The Instigator
GORGIAS
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Ore_Ele
Pro (for)
Winning
15 Points

Human Superiority. Man is the most intelligent species on the planet etc...

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Ore_Ele
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/8/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,855 times Debate No: 24181
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (15)
Votes (4)

 

GORGIAS

Con

Before commencing I would like to thank whomever accepts this challenge.
Goodluck.

(Forewarning) I am new to the debate format and I would like this to be a learning experience. Saying that; I would prefer an opponent who can introduce the ground rules in the comments. Pro can use round 1 to officialy state the agreed upon rules. I am an adult and do consider myself a decent writer. My writing form and ability to pose a sound argument should not be an issue at all. So, by no means am I requesting an opponent to take it easy on me, or a teenager w/o the intellectual capability to make it interesting.

Human Superiority
Man is the Most Intelligent Species on the Planet

I am against the notion of human superiority, intelligence being the largest topic in question. I have heard a multitude of proclaimed "intelligent" people claim the existence of other intelligent life in the universe. I don't consider man intelligent life, and I disagree with the common supposition by which intelligence is judged. If Pro can prove that intelligence indeed exists in a form that is necessary to other living things, then I would ask that he demonstrates a comparison to the intelligence of the other species that we coexist with, that substantiates man's superiority.

Refer any questions to the comments and I can elaborate on my position if this is unclear in any way.
Ore_Ele

Pro

I would like to start by thanking my opponent for an interesting and rather unique topic. It has been awhile since I've done a debate and I hope that I have the free time to finish (should I not be able to, I apologize in advance).

First, we must apply some definitions. My opponent has not done this so I shall take the time to gather them.

Intelligence [1][2][3] - "capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths..." "the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations..." "The ability to acquire and apply knowledge..." I believe this last quote to be a simple definition that is best measurable, simply the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and/or facts.

Man (short for Mankind) [4][5] - "the human race : the totality of human beings" "human beings collectively without reference to sex..."

I'm hoping the rest ("species" "planet" etc) are all commonly understood words and no semantics will be employed.

I will now move on to my arguments, though they will be limited as of now, since I cannot directly compare man to every species within the character limit and will have to resort to defending against any and all of my opponent's claims.

While various animals have shown a capacity for intelligent thoughts, by using tools/objects to obtain food [6][7] and figuring out puzzles utilizing basic logic and applied math [8], to engineering feats (though we can argue whether skills from "genetics" can count as "intelligence" later) [9]. However, they have not come close to the level of intelligence and understanding of the universal and universally laws as we have. Our ability to learn the laws of nature and manipulate them to our use far surpasses anything that the rest of the animal kingdom (or any of the other kingdoms for that matter).

With that, I will allow my opponent to make their arguments.

Thank you,

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[3] https://www.google.com...
[4] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[5] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[6] http://blogs.discovermagazine.com...
[7] http://www.pigeon.psy.tufts.edu...
[8] http://www.livescience.com...
[9] http://ezinearticles.com...
Debate Round No. 1
GORGIAS

Con

Thank you Pro for accepting.
I hope you will have the free time to finish.

The structure will be as follows;
1. Acceptance/definitions
2. Argument/Questions
3. Rebuttals/Answers/Questions
4. Rebuttals/Answers
5. Rebuttals/Conclusion

Definitions:

I agree to Pro's definitions for the terms "Man”, and "Species".
I do not believe that any single creature is clearly more intelligent than the next. But I do believe that man is clearly not more intelligent if a formal measurement was taken. I will not engage in semantics, as quibbling over minor issues will take away from the integrity of the discussion. However, I do wish to include plant species in my argument.Plant Species including all plant life; tree, fern, vine, shrub etc...

I would like to add to the defined terms the definition for "Superior"

Superior - higher in station, rank, degree, importance, etc.:

As clarification to my perspective on the phrase "Most Intelligent"; The definition used for “Intelligent” by pro is efficient but is obviously subjective to humanities perception. I do not view intelligence as liquid in a cup where tiny droplets of the individually described parts of intelligence can eventually fill the cup. In contrast this view is subjective and I believe that the resolution should be left to the voters to decide. I am not debating whether humans are the most diverse mentally; they can perform many different tasks and acquire this invisible thing called knowledge. But, are we absolutely sure that knowledge of the universe is limited to us who write it down and use tools to study it? The end means of Intelligence is creating progress for your species, any intelligent human would agree. Having Intelligence and using Intelligence is the basis for my argument. I believe the use of intelligence is the best example of intelligence and is the deciding factor of who is "Most Intelligent".

Argument:

My arguments will directly address the definitions used for Intelligence and Superior, and I intend to display that - which in my eyes is man’s only true intelligence; the aptitude to accept the obvious.

Reasoning: Human reasoning is flawed and causes the supposition of superior intelligence.
Mankind creates with technology, what instinct has done for animals naturally (and does to a lesser extent for humans). Instinct is the more accurate tool of reasoning. Our pursuit of creation mastery is a tangible proof of the inherent defect of human reasoning. We allow curiosity to win over well-being. This obsession has become self-destructive, and our reasoning does not have our best interest in mind. We wish to cure illness, and in doing so create more illness. Humanity has a history of awkward reasoning. For example animals never sacrifice (on altars) as an attempt to change the weather (or at least to my knowledge they haven’t). Instead, they sense it and use their reasoning to avoid it. Human intelligence only works on paper, and these are all examples of faulty reasoning. I argue that this is one facet of intelligence that humans are clearly inferior. I would like to believe that humans have an ability to reason better, but there is no solid proof.

Capacity for learning: Capacity is measured in different ways. I will resort to my water analogy as I think it can be easily understood. Not all knowledge is liquid, some of it is food coloring showing us a different shade of truth but never adding to the material. For example; If a maze is built an animal may be able to travel through it quicker than a man due to senses. Or a man may because of a hidden map or an interest in escaping it that is not shared by the animal. However, the animal does not have a capacity to desire the challenge of a maze and will never build one himself. I feel that humans perceive this as a weakness of mind, but contest that the building of the maze does not necessarily make man more intelligent… Nor does it prove a capacity to learn more. A Sea Lion has been recognized as remembering a trick after 10 years without performing the trick. http://www.newscientist.com... Proving that a capacity is there when measured. But then again, If we measure capacity by the unnecessary things that man does, then yes man wins this point. I can’t figure out why my dog pisses in the house, I don’t know if I’m dumb for not being able to train him or if he’s smart because he knows that’s a way to spend more time in the yard. My point is every living thing learns what is necessary some even learn from other species. For the most part there is no clear line. We are doing what we want and what we are capable of doing. Man is the only creature physically capable of building a laptop, so we build one. When we genetically engineer dolphins to have human hands then capacity will have to be revisited. I conclude that capacity is somewhat irrelevant and w/ out a seal mind reader we will never know how much it may really know.


Superiority:

Human superiority is perceived but never attained. Darwin once wrote; “inferior animals are more likely to become extinct while the superior ones are more likely to thrive.” In our ability* to survive extinction through evolution we have seemingly bested our animal counterparts. This mixing of long-term and short-term thinking is illogical. If the homo-sapiens cannot outlive the generation before them by decades then how much has their “ability” to survive actually increased? Besides the apparent domination of earth by the human species, man has no single ability comparable to animal that is undoubtedly superior. Especially intelligence. We have enslaved the planets life forms, bullied, brutalized and literally wiped entire species off of its face. As Alfred Adler once said; Superiority complex is compensation for an inferiority complex. Saying that, Should the slave master be worshipped for his dominance? The answer to this question should decide the resolution.


Questions:
  1. Are we absolutely sure that knowledge of the universe is limited to us who write it down and use tools to study it?
  2. Should the slave master be worshipped for his dominance?

I had more questions- but I wrote the prior this morning, went on an unexpected journey and lost my frame of thought a little. I said I would post earlier - so I wanted to stick to my word as much as possible...

... as an afterthought I could have said much more but we'll leave it at this for now.
I look forward to your argument and hope this was enough to provoke some thought...
Ore_Ele

Pro

I thank my opponent for their argument and will address it now, though not necessarily in order that it was presented.

My opponent proposes two questions in their round.

"Are we absolutely sure that knowledge of the universe is limited to us who write it down and use tools to study it?

Should the slave master be worshipped for his dominance?"

These actually have no significance to this debate. Of course other animals are capable of knowledge and regardless of whether the "slave-master" be worshipped, mankind is the most intelligent species.

My opponent also states, "The end means of Intelligence is creating progress for your species..." I disagree, for some of us, intelligence and the gathering of knowledge is not for the betterment or progress of the species, but for either just the betterment of ourselves, or simply for our own curiosity. The betterment of our species is merely a side effect.

My opponent later goes on to say "Mankind creates with technology, what instinct has done for animals naturally..." this is not entirely accurate. It is not "instinct," but "evolution" that we sometime's emulate. However, what our technology has done (which is subgroup of intelligence) is break down the walls of evolution. Various animals have spend millions and millions of years to gain their abilities in the form of niches, like flight. We have successfully obtained flight, even though evolution has not selected that skill for us. Our intelligence is now powerful enough to over power evolution. No other animal can make that claim.

Of course, we have obtained feats through knowledge that no animal evolution, or "instinct" (as my opponent likes to use) has done. One simple example is traveling to the moon, another is being able to go from the depths of the bottom of the ocean to the peak of Mount Everest. Or from the Poles to the Equator. While many feats can be compared to a single species, no single species can even come close to breath of our accomplishments.

Moving on, my opponent claims that to measure intelligence, we need to provide dolphins with human hands. Of course, if they had the intelligence, they could do it themselves. With many species we can apply memory of various situations and ability to solve simple tasks as a measure of intelligence, and in no case, as any animal come close to the intelligence that humans have.

My opponent has not provided a single animal that they believe is more intelligent or as intelligent as humans and has only argued that it is difficult to measure. This does not truly fill the needs of this debate. I pass this back to my opponent to see if they can offer any animal that is more intelligent or as intelligent as humans.
Debate Round No. 2
GORGIAS

Con

Thank you Pro. I am happy you mentioned those amazing points.

My opponent claims that my questions are insignificant. (That may be a human intelligence thing) It takes time to understand a language different from your own. I find those questions important and I believe they provoked the response that I desired.

I think my Opponent has failed to read the very first phrase of the title.

Human Superiority
It then reads Most Intelligent... Etc..

I used the most common argument used for a Pro Human Superiority stance in the title and added the etc... for whatever other proof of superiority that pro might have. Not to make Intelligence the focal point. Clarified.

Rebuttals/Answers:

I would like to affirm Pro's statement" for some of us, intelligence and the gathering of knowledge is not for the betterment or progress of the species, but for either just the betterment of ourselves, or simply for our own curiosity. The betterment of our species is merely a side effect."This is very true, except the final sentence. Nearly all of mans knowledge is found through curiosity or for the betterment of the individual. This selfishness inherent to man negatively effects the planet.The betterment of our species is merely a side effectwhich barely occurs and is rarely sought after.

Going to the moon is quite amazing and if technology makes it habitable that may give way to a new age of colonization. But as of right now, This is the only place where we can survive. Our superior intelligence and reason as Pro would have it, leads us to short term desire that threatens our very existence. We are in a race against our own self destruction, while flaunting a superior intelligence. Our so-called knowledge is nothing more than observation and destruction as a means of creating less stable copies of what already exists. The building will never be better shelter than the cave. The Airplane has destroyed humans through crashing and bombings, Each creation has done harm to mankind whether directly or environmentally, so the benefit in my view is no achievement.

The "breaking down the walls of evolution" is temporary and short sighted. Technology is no sub-group of intelligence, it is an effect of curiosity. Our creations are a fulfillment of a unique human desire that is not shared by animal or plant. We compare intelligence by testing animal by having them engage in our desires. The baboon warns the animals of the jungle when predators prowl. This is an example of inter-species communication. The strengths of animal life and plant life are within their ability to communicate. Their ability to understand the planet itself and live a somewhat harmonious existence, rarely abusing their surroundings. This is the application of intelligence. This is the example of a greater intelligence. Essentially during life the only thing that a life form does is communicate, consume, contribute and populate. Man is under the assumption that attainment of knowledge is through a magnifying glass or spacecraft.
If the animal can communicate with the single celled organism does he need a looking glass to know it exists?
Of course I can't prove that the animal can actually do that, or that plant life can travel freely through a dimension unnoticed by us. However, there are signs that would lead me to believe the possibility is more likely than eternal life for man. I can theorize, since most human intelligence begins in theory. Let’s move away from human perception by first embracing some facts and then touching some possibilities.

It seems to me that plants have understood the true concept of individuality and separation for betterment of species(reason). This would prove an advanced intelligence deep rooted in to the soil and unwavering. They have evolved in to many species, and are absolutely sub-conscious and without the limitation of the human brain* (capacity for learning). The human brain makes decisions based on a single stimulus no more advanced than the Acacia. Plants are the most important thing on our planet, objectively. The prior statement is enough to prove superiority alone if left uncontested. Plant life will outlive all life forms that inhabit this planet. The Acacia is a good example of a form of plant life that communicates and protects itself.http://www.dailymotion.com...This is intelligence. Mental activity is proven by the electrical signals it sends that release the toxins. The principal concern of plant life is growth! They are not self-destructive and they don’t intentionally hurt the surrounding life. The narrator in the video calls the electrical signals sent by a plants nervous system primitive because of the acacias lack of nerve cells. I beg to differ and would like to opine that the human mind is at creative peak while sleeping,the brain sends certain "inhibitory" signals to the rest of the body, and the only muscles that move are those for breathing and eye movement. An electrical signal can be just as advanced as that of the specialized nerve cells of humans. In fact Nerve cells make us more vulnerable and inferior. Who would fear destruction if they could not feel it? I chose the following article because it shows mans avoidance of studying the electric signals in animal & plant life. I contest that its caused by the fear of proving ourselves to be more similar than we would like to accept. http://www.dailymotion.com...

As Alfred Adler once said; Superiority complex is compensation for an inferiority complex.

One last thing Pro said; “another is being able to go from the depths of the bottom of the ocean to the peak of Mount Everest. Or from the Poles to the Equator.

I disagree with this statement creature has migrated for billions of years and plants are everywhere. Yes man can travel at will but at an expense. Animal roams the earth naturally and without negative causation. We also do not know much about the ocean at all. I know you have heard the phrase “we know more about the surface of Mars, than the bottom of our ocean”. Pro's statements are a false representation of man’s ability and further shows their inferiority to its coexisting neighbors.

Questions:

My past questions were called insignificant. I will try harder to achieve significance.

Pro says; “Of course other animals are capable of knowledge

Was that taken out of context?

Knowing Right & Wrong and choosing the Wrong makes you less intelligent.

My question then for Pro would have to be; Do you have anything other than technology and travel to prove man’s superiority? Two people going to the moon over 40 years ago is not grounds for recognizing superiority. Neither is the destructive technology that has proven to be more of a selfish detriment than benefit.

Do you believe it is in humanities best interest to continue to create “things” and travel for leisure at the risk of our future and every other species on the planet?

P.s – I would appreciate honest answers as opposed to dismissals and maybe even an actual question from you

Vote: Con




Ore_Ele

Pro

Do not watch the video until you get to [3], please.

I thank my opponent for their last round.

I will start by addressing my opponent's arguments, then take care of the questions later on.

My opponent claims, "The betterment of our species is merely a side effect which barely occurs..."

This is entirely false. From 1930 - 2010, the average life expectancy has increased over 30% [1]. This is almost entirely because of medical advancements which are a direct result of our intelligence. No other species can make such a claim, that their intelligence has caused their life span to be significantly extended over such a short period of time.

Our intelligence has allowed us to survive in all corners and all climates on this planet and even off the planet. No other animal can make that claim. My opponent has correctly stated that animals have lived in some of these areas, however, they cannot point to a single animal that has lived in multiple locations, only a different one for each.

My opponent attempts to down play the significance of going to the moon. However, the significance of the historic event isn't that important to this debate. The real importance is in having the technology and intelligence to be able to accomplish such a feat. We've done something that no other animal has even come close to doing, and we did it with intelligence. Most animals work off of physical ability that they've obtained from evolution, not from intelligence that they, themselves, have gathered from observations of the world around them (e.g. the ability to acquire and apply knowledge, i.e. Intelligence).

My opponent claims "Each creation has done harm to mankind whether directly or environmentally." This is misleading at best, utterly dishonest at worst. EVERYTHING has harmed something, there is absolutely nothing that has not caused some degree of harm to something else. Of course, most of our technology has caused a net benefit. If my opponent is believing that each creation has done a NET harm, then I ask them to offer any type of proof for such a bold statement.

I believed both our sides can be summed up by my opponent's sentence, "The building will never be better shelter than the cave."

Moving on to my opponent's next claim, we find "Their ability to understand the planet itself and live a somewhat harmonious existence, rarely abusing their surroundings. This is the application of intelligence." Let us address several major issues with this argument.

First, no evidence is presented that any animal "understands the planet itself," making this an unsupported and false claim. Second, they claim that animals "rarely abuse their surroundings." This is completely false as nearly all animals survive by consuming other animals against their will. I'm sure if you ask the deer, they would say they are abused by the wolf that just killed them (that would be, if they could even comprehend what "abuse" is). Animals have no quorum with killing the children of other animals, commonly competitors (Lions will kill Cheetah babies as a hobby [2]). While some humans like to kill and eat animals, humans have at least taken the measure to attempt to make the killings as humane as possible. Animals do not typically engage in "humane" killings [3].

We can also see, that despite evolution making us into consumers (things that must eat other living things to survive), we are using our intelligence to try and break down that barrier as well. Gather energy direction for the sun and utilizing chemical reactions to make proteins and food (maybe some day, thanks to our intelligence).

Thirdly, my opponent claims that this is an application of intelligence, when it is no such thing. It is merely them doing what their instincts tell them to do, and there just aren't any major consequences (though invasive species tend not to care about the harm they cause).

My opponent's next argument is "It seems to me that plants have understood the true concept of individuality and separation for betterment of species(reason). This would prove an advanced intelligence deep rooted in to the soil and unwavering." Unfortunately, my opponent provides no evidence for this and actually provides evidence AGAINST it. Plants are individual (despite the fact that they are made of billions of cells that work TOGETHER to create a bigger better organism), but nothing shows that they have any understanding of that, and as my opponent points out, some trees can communicate. This communicating with other planets is directly against their "individuality and separation." My opponent then falsely claims that humans make decisions based on a single stimulus. We actually have our 5 senses (some have argued that we have more, but that is for a different debate) to gather different types of stimuli. Of course, other animals have just as many senses, if not more. Yet our brain is capable of collecting and remember these stimuli and applying logic to what we've learned to better understand the world.

My opponent's next claim is "Plants are the most important thing on our planet, objectively. The prior statement is enough to prove superiority alone if left uncontested." I cannot stress enough how incorrect this is. First, plants are not important to the planet, but to the environment. Whether Earth is covered in life, or a barren wasteland (like all the other planets), Earth will not change. It will not disappear, or stop spinning, or fall into the sun or drift into space. It will continue with what it has been doing for billions of years. But the biggest issues with this is that this debate is about SPECIES, and plants are not a single species, they are a kingdom. While we could argue in a different debate about the significance of plants, there is no single plant that is more intelligent than humans.

Let us now address the questions that my opponent asks.

"Do you have anything other than technology and travel to prove man's superiority?" Nothing other than technology is needed. Technology is the application of intelligence. As we observe the world and take in knowledge, we use that knowledge to create things and develop skills. These things and skills, which are a direct result of intelligence, are our technology. My opponent can argue that it is evil all they want, but it is still a greater level of intelligence than anything that can be shown for any animal or plant.

"Do you believe it is in humanities best interest to continue to create "things" and travel for leisure at the risk of our future and every other species on the planet?" Despite this being a suggestive question, I shall answer. No, it isn't in our best interest to do so, and thankfully, we don't.

My opponent then requests that I ask questions. While I don't normally do this with debates, I will go ahead and do it for this debate.

My opponent stated that "The building will never be better shelter than the cave." I must then ask, does my opponent live in a building or a cave?

My opponent also stated, "The betterment of our species is merely a side effect [of technology] which barely occurs..." I must also ask if my opponent is debating on a piece of technology and if they believe that technology, which they voluntarily choose to use, is a net positive or net negative for our species?

With that, I will pass this back to my opponent.

Thank you

[1] http://www.infoplease.com...
[2] http://www.bluelion.org...
[3] see video,
Debate Round No. 3
GORGIAS

Con

Thank you for posing good arguments Pro. This has been a very thought provoking experience, more so than expected.I wrote this on word and don't know how I will remove the 1,917 extra characters i have.
I responded to most topics in a linear fashion. I hope it's clear. Pro's comments in Italics

"This is entirely false. From 1930 - 2010, the average life expectancy has increased over 30%"

The increase in life expectancy is based on averages. The lower class has been exposed to worse living conditions historically resulting in longer lives for the wealthy typically. Living conditions have improved since the 1930’s and that’s how the life expectancy gives way to a presumed increase. If you compare today’s third world countries to the period prior to the aforementioned 1930’s, human life expectancy has not nominally increased. Actually - if comparison is made including the multiple new diseases that have developed since the 1930’s, expectancy has reduced. For every sickness cured a new stronger strain of virus develops. In no way will I attempt to discredit man’s ability to observe and have it be noted that with proper medical care our risks can be dissuaded, but even then our life expectancy has not increased any further, it has only been re-lengthened to the natural human maximum. I urge Pro to think outside of the box, humans are not a number to be averaged out. For example; Ancient Egypt’s average life expectancy is said to have been “54 years for men and 58 for women”. However, “one hundred-and-ten years seem to be the ideal Egyptian life-span. There are 27 places in documents where this figure crops up, and it had its widest acceptance during the 19th and 20th Dynasties. King Pepi II of the 6th Dynasty certainly came close, since we know of events that took place in the 94th year of his reign. Ptahhotep, who was vizier to King Djedkare Isesi of the 5th Dynasty, and two others individuals, are reputed to have lived to that age as well.”

  1. Ten oldest people -http://listverse.com...
  2. Article Regarding Age in Ancient Egypt - http://www.touregypt.net...


“My opponent has correctly stated that animals have lived in some of these areas, however, they cannot point to a single animal that has lived in multiple locations”

This statement is a little too easy to refute. Ever saw the Lion King? Lol… We have obstructed animal migration with our intelligence (err) I mean highly advanced shelters. Migration is the natural way of the earth. I was under the assumption that Pro knew there are many animals that live in multiple locations. To affirm my burden of proof I will show – 3 – after this it should be clear that what Pro stated is quite contrary to reality. Nearly every animal has the ability to live anywhere it wants, and naturally.


  1. Tiger – The Bengal Tiger; Hot climate and the Siberian Tiger; Cold climate
  2. Polar Bears – “Evolutionary young species that split off from the brown bear 150,000 years ago.” http://earthsky.org...
  3. Turtles – Are Cold blooded, and through Hibernation can survive winter. Turtles can be found anywhere and their navigation during migration cannot be explained by humans (Sounds intelligent to me). http://www.animalbehavioronline.com... - http://suite101.com...

My opponent speaks some undeniable truth. I am definitely downplaying the moon, admittedly. I will provide a link to an informative article that I will quote and paraphrase from.
http://www.slate.com...

“Rocket engines emit reactive gases that cause ozone molecules to break apart.”

This is the first issue with space travel that I have and only one of many quarrels that I will attempt to express here. Can we survive on any other planet? Not the one’s in our Solar System, if any at all. How intelligent is it to destroy the atmosphere that protects you, just to do something no other life form on earth has done? That’s rhetorical. It isn’t Intelligent at all and if you disagree, I hope the voters will not be as bullheaded… The reactive gases are not the end of it…

“They also discharge microscopic particles of soot and aluminum oxide, which may increase the rate at which those gases wreak havoc”.

If I provide the other facts mentioned in this article I will run out of room. Please, Read the Article if you are unaware of the effects of space travel. If it doesn’t completely change your perspective on space travel, it will at least open your mind to questioning it more actively. It should also add strength to what I am going to say next.

My opponent’s opinion is in strong contrast to my own. Space Travel for Pro; is an amazing feat displaying intelligence at its highest level. To me; it is destructive and a disgusting example of the human species stupidity and inability to reason. This small amount of Information I provided should speak volumes. I am willing to have an entire debate based on this topic, the materials against this being positive are large and I urge pro to abandon this point all together.

My opponent opines; “Most animals work off of physical ability that they've obtained from evolution, not from intelligence”.

I agree with this for the most part. Most of their life does not involve a human intelligence. Animal do not complicate simple things. The animal doesn’t feel trapped, like somehow he knows that there are things that are not meant to be. By the same logic, if all animal ingenuity is passed off on physicality - then the human thumb being a product of evolution should be disregarded right with the turtles “instinctual” migration. This may seem like I’m just disputing everything, because I am… But all things productive should be considered Intelligences and destructive actions as stupidity. If we go extinct then we can’t have this debate and we have less chance of survival during extreme conditions than animal and plant life so we should stop engaging in stupidity and calling it intelligence! Simple

My opponent asserts; “most of our technology has caused a net benefit”.

Rather than get upset that Pro said my claim was dishonest without a formal refutation, I will ask that pro provides proof of this alleged “net benefit”. I resolve that most of our technology has no purpose at all other than entertainment and leisure and I am willing to double whatever proof he provides that affirms the prior.

“No evidence is presented that any animal "understands the planet itself,".

I stated this in round 1 – “For example animals never sacrifice (on altars) as an attempt to change the weather (or at least to my knowledge they haven’t). Instead, they sense it and use their reasoning to avoid it.”

Furthermore, Salmon and Turtles find their way over 100,000 km. Without the alleged luxury of technology. Man cannot explain this. Animals predict weather changes and avoid them. In comparison to animals you will find that their ability is better applied than our so-called intelligence, during and preceding natural disaster. The only significant numbers of animals that die in weather events are domesticated. Cows, Dog’s, Cat’s etc… Caged and trapped animals die in storms this is another travesty of Human intelligence. Animal instinct proves they understand the planet more than human observation can feasibly explain.

“Animals do not typically engage in "humane" killings [3].”

Duh animals aren’t human… lol and apparently neither do U.S. private contractors in Iraq.
http://www.guardian.co.uk...

Moving along...

Pro has pointed out that I had not selected individual animals that were smarter than man.
My Resolution stands at equality, not superiority of animal over man or vice versa.
Although the Most Intelligent way to live is; dont destroy the planet, life continues... simple logic

I am out of space and will have to address the other points next round.





Ore_Ele

Pro

I thank my opponent for their most recent round. I will address it in order that is presented, since I believe that any organizational structure in our arguments has been lost, though I will try to organize as best I can without getting things too mixed up.

1) Increase in average life expectancy.

My opponent breaks this into three parts. A) Rich vs Poor living conditions, B) New Diseases, and C) Ancient Egypt.

A) Is easily shown to be meaningless, since the average life span of the poor has increased as well, while not as much as the rich, it is still increased [1]. Some reasons for the gap increasing is because the poor are more likely to smoke, heavily drink, and use hard drugs.

B) First, It is a logical fallacy to compare 1930 USA to 2010 Third World Countries, so that can be tossed out. Talking about "stronger" diseases, this is simply false. They are not stronger, merely different. Every year, a new flu virus forms, it is not some "stronger" virus, merely a different strain that the old vaccines will do nothing against. The reason that we are finding new diseases is because we are finally living long enough to get them. Back in the day, there was no Dementia or Alzheimer, simply because no one lived long enough for those conditions to develop. Likewise, cancer was extremely rare because you wouldn't live long enough for it to take root.

C) An "ideal life span" has nothing to do with the reality of the average life span. True, my opponent can point to a single being in ancient time that is believed to lived 100 years old (some scholars believed it was only 70 years old, based on that he was not mentioned in those last 30 years anywhere, just seemed to disappear and 30 years later, someone else was pharaoh), while the actual nation was about half that.

2) Animals living in multiple locations.

My opponent is distorting the argument by taking it out of context before addressing it. Obviously we are not talking about different, yet similar locations. We are talking about the different extremes. From round 2, "...from the depths of the bottom of the ocean to the peak of Mount Everest. Or from the Poles to the Equator," and round 3, "...all corners and all climates on this planet..."

My opponent then goes on to make that exact same mistake as last round. My opponent does not list a species but families and classes. This would be like arguing that Michael Jordan is the best basketball player of all time and pointing to his average points per game, 38.3, and my opponent saying the Portland Trail Blazers averaged 97.2 points per game just this last year, so they are better. It's a bad comparison and dishonest.

If animals could survive anywhere they wanted, as my opponent claims, then none would go extinct (unless, of course, they wanted to).

3) Rocket engines are destroying the atmosphere.

This one is getting horribly off topic. I will be more than happy to debate the net benefits or harms of space travel and rocket engines or probably any other form of modern tech (like nuclear power), however, whether it is a good idea has no bearing on if it is Intelligent. The word my opponent is actually looking for is "wise." Again, I would disagree with my opponent, but that is for another debate. Regardless of that, being able to do it is a clear sign of a high degree of intelligence which no other animal has.

4) Evolution vs Intelligence

My opponent is correct. Our thumbs are not a form of our intelligence, they are not our creation, but the creation of evolution. However, what we have done with them, does belong to us and the intelligence that we've demonstrated with these tools called thumbs are all for us.

My opponent later goes on to say, "all things productive should be considered Intelligences and destructive actions as stupidity." This is a perverse definition of the word. As provided in round 1 (and never challenged until now, round 4), intelligence is (which 3 links to different dictionaries), "the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and/or facts. [2]"

5) Understanding the planet.

My opponent states that "Salmon and Turtles find their way over 100,000 km." Unless they are going in circles for over 84,000 km of that, then this number is not true (the circumference of the Earth is only 40,000 km [3]). Actually, Salmon only travel 4,000 km [4] (and many of them don't even travel 1,000 km) and Turtles (namely the Leatherback Sea Turtle, the current record holder) only travels 16,000 km [5].

When it comes to predicting weather, humans have been able to do it far more accurately than animals. We can see hurricanes coming long before animals (we just simply choose not to get out of the way). That is thanks to our satellites in outer space. We can see where a hurricane will hit, when it will hit, and how hard it will hit. While animals know that winter is colder and rainier than summer, so does everyone older than 4.

My point about humane killings is completely ignored. While only a handful of the 7+ billion humans on Earth are pointed to as inhumane killings (Private Contractors), while entire industries are shown to go to huge extremes to allow for humane killings (pretty much every animal farming industry in developed nations, executions, animal hospitals, etc) while no animals do such a thing. They ALL kill without regard for other life (sure, some may be worse than others by playing with their food before killing them, but none make a conscious attempt to kill with minimal harm).

As we approach the end of this round and get ready to move to the final summary round, I find it comical that my opponent near demanded that I ask them questions in the last round and in this round, they don't bother to answer them, so I shall re-ask them now and hope for an answer.

My opponent stated that "The building will never be better shelter than the cave." I must then ask, does my opponent live in a building or a cave?

My opponent also stated, "The betterment of our species is merely a side effect [of technology] which barely occurs..." I must also ask if my opponent is debating on a piece of technology and if they believe that technology, which they voluntarily choose to use, is a net positive or net negative for our species?

Now, in closing for this round, I would like to remind everyone of the title of this debate, "Human Superiority. Man is the most intelligent species on the planet etc..." My opponent made their opening argument (and only argument in R1) under the sub-title of "Man is the Most Intelligent Species on the Planet." It was clear from the OP that this debate would be about the intelligence of man vs other species.

I thank everyone and look forward to the final round.

[1] http://www.cbo.gov...
[2] See Pro, R1, Paragraph 3.
[3] http://geography.about.com...
[4] http://www.fws.gov...
[5] http://www.seeturtles.org...
Debate Round No. 4
GORGIAS

Con

Pro Thinks its intelligent to destroy existence as we know it, in the name of curiosity and ability.
I sincerely hope the voters don't feel the same....

RD 4 (RAN OUT OF ROOM)
My opponent disputes my plant life theory. Say’s we have 5 senses, which is true - but does not relate to the actual brains processes. The brain has a single stimulus that bounces around between nerve endings and gives us reality as we see it. Essentially everything in the universe is electrical signals, and consciousness is not understood. The dream is the most amazing process we have and the brain activity does not explain how it exists, and it may never. Animals dream, what they dream of can only be speculated.

“Prof. Quian Quiroga explains, “The human brain typically makes decisions based on a single stimulus, by evaluating the activity of a large number of neurons. I don’t get in front of a tiger 100 times to make an average of my neuronal responses and decide if I sho...”

http://www.sciencedaily.com...



RD 5


Thanks to Pro. 

This has slid horribly down hill. We have a problem with structure which began in RD 2
the very first round after the structure was stated when Pro decided to disregard the structure.
If he wants to shift blame for that fine, that's what I get for making my weakness clear in RD 1.

Furthermore, I am not going to engage in the definition game, especially after saying in the first round
"I will not engage in semantics, as quibbling over minor issues will take away from the integrity of the discussion."
- nor will I make assertions without a citation, that's lazy and also a bare assertion fallacy.


REBUTTALS 

Pro asked; "... does my opponent live in a building or a cave?"

I am currently living in a bubble constructed of planet and life destroying chemicals suspended in virtual animation. Although it takes thumbs to build one they also come out of cows asses, but since man is doing what it shouldn't be able to do I guess its an intelligent creation. I guess you can say I Live in a self defeating shell of intelligence.


Pro also asked;"... if my opponent is debating on a piece of technology and if they believe that technology, which they voluntarily choose to use, is a net positive or net negative for our species?"

I am far beyond Pros level of understanding. This question is either irrelevant or should work as more proof to my point. I guess this was meant to make me look bad. Here's to looking bad... Yes Pro, I am quite obviously using some sort of technology that operates over the Internet. This tech is over produced and will be incinerated in some trash center and release deadly gases into the atmosphere that will eventually kill man and put an end to mans "Intelligent" reign. As an afterthought -I have another confession- Animals, However humanely, were sliced up like something from a Friday the 13th sequel and placed on my plate for dinner less than an hour ago. But at least it was humane. I guess as long as its done in a factory and you feed the animal before you kill it, then it justifies the action and makes it humanely acceptable.

My final rebuttal to these sarcastic questions and misleading statements from Pro;

Pro stated; "It was clear from the OP that this debate would be about the intelligence of man vs other species."

I request that R1 is revisited


Let me re-state the most important part of that statement since it was one of the first things I asked before anyone had even accepted this debate; "If Pro can prove that intelligence indeed exists in a form that is necessary to other living things, then"


We never made it to a then. But since Pro is making this about winning and not about propagating let this be reason enough to vote CON.

I also suggested that the "would be" debater - "Refer any questions to the comments and I can elaborate on my position if this is unclear in any way."

Pro ignored this

CONCLUSION

The Major Issue here isHuman Superiority. Our supposed intelligence has pushed more animals to extinction than any planetary change in history. We have affected nature negatively, which is something NO ANIMAL CAN CLAIM. Let me make this as clear as possible. Without life we aren't alive. You can't argue about who's smarter if you are extinct. I never agreed to Pros definition of intelligence - but I will further embrace it. Pro stated that he believes intelligence is simply the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and/or facts. I agree that man has acquired knowledge immensely and have refuted the application of it since my opening argument.

These are the relevant facts as I see them (to avoid introducing any new arguments I will only bring up what I have mentioned in the prior rounds and reinforce them with more citations);

Man’s obsession with living is destroying the earth.

  1. 1.Man’s technology causes harm to our environment. E.G. Space Travel is destroying the Ozone, Airplanes increase human death – Cited in Prior rounds…
  2. 2.In contrast animals do not damage the environment and whether their hunting practices are humane or not, they have not carried out acts of genocide or enslavement. I also don’t believe a predator eating the young of its prey can ever compare to so-called humane killing – which involves a life time of imprisonment in overcrowded facilities starvation and an archaic death to top it off. There is an entire documentary detailing the horrible lives of farm animals. Look on Google if you haven’t already, I assumed that it was common knowledge to “intelligent” man that life for our food is nothing to be applauded. We enslave our food for generations and kill them systematically pro’s logic disgusts me - http://www.globalanimal.org...
  3. 3.Life expectancy is an average and Pro’s point is irrelevant. Take the oldest human, free from disease, and life length has not changed. I outlived the life expectancy for my hometown, but I will have to live another 80 years to reach 107 the age of my eldest family member. If life has anything to do with superiority then let me state that plants live longer lives without negative effect on the planet. Methuselah a bristlecone pine is 4,841 years old. The planet is necessary for us to have a debate Pro. Intelligence say’s keep it alive or you can’t win… http://www.mnn.com...
  4. 4.Restating my ill-interpreted point from earlier; and without plants mankind will perish. Common knowledge. E.g. Oxygen need I say more. Of course the planet couldn’t careless, (of course that’s assuming that it isn’t conscious), But without plants nearly everything on the planet dies. Common knowledge.
  5. 5.There are places on our own planet that man has not and may not ever observe. Specifically, the bottom of the ocean. This is in direct refutation of Pro’s claim. A study by the NOAA (National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration) declares that 95% remains unseen by human eyes. Mount Everest also has a diverse habitat of animal life-http://oceanservice.noaa.gov... - http://web.me.com...
  6. Man has ruined animal life’s natural migration patterns and caused extinction of several species as well as hibernation and breeding also mentioned in this article. http://www.buzzle.com...

Pro’s case begins and ends with technology.


I can't find anything in pro's argument other than going to the moon to defend his claim of superiority. The culmination of intelligence for pro is, poking our head out of our bubble whilst destroying the very bubble that protects sustains our lives in doing so. The closest solar system would currently take us 43,000 years to travel to. We are stuck here, the intelligent thing to do is sit tight allow disease to kill the weak migrate and stop thinking were superior. The End.

Vote Con

Ore_Ele

Pro

Despite a number of attacks last round, I would like to thank my opponent.

Since this is the last round, I will not add any arguments and merely sum up the current arguments.

My initial arguments from R2 were as follows, "We have successfully obtained flight, even though evolution has not selected that skill for us...One simple example is traveling to the moon, another is being able to go from the depths of the bottom of the ocean to the peak of Mount Everest. Or from the Poles to the Equator." Then from R3, "From 1930 - 2010, the average life expectancy has increased over 30%. This is almost entirely because of medical advancements which are a direct result of our intelligence...Our intelligence has allowed us to survive in all corners and all climates on this planet and even off the planet. No other animal can make that claim."

While my opponent did argue that these acts of intelligent are harmful to the planet, such harm is outside the scope of whether or not it is a form of intelligence to be able to do them. Just because things cause harm does not mean they do not require intelligence to make. As far as whether these things required intelligence to achieve was never challanged nor refuted.

Yes, my focus was on technology because the opening round was quite clear, "I am against the notion of human superiority, intelligence being the largest topic in question." Obviously choosing too broad a topic allows for hundreds of issues and only a sentence or two on each. It prevents any depth of thought to any of them. Since my opponent said from the start that intelligence would be the largest topic in question, and I was fine with focusing on intelligence, I didn't see a problem. However, it is now clear, at the end of the debate, that my opponent wanted to focus on things other than intelligence. But what's done is done, we can't go back and since my arguments have been based on intelligence as the primary focus, that is where they will stay here. I won't be adding more arguments.

Now my opponent has stated that they won't "make assertions without a citation." of course, this is false as I've had to address several of these in previous rounds, of which my opponent has dropped all of them. My opponent has done little short of argument spam, throwing a bunch of arguments and after they are refuted, throws more and more, rather than defend the refutations. My opponent has also stated that it is up to the readers to choose what definition they like, the one that is sourced from multiple dictionaries, or the one that is made up with no source and no real way to measure.

It is simple, I've shown several aspects of our technology, how it has helped us survive and thrive, and how no other animal has been able to do anything close. My opponent has not been able to actually refute that these show a higher level of intelligence.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 5
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TheHunter 5 years ago
TheHunter
My Decision:

This was definitely one of my favorite debates on DDO Just wanted to get that out in the air.

Pro (Ore_Ele)- Adopted a traditional sense of the measure of intelligence vs other species of animals. 2+2=4 and animals can't do that so we must be smarter. You did an amazing job of proving your point.

Con (GORGIAS)- Adopted what can be seen as an outside of the box argument, thus leading to you losing this debate. But I don't think you should let the regular, whomever has the highest points wins, DDO voting style get to you & cause you to rethink your strategy. It was outside of the box and therefore will only be seen by those who have that ability. (Taking away from your possibility of votes) (Not to say that Pro doesn't have hat ability, pro surely does, if pro was forced to be con he couldn't convince me he wouldn't use the argument presented aginst him... haha I'm rambling I know). You also did an amazing job of proving your point.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way.

I feel that no one won this debate (Uh oh, don't slay me yet, please.) It's all about preference of fighting style. Fighting, you ask? Yep..

Pro establishes early where he'll be coming from in the debate, throwing hay-makers right from the corner.
Con quickly stings back using an unorthodox style and blindsides his opponent.

Pro uses the same jab, but harder. Almost knocking Con to the floor in submission.
Con takes the punch, and gives a few blows of his own, but not nearly as strong as Pro's second wave of attacks.

Pro attempts the same jab, but this time misses, Con saw it coming.
Con, who arguably tied in the beginning, and lost in the middle, has found his way around Pro's brawling tactics. But can't capitolize further because the 12th round bell has rang.
Classic battle of Ali s Tyson. Whomever's style you like most, won in your eyes. Top heavy vs Bottom heavy.

Anywho.. Thank you for the debate :)
Posted by GORGIAS 5 years ago
GORGIAS
Did you read any of my rounds PeacefulChaos? My opening round challenges the human supposition of what intelligence is, as does every following round. Intelligence is also a widely debated term that is not perceived as objective in the academic community. I can't understand what would make it any different here... I guess no one gets my point. To me I felt like one thing just kept getting repeated by pro, yet everyone else interprets it differently. I will have to work on being more clear, or repeating myself...
Posted by GORGIAS 5 years ago
GORGIAS
Did you read any of my rounds PeacefulChaos? My opening round challenges the human supposition of what intelligence is, as does every following round. Intelligence is also a widely debated term that is not perceived as objective in the academic community. I can't understand what would make it any different here... I guess no one gets my point. To me I felt like one thing just kept getting repeated by pro, yet everyone else interprets it differently. I will have to work on being more clear, or repeating myself...
Posted by PeacefulChaos 5 years ago
PeacefulChaos
True, but you never challenged it, either. This means that by default you technically agreed to the definition.
Posted by GORGIAS 5 years ago
GORGIAS
I never agreed on that definition... but here nor there ... good debate.
Posted by PeacefulChaos 5 years ago
PeacefulChaos
RFD -

This was an excellent debate and both sides did wonderfully (although, things got a bit tense in the last rounds). Conduct, S&G, and sources were relatively the same, but I believe that Pro displayed superior arguments.

Con's main argument was concerned with the natural instinct of animals and the detrimental effects of human technology; however, Con successfully disputed these arguments by stating that natural instinct isn't a product of intelligence, since the animal did not obtain this instinct through acquiring and applying knowledge (which was the definition presented by Pro that both sides agree upon).

As for the second point (the detrimental effects of human technology), Pro showed how all animals have some detrimental effect on the environment, but some have larger effects than others. I myself have some input on this point. We as humans are recognizing the negative effects that our technology brings, and there are a plethora of humans working to stop these negative effects. Animals, on the other hand, do no such thing and do not attempt to minimize the negative effects that they bring about, if they realize the effects at all.

Con also made the mistake of confusing kingdoms, classes, species, etc. Due to this mistake, Con failed to provide a species of animal that could live in contrasting extremes (i.e. the arctic and desert at the same time).

All in all, I think that both sides did an excellent job, but I had to give the win to Pro.
Posted by GORGIAS 5 years ago
GORGIAS
Cool, then it's agreed. I will be able to post as soon as I return from the grocery store.(i'm responding from my phone) should not take long. Thank you.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
It is hard for the standard format, because the standard format is traditionally based upon the instigator being PRO for the debate. The format you brought up would have CON having the first argument, which is odd for a normal debate.

If we change the first round to "Acceptance/Definitions" we can go ahead and toss out the arguments that I made and I can just remake them in R2.
Posted by GORGIAS 5 years ago
GORGIAS
Ore_ele I have completed my argument and will post immediately after agreeing on some ground rules as I stated in the opening round.
I saw this posted in another debate and think its a good structure to start with -
Rounds:
1. Acceptance
2. Argument/Questions
3. Rebuttals/Answers
4. Rebuttals
5. Rebuttals/Conclusion

I have had debates on here where the lack of structure was used as a strategy by my opponent. I would like to avoid the confusion and provide readers with a coherent and comprehensible debate. If there is any debate styles you wish to be disallowed, please mention here and I will open my round 2 argument with acceptance. I apologize if this changes anything, but in round 1 - I attempted to be clear about my desire for form to be agreed on beforehand. You understand the debate structure better than I do, help me to learn through application. Thank you.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
Foxgguy, it might be a good idea to follow this debate and read through a few other ones to get an understanding of the format. The only thing that I can really point out is the vital importance of DEFINING WORDS. If you don't define words, you leave them up to your opponent who can define them in a way that puts you in a heavy disadvantage.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Double_R 5 years ago
Double_R
GORGIASOre_EleTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro quite obviously showed that humans are more intelligent then any animal on earth. Con then focused on showing how the side effects of our intelligence leads to destruction, however he never proved that any of his claims lead to a negative net result. Pros arguments showing our increase in life expectancy and ability to survive in any condition as a result of our intelligence shows a positive net result, so even Cons convenient interpretation of the resolution still fails.
Vote Placed by wierdman 5 years ago
wierdman
GORGIASOre_EleTied
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Reasons for voting decision: m
Vote Placed by TheOrator 5 years ago
TheOrator
GORGIASOre_EleTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: The main clencher in the round was when Pro pointed out that natural instinct is not the same as utilizing logical processes.
Vote Placed by PeacefulChaos 5 years ago
PeacefulChaos
GORGIASOre_EleTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.