The Instigator
Harlan
Pro (for)
Winning
72 Points
The Contender
DATCMOTO
Con (against)
Losing
34 Points

Evolution occurs

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/28/2009 Category: Science
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,547 times Debate No: 7153
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (52)
Votes (18)

 

Harlan

Pro

Neither of us are biology experts, so this will be a fairly simple debate, using layman's terms mostly.

All that is necessary for evolution to occur is:

-reproduction
-mutations

If these things are present, than evolution will inevitably occur. There is no way, in fact, that these things can be present, without evolution consequently occurring.

So in order for my opponent's opinion to hold any steady ground whatsoever is if he can provide evidence that mutations don't actually occur. This notion is, of course, preposterous, but my opponent still seems to hold the belief that evolution is nonexistent and never occurs, so he must have some sort of reason for why mutations don't occur.

The truth of the matter is, of course, that mutations are constantly occurring. The idea that for entire millenia, there has never been any accidental variation in the genetic code of any animal everywhere, can be discounted simply on probability, without even the need to cite the overwhelming evidence against it.

Evolution is constantly happening, even now. The actual visible change as a consequence is gradual, but little instances of evolution are constantly occurring.
DATCMOTO

Con

There are two distinct theories of Evolution;
(1) Micro Evolution: that species adapt according to surroundings/climate change etc.
(2) Macro Evolution: that species may change from one species to another species.

Micro evolution (although the 'evolution' is somewhat misleading but we'll allow it for the purposes of this debate) is a verifiable, substantiated scientific fact. Animals, plants and even humans change to adapt to their environments.

Macro evolution is completely unsubstantiated by ANY fossil records whatSOever. The 'evidence' such as it is, largely consists of micro evolutionary fossils OR 'projected' skeletons etc from one bone or even a partial fragment of bone.
MANY such 'finds' have been proved false or even fraudulent.

To the question of mutations, they of course do occur BUT are ALWAYS detrimental to the organism or species.
ALSO in order for Macro evolution to occur genetic complexity would have to increase.. this has never been observed.

The burden of proof is on my opponent to prove Evolution occurs.. I would advise him to begin!
Debate Round No. 1
Harlan

Pro

My opponent's stance can be summarized as believing that evolutionary changes do take place, but that speciation never occurs. He also believes that mutations are always detrimental.

I would like to correct my opponent by telling him that macro/micro evolution are not different theories but simply different parts of evolution. My opponent is of the stance that microevolution occurs, but macroevolution does not. The key difference between these is whether evolution can result in speciation. All speciation is is when mutations cause one breed to no longer reproduce with another, making them separate species.

I will provide a known example of speciation, but I would first like to point out the obvious logical flaw with suggesting that no species can split into 2 different species. This would be suggesting that the different species in the world are not genetically related whatsoever.

This is quite ridiculous, of course, considering how similar many different species are. For instance, chimpanzees and humans (which aren't even in the same genus) only have a 1.2% difference in genes. My opponent seems to be suggesting that this almost identical genome is the result of pure coincidence? That is ridiculous, logically that information would imply that humans and chimpanzees have a common ancestor, and that somewhere along the way, their lineages were divided into 2 different species.

My opponent seems to have another misconception about evolution which I would like to point out. He defined macroevolution as suggesting "that species may change from one species to another species". That is not a description of evolution. Evolution is not so much a change from one species to another, but more the branching off into another species. basically, if one lineage evolves into a new species, their cousins to not vanish.

And likewise, in the instance of microevolution, the whole species does not necessarily change, but certain individuals may be present that have a mutation that others don't. And if that lineage of slightly different individuals can get more and more variation, it is only logical that they, after a while, may not be able to reproduce with others. This is especially true when a species is suddenly divided geographically and then undergo microevolution independently of each other. The chance that they would both happen to evolve exactly the same way if they are in different environments and divided so they can't reproduce, is negligible at best. Therefore, speciation definitely occurs in nature.

Now, my opponent has also made the illogical statement that beneficial mutations never occur. This is a clear contradiction to his earlier statement that micro-evolution takes place. How can my opponent believe that microevolution takes place, yet not believe that beneficial mutations occur? The only answer I can think of is that he has some sort of misunderstanding of what evolution is or a misunderstanding of what mutations are.

A species cannot "adapt according to surroundings" (which you have claimed occurs) if they cannot mutate beneficially. The "adaptations" are merely the mutations that were beneficial enough to not get the individual killed. Positive change cannot occur without beneficial mutations. So which is it? Microevolution or no good mutations? It can't be both.

And even so, how could organisms reach their complex and efficient state they are at now without positive mutations? How could they change from extremely simple particles to large, perfectly-adapted organisms such as sharks? I don't know how you would suggest that would happen without a long series of occasional benign mutations.

I could provide lots of factual data, but you being a person of blind faith to an invisible deity, I feel that facts wouldn't mean much to you. With this in mind, I have decided to go about this debate by logic. If you do not like this, please tell me.
DATCMOTO

Con

My opponent's stance can be summarized as believing that evolutionary changes do take place, but that speciation never occurs. He also believes that mutations are always detrimental.

I would like to correct my opponent by telling him that macro/micro evolution are not different theories but simply different parts of evolution. My opponent is of the stance that microevolution occurs, but macroevolution does not. The key difference between these is whether evolution can result in speciation. All speciation is is when mutations cause one breed to no longer reproduce with another, making them separate species.

*No Sir, I am correcting YOU. Piggy-backing a lie (macro evolution) onto a truth (micro evolution) and then calling it one theory will not hold water without an example...

I will provide a known example of speciation, but I would first like to point out the obvious logical flaw with suggesting that no species can split into 2 different species. This would be suggesting that the different species in the world are not genetically related whatsoever.

*You have NOT provided a known example! Similarities between species suggest a common designer NOT common ancestry.. Ford automobiles all look kind of similar.. same designer!

This is quite ridiculous, of course, considering how similar many different species are. For instance, chimpanzees and humans (which aren't even in the same genus) only have a 1.2% difference in genes. My opponent seems to be suggesting that this almost identical genome is the result of pure coincidence? That is ridiculous, logically that information would imply that humans and chimpanzees have a common ancestor, and that somewhere along the way, their lineages were divided into 2 different species.

*See above answer!

My opponent seems to have another misconception about evolution which I would like to point out. He defined macroevolution as suggesting "that species may change from one species to another species". That is not a description of evolution. Evolution is not so much a change from one species to another, but more the branching off into another species. basically, if one lineage evolves into a new species, their cousins to not vanish.

*If your seriously suggesting that we started out as amoeba then something somewhere had to change species.. a lot!

And likewise, in the instance of microevolution, the whole species does not necessarily change, but certain individuals may be present that have a mutation that others don't. And if that lineage of slightly different individuals can get more and more variation, it is only logical that they, after a while, may not be able to reproduce with others. This is especially true when a species is suddenly divided geographically and then undergo microevolution independently of each other. The chance that they would both happen to evolve exactly the same way if they are in different environments and divided so they can't reproduce, is negligible at best. Therefore, speciation definitely occurs in nature.

*Example?

Now, my opponent has also made the illogical statement that beneficial mutations never occur. This is a clear contradiction to his earlier statement that micro-evolution takes place. How can my opponent believe that microevolution takes place, yet not believe that beneficial mutations occur? The only answer I can think of is that he has some sort of misunderstanding of what evolution is or a misunderstanding of what mutations are.

*Again, the misunderstanding is yours Sir. Because you start from the belief that everything is improving and becoming more complex etc then you naturally assume that mutation is beneficial. BUT everything is certainly not improving, everything is winding down, becoming weaker, smaller, more disease prone. In this sense mutations and variations (that are ALREADY within the gene pool) while not improving the species may help it adapt to new conditions etc.
EXAMPLE!!! There is a type of cave salamander (lizard) that has lost the use of it's eyes completely as it now lives exclusively in dark caves, there is an identical salamander that has eyes.. This mutation may help enhance the other senses but in NO way could it be described as beneficial to the species as a whole. There has been NO increase in genetic complexity. An increase in genetic complexity is absolutely CRUCIAL for macro evolution to occur.

A species cannot "adapt according to surroundings" (which you have claimed occurs) if they cannot mutate beneficially. The "adaptations" are merely the mutations that were beneficial enough to not get the individual killed. Positive change cannot occur without beneficial mutations. So which is it? Microevolution or no good mutations? It can't be both.

*Mutations DO get them killed! do you know HOW many species have become extinct?

And even so, how could organisms reach their complex and efficient state they are at now without positive mutations? How could they change from extremely simple particles to large, perfectly-adapted organisms such as sharks? I don't know how you would suggest that would happen without a long series of occasional benign mutations.

*They were created perfect.. since then things have deteriorated.. Fossil records clearly show that everything was much bigger and better back in the day!

I could provide lots of factual data, but you being a person of blind faith to an invisible deity, I feel that facts wouldn't mean much to you. With this in mind, I have decided to go about this debate by logic. If you do not like this, please tell me.

*This debate is entitled (YOUR title) 'Evolution occurs' which means that it is STILL your burden to prove that it does indeed occur.. I STRONGLY suggest you begin!
Debate Round No. 2
Harlan

Pro

"No Sir, I am correcting YOU. Piggy-backing a lie (macro evolution) onto a truth (micro evolution) and then calling it one theory will not hold water without an example..."

Very well. Chickens are descendants of T-Rex's.

"You have NOT provided a known example!"

Actually I did. Chimpanzees and Humans have a common ancestor.

"Similarities between species suggest a common designer NOT common ancestry"

Designer...? I don't understand, who would design the animals? I don't know of any sort of thing which could intelligently design them. Science has not identified any evidence for such a thing. But please explain further, as this is a new concept to me.

"If your seriously suggesting that we started out as amoeba then something somewhere had to change species.. a lot!"

You misunderstand. Yes, new species arise, but the species from which they evolved to not vanish. MAcroevolution is the branching of lineages, not the replacement of lineages necessarily.

"Again, the misunderstanding is yours Sir. Because you start from the belief that everything is improving and becoming more complex etc then you naturally assume that mutation is beneficial. BUT everything is certainly not improving, everything is winding down, becoming weaker, smaller, more disease prone. In this sense mutations and variations (that are ALREADY within the gene pool) while not improving the species may help it adapt to new conditions etc."

I am not advocating that no malign mutations take place. In fact, a vast majority of mutations are detrimental. There are some beneficial mutations though, and those are the ones which are passed on the most, since it helps the carrier live. Give me one reason why, out of all the accidental little changes in genetic code, there would never be a mutation that helps. Accidents do not discriminate.

"There has been NO increase in genetic complexity. An increase in genetic complexity is absolutely CRUCIAL for macro evolution to occur."

Why?

"Mutations DO get them killed! do you know HOW many species have become extinct?"

Actually, mutations kill individuals, but generally speaking, it does not affect the species as a whole, and here is why. The animals which have harmful mutations tend to die off before they can reproduce, so malign mutations usually phase out of the gene pool.

And also, way to completely dodge my question. You have changed the subject. I pointed out that you contradicted yourself by suggesting that species adapt beneficially but never have beneficial mutations. Please address this in your next post. You have made a very clear contradiction of yourself which makes your entire argument moot.

Please note: my opponent has advocated that microevolution does in fact occur, and so therefore he must be of the belief that beneficial mutations occur.

"They were created perfect.. since then things have deteriorated.. Fossil records clearly show that everything was much bigger and better back in the day!"

Here again you have implied that some thing created everything perfectly and instantaneously. This idea seems rather absurd to me or at the very least far out there. Can you provide some sort of evidence for this? You have made a pretty bold assertion (that some sort of entity created everything perfectly), with absolutely no backing. I'm afraid I can't consider your point valid without some sort of evidence.

"This debate is entitled (YOUR title) 'Evolution occurs' which means that it is STILL your burden to prove that it does indeed occur.. I STRONGLY suggest you begin!"

Well, I guess we ought to recap, since my opponent seems to not get any of my points. I have proved time after time logically that evolution occurs.

Once more, evolution (both parts of evolution, microevolution and macroevolution) will inevitably occur if you have these 2 things.

-reproduction
-mutations

These things are present in the life-forms on earth, and therefore evolution inevitably occurs. My opponent has advocated that microevolution takes place, and therefore he must believe that both positive and negative mutations take place (because after all, this is the only reason microevolution can happen), and I think it goes without saying that he believes in reproduction... so with my opponents very assertions, we can conclude that evolution does, in fact, take place on the planet Earth.

NOTE: I would like to mention that even though my opponent has turned this debate into one about macroevolution, he conceded the debate in round 1, when he decided to define microevolution as evolution, and then went on to assert that microevolution occurs. The title of this debate is "evolution occurs". It does not discriminate between macroevolution and microevolution at all. Me and my opponent agree that some form of evolution takes place, and so I have obviously won.
DATCMOTO

Con

"Chickens are descendants of T-Rex's."

Evidence? Theory even?

"Chimpanzees and Humans have a common ancestor."

Evidence, theory even? Then I can offer a rebuttal.. no argument, NO REBUTTAL!

"Designer...? I don't understand, who would design the animals? "

The Lord God Almighty and Sovereign Creator or ALL! Eternal King, Immortal.. Invisable.. The Alpha and The Omega.
I strongly suggest you read Genesis chapters 1-3 and John chapter 1 for how everything REALLY came into being.
But, I'm forgetting myself.. it's not MY burden of proof but YOURS.

"You misunderstand. Yes, new species arise, but the species from which they evolved to not vanish. MAcroevolution is the branching of lineages, not the replacement of lineages necessarily."

So why are there distinct species at all? and not just a gradual, continual lineage of creatures?

"I am not advocating that no malign mutations take place. In fact, a vast majority of mutations are detrimental. There are some beneficial mutations though, and those are the ones which are passed on the most, since it helps the carrier live. Give me one reason why, out of all the accidental little changes in genetic code, there would never be a mutation that helps. Accidents do not discriminate."

Again, you have spectacuarly FAILED to provide one example of a beneficial mutation.. surely there MUST be many seeing as there is an amazing abundance of life on the planet.. the number of beetles alone is mind boggling.

[There has been NO increase in genetic complexity. An increase in genetic complexity is absolutely CRUCIAL for macro evolution to occur.]
"Why?"

BECAUSE you do NOT get from a single cell amoeba to the most complex known quantity in the universe (namely US!) without an increase in genetic complexity.

"Actually, mutations kill individuals, but generally speaking, it does not affect the species as a whole, and here is why. The animals which have harmful mutations tend to die off before they can reproduce, so malign mutations usually phase out of the gene pool."

Sure, but without an example of a benefical mutation you still have ALL your work a head of you.

"And also, way to completely dodge my question. You have changed the subject. I pointed out that you contradicted yourself by suggesting that species adapt beneficially but never have beneficial mutations. Please address this in your next post. You have made a very clear contradiction of yourself which makes your entire argument moot."

Not at all, I claimed (AND provided the example of the blind salamander) that mutations occur but are never benefical for the species as a whole. Here's another, very general example.. many species have become smaller over the millenia.. this has obvious advantages with regards to food and escaping prey etc BUT can in NO way be described as an improvement for the species, no increase in complexity.

"Please note: my opponent has advocated that microevolution does in fact occur, and so therefore he must be of the belief that beneficial mutations occur."

Not at ALL, for the reasons already stated.

"Here again you have implied that some thing created everything perfectly and instantaneously. This idea seems rather absurd to me or at the very least far out there. Can you provide some sort of evidence for this? You have made a pretty bold assertion (that some sort of entity created everything perfectly), with absolutely no backing. I'm afraid I can't consider your point valid without some sort of evidence."

Well, without any evidence to the contrary WHATSOEVER (if you're anything to go by) what other conclusion can we arrive at? we, it, came from somewhere!

In CONCLUSION my opponent has failed to provide ANY proof whatsoever or even show examples for his arguments.
Even though the burden of proof lay with him I have consistently indulged him by rebutting his arguments to the best of my ability.
Debate Round No. 3
52 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by alto2osu 8 years ago
alto2osu
I'm sure that this has been posted somewhere in this comments thread, but I feel like saying it again: is it not obvious the proof for beneficial mutations? No species survives without beneficial mutations, and this includes the human species. Giraffes, for example, didn't always look as they do. Those who had slightly mutated, longer necks were able to survive better, hence beneficial genetic mutation. Whenever a being changes physiologically, it's a genetic mutation.

On the other hand, to assert that the book of Genesis (which I have read...you could say I'm a born-again atheist from deeply rooted, Southern USA Christianity) is wholly true because you say it is hardly constitutes evidence, especially since you yourself call said creator "The Invisible" (which I love, by the way). So much irony...
Posted by DATCMOTO 8 years ago
DATCMOTO
The misunderstanding is YOURS..
Read what I said AGAIN about names.. nothing to do with contradictions is it?
Posted by feverish 8 years ago
feverish
You seem to misunderstand me if you think I am talking about contradictions in peoples names eg. Mathew/Levi or the different Mary's etc.
I'm talking about widely differing accounts of the same instance and I'm glad you bring up editing because although there are clearly common sources for much of the material (huge chunks reappearing in the other gospels) the authors seem to have freely edited this to fit their own interpretation.
We are taking up way too much space on the comments page of this evolution debate, shall I set up a topic in the religion forums or challenge you to a debate?
Posted by DATCMOTO 8 years ago
DATCMOTO
No, there ARE only two options.. Is either IS the inerrant (thanks for not making a 'big' thing of my spelling mistake, it was 'big' of you.. even 'bigger' would have been NOT to mention it at all!) Word of God OR it is not.. If it is not then ALL bets are off, because it is of men, lying, deceitful and fallible men.
I know the 'contradictions' you refer to and they they are more omissions than contradictions.. to me they ADD to the authenticity of the eye witness accounts and also to editing etc.. They did not feel the need to change every little detail to 'fit' together'..
Consider just HOW many Marys alone there are in the Gospels.. anyone making this up would have said 'just one Mary or it'll confuse people etc'.. there are TWO Judases in the 12.. again, you would not make that up, he's too 'important' a 'character'.
Posted by feverish 8 years ago
feverish
At 30, I'm not too bothered about staying fashionable.
I don't think I pick & mix so much as trying to be open-minded to different possibilities. I like to think I'm humble enough to know that I don't and can't know everything. I believe this is what it means to be agnostic.
I guess my view of the Gospels (and the Bible as a whole) is closer to (B)

I do think there's some historical basis for most of the Bible (post-Genesis and pre-revelations anyway)but there are so many contradictions and inaccuracies when different books tell the same story differently, (and the Gospels are a prime example of this) that I don't see any rationale for regarding it as "The inerant, infallible and inspired (breathed) Word of God."

I won't make a big deal of the irony of misspelling 'inerrant' although it did make me chuckle.

As for why bother? I do think it's a valuable literary work, whether read as history or fiction and it's great material for interesting conversations like this one.
Posted by DATCMOTO 8 years ago
DATCMOTO
I'm well aware and quite happy with the emphasis on Jesus being the 'Son of man' (simply means 'fully human') and He referring to God as 'our/your Father' etc..
It really comes down to whether you view the Gospels as (A) The inerant, infallible and inspired (breathed) Word of God OR (B) Simply an unreliable semi-historical document..
IF (A) then even ONE reference to Jesus being to equal to God would be enough for me.. as it is there are numerous examples of both an overt and implied nature.
IF (B) then why bother at all with any of it? why 'pick & mix' what YOU wish to believe and what 'works for you'?
Kindly answer that and stay remotely fashionable.. ;)
Posted by feverish 8 years ago
feverish
Hi Dact, thanks for taking the time to research and providing such a full response to my query.

Most of these seem pretty solid in backing up your opinion and I admit I didn't realise there was so much material in the gospels that could be interpreted this way.
I would however like to make a few points.

Jesus does often talk about God as being "my [his] father"" however he is more often reported as reffering to, OUR father, THE father and YOUR father. This parenthood on God's part seems to be his general paternity to the whole human race and more specifically to the children of Israel than his being Jesus' father in particular.

Similarly but perhaps more significantly, although Jesus is titled Son of God on occasion he is far more frequently called (by himself and others) Son of Man and Son of David.
Indeed huge emphasis is placed on his descendance from David and Solomon as a member of the royal BLOOD-line of the tribe of Judah, thus the lengthy (and somewhat contradictory) lists of ancestors at the start of Mathew (the very first page of the New Testament) and in Luke.
Why go to these lengths to prove his descent from mere mortals if he is in fact the direct offspring of God (presumably moulded from clay like Adam) or indeed God personified.

Here's a few verses to illustrate this emphasis, son of man, family trees etc .There are of course many more this is just what I found from a quick flick through the four gospels:

Mathew 1:1-17
Mathew 8:20
Mathew 9:27
Mathew 10:23
Mathew 21:15
Mark 9:31
Mark 14:41
Luke 3:23-38
Luke 7:34
Luke 17:30
Luke 24:7
John 5:27
John 13:34

Sorry to take up so much space. If you want to keep discussing this Dact, maybe we should make it a forum topic or something, let me know.
Peace.
Posted by DATCMOTO 8 years ago
DATCMOTO
Sure can..

" ..before Abraham was born, I am! " John 8:58

" My Lord and my God. " John 20:26-29

ALSO..
John 10:30-33
Matthew 16:13-16
John 6:35
John 8:12
John 11:25+26
John 14:6
Luke 22:30
Matthew 11:28
Mark 1:17
Matthew 10:40
Mark 9:37
John 14:9
Matthew 10:37
Luke 14:26
Mark 2:5
Matthew 25:31+32+40+45
Mark 14:61+62
Posted by feverish 8 years ago
feverish
Posted by feverish 23 hours ago:
feverish:
Hi Dactmoto, can you quote me some scripture of his claims of His own divinity?

still waiting...
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
The support for evolution derived from junk DNA has nothing to do whether it is really "junk" or not. The term "junk" came from the fact that junk DNA is not used to produce proteins, so it doesn't affect the form of a creature. It might effect something other than the form, such as instinct or some genetic predisposition to disease, but that does not matter with respect to its use as a distinctive tag that marks common ancestry. Junk DNA is a mutation, possibly caused by a cosmic ray strike, that makes a unique pattern that is replicated in descendants. The patterns are long enough not to recur by chance. It's like a bar code. It may or may not be true that some particular code has uses other than being a code, the fact remains that it functions as a code.

Junk DNA shows, for example, that whales and hippopotimuses have a relatively late common ancestor http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org... and more distantly a common ancestor with camels.

The revelation that "something is more complicated than we thought" happens all the time in science. It does not invalidate previous science. For example, Newtonian mechanics ruled for several hundred years, then Einstein discovered General Relativity, and suddenly things were more complicated than they were though. That did not invalidate Newtonian mechanics. F = ma is still taught and used, it is that it's domain of applicability was found to be limited. Similarly, that "junk DNA" has some function is not really shocking, nor does it invalidate its use as a marker for tracing evolution.
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