The Instigator
Jake4d
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
Wanted797
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Intelligent design is not science

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/29/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,140 times Debate No: 7598
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (35)
Votes (2)

 

Jake4d

Pro

Intelligent design is just another failed attempt to push religion into our public schools. The fact that the people who support this idea have lost every court case proves the point.
Wanted797

Con

I first would like the thank Jak4d for starting this debate.

Firstly I would like to clear up that I am agnositc.

Now you claim that all court cases have been lost when trying to push in the theory, yes theory of a Designer have been turned down does not prove your point on Intelligent Design is not Science, Because Intelligent design is closley linked with religion, this is the reason it has been turned down, todays teachers can get in trouble for preching to students, Now as I am Agnostic I believe neither (The Big Bang theory or The Designer Theory) I personally believe you can prove neither, So there for as both Therorys are believed widley around the world then they should both be taught in science. You may say well the belief that there was a Designer is not scientific, I say why the hell isn't it, It just bassically say's that insted of Nothing creating us Something did, The Earth is still here and behaves in the same why so why not?
Debate Round No. 1
Jake4d

Pro

Thank you for taking up this debate. It is my first online debate (I hope I don't screw up)

First, I will not defend my claim that all court cases involving Intelligent Design have been lost until you provide an example of one that has been won.

Second, you claim that the court cases in question were lost because they were "closely linked" to religion, not because Intelligent Design is not science. In response to that claim I would like to refer you to a couple of items:
1. In the majority opinion of the US Supreme Court Case Edwards v. Aguillard the US Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan noted that alternative 'scientific' theories could be taught in public schools. This would indicate that the court did not consider Intelligent Design an alternate 'scientific" theory.(1)
2. In the recent case Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District(2) "A six-week trial over the issue yielded 'overwhelming evidence' establishing that intelligent design 'is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory,'"(3). Furthermore, Michael Behe the premier expert witness for the defense was forced to admit while under oath that the intelligent design community has not produced a single article in any scientific peer-reviewed journal.(4)

Third, you propose that creationism or ID should be taught because "both theories are believed widely around the world". To that I have these points;
1. The ID movement is largely an American phenomenon and is rarely seen in other countries(5)
2. Even the majority of Christians support the theory of evolution(6)
3. The scientific community rejects the belief that ID is a scientific theory(7), and we are talking about the "science" class room.

In short, I will restate my claim that ID is not a scientific theory. It is just an empty belief about how we got here that lacks any mechanism to explain our origins. If it is a theory, where are the peer reviewed journal articles? What testable predictions does the "theory" make, and who is doing any research into the matter?

(1)http://en.wikipedia.org...
(2)http://en.wikipedia.org...
(3)http://www.msnbc.msn.com... MSNBC News Story.
(4) http://en.wikipedia.org... Behe's Testimony.
(5)http://en.wikipedia.org... For background on Intelligent Design.
(6)http://en.wikipedia.org... See the chart 1/2 way down the page.
(7)http://www.aaas.org... The AAAS, the largest association of scientists in the U.S., has 120,000 members, and firmly rejects ID.
Wanted797

Con

Firstly let's look at the two most popular Theories'.

First The Big Band/Evolution: In the beginning millions and millions of years ago, there was nothing, then, nothing exploded, and created everything.......

This is believed by most scientists (For a real run down of the big bang please see http://www.big-bang-theory.com...)

Second Creationism/Intelligent Designer: Belief that a man who is his own father can save you if you telepathically accept him as your master. He can remove the evil force that is in your soul because a woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree........

To me both seem stupid......
I would also like to address the 1st point you bring forward
[QUOTE]
1. In the majority opinion of the US Supreme Court Case Edwards v. Aguillard the US Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan noted that alternative 'scientific' theories could be taught in public schools. This would indicate that the court did not consider Intelligent Design an alternate 'scientific" theory. (1)
[END QUOTE]
Now just because the courts do not consider it "scientific" does not prove it is, Governments are usually wrong about these things, and don't think this is a relevant point to this argument as it proves nothing.

Now to your points on my comment on how ID should be taught because of both theory's being popular.
"1. The ID movement is largely an American phenomenon and is rarely seen in other countries (5)"
I am from Australia and ID is a big theory here, also an Intelligent Designer fits into the definition of "God" so there for anyone who believes in 'God' believes in an Intelligent Designer.

2. Even the majority of Christians support the theory of evolution (6)
Christians isn't even in this table, and Evolution is not what we are debating we are talking about the initial creator not what happened after the creation, also this emphasizes my point if most Christians believe in evolution then therefore a part of the Christianity belief, which holds the belief in a Intelligent designer (aka God), also believes in evolution which you cannot deny is Scientific, So if part of the belief in a Intelligent Designer is Scientific then why can't the Intelligent Designer be scientific?????? It would have taken a fare amount of science for this Intelligent Designer to create the universe and all its laws and elements. So therefore it is science.

3. The scientific community rejects the belief that ID is a scientific theory (7), and we are talking about the "science" class room.
Well if you refer to my simple definitions of each theory, they both sound stupid, so why not teach both, it's just the Intelligent Design theory includes a magical designer rather than nothing like the big bang theory.

You last quote
[QUOTE]
"In short, I will restate my claim that ID is not a scientific theory. It is just an empty belief about how we got here that lacks any mechanism to explain our origins."
[END QUOTE]

Let's use my simple explanation of the Big Bang theory again, the one that is taught in the classroom and classed as scientific.
"The Big Band/Evolution: In the beginning millions and millions of years ago, there was nothing, then, nothing exploded/expanded, and created everything......."
PLEASE also check the link http://www.big-bang-theory.com...
Then ask yourself does that sound scientific to you?
Debate Round No. 2
Jake4d

Pro

I noticed in one of your comments that you agree that ID is not science, does this mean that I win the debate? Or are statements made in the comment section not allowable in the debate?

Speaking of ID not being science, that is the subject of this debate. Not whether the big bang theory is true or not. For the purpose of this debate it is irrelevant to discuss the truth or falsehood of big bang theory or belief in an intelligent designer. Big bang theory, is a scientific theory that is being actively studied, tested, poked, and prodded by a large community of professional scientists that spans the globe. This research is being funded by a large number of accredited universities and no one questions whether or not the research being done is scientific.

In contrast, the "research" on Intelligent Design(1) is primarily being done by the Discovery Institute(2) which funds several "scientist" who strangely have not submitted a single research paper to the peer review process(3) of a scientific journal(4). In response to criticism of this another proponent of ID, a group called Answers In Genesis(5) created their own " reviewed" journal(6) where the articles submitted are reviewed by the editor-in-chief. They laughably left the "peer" part out of the review process, which excludes it from being considered a scientific journal.

Now I will address your last response point by point.

1 Big Bang: scientists do not say everything from nothing. That is a straw man argument. Scientists observe expansion of the universe, come to the conclusion that the universe originated from a SINGULARITY not nothing.

2 Intelligent Designer: Proponents of ID explicitly state that ID "theory" makes no claims about the nature of the designer. Therefore your views on the nature of any possible designer is irrelevant to the debate at hand.

3 Court case reference: You are correct, court cases do not prove anything, but the key part of my argument from the court cases is the fact that a proponent of ID (Michael Behe) regularly makes claims that ID is a scientific theory, but when under oath, he admitted that ID is not a scientific theory.(7)

4 ID is largely American: You are correct, it has become widespread , my sources were somewhat dated.

5 "Christians isn't even in this table"(8) The table contains 12 rows, 7 of those rows are for Christian sects, (i.e. Catholic, Protestant, etc.)

6 " if you refer to my simple definitions of each theory, they both sound stupid, so why not teach both, it"

Quite simply, your simple definitions are wrong. Are you suggesting that we teach stupid theories in the classroom?

(1)http://en.wikipedia.org... (Suggested background reading on Intelligent Design.
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org... Discovery Institute.
(3) http://en.wikipedia.org... For an explanation of the Peer review process.
(4) http://en.wikipedia.org... Scientific Journal
(5) http://en.wikipedia.org... Answers in Genesis
(6) http://www.answersingenesis.org... AIG "research journal" (not peer reviewed)
(7) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(8) http://en.wikipedia.org... Table
Wanted797

Con

What comment are you talking about? I never agreed with you. I went back and checked there is not such comment.

Now

You say
"...Not whether the big bang theory is true or not. For the purpose of this debate it is irrelevant to discuss the truth or falsehood of big bang theory or belief in an intelligent designer."

This is pointless claim, firstly I am not trying to prove the big bang theory, And secondly it is very relevant to this debate because as you have stated in the previous rounds we are talking about what is to be taught in science classrooms and the big bang theory is, So therefore the big bang theory is classed as science. The belief of an intelligent designer is also relevant as that is what we are discussing.

"This research is being funded by a large number of accredited universities and no one questions whether or not the research being done is scientific."

The reason no one questions this is because the big bang theory was developed by scientist, so therefore people get this idea that it is REAL science when all it is, is some stupid theory to try disprove ID.

You also state
"Big Bang: scientists do not say everything from nothing. That is a straw man argument. Scientists observe expansion of the universe, come to the conclusion that the universe originated from a SINGULARITY not nothing."

It came from a singularity well that sounds like a bunch of scientist got drunk and thought of a way to fool everyone and try disproving intelligent design.
The website link I provided [1] states further on down the page
"So where and in what did the singularity appear if not in space? We don't know. We don't know where it came from, why it's here, or even where it is."
What? You honestly can't be that stupid to believe this. It is a false claim, a theory built on "not knowing".

You then go on.
"Intelligent Designer: Proponents of ID explicitly state that ID "theory" makes no claims about the nature of the designer. Therefore your views on the nature of any possible designer is irrelevant to the debate at hand."

What the hell? Why aren't my views on the nature of a possible designer irrelevant, the natures of a possible designer are what make ID scientific, if you simply ignore the nature of things then how can anything be scientific?

Your table on evolution does hold Christians, but I question whether this is relevant for your case at all it helps me emphasise my point more than your own. If believers of Intelligent Design believe in the scientific "theory" of evolution, then that means that the belief in ID (which contains the belief in evolution) is scientific.

"Quite simply, your simple definitions are wrong. Are you suggesting that we teach stupid theories in the classroom?"

My definitions are not wrong, it is you who is wrong, my big bang claims we came from nothing as that website [1] says "Prior to the singularity, nothing existed, not space, time, matter, or energy - nothing."

And YES I am suggesting that we teach stupid theories in the classroom.

[1] http://www.big-bang-theory.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Jake4d

Pro

Yes, I have brought up what is taught in science classrooms in this debate. I did so because the ID movement has nothing to do with science, and everything to do with what is taught in science classrooms. Real scientist spend the majority of their time doing science, ID'ers spend the majority of their time trying to get their 'belief' in 'science' classrooms. (If you don't believe me, you can find a nice article that contains the background, history, and major players of the movement at the Wikipedia page on Intelligent Design)(1)

You made a statement to the effect of; big bang is taught in science classrooms, 'therefore'(2) it is classed as science. I am afraid you have it exactly backwards. We don't classify something as science 'because' it is taught in classrooms. We teach something in a science classroom 'because' it is classified as science. The big bang theory got into classrooms the same way all theories do;

First something is 'observed' that needs an 'explanation', one or more 'hypothesis' are formed, those hypothesis are tested, some are disproven. Occasionally one will pass every test we can think to throw at it. Only the very few that pass 'every' test get promoted to the highest level of scientific understanding, a 'theory'. Then it takes years sometimes for a new theory to make it into the classroom.

The big bang theory has passed every test. Every measurement by every astronomer has shown that the universe is expanding in the way the theory predicts, and it has withstood the test of time. That is why it is in the classroom.

Intelligent design has not even gotten past the hypothesis stage in this game. All they have done is 'observe' that some things in the universe 'appear' to be too complex to have just happened. So they 'hypothesize' that there must be an intelligent designer that created them. So far there has been no 'testing' of this hypothesis, so at this stage in ID's development it would be scientifically irresponsible to consider it a 'theory'. ID is just a hypothesis that a lot of people 'believe' and belief is not one of the criteria used in determining what is taught in the classroom.

Furthermore, their whole idea that "we are too complex to have just happened, therefore there must be a designer". Leads to an infinite regression. To illustrate I will use their watch example.

"A watch is a complex object, it is so complex that if you saw one for the first time you would rationally determine
that it is so complex there would be no way for it to come about by random events, therefore it must have had a
designer, and sure enough it does, a human designer. A human is several orders of magnitude more complex
than a watch. If a watch is too complex to come into existence without a designer, how can a human that is more
complex come into existence without a designer?"

If you follow this argument to its logical conclusion, you end up in an infinite regression. The 'designer' is, and must be, more complex than the 'designed'. If humans truly have a designer, he/she/it must be more complex than the humans he/she/it designed. This complex 'designer' of humans is also too complex to have just happened, so he/she/it must also have a designer… ad infinitum.

Now to address some of your other points;

1. You make the comment that "big bang… is some stupid theory to try disprove ID." Once again you have your facts reversed. Big bang theory predates the ID hypothesis. In fact, it is the ID hypothesis that was developed to try to disprove a theory. But that theory was not the big bang theory. It was Darwin's theory of evolution. All the controversy about ID is focused on the biology classrooms, not the physics, or astronomy classrooms. (Why is that?)

2. You make several comments about the big bang being a "…false claim, a theory built on 'not knowing'". I am afraid you are confused about 1. What the theory claims and 2. What it is built on. First, the big bang theory does not 'claim' to answer the questions you bring up so it cannot be a "false claim". Second, your assertion that the theory is built on "not knowing", does not make any sense. A theory is simply an 'explanation' of 'observed' phenomenon(3), and cannot explain what is unobserved. The why, where, and cause of the big bang have not been observed, so the theory does not claim to know the answers to those questions.

3. To find out why your views are irrelevant please watch the video that can be found at (3)

4. In response to your view that the table I mentioned earlier supports the ID hypothesis, I would like to point out that the table does not show that "believers of Intelligent Design believe in the scientific 'theory' of evolution" . It shows that 'Christians' believe in the theory of evolution. (4)While proponents of ID 'are' mostly Christian, they are the ones on the 'other' side of the table. Why else would they be trying so hard to disprove the theory of evolution?

5. In response to; "My definitions are not wrong… 'my' big bang claims we came from nothing". I would suggest you check a dictionary, and familiarize yourself with the "standard big bang theory". Wikipedia is a good place to start.(5)

In anticipation of an attack on the credibility of Wikipedia as a source, I would like to point out that each page contains many links to other sources of varying credibility, it is a source of sources.

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(2) Note: I am using a single quotation mark to add emphasis to a word (no bold or italic functionality here)
(3) http://richarddawkins.net... Video explaining what science is and is not.
(4) http://en.wikipedia.org... Table is half way down page, shows Christians, not proponents of ID.
(5) http://en.wikipedia.org... Standard Big Bang Theory.
Wanted797

Con

Wanted797 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Jake4d

Pro

Wanted797; Are you still in the debate, or have I convinced you that ID is not science and does not belong in the science classroom?

After reading some of the comments, and thinking about this some more, I now think that ID may have a place in a classroom, but I think the classroom where it should be discussed is would be in the humanities department, not in the physical sciences.

The reason for this is that Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory, but an ideological and political movement that was born from the ashes of the creationist attempts to bring religion into Americas public educational system. This being the case, it may be perfectly appropriate to discuss ID in a civics, political science classroom, or even in a philosophy class, but until the proponents of ID come up with some means to test their hypothesis, it should not be in the science classroom.
Wanted797

Con

I am sorry for the previous round I did not intend to forfeit I have been extremely busy this last week and it slipped my mind to reply.

I do agree with my opponent one the comment
"but an ideological and political movement that was born from the ashes of the creationist attempts to bring religion into Americas public educational system." but only partially, ID was attempted to be pushed into schools a religion and I see this as wrong and should not be, but ID should be taught even if not majorly in the class room, this would then give children and teenagers their own choice on what to believe, ID is a scientific study because it discusses the origins of the universe and as I am agnostic I believe that a intelligent designer (God) cannot be proven or disproved so testing a hypothesis has no point, even if the big bang theory makes better sense.....it still can't be proven and it is classed a science, ID can't be proven and is basically the big bang theory with a magical thing that crated us.

This has been fun thanks for this debate.
Debate Round No. 5
35 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Jake4d 7 years ago
Jake4d
JamieM67,

I would like a debate, but I am going to be very busy for the next couple of days. Let's try to come up with the wording of the resolution, then maybe start the debate near the end of the week
Posted by JamieM67 7 years ago
JamieM67
Jake,
I'm glad you have read The Celestine Prophecy. I found this book after I had strange coincidences in my personal life and so it was a bit of a godsend – excuse the pun.

The Spirits Book can be viewed as a bridge between traditional religion and that of the new age movement. I think it was one of the first attempts to bring logic and reason into spirituality, and it was certainly the best from that age period of 150 years ago. The book was published a couple of years before Darwin and provides a top down view (ID) as opposed to the bottom up view of science and evolution. The word amelioration is used often instead of the word evolution.

Conversations with God books are probably the smartest but it doesn't mean they are true, just smart.

Did you want to start a new debate to discuss the fine tuning and balance concepts I raised before? Not sure what the wording would be. Underlying the discussion on a designed, fine tuned universe is also the reason why it could be so. Without cause there is no effect. Perhaps your original wording was best…

Cheers
Jamie
Posted by Jake4d 7 years ago
Jake4d
JamieM67,

I have read "The Celestine Prophecy", and I loved it, but I have not read the other books you mentioned. I think we have a lot in common, but I will warn you now that I am a "strong" atheist.

By this I mean that I was an evangelical Christian, that became an atheist. I have changed sides in the debate on God, but I still have evangelical leanings, and I can come off as a dogmatic atheist. That is not my true nature, but it is my natural reflex. I enjoy debating the topic but it will take an exceptional argument to change my mind. (enough about me)

" The evidence for the existence of god or a designed universe is so well balanced that we cannot prove it either way"

I think that ALL the EVIDENCE points to an undersigned universe.

"this balance is evidence in itself – perhaps the tipping point in favor of design"

I don't see the balance.

I think we need to formulate a "resolution" to debate on, about the evidence for a designed universe. Win or loose, I think you and I, would benefit from such a debate.

PS: I plan on checking out the books you mentioned. I always like to see what both sides of an argument have to say. After all, it was listening to both sides of the argument that led me to becoming an atheist. I have changed sides once, it is possible that I will change sides again, (but it is not likely).
Posted by JamieM67 7 years ago
JamieM67
Hi Jake,

It is funny you mentioned Catch 22, it is apparently a great story -lol. Actually, I was also on the other side of the debate about 20 years ago as well. My training is engineering and some science, not religion, though I was raised a catholic in my very early years.

Earlier, I mentioned how the universe is fine tuned and our selves are examples of it. The evidence for the existence of god or a designed universe is so well balanced that we cannot prove it either way. People like you and me jump from side to side as we consider different thoughts and ideas. For every argument, there is a counter argument and if you step back from the debate, this balance is evidence in itself – perhaps the tipping point in favor of design. Alas, it is not proof.

Thanks for the suggestions of a new novel to read. I will look for the Atlas Shrugged next time I go to a bookshop.

My favorite spiritual/new age books are: Conversations with God series, The Celestine Prophecy and The Spirit's Book. You can download the last from the internet but you might want to skip much of the intro to page 63. A truncated copy of the book is available at that website I mentioned before.

Jamie
Posted by Jake4d 7 years ago
Jake4d
Good luck to you as well, Wanted797
Posted by Wanted797 7 years ago
Wanted797
Good luck in the voting
Posted by Wanted797 7 years ago
Wanted797
No problem Jake4d this was fun so far my best dabate.
Posted by Jake4d 7 years ago
Jake4d
I am glad you completed the debate with your busy schedule. I know what it is like to get tied up with the daily grind and miss out on the fun stuff.

As far as "ID should be taught" I agree that it has a place in the education of our youth, but I disagree that that place is in the science classroom. Science is not simply having an "idea" about how we got here, it is a *method* of discovering how we got here. There are strict guidelines that have to be followed for something to be considered science, ID does not follow those guidelines so it cannot be classified as science, and should not be taught in the science classroom. It does, however, offer some interesting philosophical thoughts, so I propose that all discussion of ID should fall under the category of philosophy rather than science.

I hope anyone reading this debate and the comments on it has learned something, or at least had fun. Thank you once again, Wanted797 for having this debate with me. I have enjoyed it.

Jake4d
Posted by Jake4d 7 years ago
Jake4d
JamieM67, David Attenborough is one of my favorites.

I can empathize with your view that coincidences are a form of communication from a higher consciousness because at one time that was my view of the universe. But, now I am firmly on the side of the scientist (edge type scientist, not dogmatic type).

You ask "how could a scientist ever arrive at this realization?" ,and posit that a belief change would be required first. For a scientist *realization* must come *before* a belief change, so we are caught in a catch 22.

I don't know how to get the two sides to agree, but I do know that the answer to this particular conundrum will be found in comparing the Epistemology of the two camps, and debating which epistemology is the better.

Have you ever read any Ayn Rand? Her novel "Atlas Shrugged" has been rated as the second most influential book next to the Bible (at least in America), but she has several nonfiction philosophical books that helped form my current world view. If you are interested in learning more about the people on the other side of the table, I would suggest reading some of her stuff. I find it is always helpful to read the best the other side has to offer if you are seeking some type of consensus.

Do you have any suggested reading I might like to better understand where you are coming from? I will admit it has been 20yrs since I was on your side of this topic, so I am sure a lot has been done in the meantime and I would be interested in seeing the "state of the art" so to speak.

P.S. Even though I will say *intellectually* there is no spiritual side of the universe, I still find myself saying "providence will provide" from time to time. And I also believe I have the luck the Irish wish they had. Things always seem to work out for the better for me; but I am sure there is a rational explanation for that.

Happy Easter.
Jake
Posted by JamieM67 7 years ago
JamieM67
Thanks for that link on edge. It is good to hear that some scientists are looking outside the box.

I raised the difference between the scientific process and religious process because I run into this issue every time I talk to someone with a scientific background. As you know, my belief is that coincidences are a mechanism for communication from a higher consciousness. They are like a language, symbolic in nature, which cannot be understood unless studied in detail. Now, I know you do not have this belief, but if I am correct, how could a scientist ever arrive at this realization? A belief change is required first before a study would take place. What makes this so silly to me is that the study can occur in one's private life, without the embarrassment of ever having to go public.

The other point I wanted to raise was about your comment "science does not prove the existence of god because of the total lack of evidence for the god hypothesis". I will agree will this statement when referring to older concepts of god and religion, but newer material insist the universe has another purpose, and that is: story.

The universe is about creating stories. Does science support this hypothesis? Most definitively! Every twist and turn of science and history provides a story. Look up into the sky on a clear night and you will see stories unfold. The universe expanded so much in the first moments that we are still receiving light from every period of the universe's evolution. Watch a David Attenborough documentary and you will see stories unfolding. If you could follow the path of you own DNA back through the generation, it would tell the most amazing stories. We are born into ignorance because the search for knowledge is a great story, etc.

Have a good Easter.
Jamie
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Jake4d 7 years ago
Jake4d
Jake4dWanted797Tied
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Vote Placed by rofflewoffles 7 years ago
rofflewoffles
Jake4dWanted797Tied
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Total points awarded:70