The Instigator
double_edged_words
Pro (for)
Losing
12 Points
The Contender
Lucretius
Con (against)
Winning
51 Points

Evolution is wrong

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/1/2008 Category: Science
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,323 times Debate No: 1227
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (21)

 

double_edged_words

Pro

Evolution is the foundation for the many scientists we hear about, the many shows we watch, and the many text books we read. All of them sound so sure and make evolution sound like a fact. How could everyone be wrong? They couldn't could they? Think, is evolution a fact or a false theory? I will start from the being. Life is often portrayed as spontaneously arising from some sort of "primordial soup". There it is ... quiet, tranquil, warm nutrients in a primitive sea, a lightning strike in the distance is imparting the energy of life, Bam! Our atmosphere consists mainly of oxygen (21%) and nitrogen (78%) and is called oxidizing because of chemical reactions created by oxygen. For example, iron is oxidized to form iron oxide. This could be problematic for self assembling molecules and cells. Oxygen reacts with some of the necessary chemicals for life like amino acids and sugars react with oxygen to form carbon dioxide and water. If there is oxygen, there would be no amino acids, sugars, purines, etc. Evolutionists propose a "reducing" atmosphere with no oxygen. The problem is the ozone layer. without it no life. This is a interesting problem (one of the many) many evolutionist fail to mention.

Atmosphere with oxygen= no life
Atmosphere without= no life.

For life to happen you need sugars, amino, perines, ect... For all this to bond there needs to be energy. Sadly, the energy that makes these bonds would most likely destroy the atoms or life. For life you need DNA and RNA but in a ocean the chemicals to make this would react with eachother in counterproductive ways. The main problem is even if you had everything in the right conditions how would you get the needed sequence for DNA? You need a exact sequence. The odds of that happening are 10 with a 130 zeros behind. Finally there is the cell. We all know its vast complexity but how do you get atoms form the cell? How do you get it all to work at the same time. It either all works or nothing will work at all. The proto cell is a cell that can make mistakes but even the smallest mistakes can reak havic on biological life. These are some of the many holes surfacing in evolution under the microscope of science.

Darwin stated that if no fossils could be found then his theory would be false. We have probably all heard this at one time but seriously think about it. how many missing links have scientists recovered for animals and humans? If this was a slow and gradual consistent prosses dont you think there would be half reptial half mammal fossils? And I am not talking about some hoax like java man that are not even from the same animal or glued together by some guy as a joke like piltdown man. If evolution did happen there would be lots of fossils like we have today. Evolution is filled with holes like the cambrian explosion. If cells slowly evolved then wy do we see a explosion of fossils and animals just all of a sudden. It would be like watching a 24 hour movie and for the entire time you se nothing but a few worms and jelly fish and then in the last hour thousands of animals just apear.

With all these flaws and odds ading up against evolution It can no longer be called a fact but a fake created by some amateur geologist who noticed the ability for animals to adapt to there environment. This is called microevolution. Not even darwin believed in his own theory at death. Evolution is a faith. It takes a huge leap of faith. Evolution is wrong.

I am looking forward to your response.
Lucretius

Con

Greetings double_edged_words, and anyone else who is going to be reading this debate. This will be my first attempt at a debate on this website, but as science is my passion and future career I thought it would be fun.

I'll get right into my points: the first half of my opponents post is based on a misunderstanding of evolution: that abiogenesis (the origin of life) is an ‘evolutionist' proposition, and that the Theory of Evolution somehow hinges upon it being correct. This is entirely incorrect: the Theory of Evolution never has been about the origin of life, and this is made clear even in Darwin's own writings, stating:

"It is mere rubbish thinking at present of the origin of life; one might as well think of the origin of matter." Darwin C.R., letter to J.D. Hooker, March 29, 1863

However, not to let points go unrefuted, I will go after these points as well. It would appear that my opponent has not kept up with modern research in abiogenesis, as life has not been proposed as being formed in a ‘warm little pond' for quite some time. It is in fact said to have formed deep underwater or underground. These places might seem quite inhospitable to life but we have found bacteria there nonetheless where no sunlight is to even be found. How is it that these life forms prosper without sunlight? The answer is chemical energy. Life only requires an energy source — the only reason people assume it has to be the sun is because 99.99% of all life we observe relies on the sun's energy. Bacteria and other miniscule creatures however, can utilize chemical energy given off by radioactive decay occurring within the Earth, which might be given off as heat in thermal vents deep underneath the oceans, far away from UV radiation which is deflected by an ozone layer. This, of course, negates the need for an ozone layer for life. Almost all life as we know it exists now because of the ozone layer, but the original lifeforms need not have existed up where the sun is at to get energy to exist. As far as bonding energy within an ocean being counterproductive to life formation; this argument, as I understand it, hinges upon my opponents misunderstanding of life necessarily forming near the surface, not deep underground near thermal vents. There is no chemical reason for these bonds to be harmful to the formation of life.

Moving on, my opponent then brings up the Creationist's favorite argument on the origin of life: probability. The basic flaw with this argument is the assumption that DNA was the necessary product of ‘random' chemical interactions. That is, it is assumed there was no middle man. When Creationists cut out the middle man (PNA, RNA, simple amino acids, etc.) they make the origin of life seem obviously improbable as we are jumping from simple chemical interactions to a very complex chain of nucleic acids. This is of course, not what scientists have ever thought. Modern thought on DNA formation is a complex process, starting with simple chemicals but go to simple polymers, nucleotides, nucleic acid compounds (RNA, for instance) and finally to DNA. I have of course, simplified massively the steps in between, but this nullifies the probability argument. There are many stepping stones that make the evolution of DNA quite reasonable and well within the realm of probability. My opponents original figure was based off of the misunderstanding that chemicals spontaneously formed full-fledged DNA in one fell swoop. For more accurate calculations on probability (which verify my point), I recommend http://www.talkorigins.org...

My opponent makes a similar mistake when talking about the cell. The cell was not fully formed but instead has a long evolutionary history. As I have already laid out this argument against probability for life, I will neglect to do so for the cell. If one is interested, they might check out "On the evolution of cells", a paper composed by Carl Woese, a member of the National Academy of Sciences on how the cell may have been formed and organized.

Now, finally we arrive at some points regarding evolution. The fossil record. My opponent again makes a false assumption regarding evolution: that it is necessarily a slow, gradual process. Slow in terms of a human lifetime yes, but it's pace is not the same and there is nothing within evolutionary theory to suggest this is necessarily the case. With that pointed out, things like the Cambrian Explosion (which, though called an explosion, still took at least 20-40 million years to be complete) are perfectly understandable (if my opponent wishes I can take more time in another post to completely address this era in evolutionary history.) However, returning to fossils: how many have been found? Hundreds of thousands to millions is an appropriate figure. Take the whale for instance, or the evolution of the horse, or the evolution of human beings. These are all very well documented evolutionary lineages. Evidence of this is found within the fossil record in abundance. The reason most people don't hear about the abundance of fossils is because the evolution of the horse or whale is not big-time news. Human evolution is perhaps the one most people are familiar with, and it is perhaps one of the best documented examples of evolution we have. Over 30 different hominid species have been discovered (and more than one fossil of each has been discovered), tracing human evolution back millions of years. For more information I recommend http://www.talkorigins.org...

As far as half-and-half creatures go —�there are examples in the fossil record. Take, for instance, a creature called Tiktaalik discovered recently near the Arctic Circle. It is essentially half fish, half tetrapod. It has gills and scales, like a fish, but rib bones, a neck, and lungs like a four-legged land animal. It also contains many features that show it ‘in between' both states.

Darwin did not denounce his own theory upon his deathbed (what does this have to do with evolutionary theory being right or wrong?) His entire family denies such a claim made by an obscure newspaper 20-some years after his death. My next response will hopefully be briefer to allow me to go into the evidences for evolution that are, quite frankly, undeniable.
Debate Round No. 1
double_edged_words

Pro

In my first argument I stated some of the many flaws of evolution. My opponent then presented his beliefs and how they would compensate from my accusations. I will start from the beginning. I would posit that to fully prove evolution one must analyze and explore the past. If a structure has a week foundation it can not stand. Without knowing how evolution started you can not know how it will continue on. Because Darwin did not believe that abiogenesis was a fine place to start does not mean it is not a good place to start. I admit that I do not read science weekly but even the claims that my opponent brings up do not support evolution. It has been known that life can survive off of chemical energy but this still does not refute the facts. In a primitive ocean even deep underground the necessary chemicals and minerals like sugars, aminos, ect react with each other. For example amino and sugars react and destroy each other or phosphoric acid forms an insoluble salt with calcium and sink to the bottom of a primordial sea. The energy, any energy that forms bonds would destroy the molecules that were bonding above or below the sea.

The probability of getting even one life form being created, even the ones from my opponent's link, is still extremely small not counting the huge amount of life forms that have really been on this planet. There is no simple organism. Even the basic cell is more complex then this country's military this is not even including the many other variables like temperature, other reactions, changes of exposure to energy, Lifespan, and other things we can not even begin to consider. My opponent claims that through the middle man the probability of evolution is higher. RNA, although not nearly as complex as DNA, is still highly complex and requires much of the same things as DNA does. Furthermore, RNA is not nearly complex enough to run even a cell half as complex as the basic cells we have today. It would make many mistakes and mistakes are biologically devastating to any organism. It does not even come close to nullifying the probability argument and does not even cut the statistics in half. My opponent is not considering the other variables that go along with his statement. The cell is the most complex machine ever built. It ether all works or nothing works at all. Consider a mouse trap, if you take away anything it will not work. If you take away a portion of the nucleus, like DNA it cannot recreate or function.

My point is not only that evolution contradicts itself regarding the fossil records and the timeline; I am stating that my opponent has no cumulative evidence of the fossil record concerning evolved life forms. My opponent stated that there was 30 different example of primitive evolved man (although he did not go into detail. He merely stated it like it was a fact.). What he failed to mention was that many are fake or anomalies. I agree that hundreds of thousands of fossils have been found but none have any relation to evolution. They simply show animals we have today or extinct life forms going through Micro evolution. With evolutionists grasping for straws I would be surprised that they would not show there cards as to offer more evidence to there theory. My opponent speaks of just one half and half life form (again I mention there should be many half and half creatures) found in the artic. I am pointing out that just because a creature looks to be half in half does not cancel out the fact that this creature could be its own unique species. Take the platypus, he is his own unique creature not stuck between two fazes of evolution. Fossils show us little for the theory of evolution. They tell us that this creature died. They do not show us what its offspring is or the entire family or other variables. Evolution is survival of the fittest; life forms continue to better themselves. Yet, we look at the many animals that co exist, that are dependant on each other. How are they bettering themselves by changing to be completely dependent on each other.

To evolve and change a cell you need a new set of code, you need new information for the cell to change. Were did this information come from? Think of soup; if you have the proper ingredients and you still don't know how to make it then it will not work. You can not get a new code for evolving by genetic error or mistake. A mistake will kill the cell or eventually destroy it like cancer does. Genetic mutation always ends in destruction or corrects itself. It does not evolve into a new species. Car makers like ford and chevron create their parts to be interchangeable. This is because the design is genius, it is a good idea. Chevron did not evolve from ford. With these flaws pointed out and many more you can not believe in evolution without at least some doubt. Scientists are continually changing it because of error in the theory. I hope you examine what I say closely.

I look forward to you reply Lecretius.
Lucretius

Con

Thanks for the thought-out response,

My rebuttal is as follows. In regards to abiogenesis being a good place to start, and that if you attack it you somehow negate evolution, this is preposterous. This would be akin to saying that if I cannot provide the origin of matter, all theories regarding matter are out the window. Or if I cannot provide the origin of gravity, gravitational theory is somehow incorrect. Facts and theories are not negated based on you choosing an arbitrary point at which you think they should be defined, and then attacking them. That is the definition of a strawman. Theories have well-defined boundaries and they seek to explain certain phenomena. Just because abiogenesis chronologically precedes evolution doesn't imply evolutionary theory hinges on it's veracity in the slightest. As far as your notion that amino acids, etc. destroy one another near deep sea thermal vents, modern research shows this to be untrue. In [1] and [2] we find that amino acids ARE stable near these vents, and even further, in [3], that enantiomeric excess is observed in the form of left-handed amino acids, which are, as someone who knows basic biology, are the only handedness of amino acids utilized by life. Not only are these amino acids stable (the paper suggests this is due to a meta-stable thermodynamic equilibrium — aka a somewhat unstable heat/pressure relationship), but they actually fit the needs for life as we know it. I suggest if you (or any reader) have access to a college library to take a look at these papers.

As for the probability of life provided for in my link, perhaps my opponent doesn't understand what the paper is saying: I shall spell it out in hopefully clearer terms. The results mathematically showed that, in the prebiotic soup, over a million trillion trillion RNA ligases could be produced within a single year, and that, from a calculation by Ekland [4] 2.5*10^(112) are efficient (they work). Thus, in a single year, it is probable that many of the RNA ligases synthesized in the primitive ocean were in fact useful sequences that could be utilized in further evolution. The same is stated for proteins. RNA is complex yes, but there are several dozen other steps in between this and "simple chemicals", all of which obey simple interaction laws present in chemistry and physics.

As for RNA not being useful in running current cells — I agree, it isn't. What my opponent neglects to realize is that evolution does not have an endgoal and thus does not require that RNA be useful for all future cells. Primitive cells could have very well run off of RNA, without having the complexity today they would have no need for DNA. This is classic Irreducible Complexity logic (which my opponent seems to acknowledge by use of the mousetrap analogy.) The problem with this is it neglects exaptation (function change.) A mousetrap is no longer a mousetrap without all the pieces, but, as Ken Miller (evolutionary biologist) has demonstrated rather humorously, it makes a great tie clip. Likewise, RNA served basic functions in cells that has since been replaced by a more efficient mechanism, DNA. The fact that it isn't useful TODAY in cells is simple evidence that functions change when evolution benefits mutations in organisms that result in said function changes. Creatures with DNA prospered over RNA creatures, and thus DNA is the sole mechanism for life now. But to claim that RNA was never a part of history is to misunderstand abiogenesis and basic evolutionary biology.

On to the fossil record; there is overwhelming conclusive evidence of evolution in the fossil record. I asserted that there were 30 hominid species, yes, but I also provided a link to exact information about these fossils so that you could read all about them to get all of the information that you need. As for many being fakes, this is just misinformation: Creationists like to assume this based off of two examples; Piltdown Man and Nebraska Man. These were, of course, discovered fraudulent by evolutionary scientists themselves. These ARE the minority cases, and this is apparent because Creationists can name no other examples aside from these two, which they have plugged to no end in an effort to get laymen to ignore the other 99% of the fossil base. If you have an understanding of morphology or anatomy, you would understand how scientists determine if fossils are related. I do not think you have enough knowledge in the field to be eyeballing google images of fossils and determining if they are genetically related.

As for listing off half-and-half lifeforms; I only listed one to give you a general idea. If you want me to list off some more: Eryops, Paleothyris, Dimetrodon, Mesohippus, Equus, Dorudon, Pakicetus, Mammalodon, Ichthyornis, Yixianosaurus, Hylonomus, Tulerpeton, Hynerpeton, Confuciusornis, Archaeopteryx, the list goes on and on. You can find more in this list (a tentative one) at http://en.wikipedia.org... And what scientists do when they observe evidence is look for the most reasonable conclusion. When we take the fossil evidence alongside other evidence like, say, genetics, the most reasonable conclusion — the ONLY reasonable conclusion we can come to is genetic relationship, phylogenetic relationship, etc. For creatures to look and be genetically so similar, but actually be distinct creatures is to fly in the face of probability. For instance, the cytochrome C gene, linking all life forms via a complex protein chain that is nearly the same in ALL creatures, demonstrates this fact. The probability of even the most distant ancestor being somehow not related but sharing that cytochrome C strand is somewhere in the order of 1 in 10^29 (http://www.talkorigins.org...) It is the Creationist, and not the scientist, who flies in the face of probability and reason when declaring organisms are not related to one another, but were somehow created separately but yet sharing unique genetic similarities with one another.

Next, my opponent misunderstands survival of the fittest. Co-adaptation is not in direct conflict with Darwinian evolution, in fact, mutualism is a large part of evolution and has never been a problem for explanation. Survival of the fittest is not some gladiatorial combat match in which the last one surviving is the fittest. If creatures can exist within their environment, then they are fit, and nature will use every possible means to ensure this, including relying on other species. Again, all that needs to happen is for you to have a better understanding OF evolution. It would go a long way in terms of your criticisms being valid.

Finally, the claim of "deleterious mutations". This is in fact, incorrect. Most mutations are neutral. More are harmful than good, but with large population sizes this is not a problem. All that evolution states is that those that are more fit to survive, will send off their genes to their progeny more often than those who are unfit. Just because some mutations are deleterious doesn't mean 1) that it will result in killing the animal in question or 2) That therefore no mutations are good and therefore no creature will pass on new genetic characteristics. Simple statistics show there is no problem here again for evolution, and you can do the basic mathematics yourself. (If you are going to call foul on me for simply ‘asserting' this, I'd first ask you to provide some calculations of your own. I think you are holding me to a much higher standard of proof than you are holding to your own claims.)

(I had to continue the rest in comment form below, I ran out of room!)
Debate Round No. 2
double_edged_words

Pro

double_edged_words forfeited this round.
Lucretius

Con

Lucretius forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by GodSands 8 years ago
GodSands
if there was only more creationists.
Posted by attrition 8 years ago
attrition
Lucretius..Bravo!! Excellent work. Double edged sword just couldn't hang with that overwhelming, insightful, intelligent argument. Very impressed. I am linking this debate to a creationist friend of mine
Posted by Lucretius 8 years ago
Lucretius
The Second Law shows no such thing. Read up on Quantum Gravity
Posted by mmadderom 8 years ago
mmadderom
Evolution is an unquestioned fact. Even within a few generations "good" or "bad" qualities can be bred into or out of an animal.

Now, does that mean it can be taken back to an ameoba becoming a human? No, it doesn't. Can't turn a bird into a dog, no matter how many years you have to work with. (might get the Bird to bark like a dog, but that's as close as you're coming)

There is evidence of a "big bang" after the fact, but the second law of Thermodynamics shows that there was, unquestionably, a beginning to the universe. Science also shows us that matter must exist before it can expand. Here's the question...where did the original matter come from?
Posted by Lucretius 8 years ago
Lucretius
Sounds good to me. Just invite me to debate again.
Posted by double_edged_words 8 years ago
double_edged_words
I am about to become very buisy so I will only have room for one more drawn out reply to your argument. I will start a new argument and copy my previous argumens onto the debate. Take me up fast and you cando thte same. I can thn present my new argument and you can present yours. The title will be the same.
Posted by Lucretius 8 years ago
Lucretius
If you want, I can make a new one starting with my post that you couldn't read, and perhaps it will work out?
Posted by double_edged_words 8 years ago
double_edged_words
I do not know what is going on but this computer is out of wack and not leting me se your debate. I can therefore not argue against you because I can not se what you have wrote. I am forced to forfit.
Posted by SPQR 8 years ago
SPQR
The survival of the fittest explanation was genius, Lucretius, very well written.
Posted by Lucretius 8 years ago
Lucretius
SOURCES:

[1] Analysis of Dissimilatory Sulfite Reductase and 16S rRNA Gene Fragments from Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Sites of the Suiyo Seamount, Izu-Bonin Arc, Western Pacific
Tatsunori Nakagawa, Jun-Ichiro Ishibashi, Akihiko Maruyama, Toshiro Yamanaka, Yusuke Morimoto, Hiroyuki Kimura, Tetsuro Urabe, and Manabu Fukui
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2004 January; 70(1): 393–403. doi: 10.1128/AEM.70.1.393-403.2004.
http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov...
[2] The stability of amino acids at submarine hydrothermal vent temperatures Jeffrey L. Bada, Stanley L. Miller and Meixun Zhao, Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres Volume 25, Numbers 1-3 / June, 1995 DOI 10.1007/BF01581577
[3] ENANTIOMERIC EXCESS OF AMINO ACIDS IN HYDROTHERMAL ENVIRONMENTS, ATSUSHI NEMOTO, et. al.
Volume 35, Number 2 / April, 2005

[4] Ekland EH, and Bartel DP, RNA-catalysed RNA polymerization using nucleoside triphosphates. Nature, 383: 192, 1996
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