The Instigator
crackofdawn_Jr
Pro (for)
Losing
9 Points
The Contender
MTGandP
Con (against)
Winning
54 Points

A Fetus is Parasite When Inside Its Mother

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 12 votes the winner is...
MTGandP
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/2/2009 Category: Science
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,900 times Debate No: 8510
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (19)
Votes (12)

 

crackofdawn_Jr

Pro

I would like to thank whoever takes this debate.

Fetus- In humans, the unborn young from the end of the eighth week after conception to the moment of birth, as distinguished from the earlier embryo
(http://dictionary.reference.com...)

Parasite- an organism that lives on or in an organism of another species, known as the host, from the body of which it obtains nutriment. (http://dictionary.reference.com...)

Organism- a form of life composed of mutually interdependent parts that maintain various vital processes. (http://dictionary.reference.com...)

Mother- the human the fetus is inside

In this debate none of these definitions can be contended and it is assumed that a fetus is a living organism.

A fetus is parasitic because:
- it lives inside the women's body
- it takes all its nutrients from the mother
- the mother gets nothing in return from the fetus
- if the fetus is taken out of the mother, it will die

Thank you and good luck!
MTGandP

Con

I thank my opponent for this debate.

My argument is simple.

"Parasite- an organism that lives on or in an organism of another species, known as the host, from the body of which it obtains nutriment."

A fetus is indisputably homo sapiens (the same species as the mother), and is therefore not a parasite.
Debate Round No. 1
crackofdawn_Jr

Pro

Species- the major subdivision of a genus or subgenus, regarded as the basic category of biological classification, composed of related individuals that resemble one another, are able to breed among themselves, but are not able to breed with members of another species. (http://dictionary.reference.com...)

It is clear that for things to be considered the same species that they must be able to breed/reproduce with each other. I would like to contend that
- some fetuses will be female and thus the wrong gender for breeding to every be possible
- a fetus lacks the proper development to reproduce with its mother
- if a fetus cannot reproduce with the being it is inside, it is not of the same species, and is thus a parassite.

That will be all.
MTGandP

Con

"Species" is not so easy to define. Biologists and taxonomists still argue about its definition [1], [2]. My opponent's definition works in some cases, but his attempt to apply it to fetuses is inappropriate. For example, I could say that since a woman cannot breed with another woman, they are not of the same species. But this is, of course, ludicrous. The real question is why. It is likely because although two women cannot reproduce, they are both capable of reproducing with the same man. Unless, of course, one of the women is barren. Are barren women therefore not human? Of course not! This goes to show that my opponent's definition is inadequate.

Fetuses, though incapable of reproduction, will become able to reproduce when they grow older. Since biologists generally agree that animals cannot change species during development, it follows that if an adult is human, then that adult must have also been human as a child or a fetus. Therefore, a fetus is a human (homo sapiens).

Additionally, fetuses have distinctly human qualities. They have human faces, human skeletal structure, but most importantly, human DNA. The DNA of a fetus is entirely and indisputably human.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://plato.stanford.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
crackofdawn_Jr

Pro

Thank you for your timely response and I'm sorry it's taken so long for me to post my argument.

<<"Species" is not so easy to define. Biologists and taxonomists still argue about its definition [1], [2]. >>

Which is why I posted a definition for us.

<< For example, I could say that since a woman cannot breed with another woman, they are not of the same species.>>

You could...

<< But this is, of course, ludicrous.>>

Please explain.

<<. It is likely because although two women cannot reproduce, they are both capable of reproducing with the same man.>>

So that means that a male can be in both species. It still doesn't mean that women are of the same species.

<< Since biologists generally agree that animals cannot change species during development, it follows that if an adult is human, then that adult must have also been human as a child or a fetus. Therefore, a fetus is a human (homo sapiens).>>

Well, a caterpillar isn't the same "species" as a butterfly. Why can't the same logic be used to compare adults post-puberty to children pre-puberty?

<>

Monkeys also have humanlike faces, skeletal structure, and extremely similar DNA. Different races also have many different characteristics.

My opponent's argument seems to be that it's riduculous to say that a child isn't a homo sapien sapien and that females aren't of the same species. However, this does not explain why and thus his arguments are nulled.

This was a great debate and I had fun! Vote wisely!
MTGandP

Con

"Which is why I posted a definition for us."
And I think it's an inadequate definition.

"Please explain."
A human female (let's call her Mary) and another human female (let's call her Jane) are of the same species. They are both human. But according to my opponent's definition, they are of different species since they cannot reproduce together.

"So that means that a male can be in both species."
An animal can only be of one species.

"Well, a caterpillar isn't the same "species" as a butterfly."
Actually, it is. The Isabella Tiger Moth (pyrrharctia isabella [1]) is both a caterpillar and a butterfly. The Indian Luna Moth (actias selene [2]) is both a caterpillar and a moth. And, of course, the monarch butterfly [3] is both a caterpillar and a butterfly.

"Why can't the same logic be used to compare adults post-puberty to children pre-puberty?"
Other than the fact that a caterpillar *is* the same species as a butterfly, it's because a caterpillar goes through complete metamorphosis while a human does not go through metamorphosis at all.

"Monkeys also have humanlike faces, skeletal structure, and extremely similar DNA. Different races also have many different characteristics."
Yes, but not as humanlike as actual humans.

What I really meant is that a baby's DNA does not change when it grows older. If its DNA does not change, how can it change species?

"My opponent's argument seems to be that it's riduculous to say that a child isn't a homo sapien sapien and that females aren't of the same species. However, this does not explain why and thus his arguments are nulled."

I have given adequate explanation during this round. I have applied a reductio ad absurdum to my opponent's definition of "species" by showing how his definition implies that a human female and a human female are of different species. I have supported it with evidence ([1], [2], [3]). My opponent's definition of "species" is refuted, and I have adequately shown that a fetus is homo sapiens. Therefore, a fetus is not a parasite when inside its mother. Vote CON!

[1] http://bugguide.net...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Urisma_Ska-Kharib 8 years ago
Urisma_Ska-Kharib
Stealing my debate ideas huh? I told you all I was going to debate this. Nobody listens to me
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
O phail. I didn't see that.

Copy and Paste will kill you, crackhead.
Posted by mongoose 8 years ago
mongoose
Except for the problem that he posted that definition...
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
Crackhead, you would have done better had you challenged his definition of parasite rather than trying to argue that a fetus is not a human.
Posted by Killer542 8 years ago
Killer542
I have to give crackpfdawn_jr credit for ingenuity, he still lost horribly, but his arguments were interesting to say the least.
Posted by Common_Sense_Please 8 years ago
Common_Sense_Please
Pro doesn't have a very good understanding on what makes a species and broke down his arguement with his own deffinition
Posted by Maikuru 8 years ago
Maikuru
Yeah, the fact that this all stemmed from Pro's own definition is pretty funny, especially considering he insisted those definitions not be contested.
Posted by mongoose 8 years ago
mongoose
Good job, you set yourself up for failure with your own definition.
Posted by shadeofgrey 8 years ago
shadeofgrey
Not a bad debate ... Con has a little better position ... for now
Posted by MTGandP 8 years ago
MTGandP
"Damn you MTG :P beat me by a couple seconds."

Lucky me. =P
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