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The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Do animals have a sixth sense?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/30/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,593 times Debate No: 38308
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)




Can animals sense before something happens? I believe they do. They can tell when someone is hurt or when a natural disaster will happen.


My opponent describes the animal's sixth sense as being able "to tell when someones is hurt or when a natural disaster will happen." Now, think about this question; "How can the animal TELL us that someone is hurt or when a disaster will happen?" The human brain is an interesting thing, as it can translate signs incorrectly, or translate signals differently than originally intended, and this is because of bias, or what we want to happen. As animals could be trying to tell the human something completely different, it may just simply be coincidental that a natural disaster happens or someone gets hurt, as there aren't too many true accounts of animals predicting the future.

I wish my opponent luck in the future rounds.
Debate Round No. 1


There's is true accounts of animals being able to predict or sense what might happen maybe no the future but they do sense something. For example, on December 26, 2004, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake in the Indian Ocean created a tsunami that claimed hundreds of thousands of human lives. But, amongst all that destruction, no mass animal deaths were reported. Along India's Cuddalore coast, thousands of people perished, while buffaloes, goats, and dogs were found unharmed.There are widespread accounts of odd animal behavior just prior to the Indian Ocean tsunami. About an hour before the giant waves slammed coastlines, wild and domestic animals fled " dogs refused to go outdoors, flamingos abandoned their low-lying breeding grounds and flew to the safety of the forests, bats flew frantically away, and zoo animals retreated into shelters. A full hour before the waves struck, elephants became agitated and began to wail. Many broke their chains and headed for higher ground. (


What if animals don't have a sixth sense, but they simply have a higher sensitivity to such things?

"Animals that detect impending earthquakes don"t necessarily have more senses than humans; they just have much higher sensitivity. The fact that animals have keener senses than humans is well-documented. Dogs have a remarkable sense of smell, birds can migrate using celestial cues, and bats can locate food with echoes. Elephants can detect faint vibrations and tremors (such as other elephants" footsteps) from fantastic distances."

"Animals may sense unusual vibrations or changes in air pressure coming from one direction that suggest they should move in the opposite direction. If a herd of animals are seen fleeing before an earthquake, all that is needed is for one or two of them to skittishly sense danger; the rest will follow " not necessarily due to some supernatural earthquake-detecting sense, but simple herd instinct."

This is not a sixth sense, but rather higher sensitivity to these things as stated by Benjamin Radford.

Debate Round No. 2


clarissa4 forfeited this round.


In conclusion, it is a bit irrational to conclude that animals have a sixth sense. After all, how would we know? We aren't any animal besides human, therefore we cannot speak for the rest of the animals(Nor, do they even speak a language comprehensible to us.) My opponent made arguments that did not even support their stance, considering that animals just have a higher sensitivity to earthquakes, natural disasters, etc. and that does not prove a sixth sense.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Sagey 4 years ago
Yes, we also have advanced Intuition, which is a function of our Prefrontal Cortex.
Yet most less brain developed animals have a form of automatic Intuition that evolved for survival, like seeing something that appears to be an image of a snake would make a monkey go automatically into fright/flight mode.
Our Advanced Intuition, thanks to the prefrontal cortex, has an override or delay built in, that allows us to reassess the situation, instead of automatically going into fright/flight mode, we can choose to turn it off, as we take a better look and realize that it was only something like a plastic replica, or a coil of rope.
We are the only animal that has this ability to delay responses and reassess danger/triggers, other animals will react automatically.
Posted by Chrysippus 4 years ago
*lift, not life.
Posted by Chrysippus 4 years ago
Pro's evidence that animals can sense disaster was sourced from a tabloid; Con gives a more rational explanation. Both debaters life almost the entire debate word-for-word from their sources, which is a huge negative; Con only gets the arguments points for having made valid arguments in his first and third rounds, and for Pro's forfeit.

All other points tied. Don't plagiarize, people; give us your arguments, not something you've copied from an article somewhere.
Posted by Sagey 4 years ago
Some people forget: Humans are Animals.
Animals develop different senses and responses to senses to humans.
We have our 6 primary senses, not 5.
Every other Animal has a different emphasis on different senses, because their survival depends on different senses.
Some animals don't have hearing as a sense, they sense vibrations through their ground contact, because they can detect animals moving on the ground easily that way. I tried to catch an albino cat, that was both blind and deaf, yet it was able to survive in the wild, catch prey, and avoid me. It could sense my presence by either smell or vibrations through the ground. Once it was finally caught by a trap, we discovered that if it was suspended off the ground by a basket, it could not detect my walking near it, yet, if it was on the ground, it would sense my footsteps and hiss loudly in my direction.
We were amazed at how such a cat could survive as a hunter with those disabilities.
It compensated by having greater emphasis and more connections within the brain to those senses that remained.
Posted by Sagey 4 years ago
LOL, Shake instead of snake. only noticed that after posting, should really spend more time proofreading first, Aye! mmm News, man dies of shake bite. :-D~
Posted by Sagey 4 years ago
Many animals and even some natives have a sense that comes from experience.
Some fishing tribes survived tsunamis without a loss, because they noticed that the sea suddenly became very still and fish heading out to sea, which is a traditional held warning sign.
So they also headed out to sea, and those on land headed to high ground which saved them all.
Some creatures and even humans have natural responses built into the genetics, that assisted in the survival of the species, just as fish that swam out to sea when waters suddenly became still survived, while those that didn't perishes, thus, possibly favoring a genetic pattern.
Humans have natural responses that appear as a sixth sense, such as a hiker I read about warned his son of a shake, without actually seeing it properly, the sight of the coiled snake in his peripheral vision activated a natural response mechanism in his brain stem, that caused him to call out "Stop" in response, before he even realized why he was telling his son to Stop.
It was only a few seconds after he shouted Stop, that he actually, consciously realized there was a snake in his son's path.
This automatic, subconscious response unit we are born with, is a sort of Sixth Sense.
Sometimes we respond to things that we are not even aware of being there until after we respond.
If in the time between our response and conscious awareness, it disappears, we may never know what we were responding to.
Posted by clarissa4 4 years ago
I know but I'm not talking about us I'm talking about animals.
Posted by Duncan 4 years ago
You know that we have more than 5 ourselves, right? Balance, awareness of your own body parts, humidity detection, these are all senses.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Chrysippus 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.