The Instigator
Pro (for)
1 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Human extinction can not be caused by humans

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/30/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,635 times Debate No: 24505
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)




Debate round rules:
Round 1: acceptance and clarification
Round 2: posting of arguments (only)
Round 3: arguments towards opponents case
Round 4: defending case
Round 5: final remarks (saying why you should win or get certain points)

Pro: must say that human extinction can not be caused by humans, or in other words humans can not cause their own extinction.

Con: must say that human extinction can be caused by humans, or in other words humans can cause their own extinction.

Well okay these will be common sense definitions, but if you want to argue it than okay.
Human extinction: no more humans, also known as homo-sapiens, in existence any where.

Let the better debater win.


As the Con position I will be arguing that humans can cause their own extinction.

As part of the clarification of this round, I'd like to introduce a framework for weighing the round. This framework will be a means of deciding who has won the round and what types of arguments are most legitimate and which types are not.

1. Arguments should demonstrate probability rather than objectivity. Seeing as humans are not currently extinct, we are obviously debating an event that has not yet occurred and that might or might not happen in the future. Because we are dealing with the future (a realm of uncertainty) no claims can be made in an objective sense. Because objectivity is not possible in this debate, we must resort to probability and likelihood. What most logically will happen? What can we reasonably assume?

2. The following definitions will be presented. It's important to have definitions in all debate rounds, as it promotes clarity.

Human: a bipedal primate mammal (Homo sapiens)

Can: to be able to do, make, or accomplish

Able: having sufficient power, skill, or resources to accomplish a task

Cause: to compel by command, force, or authority

Extinction: "no more humans, also known as homo-sapiens, in existence any where"

All definitions were taken from Merriam-Webster, a respected and reliable dictionary barring the last definition, which was from the Pro in R1 Pro.

This framework promoting logical, intelligent arguments and the definitions I have provided should sum up the clarification needed here. I do have one request, however. This is just a request, and should only be accepted if the opponent chooses to do so.

Rather than:

Round 1: acceptance and clarification
Round 2: posting of arguments (only)
Round 3: arguments towards opponents case
Round 4: defending case
Round 5: final remarks (saying why you should win or get certain points)

This might be better:

Round 1: Acceptance and Clarification
Round 2(Pro): Post affirmative argument ;; (Con): Post negative argument/Argue against Pro's case
Round 3(Pro): Defend case/Argue against Neg's case ;; (Con) Defend case/Argue against Pro's case more
Round 4(Pro): Defend case/Argue against Neg's case (new arguments ok) ;; (Con) Defend/Argue (no new arguments)
Round 5: Closing Statements/Defenses/Voters

This new round rules will allow for a deeper discussion, allowing us to hit more areas of the issue. This makes for a deeper, more competitive debate. However, I've accepted the current round rules, and if the opponent wishes to stick with them, that is completely acceptable to me.

I look forward to this debate.
Debate Round No. 1


-Clarification remarks-
I will agree to the updated changes that my opponent has suggested for this debate.

I am going to start this debate by saying the reasons why human extinction can not be caused by humans.

-1) Humans expanding into space greatly decreases the chance for the human race to go extinct-
When Columbus officially discovered the Americas the world human population increased. The reason for that is because the large majority of humans found a place to expand. To have a human extinction is for every human to no longer exist, but when there are more humans the chances for humans to go extinct greatly decreases. Although all the land masses on Earth have been discovered, there is still opportunity to expand and discover space. When humans discover a way to colonize the cosmos, the number of humans in existence will increase. With the recent launch of the space X dragon, it shows that the human race is almost ready to go out and colonize space. In summary of this point, when humans go out into space to colonize, there will be more humans and if there is something bad such as a large meteor going to crash into the earth then it wouldn't cause a total extinction because there will still be humans somewhere.

-2) Homo-sapiens are resilient and strong-
The species known as homo-sapiens, or more commonly known as humans, are capable to adapt to diseases, environments, and situations. Humans are the only known "intelligent life." If there was something to happen that may have been man made, then there will be humans who could adapt to it. There are always special occasions where a human or a group of humans are capable to do things that might seem extraordinary. What I am trying to say by this point is that humans are capable to survive, which makes a 100% human extinction not likely.

-3) A nuclear war wouldn't cause a 100% human extinction-
Biggest nuclear bomb that we know of is the Tsar Bomba[1], which has a blast radius of 35km.[2] Using A=(pi)*R^2, the blast area is 3,848.451km^2. Now lets take the surface area of the earth which is 510,072,000 km^2[3], and find out how many it takes Tsar Bombas it takes to cover the entire earth by dividing the surface area of the earth by the area of the bomb which comes out to 132,539.5594 Tsar Bombas. But does the world have enough well according to or Federation of American Scientists, they say that there are only 19,000 roughly[4] Well you can do the math here and say that we don't have 132,539.5594 Tsar Bombas in the world. The reason why I bring this up is because to show that if there was a nuclear war, it wouldn't be a 100% total human extinction, there is still a chance that humans can live after a nuclear war.

I understand that times are getting scary and a lot of people are claiming that we will be our own down fall, but we will also save our selves because soon we will start to expand into space. Once humans expand into space then the chance for human extinction will greatly decrease. Humans think of our selves as squishy and easy to kill, that's because we were not exposed to the environments as our ancestors but a human is a human, they still have the survive ability as any human. The reason I put in that nuclear bomb point was just in case you decide to talk about nuclear bombs. For these reasons I ask you to vote Pro. Thank you.

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Thank you for your quick response.

-Pro Points of Contention-

1. Space expansionism as a safety net.

This argument is largely hypothetical. While it is true that recently the United States allowed for more serious commercial competition in space affair, it in no way means that we are close to colonization, merely that we are closer. The opponent provides no evidence suggesting that a transport capsule (SpaceX Dragon capsule) that takes goods from Earth to the ISS in any way insinuates that we are furthering the efforts of space colonization.

The closest place for actual space "colonization" would likely be Mars or the moon. Currently, there is not even a moon base and we have never touched down on Mars. Space colonization will likely happen, but it is far off into our future, allowing for plenty of time for humans to destroy themselves.

2. Humans are strong.

This argument is based off of the assumption that no matter what happens, somebody will be able to survive it. This claim is ludicrous. Humans are able to adapt to some diseases, but there are still others that we seem to be unable to adapt to (HIV/AIDS). If humans were to make a biological weapon in the form of disease, it would likely be engineered to specifically destroy humans, negating any "adaptation" skills they may have.

While I'm sure it's "possible" that a some human somewhere survives a devastating virus, global nuclear war, human-caused environmental disaster, etc., the probability of such a thing happening is so low that it should not be considered a viable argument.

3. Nuclear war wouldn't cause 100% human extinction.

This argument claims that there aren't enough nuclear bombs in the world to kill all humans. Let's break this argument down. First, it's stated that the Earth is about 500 million km^2 and the currents Tsar bombs can only cover about 14% of the planet. However, considering that only about 30% of the Earth is actual land, the Tsar bombs could cover about half of Earth's landmass. If the humans launching the weapons were intelligent, and they likely would be, they could easily destroy all major production areas of manufactured goods and agricultural goods. This would leave the other 50% of the Earth without any food or supplies, a situation that would inevitable kill off most, and leave the few remaining sick.

What my opponent failed to mention was the issue of nuclear fallout. Fallout is the irradiated dirt that is launched off of the ground and into the air and atmosphere after the initial blast. In fact, the nuclear bomb isn't dangerous because of the blast, but more so for the fallout, which is far more dangerous. The dirt will be flung miles from the blast area. This fallout could easily cover the remaining 50% of the Earth, should the bombs be launched evenly.

Realistically, every Tsar bomb wouldn't be launched in a nuclear attack, but the fallout that enters the atmosphere will causes radiation to spread absolutely everywhere. It will also cause what's called a "nuclear winter" which would likely cause the destruction of all humans and most life on the planet.

It should also be noted here that humans can cause their extinctions in many ways other than nuclear war, so this argument proves little in the grand scheme of things.

-Con Arguments-

Here I'll present my points of contention that will advocate the claim that humans can cause their own extinction.

1. A virus could possibly destroy all life.

There are currently cases of diseases that we simply are unable to stop. The most notable disease that comes to mind is HIV/AIDS. Luckily, HIV/AIDS is only spread from fluid to fluid contact, making it easily avoidable for people who don't already have it. It is quite possible, however, that a disease could arise that has the properties of HIV/AIDS except that it is airborne and waterborne. Such a disease would almost certainly cause a death toll including all humans on the planet. With no means of stopping or avoiding it, humans would easily succumb to it. As was previously mentioned, even if some humans survived, other environmental factors would likely take them.

2. Contingency Suicide Argument

This argument doesn't refer to any specific possible event, but approaches the resolution from a philosophical point of view. My goal as Con is to prove that humans can possible cause their extinction. This means that if I merely demonstrate that it is possible that humans cause their own extinction, I will win the debate.

Realize that all humans that are not capable of committing suicide rely upon those who can commit suicide. It is possible that, for whatever reason, all those who can decide to kill themselves. Those who are physically unable will die off due to their inability to support themselves. This would cause human extinction. While this isn't something that will likely happen, it is certainly possible. Because it is possible, I have won the debate.

3. Humans could easily burn up their resources.

We are seeing that our resources are running out. It is inevitable that humans will consume all of their resources, and certainly a resource that is imperative to our survival. When a resource like this runs out, we will die off. It will be like an animal without food, in a place where no food can be found.


The Pro was unable to produce an argument showing that humans cannot cause their own extinction. Con's arguments show that it is possible for humans to cause their own extinction, which is enough to satisfy the resolution and win today's debate.
Debate Round No. 2


I am going to officially surrender, I give the win for Con. He has been a good opponent but I am sorry to say that I have been too busy to debate this at this time. I really like your everyone suicide argument, that was pretty genius. I would have done a, everyone is going to evolve into something not a human, like a cyborg or robot due to technology. Vote Con.


Thanks for the debate.


My opponent has surrendered, effectively insuring I win this debate. I've adequately refuted the Pro arguments and provided my own. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3


Yup, I surrendered. Vote Con.


Ad_Infinitum forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


surpy forfeited this round.


Ad_Infinitum forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded. Conduct for the honorable concession, arguments to Con because the concession gave him victory.