The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Dinosaurs Still Exist

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/19/2016 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,134 times Debate No: 93922
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (22)
Votes (0)




I have discovered that a lot of people refer to dinosaurs as being extinct animals that are only a thing of the past. I'd like to challenge that belief and I would invite any such person to come forward and defend their opinion that dinosaurs are indeed extinct.

This will be a short debate (2000 characters max for each argument) on a pretty simple topic, so we should finish this quite quickly.

Full Resolution

Some species of dinosaurs still exist even today.


Species - a group of living organisms consisting of similar individuals capable of exchanging genes or interbreeding. The species is the principal natural taxonomic unit, ranking below a genus and denoted by a Latin binomial, e.g. Homo sapiens.

Dinosaurs - animals of the clade Dinosauria. It should be recognized that due to the massive variety of dinosaur species, the term would take a long time to describe fully, but here are a few examples of dinosaurs, so that you would get the idea of what I am talking about: Brachiosaurus altithorax, Triceratops horridus, Stegosaurus stenops etc.

Exist - (in this particular case) to be alive; to have living individuals.


Round 1: Acceptance only. No arguments allowed.
Round 2: Constructive case by Pro. Constructive case by Con.
Round 3: Rebuttals by Pro and Con.
Round 4: Counter-rebuttals and summary by Pro and Con.


1. The resolution, definitions and structure stated above must be accepted unconditionally.

2. Any further definitions, if needed, shall be defined in a reasonable manner, using the most common meanings that apply to the given context.
3. No trolling, swearing or personal attacks.
4. No kritiks or semantics.
5. Please retain a friendly and civil atmosphere.


I accept your challenge to discuss whether Dinosaurs still exist today. This will be my first debate and I'm not entirely certain about the format and what-not but I will do my best.
Debate Round No. 1


I will be arguing that there are modern dinosaur species and I accept the full burden of proof. My whole case will be based on showing that Birds (Aves), a class of animals with many currently living species, are dinosaurs. I will make use of this syllogism:

P1: All Animals of the Dinosauria clade are Dinosaurs
P2: Birds belong to the Dinosauria clade
C: Therefore, Birds are Dinosaurs

If P1 and P2 are true, then C necessarily follows from those two premises. P1 is true by definition (see Round 1), but P2 is not obvious and has to be shown to be true, using evidence.

Before I start, I feel the need to explain what a clade is, since I realized that I forgot to put the definition in Round 1:

Clade - A group of organisms believed to comprise all the evolutionary descendants of a common ancestor [1]

Thus, to show that Birds belong to the Dinosauria clade, I would have to show that birds share a common ancestor with other Dinosaurs. This can be done by demonstrating that Birds have sufficiently many anatomical similarities with other Dinosaurs. Not wasting too much space, I'll write out my main points, which I will expand on in further rounds.

A) Birds, like some other dinosaurs, have feathers and scales. [2]

B) Birds, like other dinosaurs, lay eggs.

C) Birds share major skeletal similarities with some dinosaurs, especially those from the Coelurosauria clade. [3]

D) The Archaeopteryx specimen is an example of a transitional fossil, showing a direct evolutionary lineage between non-Avian Reptiles and Modern Birds. [4] It has features of both Reptiles (e.g. teeth) and modern Birds (e.g. feathered wings)


Taken together, this evidence suggest that Birds are Dinosaurs.



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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by missmozart 1 year ago
I would love to debate Con with you sometime.
Posted by Biodome 2 years ago
I think Airmax can refresh the timers and make the debates go normally again, but that's only a temporary solution, as the glitch is caused by something deeper within the code and is probably not fixable without major effort.
Posted by missmozart 2 years ago
Oh zut, seriously? Will the forfeit glitch be fixed?
Posted by Biodome 2 years ago
@Pro-Star I can post my argument as late as possible, so that if you get back on Monday you would still have time post your argument. It's 3 days per round.
Posted by Pro-Star 2 years ago
This is taking much longer than I thought it would and because I'm leaving for the weekend I won't be able to debate so I am dropping out.
Posted by DavidMancke 2 years ago
Okay, that's what I was looking for. You said earlier that you were zeroing in on a popular idea of what a dinosaur is/isn't and it seemed like a predatory topic, to be blunt. With what you've added it makes allot more sense. Thanks for the clarification.

I would say you might be vulnerable in that if the prevailing scientific opinion is your advocacy, the topicality still be argued to have dis-balanced burdens, nevertheless with that added its not a tautology. .
Posted by Biodome 2 years ago
As I have said, my opponent can win the debate by showing that my central premise (i.e. Animal X, a modern animal, should belong to the Dinosauria clade) is false and unreasonable. If we take the birds example, there are arguments why they should not be classified like that. A simple search turns up articles, such as this:

So I don't agree that this debate is set up to be an automatic win for me. I don't see how it is a tautology, even after reading your article.
Posted by DavidMancke 2 years ago
Here is a link to a debate I had where the topicality of my case was raised and I answered it, to give you an idea o how it plays out.
Posted by DavidMancke 2 years ago
Sorry, I was posting from my phone and that got jumbled. '

Let me just ask you a question though, given your defintion of dinosaur, is this resolution a tautology or not? Either way, please demostrate how.

To effectively refute a tautology claim in debate, you show the judge(s) where the ground for your opponent was and that they missed the opportunity to bring those questions up.

So imagine that's what I brought up, I am debating you and claim your case is a tautology; I say your cheating.

Show us where the ground is that I missed. Show us how, using your definition of dinosaur, that they are entirely extinct.
Posted by DavidMancke 2 years ago
Yes and if I say the terms of the contest are for you to sit politely while I punch you in face and ask if it hurts, I am an idiot for playing. Your defense of your terms is vacuous and doesn't address how deabtes are won; with outside ballots.

If this were a college event and you defines a resolution with these terms I would drop my pen once I got your garbage on the flow pad. This is a little different though, since people volunteer for topics, not simply rounds of debate what the topic or advocacy is (Make academic deabte wholly superior to this format).

Now for the record, if someone was foolish enough to take the topic without asking for revisions, and failed to raise topicality, I would be disappointing and wouldn't vote. But if they so much as brush up against the tautology issue (topicality) I would drop you liek a murder weapon.

By your own admission you are setting up a tautology for debate and that is pointless. What's your aim. To show someone random you have a better definition of "dinosaur" Bully for you, this, as it is structured is unworthy of debate. If you were my student and I found out you were doing this kind of thing, I would warn you once and make the seniors review your case before you go in round. Twice and your out.

The discussion of taxonomy or how sexy it is isn't what makes this unworthy of debate, that you have framed the topic as a tautology is. Your topic isn't provocative either. Something incendiary is provocative, your is just kinda dumb, and shows you have no debate background.

And I don't buy that your trying to filter out the Jurassic park crowd, you are trying to lure pedestrians into a debate over definitions and have stacked the deck in your favor. Did you even click on the link I provided..?
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