The Instigator
subdeo
Pro (for)
Tied
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The Contender
QueenDaisy
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Can water flow uphill (not using propulsion or inertia)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/19/2017 Category: Science
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 425 times Debate No: 104045
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

subdeo

Pro

This is intended to be a very short debate. I am arguing that water CAN flow uphill, contrary to popular theory. First round is acceptance and rules only. After that, we will just argue back and forth without any particular rules regarding the usage for the rounds. My last attempt at this debate was forfeited by my opponent. If you want to accept this debate, don't forfeit! I look forward to this debate with you! Good luck!
QueenDaisy

Con

First round is acceptance only, so I will say no more.
Debate Round No. 1
subdeo

Pro

Hello Queen Daisy, I look forward to this debate with you, and may the best argument win!

According to google dictionary, flow is defined as, "{to} move along or out steadily and continuously in a current or stream.
I believe that water CAN flow uphill based on the principle of capillary action [1].
This phenomenon can be seen in an oil lamp with a wick. When a dry wick is placed in the oil, the oil will flow up the wick. Admittedly, oil is not water, but if you try this effect using water instead it will work too. This can also be observed with an absorbent paper towel or rag. if one holds the rag at an incline, with the bottom of the item in a stream of water (maybe from a faucet), The water will slowly make its way up the incline, thereby proving that water can flow uphill.
I look forward yo reading your response! Have a great day,
Subdeo

Sources:
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org...
QueenDaisy

Con

The example of capillary action does indeed show water rising upwards throughout a container. However, this does not meet my own definition of "flow", which would be something along the lines of:
"To spontaneously move from one place to another in a liquid or gaseous state".
The key is in the word spontaneous, in that if capillary action is acting upon something, that thing has not spontaneously moved in the resulting manner, as it has been acted upon by an external force.

Another way to ressolve this while keeping to Pro's definition is to consider capillary action to be an example of propulsion. Propulsion is defined as:

"the action of driving or pushing forward"

According to source 1.

Capillary action uses Van der Waals (see source 2) intermolecular forces (see source 3) to drive a liquid in any given direction. This makes it an example of propulsion, and so not an example of water flowing uphill without using propulsion, as the motion requires.


Sources:
1: https://uk.search.yahoo.com...
2: https://en.wikipedia.org...
3: https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
subdeo

Pro

Thank you for accepting the challenge and providing a concise well thought out argument. I look forward to seeing what the voters decide regarding this debate.

You provided an additional definition for "flow" in your argument, saying that the motion of capillary action did not fit under that definition, or the other one, for that matter. You said,

"The key is in the word spontaneous, in that if capillary action is acting upon something, that thing has not spontaneously moved in the resulting manner, as it has been acted upon by an external force."

I do not believe that this is accurate, however. On the contrary, the water that is flowing uphill based on the principle of capillary action is doing so based on its own properties and NOT being acted upon any force but itself. Capillary action is not "acting upon" the water as an external force, but as a force based on the properties of the water itself. The force is not external. Thus this type of motion fits under your definition.

I believe that it also fits under my definition. I think that your definition of propulsion ("The act of driving or pushing forward") is a good one. However, like I said above, the water experiencing capillary motion is not being propelled by an external force, but by itself. This is in much the same way as water and oil separate automatically when stirred, independent of any external forces, even gravity. Water and oil will even separate in microgravity, though not at top and bottom. By this, I mean that water and oil are still immiscible, even in space; they do not form a homogenous mixture.
QueenDaisy

Con

I think the crux lf this debate is whether or not capillary action constitutes an external force, but I think it's clear that it absolutely does- the Van der Waals intermolecular forces only exist in the presence of some kind of capillary tube or absorbsion medium- the water will never spontaneously flow upwards without being acted upon by a capillary tube. Hence, the capillary tube is using forces to act upon the water, and hence the movement is not spontaneous, and is the result of propulsion.

This differs from Pro's example of oil and water separating, as that is an example of a spontaneous process- the water and oil will spontaneously separate without being acted upon by an external force. This is, however, not the case for water supposedly flowing uphill- it does not happen spontaneously, and requires propulsion.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by fzbw9br 5 months ago
fzbw9br
"To spontaneously move from one place to another in a liquid or gaseous state".
The key is in the word spontaneous, in that if capillary action is acting upon something, that thing has not spontaneously moved in the resulting manner, as it has been acted upon by an external force.

Water flowing downhill requires gravity, therefore an external force. Without gravity, water simply will not flow but be attracted to itself.

So, water can neither flow uphill or downhill according to the Con arguments.

So if we accept that Capillary action is also a force, and accept the Con definition of flow, it is to be accepted water is unable to "Flow" at all
Posted by subdeo 6 months ago
subdeo
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Posted by subdeo 6 months ago
subdeo
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