The Instigator
Aziar44
Pro (for)
Winning
34 Points
The Contender
mongeese
Con (against)
Losing
12 Points

Intelligent Design should not be taught as science.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 9 votes the winner is...
Aziar44
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/1/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,692 times Debate No: 8062
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (36)
Votes (9)

 

Aziar44

Pro

Intelligent Design theory is not science. It should not be taught as an alternative to evolutionary theory and it has no place in schools. For this argument, I will say public high schools/elementary schools in the United States, to be more specific.

Again, Intelligent Design (ID) should NOT be taught as an alternative theory to evolution.

ID is laden with religious undertones and is religiously motivated. If it is religiously motivated, then it is not constitutional based on the establishment clause of the Constitution.

It is also not real science. It puts forth no ideas about how to prove a designer, or how old the earth is, or anything else. All it does is criticize evolution but it has no legs to stand on of its own. Just because evolution is wrong does not make ID correct. Also, evolution isn't wrong. It is the most comprehensive and correct theory we have today regarding the origin of species.

I will go into more detail in the later rounds (if there's anyone brave enough to take me on ;) that is). More arguments will also unfold as the debate does. Thank you to whomever accepts this challenge!
mongeese

Con

ID is laden with religious undertones and is religiously motivated. If it is religiously motivated, then it is not constitutional based on the establishment clause of the Constitution."
Intelligent design is a valid theory. So is evolution. As long as we have not proved any origin theories, any theory is acceptable as long as it is not proved wrong. My textbook two years ago listed Intelligent Design as one of the possibilities for the existence of life.

"It is also not real science. It puts forth no ideas about how to prove a designer, or how old the earth is, or anything else. All it does is criticize evolution but it has no legs to stand on of its own. Just because evolution is wrong does not make ID correct. Also, evolution isn't wrong. It is the most comprehensive and correct theory we have today regarding the origin of species."
People have used the Bible to predict the time of the beginning of the world to the very hour. It has its own legs, including a flood, language distribution, animals being introduced over many "yoms". Just because evolution seems correct doesn't mean that we can dismiss Intelligent Design. They are both valid theories.

"I will go into more detail in the later rounds (if there's anyone brave enough to take me on ;) that is). More arguments will also unfold as the debate does. Thank you to whomever accepts this challenge!"
Bring it on!
Thank you.

Here's a fact that some people might find interesting, from Mark Steyn's "America Alone", page 66:
"He's also the fellow who helped devise the three-week Islamic awareness course in California public schools, in the course of which students adopt Muslim names, wear Islamic garb, give up candy and TV for Ramadan, memorize suras from the Koran, learn that 'jihad' means 'internal personal struggle,' profess the Muslim faith, and recite prayers that begin 'In the name of Allah,' etc."
Dwell on that for a while.
Debate Round No. 1
Aziar44

Pro

Hello again, mongeese, good to have you here!

"As long as we have not proved any origin theories, any theory is acceptable as long as it is not proved wrong."

Hmm. I have a theory that every species originated from a refrigerator placed in Africa. Every species that has ever existed just crawled right out of the refrigerator. I will call it Causal Fridge theory. Should that be taught in textbooks? In public schools? No. It's a crackpot theory I just made up! Of course not! It has no basis in science. BUT, it can't be proved wrong. You cannot prove that to be wrong. I may not be able to prove it right, but you also can't prove it wrong.

ID may not be able to be proved wrong, but that has nothing to do with its scientific merits. In fact, it has NO scientific merits. It is not based in science and therefore, cannot be taught as science.

You sidestepped my criticism that it is religiously motivated. It very much is and you seem to actually agree with that by saying "People have used the Bible to predict the time of the beginning of the world to the very hour." Firstly, the predicted time from the Bible is that life started 6000 years ago. 6000. How old is the earth again? That's ridiculously recent and entirely inaccurate.

Secondly, you have just conceded that ID is just, in fact, the Bible in disguise. Therefore, it is unconstitutional, and therefore, it should not be taught in science classes. I hate to say that's the end of the debate, but it looks bleak if you have already conceded that ID is definitely religiously motivated.

I would ask you to please give some scientific hypotheses from ID. Tell me some things that ID claims to have the answers to. "A flood, language distribution," etc. What are all these in terms of origins of species? How does ID explain it? How does ID explain things such as vestigial organs/parts, like the tailbone of a human? The extra toe bone of a pig that is entirely inside the leg? How does it SCIENTIFICALLY explain any of these? The list goes on...

Evolution explains all of these things quite easily and is a very comprehensive scientific theory. It IS science. ID is not. It is a thinly veiled religious doctrine that has been forced upon public schools in the hope that this faux-science will keep children from believing in evolution.
mongeese

Con

Hmm. I have a theory that every species originated from a refrigerator placed in Africa. Every species that has ever existed just crawled right out of the refrigerator. I will call it Causal Fridge theory. Should that be taught in textbooks? In public schools? No. It's a crackpot theory I just made up! Of course not! It has no basis in science. BUT, it can't be proved wrong. You cannot prove that to be wrong. I may not be able to prove it right, but you also can't prove it wrong."
Well, okay, I guess some random theories don't deserve to be taught. However, the idea of intelligent design is one that has been with humanity for many millennia. Macroevolution is not set in stone, and neither is intelligent design. Furthermore, the concept of intelligent design is present in nearly every religion on Earth, and many scientists are also religious. Intelligent design is far from a "crackpot theory".

"ID may not be able to be proved wrong, but that has nothing to do with its scientific merits. In fact, it has NO scientific merits. It is not based in science and therefore, cannot be taught as science."
No scientific merits? How about the creation of life? Evolution does not explain how life suddenly appeared in the first place. Intelligent design DOES.

"You sidestepped my criticism that it is religiously motivated. It very much is and you seem to actually agree with that by saying 'People have used the Bible to predict the time of the beginning of the world to the very hour.' Firstly, the predicted time from the Bible is that life started 6000 years ago. 6000. How old is the earth again? That's ridiculously recent and entirely inaccurate."
And what is the proof that 6000 years is incorrect? We've used scientific tests to predict an age of 4.5 billion years, but trying to test things that happened years ago has its flaws. Here is an excerpt from Phil Phillip's "Dinosaurs, the Bible, Barney, and Beyond":
"The Age of Dinosaurs supposedly spanned the length and breadth of the Mesozoic Era. That era is divided by evolution scientists into three major periods.... Where did those periods and dates originate? In the 1700's, James Hutton and Charles Lyell proposed a system of life development that "predated" known history. The Geologic Column or Geologic Time Scale was produced by Lyell, who also wrote the 'Antiquity of Man', a book in which he conjectured that man as a species was much older than believed at the time. Lyell's system of geological dating was based on what he observed in a nearby formation that showed layers of rocks in stratas. The DATES (such as 225 million years ago) were placed on the column by Lyell as a guess! He did not have evidence to back up his dating on the column, other than his own theory of 'uniformationarianism' that suggested that the earth has experienced a uniform rate of volcanic activity over time, that the earth's atmosphere has remained constant, and that the chemical proportions of the earth have remained the same from the beginning of time to the present. Many people have come to regard the Geological Column as fact. From its outset and remaining to this day, it is a theory." (89-90)
Another excerpt:
"Fossils are dated usually by the radiometric dating of the ROCKS immediately surrounding those life forms. Thus, material supposedly takes on the age in which it was encapsulated. Lava taken from a volcano known to have erupted in the period 1800-1801, was dated as being millions of years old. Any creatures "captured" in such a lava flow, however, are not necessarily that old! CARBON DATING. A different form of dating is used to date organic material. The assumption has been made that all living things contain carbon-14. By measuring the ratio of carbon-14 to carbon-12 in a fairly elaborate formula, scientists measure the 'half-life' of an organism. The method hinges on one basic principle: carbon-14 has remained constant in the earth's atmosphere for the entire history of the earth. That simply isn't true. Scientists have found trees that were apparently alive during a comet shower. The carbon-14 level in those trees doubled in one year. Solar flares also change the amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere. The assumption is also made that the initial ration of carbon-14 to carbon-12 in plants and animals has always been similar to what it is today. Maybe not. The main thing to know, however, is that this method is not always accurate. Using this method, freshly killed seals have been dated to be 1300 years old. LIVE mollusks have been dated as being 2300 years old!" (90-91)"
These are examples of how what we believe to be fact is mostly theory, including the age of the earth.

I have not conceded that ID is the Bible in disguise. It is merely a popular theory of life's existence that all religions besides atheism and maybe a few others believe. The schools don't have to teach ID as fact; they can teach it as yet another theory in addition to the many we already have.

Do vestigial organs really need to have a reason of existence? Maybe ID just used the same "floor plan" in an altered way for each organism. Language distribution, and people distribution, is in the story of the Tower of Babel. The flood is the story of Noah's Ark.

"Evolution explains all of these things quite easily and is a very comprehensive scientific theory. It IS science. ID is not. It is a thinly veiled religious doctrine that has been forced upon public schools in the hope that this faux-science will keep children from believing in evolution."
ID is not being "forced upon" children to keep them from learning evolution. It is being presented as an alternate theory.
Science includes theories, and ID is one of them. It gives an explanation for the origin of life. Evolution apparently does not have such an explanation. Explanations are apparently a form of science.

Thus, ID is valid science.
Debate Round No. 2
Aziar44

Pro

"Well, okay, I guess some random theories don't deserve to be taught. However, the idea of intelligent design is one that has been with humanity for many millennia. Macroevolution is not set in stone, and neither is intelligent design. Furthermore, the concept of intelligent design is present in nearly every religion on Earth, and many scientists are also religious. Intelligent design is far from a "crackpot theory"."

- The idea of geocentric universe was around for thousands of years too. That doesn't make it correct or a valid theory anymore. Should we teach the geocentric universe theory because it has been around for a while? No. The longevity of an idea has nothing to do with the validity of it. You can believe the world is flat for as long as you want, but that doesn't make it so.

"No scientific merits? How about the creation of life? Evolution does not explain how life suddenly appeared in the first place. Intelligent design DOES."

- Evolution is not responsible for explaining how life appeared, so this "origin of life" argument is invalid.

"In the natural sciences, abiogenesis, or origin of life, is the study of how life on Earth could have arisen from inanimate matter. It should not be confused with evolution, which is the study of how groups of living things change over time." (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

- You have not at all proved that ID is science. It simply does not fit the definition.

"...science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge based on scientific method, as well as to the organized body of knowledge gained through such research." (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

Please, if you will, show me where ID has used scientific method to discover something. Show me some of their research that helps to prove an Intelligent Designer. Don't show me stuff that tries to disprove evolution (I can probably show you why it's wrong anyway). I want to see scientific research that shows an Intelligent Designer may exist.

"And what is the proof that 6000 years is incorrect? We've used scientific tests to predict an age of 4.5 billion years, but trying to test things that happened years ago has its flaws."

- Well, this is certainly an interesting argument. There is pretty much a mountain of evidence that the Earth is not 6000 years old. There are rocks that have been shown to 3.9 billion years old. I doubt any scientific miscalculation could occur to account for such a difference. By I doubt, I mean I am completely sure.

- As to your excerpts from a 192-page book that examines Barney the purple dinosaur and dinosaur toys along with its geologic column, I can only say this: Who is Phil Philips? He is some unscholarly, non-academic random guy who wrote a book that now sells for 65 cents on Amazon. The book is not peer-reviewed. It is also wrong on several levels.

Here's the thing: Gravity is just a theory. Evolution is just a theory. Geologic time is just a theory. The reason is that we do not know for sure that one day, a book will fall up instead of down. Gravity is the theory that is most perfect right now. So is evolution. So is geologic time. ID is not even a valid theory.

To reiterate: The world is not 6000 years old. Radiometric and carbon dating has shown the world to be 4.5 billion years old and life itself to be billions of years old. 6000 is not anywhere near 4.5 billion. No mistake would be made to make up for that unimaginably large difference. You would have to spend 1.2 million dollars PER DAY to get rid of 4.5 billion dollars in one year. You would have to spend 16 dollars per day to spend 6000 in a year. See the big difference?

"I have not conceded that ID is the Bible in disguise. It is merely a popular theory of life's existence that all religions besides atheism and maybe a few others believe. The schools don't have to teach ID as fact; they can teach it as yet another theory in addition to the many we already have."

- You certainly have. In fact, I think you are fighting for the Bible to be taught as science, which is extremely unconstitutional.

You said:

"Language distribution, and people distribution, is in the story of the Tower of Babel. The flood is the story of Noah's Ark."

I asked you to give me science; you gave me actual examples from a religious text that has no basis in reality. How have you not conceded that ID is just the Bible in disguise when you yourself are basically saying the Bible should be taught as science?

Preaching a religious text is unconstitutional. Therefore, it cannot be taught in schools. Again, I hate to say you have lost because of this point, but it is devastatingly bad for ID to be connected with Christianity as tightly as you have connected them.

Again, your origin of life argument is invalid. You keep saying ID explains the origin of life, but you have not said how. What does ID say on the topic? It isn't even relevant to the argument since abiogenesis, not evolution, explains that. But, I still would like to know how old life is according to ID. How old is it? Could you cite some scienfitific research by IDers that says that please?
mongeese

Con

The idea of geocentric universe was around for thousands of years too. That doesn't make it correct or a valid theory anymore. Should we teach the geocentric universe theory because it has been around for a while? No. The longevity of an idea has nothing to do with the validity of it. You can believe the world is flat for as long as you want, but that doesn't make it so."
The geocentric theory has been proved to be incorrect since it was discovered that the Earth revolves around the Sun.

"Evolution is not responsible for explaining how life appeared, so this 'origin of life' argument is invalid."
Well, Intelligent Design is not responsible for explaining why organisms have vestigial organs.

"You have not at all proved that ID is science. It simply does not fit the definition."
It is science in the fact that it is a theory of abiogenesis that, in fact, has much scientific support. It has been discovered that:
-genetic diversity was stronger in the past than in the present
-it is possible to form fossils in five to ten years under proper conditions, such as a great flood
-if there was in fact a large amount of volcanic activity in the past, sedimentary layers could form extremely quickly
-millions of years ago, the magnetic field would be too strong for the Earth to support life
-evolution scientists predicted 54 inches of dust on the Moon; there was only 3/4 inches
-by the current measure of the rate of reduction of the size of the Sun, Earth would have boiled millions of years ago
-current organism populations are similar to a model in which reproduction groups started 10,000 years ago
This proof that the Earth did not exist millions of years ago disproves Evolution, as it requires millions of years to occur.
They are scientific facts, giving ID scientific legs to stand on.

These facts are, of course, disputable, as are the facts that support Evolution in the first place.

Now, here is an idea: representatives of every religious group, including atheism, go into a meeting, and decide what to teach a student of each religion or lack of religion.

Evolution could easily be considered to be taken from an atheist perspective, as ID is considered to be taken from a religious perspective. Shouldn't "separation of church and state" apply to "separation of lack of church and state"?

Finally, here you go:
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Phil Phillips (two L's) is a minister, preacher, and studier of creation science.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
Aziar44

Pro

"Well, Intelligent Design is not responsible for explaining why organisms have vestigial organs."

- Seeing that vestigial organs are an argument against ID, yes, it is responsible. Don't dodge it. Vestigial organs show that if there were a designer, he/she/it was not intelligent. Why put useless things in organisms like an extra tailbone? Or a hip bone in whales? Whales don't use them anymore. (http://www.edwardtbabinski.us...)

It is an argument that nothing was intelligently designed, as that part of the organism is utterly useless. Evolution accounts for it by the familial link between whales and their ancestors that walked on land - with hip bones. Since evolution is a scientific theory for the variation in species, it has nothing to do with the origins of life. Astrophysicists and biochemists deal with that.

- You have a nice list of uncited facts.

They do not bolster ID.

Not one of your contentions mentions the design of different species. Not one of them is in SUPPORT of ID. Some of them are knocks on evolution.

Here's an example of what you're doing: Let's say I ask you why the sky is blue. I say it is because people painted it. You somehow prove I am wrong and say "Because I proved you wrong, my theory that the sky is made up of blueberries and that's why it is blue, is correct!"

Proving something wrong doesn't mean you are proving your theory correct. This isn't a yes or no question or something, with only two options. You have not at all disproved evolution, but even if you had, ID would not be a valid theory.

"Evolution could easily be considered to be taken from an atheist perspective, as ID is considered to be taken from a religious perspective. Shouldn't "separation of church and state" apply to "separation of lack of church and state"?"

- Um, no. How can you separate a lack of something and something else? How can you separate nothing and something? Evolution is not atheist. It is legitimate science. It does not attack the idea of a god. God is still a perfectly legitimate idea and in fact, evolution and God can be integrated. Evolution is not atheist.

- To conclude, my opponent has not shown in any manner that ID is science. I beg of you to please show me scientific support (that means the scientific method was used, as stated earlier), that an Intelligent Designer exists.

Please, just show me TWO scientific facts that show that some sort of designer created every single species of organism on the earth. Not things that may contradict evolution; I want you to show me scientific evidence that a designer that created all the different species exists.

My opponent has not displayed any scientific evidence in support of a designer. He has shown nothing of the sort. He has spread out uncited "facts" that have little to do with the argument. His sole cited source is a book by an author whose book talked about a PBS dinosaur and toy dinos along with geologic time. The ID wikipedia page basically is in my favor in every single way, so I'm unsure why he posted it...

Finally, the death blow is that my opponent's concession that ID is religiously motivated. He made that mistake and tried valiantly to defend it. However, he also proved himself that ID is unconstitutional.

ID is unconstitutional. He could not rebut this. Therefore, it cannot be taught in schools.

This is only one of the reasons. ID is just not science. It makes no claims that are substantiated. It does not follow scientific method. It's a negative argument - he tried to disprove evolution (unsuccessfully) but that does not mean ID is valid. It's not an either-or situation. Evolution has 150 years of evidence on its side. You see evolution in action today as viruses evolve to survive our vaccines, for example. ID has ZERO years of science and several years of pseudoscience on its side.

I have made compelling arguments that ID should not be taught as science because A) It is unconstitutional in its clearly religious motives, B) It has no evidence supporting it, and C) It does not follow the rules of scientific inquiry as laid out in the very definition of science.

Thank you, and VOTE PRO!
mongeese

Con

"- Seeing that vestigial organs are an argument against ID, yes, it is responsible. Don't dodge it. Vestigial organs show that if there were a designer, he/she/it was not intelligent. Why put useless things in organisms like an extra tailbone? Or a hip bone in whales? Whales don't use them anymore."
Well, maybe the intelligent designer used the same body plan for all organisms, and made some large modifications to each one, but they all remain slightly similar. Why bother to take out the hipbones and tailbones?

"It is an argument that nothing was intelligently designed, as that part of the organism is utterly useless. Evolution accounts for it by the familial link between whales and their ancestors that walked on land - with hip bones. Since evolution is a scientific theory for the variation in species, it has nothing to do with the origins of life. Astrophysicists and biochemists deal with that."
In that case, why are we comparing ID to evolution in the first place? Leaving what we think are useless organs in organisms does not show stupidity. If you do not make your bed every day, it is not because you are stupid; it is because there isn't really a point.

"You have a nice list of uncited facts."
They were all listed in Phil's book.
http://www.crystalinks.com...
"The earth's magnetic field strength was measured by Carl Friedrich Gauss in 1835 and has been repeatedly measured since then, showing an exponential decay with a half-life of about 1400 years. This could also be stated as a relative decay of about 10% to 15% over the last 150 years."
http://www.answersingenesis.org...
http://www.icr.org...
Happy now?

"God is still a perfectly legitimate idea and in fact, evolution and God can be integrated. Evolution is not atheist."
Well, I think that we should teach perfectly legitimate ideas.

As for the lack of scientific evidence...
"Please, just show me TWO scientific facts that show that some sort of designer created every single species of organism on the earth. Not things that may contradict evolution; I want you to show me scientific evidence that a designer that created all the different species exists."
Firstly, life either spontaneously existed or was created intelligently, and spontaneous existence was disproved 100 years ago, which only leaves ID.
http://www.allaboutthejourney.org...
Secondly, only intelligent design could create modern man, as the step up from chimpanzee to human was too tremendous for natural selection to work.
http://www.christianpost.com...

Finally, if classes are allowed to teach Muslim awareness classes in which students completely immerse themselves into a Muslim lifestyle for three weeks, I think that spending one day going over theories of the origin of the universe and going into ONE explanation of intelligent design and its scientific evidence is PERFECTLY acceptable.

"Finally, the death blow is that my opponent's concession that ID is religiously motivated. He made that mistake and tried valiantly to defend it. However, he also proved himself that ID is unconstitutional."
Things that are religiously motivated are still taught in school. Bible classes are taught in schools. Muslim awareness is taught in schools. Why not add Intelligent Design to the list? The other things obviously weren't unconstitutional.

"This is only one of the reasons. ID is just not science. It makes no claims that are substantiated. It does not follow scientific method. It's a negative argument - he tried to disprove evolution (unsuccessfully) but that does not mean ID is valid. It's not an either-or situation. Evolution has 150 years of evidence on its side. You see evolution in action today as viruses evolve to survive our vaccines, for example. ID has ZERO years of science and several years of pseudoscience on its side."
You didn't exactly point out WHY my facts fail to disprove evolution, and viruses are an example of proven microevolution, which is not macroevolution, as described in the Origin of Species. These viruses are adapting, but we have never actually seen the formation of multiple species stemming from one species.

"I have made compelling arguments that ID should not be taught as science because A) It is unconstitutional in its clearly religious motives, B) It has no evidence supporting it, and C) It does not follow the rules of scientific inquiry as laid out in the very definition of science."
A) The Constitution is apparently not stopping Muslim awareness, and thus would not stop Intelligent Design.
B) I have listed plenty of evidence.
C) Evidence, in addition to the lack of any other explanation through inductive reasoning, is scientific inquiry enough. Intelligent design has as much proof to back itself up as evolution, and evolution is most CERTAINLY taught in schools.

Vote CON. Thank you for this wonderful debate.
Debate Round No. 4
36 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by A51 8 years ago
A51
Lol, I voted for Con. And his points did not go up.
Posted by Nail_Bat 8 years ago
Nail_Bat
>>What I dislike is how they teach evolution as though it is proven and undoubtable, and we all evolved from bacteria.

Who told you anything in science is "proven and undoubtable"? I don't recall evolution being taught to me any differently than any other scientific concept.
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
"My textbook two years ago listed Intelligent Design as one of the possibilities for the existence of life."

And when exactly did something being possible become probable ;D?
Posted by mongeese 8 years ago
mongeese
Yes. And yet the mentioning of intelligent design is apparently unconstitutional.
Posted by mongoose 8 years ago
mongoose
What I dislike is how they teach evolution as though it is proven and undoubtable, and we all evolved from bacteria.
Posted by mongeese 8 years ago
mongeese
That's not the best additude to have on this website...
Posted by patsox834 8 years ago
patsox834
And, uh, didn't I already say I didn't care?
Posted by mongeese 8 years ago
mongeese
Yes, and it looks as if you've got the best of me again.
Posted by Aziar44 8 years ago
Aziar44
Good debate mongeese. Though I still contend that your "evidence" is not actual evidence in favor of it.

But, I won't use the comments to debate you. I had an enjoyable second debate with you.
Posted by mongeese 8 years ago
mongeese
What did I say about debating from the comments?
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