The Instigator
Biowza
Pro (for)
Winning
73 Points
The Contender
Renzzy
Con (against)
Losing
41 Points

Intelligent design is not a scientific theory.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/4/2008 Category: Science
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,584 times Debate No: 4898
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (23)

 

Biowza

Pro

I affirm that Intelligent design is not a scientific theory.

[Definitions]

Intelligent Design- Is the assertion that the universe and its features are explained by design by an omnipotent power (such as a god).

Scientific Theory- A logically self-consistent model or framework for describing the behavior of a related set of natural or social phenomena. It originates from or is supported by experimental evidence. In this sense, a theory is a systematic and formalized expression of all previous observations, and is predictive, logical, and testable.

Both Definitions taken from Wikipedia.

[Burdens]
Affirmative- Show that Intelligent design is not a scientific theory.
Negative- Show that Intelligent design is a scientific theory.

I'll let my opponent make the first move.
Renzzy

Con

***NOTE: I DO NOT BELIEVE IN INTELLIGENT DESIGN.***
I am a creationist. The difference is, intelligent design concludes that God created the universe, and the backed off. Creationists believe that God is still very involved with His creation. However, since they both assume that the universe was created by God, it will be enough for me to defend. If I use the term "creationism" rather than "Intelligent Design", please understand that they both presuppose the same thing concerning the origin of the universe.

*********************************************************************

This should make for a very interesting debate! I see that you have debated this issue before, and have a respectable win/lose ratio, however I am going to present a different set of arguments, and see how my approach affects the outcome.

With that, let the debate begin!

Many, many Atheists come into this debate with the ideas that:

1) They want their Chstian opponent to argue scientifically, not Bibically
2) Factual evidence should be found apart from the Christian God

I say simply these cannot be the terms of the debate. As a creationist, I come into this debate with presuppositions, as do you. In asking me to debate apart from the bible, basing my facts on nothing but the world around me, you are asking me to throw away my presuppositions, while you keep your own. This would make for no debate.

There is an issue then. You come into this debate with presupposition of your own, while I come into the debate with presuppositions of my own, my presuppositions differing radically from yours.

What then are we left with?

It is simple. When I base my thought processes and presuppositions on the Bible, I have a perfectly plausible theory called "Creationism", or "intelligent Design". Since I connot, in a fair and balanced debate, strip away your presuppositions, nor you mine, You must challenge my basis of thought. There is no such thing as "bare facts". If you strip away my presuppositions, then I am not able to make a alternative interpretation of facts.

I will defend my theory based on my presuppositions, and you must try to disprove my theory by challenging my presuppositions. My presuppositions are:

1) There is an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God and creator.
2) The Bible is the infallible word of God.

*********************************************************************

Now I will build a defense of my position based on my biblical presuppositions.

What I am going to do is show you how the Bible gives me the right basis and correctly interpret the facts around me. You and I both see the same facts, but use our presuppositions to interpret them differently. I will show you how the Bible does not contradict science, but rather is consistent with it.

***GENETICS***
--Why it disproves Evolution--

Since day one Evolutionists have had problems with genetics. Even as Darwin was researching at Galapagos, claiming that one animal could evolve into a completely different animal and basing his theories on under tested ideas, Gregor Mendel was, by careful experimentation, proving that even individual characteristics remain constant.
(http://www.answersingenesis.org...)

For further information, I would highly recommend that you read the rest of this article.

--Why it proves Creationism--

Based on this alone we cannot prove Creationism. What we must recognize, however, is that while this idea in very INCONSISTENT with the theory of evolution, it is very CONSISTENT with the theory of creationism.

This is evidence for Creationism, and Creationism, therefore can at least be recognized as a hypothesis. Given all of the evidence encompassed in the feild of genetics, I think that genetics alone is enough to classify it as a scientific theory.

With that, I will await my opponent reply!

Thanks!

Renzzy
Debate Round No. 1
Biowza

Pro

Well, first off. Creationism is the same thing as intelligent design. This was ruled in Kitzmiller vs Dover Area School District, with Judge Jones ruling that intelligent design is 'a mere re-labeling of creationism'. While not the definitive proof that they are the same thing, I can't really be bothered making a big point of this because it is not what this debate is about. Either way, I don't see a problem with you using the word 'creationism', it changes very little in my view.

Good Luck, I'll attempt to refute your points then I'll move on to present my own.

----------------------------

To say that we should stick to our presuppositions, does simply not make much sense at all. I'll agree that we both come into the debate with such presuppositions, you seem to be wanting to argue from a supernatural standpoint, which is impossible by definition. You're attempting to turn this debate into one about the existence of a god, whereas it is no such thing. The resolution is clear 'Intelligent design is not a scientific theory' it says nothing about how you must argue, I have no problems with you using the bible to attempt to prove why intelligent design is a scientific theory.

You can very well keep your presuppositions, all I ask is that you justify them, you, however seem to think that this is an unacceptable request. There is no requirement upon accepting this debate that you must attempt to scientifically prove the existence of a god, go for it in any way you see fit, however do not make up new rules of the debate and then claim that I lose if i do not obide by these new rules. The resolution is clear, the definitions are clear, and nowhere does it say you should argue in any specific way.

Indeed, me disproving your 'theory' does not even make me the winner in this debate either, nor you attempting to disprove evolution, that's not the debate at all. The burden is clear, I must show why intelligent design (or creationism) is not a scientific theory and you must show why it is a scientific theory. You can argue using the bible, or any way you want but in order to win this debate, you will have to meet your burden, trying to disprove evolution doesn't make intelligent design a scientific theory.

-------------------------------------

I realise this debate is not about evolution vs intelligent design, however I feel compelled to respond to my opponent's supposed total destroyal of the theory. Those reading this debate with the intent to vote, may skip this part as it has nothing to do with the debate.

Let me first say that if you want to challenge a theory as established as Newton's Laws, do it in the scientific arena. I find it disgusting when people claim that they have 'disproved' a theory through a simple post on an internet forum or a google search. There are legitimate, hard working scientists out there doing real experiments and writing real papers while some people just sit at home posting any old tripe they come across and call it the definitive disproval of a theory. I can tell you from experience, science is really hard work, I can't even imagine the amount of effort that goes into formulating these theories. To suggest a simple post on an internet forum will disprove a theory which has been tested relentlessly for the past 150 years is frankly insulting. Do you honestly think that what you've posted destroys evolution? Don't you think just one of the millions of scientists working daily would have noticed this?

Anyway, onto your article let me point out quickly to you that

-It is not from an unbiased source (answers in genesis? come on...)
-Barely anything is cited in the article (meaning the author is just using his opinion)
-The author has done no studies, and has no scientific experience what so ever.
-The author actually barely any case against evolution at all. Most of it is just misinterpreting evolutionary theory.

But ignoring all this (which I'm sure the many people who read this do anyway). I'm just going to point out three of many mistakes made by the author of the article. I don't see a need to go too in depth here, I've already drifted too far off topic.

1- "Genetics and evolution have been enemies from the beginning of both concepts."

Dead wrong. Anyone with even a basic knowledge of the most rudimentary scientific principles knows that genetics is supported 100% by evolution. It does not disprove and it certainly not an enemy. Evolution has been proven through the use of genetics and many genetic sub topics involve evolution, such as the scientific field of molecular evolution.

2- "While Darwin's ideas were based on erroneous and untested ideas about inheritance"

Sigh, I'm guessing the author has been living under a rock since birth. Darwin had extensive testing to formulate his hypothesis, he travelled the world for five years aboard the Beagle, gathering evidence. Since then, evolution has been thoroughly proven beyond a reasonable doubt through countless examples of observation in labs, fossil records, and an unprecedented convergence of evidence from all realms of science.

3- "Such environmentally-caused variations generally have no importance to the history of life, because they cease to exist when their owners die"

*Facepalm* Why is the author looking at natural selection in terms of only one generation? This shows a total lack of understanding of the legitimate theory that the author is trying deperatly to disprove in order to satisfy his own dogmatic beliefs.

I've just skimmed the surface of this deeply flawed article you've decided is indisputable proof of the fallacy of evolution.

----------------------------------------------

Back on topic. I make my case by definition, my burden is to show that intelligent design is not a scientific theory. So looking at the definition of scientific theory it is clear that intelligent design (creationism) is not a scientific theory.

"A logically self-consistent model or framework for describing the behavior of a related set of natural or social phenomena. It originates from or is supported by experimental evidence. In this sense, a theory is a systematic and formalized expression of all previous observations, and is predictive, logical, and testable."

Let's go through some key elements of a scientific theory and compare it to the idea of intelligent design.

Experimental evidence- No, there is no experimental evidence which suggests that we were created by an omnipotent power.

Predictive- No, nothing can be predicted with intelligent design because it is the assertion that everything that currently is, always was. Nothing is gained at all, and it makes no predictions about our natural world.

Testable- By definition, no. The supernatural cannot be tested by the natural. All attempts to do so have failed.

So I point out that by definition, intelligent design is not a scientific theory.
Renzzy

Con

Coming from an Atheists point of view I guess one could classify Intelligent Design and Creationism as the same thing. Coming from a Christian backround I know that they are quite different. This, however, is not important.

"To say that we should stick to our presuppositions, does simply not make much sense at all."

It makes pefect sense. The fact of the matter is, this was a trap debate unless you were planning on trying to see my argument from my point of view. This means you would have to at least pretend the Bible is true.

You are in fact trying to strip my presuppositions away, and you do not even realize it.

"You're attempting to turn this debate into one about the existence of a god, whereas it is no such thing."

I am not trying to do anything but prove a point. I will lose this debate unless you are will to examine facts through the eyes of a creationist; also know as being open minded.

When an evolutionist looks at facts, what does he think? "Oh, that is evidence of how, over millions of years, volcanos and other natural disasters formed the strata in the earths crust!". When a Creationist looks at the very same evidence what doe HE think? "Oh, that is evidence of how the great flood layed down all of the strata on earth in a matter of about one year!"

These are both theories attemtping to explain the origin of the strata layers, and they are both based on the same facts. We interprate these facts differently because I believe in the Bible, and you do not. The again, You have your own history/science books that you would refer to in order to try and explain the same thing.

It mfollows then, that we cannot debate facts, rather we have to debate how we interprate these facts. Thus, the debate would come down to the Bible, and me defending ITS credability. My burden then, in order to prove creationism as a theory, is to show how the Bible is consistent with science. I have no desire to debate the existence of God.

I will now defend creationism as a theory.

"...there is no experimental evidence which suggests that we were created by an omnipotent power."

There is no "expirimental" evidence that the Big Bang ever took place either, yet that is accepted as atheory. A theory is just that; a theory. There is no completely solid evidence that points to it certainly, but there is plenty of evidence that suggests that it is possible.

"The supernatural cannot be tested by the natural. All attempts to do so have failed."

Once again, you cannot "test" the Big Bang theory, yet it is accepted as a theory. The Big Bang theory is LARGLY speculation, and nothing more, while the Creation theory actually has a book to back it up. A book that proves historically accurate. (http://www.christiancourier.com...)

"Predictive"

I have not the slightest clue what you are talking about when you say:
"nothing can be predicted with intelligent design because it is the assertion that everything that currently is, always was. Nothing is gained at all, and it makes no predictions about our natural world.".

If you could clearify, I will glady refute.

If you can look through the eyes of a creationist for even one moment, you will see how it is easily accepable as a theory. Everyone may not accept it as a correct theory, but it still has enough behind it to support it at LEAST.

I would also like to comment on your statements concerning Answers In Genesis.

1) What classifies as an "unbiased" source to you? Does the simple fact that it is a Christian website lable it as "biased? This is ridiculous. If that is the case, than I hadbetter not see any eolutionist post a link to talkorgins.com again. I mean come on, thats such a biased source...

2) What are you talking about when you say the author is just going by is opinion? He is stating facts. Look them up for yourself (but be sure not to use one of your biased evolutionist sites).

3) It is utterly ridiculous to make a claim like "The author has done no studies, and has no scientific experience what so ever" without evidence to back it. If you are going to make such a claim, you had better do a good job of backing it. After all, you have cited nothing, and are therefore going on personal opinion :)

4) It takes INTENSE studies and very in-depth research to make a strong case for one or the other. This site gives you something to think about. I do not think, however that this information can simply be disregarded.

Thanks!

Renzzy
Debate Round No. 2
Biowza

Pro

I'll address the various points under headings so its easier to see for our voting audience.

Ok, I get the feeling that you have a large lack on understanding of the nature of science and how it generally works. Allow me to correct you on a few things.

--------------------------
Opinion

Science isn't a matter of opinion, or at least it isn't to the extent that you are saying. Science isn't a round table discussion where each party says 'well, ok you are entitled to your opinion and I respect that'. In a way it is a harsh battleground where everything has to be supported by solid reasoning, evidence, and the scientific method. There is intense competition between scientists for the 'next big thing', while at the same time there is also a profound respect for the evidence and empirical research.

Going past the fact that there is no such term as 'evolutionist' to say that it is just a matter of opinion is simply ludicrous. The evidence that suggests that humans evolved gradually and share an ancestor with the primate simply cannot also suggest that humans we're put on this earth six thousand years ago with the magical flip of a switch. It has nothing to do with opinion at all. Science is an opinion to the extent that certain scientists interpret evidence slightly differently and debate with their current understanding of the topic to choose the best option. This cannot be compared to a creationist basing their knowledge off a book and claiming that that is somehow science. It is just insulting to the highest degree when religious zealots say that the reason that their idea isn't taken seriously is because of scientific bias. This is totally wrong in every sense of the word.

Take cold fusion for example. This was subjected to the very same scrutiny that intelligent design has been put under and in the end it was totally dismissed by the community. Did these cold fusion proponents lobby the supreme court? make documentaries claiming that the world is against them? No. To compare the extent of religious dogma and the scientific method is simply to spit right in the face of every real scientist out there. Science by definition requires an unbiased mind, now in practice this may be near impossible but the system of peer review and criticism makes sure that only the best ideas turn into legitimate theories. Scientists have no problem admitting that they are wrong, I have yet to see a religious person do any such thing.

You want me to enter this scientific debate with your presupposition that the bible is the inerrant word of god. I am having none of it. I haven't made any restrictions on how someone needs to argue and it is wrong of you to attempt to force me to argue in the way you want. I am not restricting you, and by all means you can use the bible to show that intelligent design is a scientific theory. Go for it.

-------------------------------------
Experimental evidence for the big bang

Oh man, I find it difficult that someone could make such an uninformed statement. Allow me to enlighten you:

Expansion of space- It has been observed that distant galaxies and quasars are redshifted (this basically means that the wavelengths emitted from them are getting further and further away). This can be seen by taking a frequency spectrum of an object and matching the spectroscopic pattern of emission lines or absorption lines corresponding to atoms of the chemical elements interacting with the light. (Wikipedia, featured article, locked)

Now what does this mean? Well, it suggests that the universe is uniformly expanding everywhere as suggested by general relativity. The metric expansion of space is shown by direct observational evidence of the Copernican principle and the Cosmological principle.

Cosmic microwave background radiation- Well without going into too much detail cosmic microwave background radiation is radiation that has been observed to exist throughout the entire universe. This radiation contains irregularities, which vary with respect to the region that it is contained in. Now this suggests that small thermal fluctuations rapidly expanded into the size we see in our universe today.

Galactic evolution- Well, basically we would expect young galaxies to look much different from new ones if the big bang model (which suggests the first galaxies appeared roughly 1 billion years after the big bang). This is what has been observed today, distant galaxies (and therefore older galaxies) appear much different from the galaxies we see near us (younger galaxies).

--------------------

Bible being historically accurate- Oh please, the bible makes no risky claims what so ever. It comes from a time when a wheelbarrow would be considered the epic breakthrough of the ages. If the bible had made predictions about DNA, then maybe I'd give it some credit but as far as historical accuracy goes, its dismal. By the same stretch of the imagination, the Koran has some historically accurate passages should that be taken as scientific proof of all passages in the Koran? The Torah has some historically accurate passages, as does nearly every bit of ancient scripture, there is an element of truth in many things. But that doesn't change anything. Once again you're showing a total lack of knowledge in science. But anyway, just to humour you:

- There is no evidence of the Israelites wandering the desert for 40 years.
- King David collects ten thousand drams (or darics) for the construction of the temple in Jerusalem. This is especially interesting since darics were coins named after King Darius I who lived some five hundred years after David
- In the house of the rolls ... in Babylon" This is the only library building mentioned in the Bible. The author mistakenly thought that Media was a part of Babylon
- Herod kills all boys in and around Bethlehem that are two years old and under. Such a massacre would certainly have been noted by contemporary historians. Yet not even Josephus, who documented Herod's life in detail, mentioned this event.
-Jesus is incorrect when he says that the mustard seed is the smallest seed. And since there are no trees in the mustard family, mustard seeds do not grow into "the greatest of all trees."

------------------------------------
Predictive means that a theory can be used to predict certain phenomena. For instance, Isaac Newton's laws can be used to correctly predict the amount of force applied to an object, also, it can be applied to many other practices outside of classical mechanics including fluid mechanics. Evolution, for is predictable and has been proven in labs throughout the world. As in, certain cells have been subjected to a different environment, scientists have interpreted evolutionary theory to make a prediction as to what should happen and sure enough it happens. Intelligent design is not predictable because it asserts that everything is as it is. It is an intellectual roadblock.

--------------------------------------
Answers in Genesis

1) Yes, a christian source is bias. Put it this way, this guy honestly thinks he is going to hell if he does not believe what he believes. It is a matter of faith. To claim that someone who accepts evolution is just as bias as s christian source it dead wrong. There is no consequence if someone who accepts evolution decides not to.

2) He is not stating facts because he hasn't cited anything, he hasn't been saying where he got it from. This really does highlight your lack of scientific knowledge because this is one of the most rudimentary scientific principles, cite your work.

3) I don't make any claims which warrant a citation, but you would think at least the claim that "While Darwin's ideas were based on erroneous and untested ideas about inheritance" would require at the very least, a citation.

Alas, I am running out of characters so extend my argument by definition as it has not been addressed at all.
Renzzy

Con

Renzzy forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Biowza

Pro

Well I must say, I am very disappointed that my opponent has forfeited this previous round. Anyway, I'll press on and conclude my argument.

All my opponent has done is attempted to turn this debate into something to his favour. There were statements that this was a 'trap' debate, however it is no such thing. I've made no stipulations at all as to how my opponent must argue, and I don't ask my opponent to debate with my presuppositions or that he should even be restricted to his own. For my opponent to claim that this is a 'trap' is a joke. It is not. And even if it was, attempting to change the terms of the debate after accepting it makes no sense.

Attempts at disproving evolution does not constitute a legitimate argument as to why intelligent design is a scientific theory. And this is all my opponent has done. By copying and pasting christian propaganda, all that has been achieved is being drifted off the course of the debate.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe I have won this debate for several reasons:

-My argument from definition still holds (testable, predictive, and experimental) and I have sufficiently shown all arguments against this argument to be deeply flawed.
-My opponent makes no case to meet his burden of 'Intelligent design is a scientific theory' all that is done is arguments against evolution.
-My opponent has forfeited a round.

Vote PRO.

Thank you.
Renzzy

Con

Renzzy forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 8 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
This was a good debate, although CON had a very hard side to defend. The truth is usually easier to defend than what is not true. ID is maybe a plausible idea, but it belongs in the realm of theology and philosophy, not science, which is based on empirical evidence.
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 8 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
"1) They want their Chstian opponent to argue scientifically, not Bibically
2) Factual evidence should be found apart from the Christian God

I say simply these cannot be the terms of the debate. As a creationist, I come into this debate with presuppositions, as do you. In asking me to debate apart from the bible, basing my facts on nothing but the world around me, you are asking me to throw away my presuppositions, while you keep your own. This would make for no debate."

Interesting argument...
Posted by Renzzy 8 years ago
Renzzy
You have my deepest apologies for missing that round, and unfortunately I will probably not have time to post my last. I understand this will probably lose me the debate, but unfortuneately I am very short on time lately. I did not do as good a job as I should have since I was pressed for time, and honestly, I would encourage the voters to vote PRO. I know when I have been beat.

Thanks for the debate!

Renzzy
Posted by Renzzy 8 years ago
Renzzy
How have I shot myself in the foot? That made perfect sense.
Posted by Zerosmelt 8 years ago
Zerosmelt
"If I use the term "creationism" rather than "Intelligent Design", please understand that they both presuppose the same thing concerning the origin of the universe."

you just shot urself in the foot.
Posted by Casiopia 8 years ago
Casiopia
I will take the position that intelligent design is a scientific theory, so my arguments will be different from Renzzy. Sorry to keep interrupting.
Posted by Casiopia 8 years ago
Casiopia
Biowza, I accepted your debate from last week and now you may be debating this topic on two frons. Sorry. Casiopia.
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