of the fallacy of the micro evolution vs. macro evolution argument:
Isobel - posted on 10/07/2010
yes...I just said that I was wrong...I also said that the process that they are going through is extremely obvious...and that I'm sure in a few more thousand years it will be complete...sorry, I thought they were a different species, but I stand by the fact that they won't be for long :)
Isobel - posted on 10/07/2010
Now, would you like to look it up Heather?...because I believe you'll find you are incorrect.
I'm pretty sure macro evolution is CAUSED BY a long string of micro evolutions...you are splitting hairs now and just being silly.
Heather - posted on 10/07/2010
ok Laura...that's a great arguement*eye roll*. why don't you look up the evolution of wolves to dogs and you'll see that your example is actually microevolution. Wolves were domesticated and bread for their traits causing minute changes to occur over a long period of time. A wolf didn't become the domesticated cat. That's what Sally was saying.
Sally - posted on 10/07/2010
Microevolution (the idea that a species can change to meet environmental requirements and (if neccesary) change back when the environment changes)--That has been observed. Darwin's birdy beaks, selective breeding and radiation exposure with fruit flies, etc.
Macroevolution (the idea that over time one species can become a different species)--the more fossil record we find; the more we study the chemical processes in cells; and the more we attempt to mutate fruit flies into something other than fruit flies--that keeps looking more impossible over time. Maybe someday someone will find conclusive proof that it happens. Until then, it is no more scientific than any other religion. We've just had enough people shouting down the evidence against it for so long that most people don't know any better.
Heather - posted on 10/03/2010
I haven't read through all the posts, but has anyone mentioned that the story of Adam and Eve is only an afterthought in Genesis. The story of creation actually follows the pattern scientists have given to evolution today. I would have to contend that there must have been some sort of divine inspiration given to the writer of Genesis for him to know what came first, second, third, etc. in the higher order of organisms.
Amber - posted on 10/02/2010
I didn't have time to read through the responses...So sorry if I'm repeating anybody :)
I'm a Christian who believes in Evolution. (Although I will admit to being a confused Christian)
I think that before the world had the scientific knowledge to explain the weather, life, death and other daily phenomenon, they needed explanations. The explanation was that God controlled and created everything.
I will not debate where the world itself came from, because I am honestly not sure. But now that we have the scientific capabilities to follow the trends and mutations since the beginning of the Earth, it is hard to disagree with evolution. I personally can't argue with something that seems logical.
I doubt that many of us would believe that the weather is due to the daily mood of God; the views on this have changed due to science and the predictability of weather. So, if the opinion of one phenomenon can change without the entire idea of God being thrown out the window by the entire world, maybe we should look at another with the same view.
Evolution does not mean that God didn't create the world, it just means that His timeline isn't exaclty as we originally believed. (If you believe in God.)
Heather - posted on 10/02/2010
Pamela is a smart woman.;)
Science doesn't negate God and God doesn't negate science. The Bible is filled with stories that actually happened, but the timeline has been a little off. I'm sure one day we'll find a happy medium.
Jennifercounce - posted on 10/02/2010
I'm a evolution believing Christian.
When I was a little girl, maybe 6 or 8, I was dinosaur obsessed! I was trying to reconcile evolution and dinosaurs with what I was learning about Adam and Eve and the world being created in only 7 days in Sunday school.
So I asked my pastor on which of the 7 days did God make dinosaurs and if they are millions of years old where were they before God brought them to earth?
He got down on my level and said... "How do we know how long a day is to God? Maybe a day to God is a million or 10 million years for people. We don't understand everything in the Bible and not all of it is literal."
I thought this was a acceptable as a kid and as I've gotten older I realized how brilliant of an answer that was!
Isobel - posted on 10/02/2010
It all of a sudden just occurred to me...we DO have proof of one species EVOLVING into another.
You ladies don't believe that Dogs ARE wolves do you? Because they once were, and now they're not :) And if humans can do it, why on earth can't your almighty God (or my Universe)?
Allison - posted on 09/30/2010
@ Sherri - You marked all my posts on here as funny, but is it sarcastically? Or honest? Just curious, because I don't think we see eye to eye on this topic, and have had the same thing happen in other threads...thanks for the clarification. I just wondered if people do this sarcastically sometimes - I apologize in advance if I misunderstand the gesture!
Allison - posted on 09/30/2010
PS To Petra - Yes I've seen Idiocracy - what a terrible movie, but with a really good point!!! Does freak me out to see some of the things from that movie coming true!
PPS Question for those who don't think evolution is true - do you "believe in" natural selection??? I don't see how anyone can deny evolution, since it is simply the effect of natural selection; natural selection = cause, evolution = effect. And all natural selection says is that those individuals with the most favorable characteristics for survival are most likely to survive and reproduce. You can't dispute this, correct? If an individual dies before they reproduce, their genes cannot be passed on. Period! I have the feeling that most opponents of evolution and natural selection don't know what they are actually arguing against...
Pamela - posted on 09/30/2010
I don't think Darwin was blowing bubbles when he was postulating this idea of evolution. He based his theory out of observation. I love Darwin - he was an amazing man who remained respectful towards people of faith - even after he lost his faith - for the remainder of his life. He continued tithing to his local church community despite the fact that he no longer attended or believed (probably out of respect for his wife and the pastor who was a friend of his). It's really quite sad that he's been vilified by so many as he really didn't and doesn't deserve it.
But that aside, we are able to observe evolution in small scales (plants, microbes etc). The larger scale evolution requires more time therefore making a little more difficult to observe. But if we can see it on the micro level, it's undoubtedly occurring on the macro level as well.
But evolution does not preclude faith. It does however prevent us from interpreting the first 3 chapters of Genesis literalistically.
From NCSE (National Center for Science Education):
ID parallels but is not identical to creation science, the view that there is scientific evidence to support the Genesis account of the creation of the earth and of life.
ID and creation science share the belief that the mainstream scientific discipline of evolution is largely incorrect. Both involve an intervening deity, but ID is more vague about what happened and when.
Indeed, ID proponents are tactically silent on an alternative to common descent. Teachers exhorted to teach ID, then, are left with little to teach other than "evolution didn't happen."
An ID high school textbook, Of Pandas and People, mentions "creationism" only once, but this text is recognized by teachers and scientists as being very similar in content to creation science. Since Pandas was published in 1986, the two major innovations in ID have been Michael Behe's concept of "irreducible complexity," presented in Darwin's Black Box in 1996, and William Dembski's "design inference," presented in Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology in 1999.
Dembski contends that he has developed an algorithm — an "explanatory filter" — that can distinguish the products of "intelligent design" from the workings of natural law and chance. Behe proposes that there are certain biochemical structures that, being "irreducibly complex," cannot have arisen through unguided natural processes.
Neither Dembski's design inference nor Behe's irreducible complexity has fared well in the scholarly world, however.
A search of scientific databases, such as PubMed or SciSearch, reveals that scholars have not applied the concept of irreducible complexity or the design inference in researching scientific problems.
ID has been called an "argument from ignorance," as it relies upon a lack of knowledge for its conclusion: Lacking a natural explanation, we assume intelligent cause.
Most scientists would reply that unexplained is not unexplainable, and that "we don't know yet" is a more appropriate response than invoking a cause outside of science.
A third important book of the ID movement is Jonathan Wells' Icons of Evolution, published in 2000, which claims that biology textbooks promote fraudulent and inaccurate science. Although the reviews of Wells' book by scientists have unanimously regarded it as dishonest and devoid of scientific or educational value, it is being widely circulated among creationists and cited at school board meetings around the country.
ID also includes a "cultural renewal" component, which focuses on ideological and religious rather than scholarly goals.
The Seattle-based Discovery Institute's Center for Renewal of Science and Culture (CRSC) serves as an institutional home for virtually all of the prominent ID proponents, including Dembski, Behe, and Wells. The goals of the CRSC, as stated by the Discovery Institute's director Bruce Chapman, are explicitly religious: to promote Christian theism and to defeat philosophical materialism.
The sectarian orientation of the ID movement cannot be ignored in decisions about whether to include ID in the curriculum.
Courts repeatedly have held that the public school classroom must be religiously neutral and that schools must not advocate religious views. In 1987 the Supreme Court ruled that teaching creationism in the public schools is unconstitutional.
ID proponents may argue that a neutral-sounding "intelligence" is responsible for design, but it is clear from the "cultural renewal" aspect of ID that a deity — in particular, God as He is conceived of by certain conservative Christians — is envisioned as the agent of design. While schools can take no position on this view as religion, it cannot be regarded as science.
Thus, school board members and administrators would be ill-advised to include ID in the public school science curriculum. If the scholarly aspect of ID becomes established — if ID truly becomes incorporated into the scientific mainstream — then, and only then, should school boards consider whether to add it to the curriculum.
Until that day, proposals to introduce ID into curricula should be met with polite but firm explanations that there is as yet no scientific evidence in favor of ID, that ID supporters are wrong to allege that evolution is intrinsically antireligious, and that the sectarian orientation of ID renders it unsuitable for constitutional reasons.
And school board members should be aware that introducing ID into the curriculum is likely to lead to strong opposition — up to and including lawsuits — from those, including parents, teachers, scientists, and clergy, who do not want science education to be compromised.
Bonnie - posted on 09/30/2010
I do think evolution should be taught in schools. I think it sparks the very conversation needed to question theories and ideas and flesh out the facts if possible, likewise, there are very strong opinions on the side of intelligent design and I think respect for both theories should be honored first and foremost if we ever hope to learn more.
Pamela - posted on 09/30/2010
"evolution is a theory just like gravity is a theory".
Indeed. Thank you. Pretty much says it all right in that little statement.
One of the reasons (and I speak as a Christian) that so many of Christians reject science is due to fear: fear that science will take apart our faith. But I think it can deepen our faith and even our understanding of God. It will force us however to rethink our dogmas and beliefs - it requires a paradigm shift in our brains and that is always a scary proposition. But it is a proposition that must be embraced in order for us to grow as humans.
Ary - posted on 09/29/2010
Oh, just to clarify, when I say "the parents who ram one religion down a child's throat," I mean to say that the parents who teach their child that they will be punished if he or she doesn't follow said religion. I don't mean the parents who are Baptist or Mormon or Catholic or whatever and raise them and teach them their beliefs without making them feel pressured to believe that their specific religion holds the absolute truth. Hope that makes sense =)
Ary - posted on 09/29/2010
I agree. Poor kids. It is so sad that parents would willfully make their children ignorant of facts, not to mention shove one religion down their throat. Like I said, I'm an athiest who was raised Christian. Christianity just wasn't something that was for me. But my kids are definitely exposed to church (through their grandparents), and if they find their truth in religion, then I encourage it, and I'll be proud that they came to that decision all by themselves, without any one belief being rammed down their throats. But I'm not a creationist mom, and I just take comfort in the fact that the 'earth was created 6000 years ago in 6 days' creationists are fairly uncommon, and hope that their children will somehow get exposed to some scientific evidence at some point in their lives. ;)
Oh I completely understand that, I just feel that it is such a shame that the children in private schools may be brainwashed with only certain aspects of education while others are completely ignored and not taught. The children are not getting a fair education and will suffer later in their lives because of it. I feel that everybody has a right to make their own decisions and education is the key to that. Poor kids.
Ary - posted on 09/29/2010
Toni, I totally understand being annoyed at creationism being taught as scientific theory in any school. Buuut I would never send my kids to a private school that taught anything of the sort. And if it's a private school, then there's really not a whole lot we can say because it's not a part of the government, so we don't pay for it, ya know? I don't want to tell people what to believe, as I don't want to be told what to believe. And when we're dealing with private religious schools, the parents of the attending children are the ones who are actually picking the curriculum, more or less. Point is, I don't want religion-based theories being taught as science in the public schools because we as citizens of a country that practices seperation of church and state pay for it with our tax dollars, but I don't want the freedoms of others to be imposed upon either. And sadly, if the parents are going to send their children to a private school that teaches creationism as scientific theory, then the parents will most certainly drill that crap into the kids' head at home. So what to do?
I belive in creation. Is there a place for evolution in my religious views? Possibly. Do I believe the creator might have initiated the big bang and created animals capable of evolving? Yes, I'm open minded to that possibility, but I also belive the creator is capable of creating everything in 6 days. It sounds incredible and even foolish to those who don't believe in a God that can do anything and I have no scientific or logical argument to back up why I believe this is possible. All I have is what the bible teaches about the power of God and I happen to believe it.
Do I believe evolution should be taught in schools? Yes, as the available science that is relevant to our times. It's up to individual parents to educate their children about supernatural possibilities that can't be explained by science.
Evolution, 6 day creation or something else that meets it half way? It doesn't matter to me because I believe all things are possible with God. I also believe humans are set apart from the rest of creation regardless of how it happened because of Genesis 1:26 "God said let us make man in our image, after our likeness..."
Ary - posted on 09/29/2010
Oh, and I absolutely think evolution should be taught in schools. As a matter of fact, I'd be mighty upset if my kids were taught Creationism as a scientific theory in PUBLIC school. I absolutely want them to make their own decisions regarding religion or lack therof. That, to me, is a very personal choice (I am an athiest, but I was raised Christian). They are absolutely permitted to go to church to learn about God and the Bible, and as long as my children are not being taught to disregard proven scientific fact or compelling scientific theories in favor of blind faith and mythology. I want my children to have conviction and believe with all their heart and not feel 'punished' if they don't believe a certain thing. Or maybe they'll be comfortably uncertain in the existance of a god, but accept science as fact, like their daddy. Anyway, I want them to feel like they've been exposed to enough to be able to make up their own minds on the matter. I just don't want them to be ignorant and blatantly disregard what has been proven or what has significant evidence backing it in favor of fantasy. The bible is not even worthy of being considered, IMO, more than an ancient piece of literature. Sure, you can find a few things that are useful to life and morals ("do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is one of my favorites), but I hope that my children know between right and wrong without having to consult an ancient piece of literature that has been translated and re-translated into hundreds of languages. I have my own moral code, and many people have told me that I am one of the sweetest people they know. I feel bad when I do bad, and I feel good when I do good. Very simple, and I don't need a book to guide me on that. Sorry for the ramble, but I'm rather opinionated on this subject. And to make it clear, I ABSOLUTELY respect people of faith, and I definitely believe that everyone should find their own truth in life. I'm just not a fan of blind faith and taking the bible literally.
Ary - posted on 09/29/2010
Lol @ Anika (doing the wild thing with a few of the unevolved).
I'd also like to add to Anika's comment on the Earth being in the prime location for life to flourish. I completely agree with everything she says about this matter, and I also wonder why it would be so hard to believe that we just got lucky, along with maybe a few other planets? The universe is so vast, and there probably are other life bearing planets out there. I'd be very surprised if there weren't. I think that a life bearing planet was bound to happen at some point, and that's just what happened with the Earth.
Petra - posted on 09/29/2010
We definitely need to encourage kids to think for themselves and to seek out knowledge and scientific advancement. If we just sit back, do whatever we want, and figure God will take care of it all because what we are doing is His plan anyhow, we're fucked. Anyone else seen Idiocracy? It has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with the dwindling intelligence of the general populace. We need to be responsible for ourselves and make educated, informed, rational decisions - not base our lives on an unrealistic model dictated by a really, really old book.
Melissa - posted on 09/29/2010
Evolution is all I have ever believed in, even as a child. My parents tried to make me a JW but even at such a young age religion had no meaning to me and they soon gave it up because it made absolutely no sense! Sure religion keeps families close and priorities straight for some people, but I don't need a religion to teach me I am a good person and I love my family. I hope they teach evolution in school and make more scientists out of our children. We need those smart kids for our future!
Tanya - posted on 09/29/2010
ok one more thing. The bible say that both man and animal came 1st. So which is it?
25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, [a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
(Humans were created before the other animals.)
And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof
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