The Instigator
ghegeman
Pro (for)
Winning
21 Points
The Contender
MaxHayslip
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points

Evolution (as in the theory of evolution) happens

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/4/2008 Category: Science
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,964 times Debate No: 3898
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (30)
Votes (9)

 

ghegeman

Pro

I am arguing that Evolution happens, has happened, and will continue to happen. I wish my opponent the best of luck.

First let's establish the definition of Evolution-

Evolution(n.) change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift

This definition is actual fact. There is no denying that there are changes in the gene pool.

The idea under examination is the theory of evolution, which puts forward the idea that this genetic drift has been ongoing for hundreds of millions of years, and that all animals started out of a common origin, branching out and specializing into particular environmental niches.

I await a refutation
MaxHayslip

Con

I also wish you luck.

Evolution(n.) change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift

The Theory of Evolution is the process of change in the inherited traits of a population of organisms from one generation to the next However; the mechanism driving these changes remained unclear until the 1859 publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. (1)

"This definition is actual fact. There is no denying that there are changes in the gene pool."

Because of the Darwinist theory of evolution many hundreds of thousands of geologists have in vain been looking for missing links in the development of primitive life to Homo Sapiens. Those missing links don't exist and all geological effort was spoiled. Most major groups of organisms appear suddenly full-blown in the fossil record in contrary to Darwin's idea of development because of the gradual accumulation of countless infinitesimally minute variations. The fossil record is not an unbroken chain of transitional forms. Life developed in a saltational way, in a leapfrog fashion.
(Saltational(n.)- an abrupt movement or transition.) (2)

The above statement shows that the Theory of Evolution's driving force (Darwin's theories) shows many flaws, you tell of a generation by generation process of "mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift" although there is no geological evidence of a *generation by generation* change.

Darwin was a son of his time when he said that Nature couldn't make any jumps, natura non facit saltum. This was in harmony with the ideas of Descartes, Laplace, Newton or Leibniz who explained the world in a mechanical manner. But jumps undermine the Darwinist theory of evolution, which fits like a glove in the purpose of the planners to maintain their power and their social order. Therefore ideas connected with jumps are still not allowed. The words ‘natura non facit saltum' became a dogma. (3)

The "Tree of Life" is what you refer to when you talk about animals coming from a common origin (Although, it would be all life, not animals alone). To this, I must state there are no geological indications for a primordial soup. The necessary amino acid and sugar chains would not arise in water anyway. And if, for example, some amino acid bonds did temporarily arise, then an "inter-molecular reaction" instead of linear, as necessary for proteins, would result. Before one can talk about actual life, an organism needs a functional genetic code. Where are the correct DNA sequences supposed to have come from? And for genes to encode protein sequences, the necessary decoding machines must be present (polymerases, ribosomes, t-RNA, etc.). But these themselves consist of dozens of proteins and RNAs, whole origin demands the genetic code. Such a system cannot simply initiate and then improve itself little by little. The code consists of 64 "symbols", and all must be decodable from the very beginning or the system does not work. (4)

In conclusion, the Darwinist Theory is disproved by Darwin himself in the words "natura non facit saltum". I mention the Darwinist Theory because it is the driving force behind the Theory of Revolution.

I await a rebuttal
Citations (Could you please Cite your evidence?)
(1)http://en.wikipedia.org... (definition)
(2)http://dictionary.reference.com... (definition)
(3) http://members.chello.nl... (evidence)
(4) http://www.discovery.org... (evidence)
Debate Round No. 1
ghegeman

Pro

Before I go into a rebuttal, I would like to point out that you are branching out into two main areas first, you claim that a punctuated equilibrium is how speciation occurred (Life developed in a saltational way, in a leapfrog fashion.), and then you move on to an argument against abiogenesis (I must state there are no geological indications for a primordial soup.). In your next argument please explain exactly how you think that punctuated equilibrium is different than Darwinian Evolution (especially since it was an example of punctuated equilibrium that spurred Darwin to write On the Origin of Species).

"[Darwin had scientists] looking for missing links in the development of primitive life to Homo Sapiens. Those missing links don't exist and all geological effort was spoiled."

This is simply not true. Although it is true that it is a geological rarity to have the evidence of a frame by frame evolution such as in the horse (1). Transitional forms are numerous in the fossil record. These are the three most famous transitional forms.
1.Archaeopteryx – the transitional form from birdlike dinosaurs to birds (2)
2.Tiktaalik- a lobed fish which began displaying amphibious features (3)
3.Ambulocetus – an early "walking whale" which could swim and walk on land (4)
Since you directly addressed the absence of missing links in the development of Homo sapiens, I would hope that the increasing amount of early hominids (5) would be sufficient evidence to the contrary. Also, a genetic analysis of human and ape chromosomes points to a common origin (6).
As to your presentation of punctuated equilibrium, I would argue that this is the most prime example of Darwinian Evolution there is. It is a scientific "no-brainer" that the more isolated a small population is, the more likely it is to be able to change. I'm sure if Darwin had read the theory drawn up in the 70's, he would have asked us how it took us so long to arrive at this idea. Even Stephen J. Gould and Niles Eldredge knew that the punctuated equilibrium was only a minor edit to explain how Darwinian evolution happened, not to replace it. (7) The generation by generation change you speak of happens every day, but most of the time the changes are so slight that they are imperceptible on the fossil record.

"To this, I must state there are no geological indications for a primordial soup."
Although this argument is a matter of abiogenesis and not one of evolution, I will humor you and delve into the intricacies of the origins of life. Although I could take the easy way out an argue that panspermia was the origin of life, I would like to present the currently accepted model on the origins of life that does not involve such outlandish claims (pun intended).
1.Pre-biotic conditions produce monomers (basic components of life)
2.Lipids (phospholipids to be more specific) spontaneously form lipid bilayers
3.Nucleotides form random RNA molecules which in turn formed ribozymes (early life used RNA as genetic coding)
4.Ribosome is born
5.Proteins have stronger catalytic ability, replace ribozymes as catalysts- Nucleic acids restricted to genomic use (8)
There are several other theories on exactly how these events took place, and the steps in which the first life was formed.

Citations (ask and ye shall receive)
(1)http://chem.tufts.edu...
(2)http://www.talkorigins.org...
(3)http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu...
(4)http://www.neoucom.edu...
(5)http://www.livescience.com...
(6)http://www.gate.net...
(7)http://prelectur.stanford.edu...
(8)http://en.wikipedia.org... (although I do not usually sanction the use of Wikipedia as a research tool, the amount of theories on the page is staggering.)
MaxHayslip

Con

I'm sorry, you had a rather unclear resolution. My argument on punctuated equilibrium is to debate that there is a flawed Theory of Evolution due to a corrupted base (Darwin); my argument on phylogeny (What you conceived to be abiogenesis) was against your "Tree of Life" theory. I have taken the following excerpt from your opening:

"The idea under examination is the theory of evolution, which puts forward the idea that this genetic drift has been ongoing for hundreds of millions of years, and that all animals started out of a common origin, branching out and specializing into particular environmental niches."

So, now I hope you can understand where I got the argument against the Theory of Evolution; "The idea under examination is the theory of evolution"; and phylogeny, "…and that all animals started out of a common origin, branching out and specializing into particular environmental niches."

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Darwin was a son of his time when he said that Nature couldn't make any jumps, natura non facit saltum. This was in harmony with the ideas of Descartes, Laplace, Newton or Leibniz who explained the world in a mechanical manner. But jumps undermine the Darwinist theory of evolution, which fits like a glove in the purpose of the planners to maintain their power and their social order. Therefore ideas connected with jumps are still not allowed. The words ‘natura non facit saltum' became a dogma.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Darwin argued that evolution was done in a frame by frame style; geological evidence has only proved punctuated equilibrium, remember the phrase "natura non facit salum".

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When I suggested the missing links, I mean to state that man's frame by frame evolution (suggested by Darwin) has not yet been seen; only our punctuated equilibrium.

You speak that punctuated equilibrium would be condoned by Darwin, and it helps prove his theory, although Darwin himself suggested that punctuated equilibrium could not exist. "natura non facit saltum", I'm sorry to use this phrase so much; I'm sure it's getting rather annoying to see so much Latin.

I would ask to see some evidence on your conclusion of the generation by generation changes that happen daily.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I would like to argue that this is not an argument of abiogenesis, but an argument of phylogeny which is the "Tree of Life" concept, the very concept you've stated in your somewhat vague resolution.

Homeobox genes can explain some changes when genes are already present in the DNA but they can't make new genes. (1)

The necessary amino acid and sugar chains would not arise in water anyway. And if, for example, some amino acid bonds did temporarily arise, then an "intra-molecular reaction" instead of linear, as necessary for proteins, would result.

Before one can talk about actual life, an organism needs a functional genetic code. Where are the correct DNA sequences supposed to have come from? And for genes to encode protein sequences, the necessary decoding machines must be present (polymerases, ribosomes, t-RNA, etc.). But these themselves consist of dozens of proteins and RNAs, whole origin demands the genetic code. Such a system cannot simply initiate and then improve itself little by little. The code consists of 64 "symbols", and all must be decodable from the very beginning or the system does not work.

The simplest free-living single celled micro-organisms typically possess thousands of "gene families", meaning genes whole sequences are so different, that one cannot suspect that one evolved from another via mutations. The resulting proteins create thousands of biochemical processes, which are in parallel and perfectly regulated. But where did all these new genes come from?

Superfluous DNA (for example from gene duplication) is disadvantageous for micro-organisms due to waste of energy and material. The longer chromosomes would take longer to replicate. Computer models show that these lineages, with extra DNA, would go extinct thanks to natural selection, before enough mutation could arise to create truly new genes. (2)

Citations
(1) http://members.chello.nl...
(2) http://www.discovery.org...
Debate Round No. 2
ghegeman

Pro

Thank you for clarifying your positions on the topics, or at least for trying to clarify. Also let me make it clear that Latin is not a problem for me (though your excessive use of the quote "Natura non facit saltum" has become a little irritating, especially because you take the quote a little out of context)

As I understand it you are
1.making an ad hominem attack against Darwin, and an attack on the theory of Evolution, based on "man's frame by frame evolution (suggested by Darwin) has not yet been seen; only our punctuated equilibrium." ( by the way, "Natura non facit saltum" has ironically become a mantra in your arguments)
2.You also claim that a cell with a superfluous mutation would go extinct because of natural selection and that cells must have arose with their specific gene families already in place (no this is not phylogeny, this is an argument about abiogenesis. Also, I must point out that phylogeny has to do with the relative similarities and differences between phylums, and has little to do with the origins of DNA or any Genomic materials for that matter, merely the molecular and phenotypical relationships between species)

Before I begin, I must point out that this:
"Before one can talk about actual life, an organism needs a functional genetic code. Where are the correct DNA sequences supposed to have come from? And for genes to encode protein sequences, the necessary decoding machines must be present (polymerases, ribosomes, t-RNA, etc.). But these themselves consist of dozens of proteins and RNAs, whole origin demands the genetic code. Such a system cannot simply initiate and then improve itself little by little. The code consists of 64 "symbols", and all must be decodable from the very beginning or the system does not work."- your words from round 1
And this:
"Before one can talk about actual life, an organism needs a functional genetic code. Where are the correct DNA sequences supposed to have come from? And for genes to encode protein sequences, the necessary decoding machines must be present (polymerases, ribosomes, t-RNA, etc.). But these themselves consist of dozens of proteins and RNAs, whole origin demands the genetic code. Such a system cannot simply initiate and then improve itself little by little. The code consists of 64 "symbols", and all must be decodable from the very beginning or the system does not work."- your argument from round 2
Are exactly the same. This worries me because neither are in quotes (which they should be if you were quoting yourself or anyone else).
What worries me even more is that they came straight out of your second source (http://www.discovery.org...) which got me thinking what else you had plagiarized from various websites. I looked through your arguments, and sadly I found that you had copied many of them verbatim from your sources. I regard this not only a sad misrepresentation of your own intelligence, but also a direct insult to my own. I do find it ironic that you commented on my laziness when you do not even type out all of your own arguments. Also while on the topic of your sources, I must point out that the opinions of Joost van Steenis are in no way a platform for a debate. From now on please use your own words for all your arguments, or put the quoted section in quotes, as that is what they are for.

Now to my arguments.
1.Before analyzing the current area our debate has moved into, I would like to establish the meaning of "Natura non facit Saltum".

"natura non facit saltum" : nature makes no leap (1)

The idea expressed here merely means that no animals appear randomly, completely ready for their life. That all life comes out of another life, not out of thin air. This is no more of than a dismissal of archaic abiogenesis. Remember that old school scientists as far back as Aristotle believed that animals spontaneously generated in decaying materials (2). Louis Pasteur finally put the theories of life from decay to rest in the early 1860s. Darwin was aware of this philosophy and had rejected it. Darwin was not a chainist either. Instead he was pointing out the gradations both in observable species and in geological evidence (3).

One must realize that in the geological record we would obviously never find ever specimen of every species that ever lived, as decay can result in many different events happening. Most notably, decay hardly ever ends in the complete fossilization of a specimen. This is why your argument that not all "transitional forms" have been found yet is irrelevant.

Furthermore, as I expressed in my argument in round 2, nature most certainly does not "jump" from one form of life to another. (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) <- Evidence that evolution is a frame by frame process.

Punctuated Equilibrium does not state that Evolution stops and starts randomly. It argues that in a larger population evolution happens slower or not at all, while in a small population, genetic variation happens quickly as mutations are more likely to be passed down to a great many offspring. Darwin would say that this is common sense, as the animals of the Galapagos Islands (Darwin's main inspiration) were a prime an example of punctuated equilibrium. Darwin was assuredly well aware that changes were much more rampant in small populations.

2.I agree that any non-beneficial mutation would probably result in the extinction of that different form, but a accidental genetic mutation which positively affected the organism would most certainly result in the passing on of that gene, especially in asexual reproduction. Remember that the mutation only has to be a few nucleotides long to have an effect on the whole organism. Also remember that your source happens to be great at rationalizing their unchanging belief in Intelligent design. An area regarded by most as a pseudoscience.

Citations
(1)http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(2)Balme, D. M. (1962). "Development of Biology in Aristotle and Theophrastus: Theory of Spontaneous Generation". Phronesis: A journal for Ancient Philosophy 7 (1–2): 91–104
(3)http://scienceblogs.com...
(4) http://chem.tufts.edu...
(5) http://www.talkorigins.org...
(6)http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu...
(7)http://www.neoucom.edu...
(8)http://www.livescience.com...
(9)http://www.gate.net...
MaxHayslip

Con

As I understand it you are

1.My "attack" against Darwin is not ad hominem, but stating that the basis of the theory of evolution has been disproved by its base.

2.Phylogeny: the evolutionary history of a group of organisms, esp. as depicted in a family tree. (1)

Abiogenesis: the now discredited theory that living organisms can arise spontaneously from inanimate matter; spontaneous generation. (2)

I have not argued Abiogenesis, but Phylogeny in my attempts to show you that superfluous mutation is a logical fallacy.

My apologies, Citation Nazi, I thought it would be understood that they were not my words (Seeing that I cited them…)

1.The idea expressed within the Latin phrase is exactly what it says, evolution does not happen through punctuated equilibrium. Although, it's been seen quite clearly that in most cases it does. Although there are a few examples of frame-by-frame, the majority is made of punctuated equilibrium.
"It is said, natura non facit saltum [there are no leaps in nature]; and ordinary thinking when it has to grasp a coming-to-be or a ceasing-to-be, fancies it has done so by representing it as a gradual emergence or disappearance. But we have seen that the alterations of being in general are not only the transition of one magnitude into another, but a transition from quality into quantity and vice versa, a becoming-other which is an interruption of gradualness and the production of something qualitatively different from the reality which preceded it. Water, in cooling, does not gradually harden as if it thickened like porridge, gradually solidifying until it reached the consistency of ice; it suddenly solidifies, all at once. It can remain quite fluid even at freezing point if it is standing undisturbed, and then a slight shock will bring it into the solid state." (3)

Louis Pasteur disproved Abiogenesis (Also known as spontaneous generation), in no way is this relevant to Darwinian evolution. Darwin was in fact a chainist, arguing the frame-by-frame evolution (Which has yet to have substantial evidential backing).

So, are you suggesting that every single "missing link" has been destroyed?

You speak that my case of punctuated equilibrium is false because frame-by-frame specimens would be destroyed, then you give examples of ones that have not been destroyed; I think it is quite obvious that you twist the debate to go whatever way will benefit you most.

Punctuated Equilibrium states that evolution is done in a leaping fashion, not frame-by-frame.

Punctuated Equilibrium- a hypothesis holding that the evolution of species proceeds in a characteristic pattern of relative stability for long periods of time interspersed with much shorter periods during which many species become extinct and new species emerge. (4)

2.Regarding your belief on accidental gene mutation being beneficial, I would like to have cited information or examples.

Citations:
(1)http://dictionary.reference.com...
(2)http://dictionary.reference.com...
(3)http://scienceblogs.com...
(4)http://dictionary.reference.com...
Debate Round No. 3
ghegeman

Pro

1.Your perception of the theory of Punctuated Equilibrium is not sound. The theory put forward by Stephen J. Gould was an amendment to the Darwinian Evolution. Please read some of his articles on www.stephenjaygould.com.
MaxHayslip

Con

My opponent has failed to address any of my responses in his round, therefore he has conceded his position to Con.
Debate Round No. 4
ghegeman

Pro

As I simply do not have the time to write out a sentence by sentence reply (term papers take up a lot of time), I will briefly outline some key points.

1. Your mental grasp of punctuated equilibrium is quite weak. (I still do not understand why you said I conceded that point. You based your entire argument on your view of punctuated equilibrium, and I asked you to read Gould's articles, which show how he believes a frame by frame evolution happened.)

You undoubtedly got the majority of your information about punctuated equilibrium on dictionary.com and Wikipedia. Let me quickly explain. Punctuated Equilibrium states that when in a large gene pool, mutations tend to be bred out, while in a smaller gene pool it is easier for them to be passed on. (1) Therefore, punctuated equilibrium IS frame by frame evolution.

2. The Latin phrase "natura non facit saltum" mean's nature makes no leap i.e. frogs don't breed and lay eggs that hatch as chickens. It merely states that there is a transitional phase in evolution.

3. You have a paragraph in quotes which you say came from one of my sources... but it doesn't. I couldn't find it anywhere on the page, but I will address it anyway

"Water, in cooling, does not gradually harden as if it thickened like porridge, gradually solidifying until it reached the consistency of ice; it suddenly solidifies, all at once. It can remain quite fluid even at freezing point if it is standing undisturbed, and then a slight shock will bring it into the solid state." - from your argument

Well first I would like to point out that water freezes all at once because of the way the hydrogen bonds react with each other (this also creates surface tension and lower ice density). But glass, when freezing, does gradually become harder and harder because it is an amorphous solid.

4. Louis Pasteur does not have anything to do with evolution. This is true, but I was merely referencing the idea that nature truly does not make any leaps.

5. "You speak that my case of punctuated equilibrium is false because frame-by-frame specimens would be destroyed, then you give examples of ones that have not been destroyed; I think it is quite obvious that you twist the debate to go whatever way will benefit you most."-again from your argument

First let me make it quite clear that I am not speaking against true punctuated equilibrium, just your deluded version of it.

Secondly, I was merely pointing out that saying frame-by-frame evolution didn't happen because we haven't seen fossils of every species ever is quite absurd. I give examples of species which we can see have evolved slowly in a frame-by-frame manner because they further my point. I will (besides in this sentence) not address your accusations of a stacked debate.

6. Well, when an asexual cell lives, it clones itself. If there was a mutation which was beneficial, the cell would be able to survive easier. When this happens, more cells like it are born, and because they are already well adapted, they thrive until a new mutation comes along in which some die out, or become even better adapted.<- this is all middle school biology and common sense, do you really need any sources for it?

I am sorry, but my points from rounds two and three have yet to be addressed on any meaningful level, and therefore I will not make any new ones.

Citations
(1) http://www.stephenjaygould.org...
MaxHayslip

Con

MaxHayslip forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
30 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Paradigm_Lost 9 years ago
Paradigm_Lost
"hundreds of thousands of geologists have in vain been looking for missing links in the development of primitive life to Homo Sapiens

Geologists study strata, not humans or human lineage. Anthropologists study humans.
Posted by SnoopyDaniels 9 years ago
SnoopyDaniels
I was hoping you'd say that. Explain to me how the context of the quotes makes them any less damning to the idea of evolution. Here, let me help you by giving you the citations for the first and second quote respectively:

"Is a new and general theory of evolution emerging?," Paleobiology, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 1980, p.127

"Evolution's Erratic Pace," Natural History, vol. 86 (May 1977), page 14

Keep in mind while trying to defend Gould's position that many prominent evolutionists criticize the idea of punctuated equilibrium. PE is no more than a ditch effort by evolutionists to explain away an obvious methodical falsification of evolutionary theory.
Posted by ghegeman 9 years ago
ghegeman
taken out of context quotes can say alot
Posted by SnoopyDaniels 9 years ago
SnoopyDaniels
It's interesting you bring up Stephen Gould. He has said some pretty remarkable things regarding he fossil record in particular:

"The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution."

"The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils."

Obviously Gould's theory of punctuated equillibrium attempts to explain this away, but believing in dramatic jumps of evolution is even more mathematically absurd than believing in slow, incremental changes.
Posted by Vi_Veri 9 years ago
Vi_Veri
Don't mind Hayslip. He's bitter.
Posted by ghegeman 9 years ago
ghegeman
I'm just saying that you should at least join a debate you are interested in.

By the way you being 15 makes this a level playing field.
Posted by MaxHayslip 9 years ago
MaxHayslip
I'm a bored 15 year old; sue me for joining a debate.
Posted by ghegeman 9 years ago
ghegeman
that makes me wonder why you agreed to the debate
Posted by MaxHayslip 9 years ago
MaxHayslip
Just to tell you, If what I say sounds smart, i've probably gotten it from one of the cited sources.

Biology isn't my strong point.
Posted by ghegeman 9 years ago
ghegeman
Well, it's not like I'm asking for MLA or Chicago style,
just quotes. I think most people can handle pressing shift and then the quotes key.
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