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

Is Space Exploration Beneficial For Humanity and Life on Earth?

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/31/2017 Category: Science
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 824 times Debate No: 99449
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




I argue on the side that space exploration is beneficial for mankind, and should be pushed. Anyone who is willing to have a fair and mature debate can debate me.


No all caps, it's immature.
Make sure to have an argument against all or most of the opponent's arguments.


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


Sorry for the late reply, I've been busy.

I will break my argument down into three sections:
"Scientific and Technological Benefits
"Economic and Diplomatic Benefits
"Human and Life Survivability Benefits

The first, Scientific and Technological benefits, is very important for humanity both in knowledge and in resources. Space exploration allows Scientists and humanity to uncover and understand how our surroundings work and what's out there and allows us to develop new products and inventions to help humanity.

With each probe sent into space, more and more data is sent back to Earth. Many probes, such as MESSENGER, the Mariner probes, the Soviet's Luna probes, the US's Explorers, Voyagers 1&2, Pioneers 10,11, and others in the family, Reconnaissance orbiters, martian and lunar rovers, geocentric satellites, Hubble, and much, much more have each discovered something new about a planet, moon, asteroid, or space in general. They've brought humanity hundreds of thousands of photos of both solar system objects, stars, galaxies, and more. They've allowed us to know what other planets are made of, if they're able to support life, and even find possibilities of life that still or once did exist.

But space exploration also brought humanity much-needed technology that may not have ever been invented if it wasn't for space programs. During the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs, NASA brought us memory foam (now used in mattresses) which was used as seats for astronauts, as well as larger and more durable life rafts, lighter and stronger building materials, some of the technology in pacemakers, and medical imaging devices. Probably most important that space exploration has brought us is satellites, which are used for a myriad of tasks such as weather tracking, reconnaissance imaging, GPS, satellite phones, and satellite TV. Without space exploration, much of the tech available to humanity today may never have existed, and this would be a serious setback for humanity.



I thank my opponent for initiating this debate. I am going to negate the resolution in an unexpected way; by arguing that space doesn't actually exist. If space doesn't actually exist then exploring space is impossible, and, if it is impossible, then it cannot be beneficial because only something which can be done can be beneficial.

Here is my argument:

P1: If space exploration cannot occur, then space exploration it is not beneficial to humanity and life on Earth

P2: Space exploration cannot occur

C: Therefore, space exploration is not beneficial to humanity and life on Earth

The argument is valid Modus Ponens [1]. The first premise is self-evidently true, and the second premise is true because something that doesn't exist (space) cannot be explored. This means in order for me to negate the resolution I must provide good reasons to believe that space doesn't exist.

- Evolution

Evolution is about fitness; not true perceptions. This means that useful but fictional perceptions will always win over true perceptions in the game of survival. Since evolution is a mathematically precise theory this can actually be demonstrated; which was done by award winning cognitive scientist Donald D. Hoffman:

"The mathematical physicist Chetan Prakash proved a theorem that I devised that says: According to evolution by natural selection, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness. Never." - Donald D. Hoffman [2]

Donald and his students have run hundreds of thousands of Evolutionary Game simulations and they they show that true perceptions go extinct and only organisms that see useful fictions survive.

This shows that space and the 3D objects in them are nothing more than illusions produced by natural selection in order to enhance evolutionary fitness functions.

Since space is an illusion, it doesn't actually exist.

"The intellectual history of our species is slowly giving up the idea that the way we perceive the world is the way it is. So, we thought about flat Earth, why? Because that's the way it looks; we gave that up... It was hard but we gave it up. We had to give up Geocentric Universe and people died over that one... I'm saying the next step is space and time themselves; Flat Earth and Geocentric Universe were just warm ups. Now as a species we have to give up space, time, and physical objects..." - Donald D. Hoffman

- Quantum Entanglement

Quantum Entanglement is a phenomenon when measurement of one particle instantaneously effects another no matter how far the distance is [3]. The particles can have 1 foot of space between them; or 1, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000 feet of space between them; the result is still the same. They behave as if the space between them doesn't even exist. The best explanation for this is that the space doesn't exist. If the space exists then it seems as if a signal would have to travel from one to the other in order to effect it but this means the signal would have to travel infinitely fast which violates Relativity (and is logically incoherent). This means that either the space between the particles doesn't exist, or it does exist, but the entanglement operates independently of space (without following its rules). The latter seems troubling because if space exists it seems as if the particles within the space would necessarily have to follow its rules.

Quantum Entanglement is telling us that space is an illusion.

- Quantum Gravity

Physicists have been searching for a theory of Quantum Gravity for a while now but it leads to paradoxes because Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are incompatible. They are only incompatible because of a faulty assumption; space exists. If we throw space out then meshing Relativity and Quantum Mechanics can actually get off the ground. As Physicist Fotini Markopoulou notes:

"Our faulty assumption is that space is real... The Quantum Theory of Gravity will be spaceless..." - Fotini Markopoulou [4]

- Conclusion

To address my opponent's arguments all I have to do is point out that they all assume space actually exists and isn't illusory; which is false. This means my opponent's arguments fail.

Space is an illusion; it does not exist. Since space does not exist it cannot be explored, and, since it cannot be explored; it cannot be beneficial.

The resolution has been negated.





Debate Round No. 2


I am extremely disappointed in my opponent for straying off topic. This debate is about the exploration of space, regardless if it exists or not. I will not continue in the debate over the existence of space because my opponent's arguments provided no proof against the existence, and we have proof it does exist, as we've been there. My opponent is claiming that space is an illusion because evolution is just the survival of those who see beyond reality, and this is simply not true. Evolution is the survival of the fittest, those best suited for their environments; the environments that are in reality. He is also saying that we must give up reality, and this is not true. Our reality is not set on a flat Earth, and it is not the Universe revolving around the Earth, it is instead one where there is no "center" that everything revolves around, instead there's a point that everything moves away from, and this is not the Earth. Space is no illusion, you can travel to and from it riding rockets. We know it exists by definition. What we define space as is the vacuum, or near vacuum of mass in between particles. A vacuum, essentially, is an area void of any or most matter. There is no such thing as a perfect vacuum, though, as there will always be a few particles somewhere. Even in the most desolate areas of space, there will be one or two atoms or electrons. Now, we know that the further off Earth's surface you travel, the thinner the air gets. Well, there must be a point where the atmosphere is so thin that it acts as a vacuum, a place where there's such little air molecules that you can travel around Earth and stay up for some time due to lack of air resistance. We define this point as the Kármán line or 100km above sea-level. There is no dome up there, no blockage of any kind because we've been up there. We can watch rockets taking off, traveling upwards, and crossing over the line (note the line isn't actually a line, just an altitude) with telescopes and binoculars. To claim space is nonexistent is absurd.

I strongly urge my opponent to direct his focus back to the main topic, regardless of his beliefs.

I will continue with my points, which, for this argument, are Economic and Diplomatic Benefits. Space exploration has brought a new industry for public and private investors and the general public. With the increase of companies to build, maintain, and launch rockets and payloads, there's been a strong increase in jobs for the public. Many private companies have created a strong ground in the economic field that is space exploration, most notably SpaceX. SpaceX, arguably, has almost changed the entire industry of space. It has introduced a revolutionary method of construction and building of their rockets and is also one of the only companies to have a fully reusable first stage (the shuttle was only partially reusable). By manufacturing everything themselves, SpaceX has been able to drastically reduce launch prices. Instead of manufacturing most rockets themselves, NASA instead outsources contracts to multiple companies, which can be very costly and can sometimes run over schedule. If just one company is set behind, then the entire project for NASA is set behind, which can lead to increase in budget.

Diplomatically, space exploration is extremely beneficial. Through space exploration and mass projects, countries can work together to achieve major goals. By cooperating with each other, countries can be peaceful and not hostile, which can reduce wars and tension between countries. Also by working together, countries can meet goals faster and more efficiently as the entire project can be spread out over several nations, and not all have to be done by one nation.

These reason can further explain why space exploration is so crucial for mankind, and why it is extremely beneficial that we have developed it.



My opponent says I am straying off topic but of course this isn't the case. I provided a valid Modus Ponens argument and the conclusion of the argument is the negation of the resolution exactly. If negating the resolution isn't staying on topic then I don't know what is. Just because I attacked the resolution from an unorthodox angle doesn't mean I strayed off the topic. My opponent says this debate is about the exploration of space not whether it exists or not. However, we cannot explore something that doesn't exist, and if we cannot explore something that does not exist then it cannot be beneficial; the existence of space is a necessary condition for the resolution to be affirmed.

Pro says I provided no proof against the existence of space but I provided three strong pieces of evidence against it; the evolutionary theorem by Donald D. Hoffman which has been tested by Evolutionary Game theory and mathematically proved, Quantum Entanglement, and Quantum Gravity. He says the proof of space is that we have been there. This, of course, is committing the logical fallacy of begging the question (it assumes the very thing being disputed; the existence of space). Since I showed space doesn't exist, then it is not the case that we have been there so my opponent's reasoning is flawed. What I mean by space is not just "outer" space but space in general; distance between objects.

My opponent said my argument is that survival is about those who see beyond reality. This is a straw-man unfortunately because I never said such a thing. It is not clear that one could see "beyond" reality. What I am claiming is that evolution by natural selection favours useful fictional perceptions over true perceptions of the external world. True perceptions are extremely limited because they have to conform to reality, but useful fictional perceptions don't have to conform to reality so they can be almost infinite, and thus, provide more of an arsenal to help aid in survival. Evolution isn't about true perceptions; it's about survival and producing offspring. What Donald D. Hoffman has showed is that true perceptions go extinct and all we are left with is perceptions we have to take seriously (we have to take the evidence for evolution and quantum mechanics seriously); just not literally (there is no actual space and 3D objects).

Babies looking cute and cuddly give us more of a motivation to take care of them. Thus, the conscious agent is presented to us as a 3D object that looks cute and cuddly. A female looking beautiful gives us more of a motivation to mate with her. So this conscious agent is presented to us as a 3D object that is beautiful. Space between objects makes it easy to distinguish things. Thus, we experience space to distinguish between things. All of these perceptions are extremely helpful for survival and reproduction; but there is literally no reason to think these perceptions are true. As Donald D. Hoffman notes:

"Dare to recognize that perception is not about truth, it's about having kids." - Donald D. Hoffman [1]

What has been proven here is a mathematical theorem showing that evolution drives true perceptions to extinction and only leaves us with useful fictional perceptions. This means that space is almost certainly an illusion to help us survive; it isn't something that exists.

Now, Pro states once more that space is not an illusion because we have sent rockets there. This begs the question again because it assumes what it is trying to prove. My opponent states that space is the vacuum between particles but quantum quantum entanglement shows that space doesn't actually exist (if the space existed then there would have to be a signal going infinitely fast which is impossible). It doesn't matter how "far apart" you separate entangled particles the collapse of the wave-function is instantaneous. This only makes sense if the space between them is just illusory as the particles are certainly behaving exactly they would have to if there is no space between them [2]. Also, I think my opponent is confused by thinking that all I'm claiming is that outer space doesn't exist; I'm claiming something much stronger... Space itself doesn't even exist (not even the space between your nose and the computer screen). It's an evolutionary hack to help us maximize fitness functions. This is further supported by the fact that quantum entanglement and quantum gravity only make sense under spaceless assumptions.


What I am putting forward seems absurd at first glance. I mean, after all, look around; it certainty seems as if space exists. But once we realize that evolution is about useful perceptions and not true perceptions then the idea that space is just a useful evolutionary hack doesn't seem too far fetched. Not only is it not far fetched it's actually the case (as Hoffman's theorem has been mathematically proven and supported by all his hundreds of thousands of simulations competing organisms that perceive truth against organisms that perceive useful fictions). Also, Quantum Entanglement and Quantum Gravity only really make sense it space doesn't exist. Thus, I have provided strong arguments against the existence of space.

Now, my opponent claims that I have gotten off topic. This couldn't be farther from the truth I'm afraid. The topic is about whether space exploration is beneficial. So as long as my arguments negate the resolution then, by definition, I am as on topic as the "Con" position can be. Space exploration can only be beneficial if space exists. Since space doesn't exist, it's not beneficial. What's beneficial is the cause and effect relationship we have with reality that looks like space exploration; but isn't actually space exploration at all (as space is illusory). However, that is not the resolution.

Pro has broken his own rules. He says you must make arguments against most or all of your opponent's arguments. This is problematic because he has only addressed my argument from evolution (which he failed to do sufficiently), while the Quantum Entanglement argument and Quantum Gravity argument remain unaddressed. One might be compelled to think I didn't address Pro's arguments but they would be wrong. All of Pro's arguments need space to exist in order for them to make sense, so by showing that space doesn't exist I have, by default, pulled the support underneath all of my opponent's arguments simultaneously. Thus, my arguments address all of my opponent's arguments as they show that the assumption of all my opponent's arguments is erroneous.

Pro simply has not met his burden of proof, while I have met mine with relative ease; the resolution has been negated.



Debate Round No. 3


Again my opponent is off topic. He claims he isn't, but he is. Again, this debate is about the benefits of space exploration, regardless of the existence of space itself, even though it does exist. This debate is not about the existence of space. I urge my opponent to get back on topic. This argument is also not a debate over the existence of any space, not just outer space. This debate is talking about outer space only, when whether or not the exploration of it is beneficial or not. Please, get back to the topic.

And I have not broken the rules because the rules only applied to this topic. It is my opponent who has broken them by straying off-topic. I do not have to refute anything that isn't involved with the main focus of the debate. If my opponent wishes to have a separate debate concerning the existence of space and outer space, then so be it. But I will not argue about it in this debate.

Now for my last arguments: The benefits space exploration has for human survivability and the survivability of all life on Earth.

A blog by WaitButWhy author Tim Urban explained Elon Musk's new rocket (the Interplanetary Transportation System), and why moving to Mars, or at least settling on Mars is important. He put it this way: Imagine having very important photos stored on one hard drive. Now, let's say this hard drive, like any hard drive, has a chance of failing and destroying, deleting anything on itself. This means if you saved your photos on just one hard drive, then they wouldn't be too safe. But, if you were to save your photos on two, three, or more hard drives, you have a better chance of ensuring the safety of the photos. Even if something happens to one hard drive, and the photos on that drive are deleted, you still have the other hard drive(s) keeping the photos safe. Now, if you relate the photos to humanity and life, the first hard drive to Earth, and the additional hard drives to other planets and moons (and miscellaneous bodies), then you can come up with the statement that if humans stay on Earth and only Earth, and something were to happen to Earth, then bye-bye humans. But, if humans moved to other planets while ALSO staying on Earth, and colonized these other planets (or bodies), then you can ensure humans are safe, even if something happens to Earth.

But this isn't the only reason why space exploration is crucial for the survival of life and humanity. Sometime in the near future (on the grand cosmological timescale), a large asteroid will hit Earth. We don't know when, but we are sure of it. It has happened before, it will indeed happen again.

As of right now, we have no methods of stopping these dooming asteroids, but, in the next few decades, we will. When we have the technology, we will be able to stop the asteroids from hitting Earth, and instead move them into an orbit around Earth or the Moon to study them and make them scientific bases or mining locations.

This is why we need space exploration most of all, for the safety and good of all mankind and life. Without it, there's a good chance that we will all be wiped out, either by nature, or ourselves. With it, we can colonize other planets, and stop impending asteroids from striking Earth, killing off the majority of life.


Again, I urge my opponent to please focus on the topic of the debate. He only has two rounds left to make his argument, and I do not want him to waste those rounds.


My opponent states again that the existence of space isn't the topic of the debate; it is whether the exploration of space is beneficial. However, the two are inherently linked because a scenario can only be beneficial if it occurs or can occur. If the necessary condition for a scenario to occur isn't present, then, logically, the scenario cannot be beneficial. Therefore, the existence of space is extremely relevant to the debate topic. Now if the resolution was:

"If space exists, then is space exploration beneficial for humanity and life on Earth?"

Then we would have a conditional resolution which means my opponent's arguments would all be sound whether or not space exists. Since the resolution is not conditional, the resolution can be negated by showing that space doesn't exist. He also says this debate is about outer space only, but if I have shown that space itself doesn't exist then this clearly includes outer space.

In the first round I presented a Modus Ponens argument with the conclusion being the negation of the resolution. The topic of this debate can only reasonably pertain to either affirming or negating the resolution (lets forget that the resolution is in the form of a question). Since my arguments were all based on a syllogism negating the resolution then there is no rational basis for claiming I am off topic.

So, once again, the debate topic is about whether space exploration is beneficial. I argued that it isn't beneficial, so there is no rational interpretation one could possibly have of me straying away from the debate topic. I provided an argument in my first round with the conclusion being the negation of the resolution. I will provide a revised version of it here:

P1: If space does not exist, then space exploration is not beneficial for humanity and life on Earth

P2: Space does not exist

C: Therefore, space exploration is not beneficial for humanity and life on Earth

As the readers can see, my argument is necessarily on topic as the conclusion of the argument is the negation of the resolution. P1 is true because if space doesn't exist then it cannot be explored. If space cannot be explored, then "exploring space" is a non-existent scenario. A non-existent scenario, self-evidently, can yield no benefits. This means that since the argument is logically valid, and P1 is true, then if I can sufficiently support P2; I have shown that space exploration is not beneficial to humanity. Since this is exactly what the topic is, then there should be no doubt that I am staying on topic.

My arguments against space haven't been properly addressed so my opponent is not only breaking his own rules; he leaves my arguments against space unscathed. This means that my support for P2 in my argument against the resolution stands. Ergo, the conclusion within the context of this debate follows:

"Space exploration is not beneficial for humanity and life on Earth."

Since this is not only the topic of the debate, but also the negation of the resolution, then without any proper rebuttals to my arguments supporting P2 (or without any non-logically fallacious arguments that space exists); one must simply be compelled to vote Con. Thus, it is not me who is wasting his rounds, but Pro. If he doesn't address my arguments against space or provide a more compelling non-fallacious argument in favour of the existence of space then he has lost the debate by a landslide. Why? Because my argument against the resolution is not only logically valid, but the premises have been sufficiently supported without being properly addressed.

In Conclusion

Have I stayed on topic? Well, the resolution of the debate is "Is space exploration beneficial to humanity and life on Earth?", and the conclusion to my argument is "space exploration is not beneficial to humanity and life on Earth". So there is no escape; I am most certainly on topic. I provided three sub-arguments for the non-existence of space (Donald D. Hoffman's Evolutionary argument, the argument from Quantum Entanglement, and the argument from Quantum Gravity). Pro only addressed the Evolutionary argument and I addressed his rebuttal (without even a reply from him in return); so all my arguments against space stand. Pro argues for space by saying we have done things with regards to space (such as "we have been there", or "we have sent rockets there"). However, we can only go to space or send rockets there if space exists. Therefore, his arguments for space already presuppose space. This means he is committing the logical fallacy of begging the question [1]:

"Any form of argument where the conclusion is assumed in one of the premises."

Now, have I addressed my opponent's arguments? Yes. All of my opponent's argument's presuppose space, since I argued that space doesn't exist; all of my opponent's arguments have been addressed by default.

So we have established three facts about this debate:

(i) I am on topic
(ii) My opponent hasn't sufficiently responded to my arguments
(iii) I have sufficiently responded to my opponent's arguments

Unless Pro actually tries to address my arguments in his next round then there can be no denying...

... The resolution has been negated.


Debate Round No. 4


Even though I am done with my arguments, my opponent again has failed to stay on the topic of the debate. Yes, the topic may involve space, but this is not a debate over the existence of space. Just because my opponent believes space doesn't exist, automatically mean he wins. This debate is of the benefits of space exploration, regardless of beliefs, and regardless of the existence of space. The existence of space is not a factor in this debate. If you don't believe in space, then you should debate whether or not space exploration THEORETICALLY benefits mankind and life. I apologize if I didn't initially make this clear enough, but I did not know that my opponent would debate on his chosen topic, and not the topic I chose.

This debate is about outer space, not all space, again. Regardless of beliefs, regardless of what side you're on, this debate is not concerned with the existence of anything, just over whether or not space exploration does or would benefit mankind.

Again, I do not break my rules if my opponent's arguments aren't in line with the topic of this debate, which, for the fifth time, is if space exploration is beneficial for mankind and life, not whether or not it exists. I understand that space needs to exist for it to be possibly beneficial, but regardless of beliefs, you still should be able to argue if it is or isn't beneficial.

While if you piece it all together, my opponent seems to have been on topic, to explain his reasoning he had to get off topic and debate the existence of space, which, again, isn't the debate.

But I will do my best to rebuttal with what Con has given me.

1. My arguments against the evolutionary theory were valid. As I understand it, Con is making the claim that evolution is not determined by reality, and this simply is false. One of the defining reasons that evolution in certain species can even occur is because a species gets separated, and the two groups evolve separately from each other. These boundaries separating the species (be it mountains, or a desert, or ocean, etc), are physical, real things, not fictional perceptions. Evolution isn't also mathematically precise. As of 2017, there is no mathematical formula for evolution because evolution isn't something that is equated. Each species evolves differently, and a number can't be plugged into a formula to determine the time the evolution takes or the result of the mutation of the gene. And, reading Con's article (, there was no sign of the equation that Professor Hoffman claimed to have. While he may have run simulations, the article still had no sign of an equation or proof for his claim. One thing I saw while reading the article, in the same question the quote initially came from, was Hoffman claiming that it is utterly false we came from the "best-seeing" ancestors, and instead that all evolution is physical. Hoffman's claim, though, is simply not true. Visual abilities is a physical aspect of life, not mental, not anything else. The eye is physical, and the ability to take in light and determine what the seer sees is physical. My proof is that the first eyes were simple divots in the skin of fish, with some light-sensitive cells behind this divot. The quality of the vision was awful, in fact, the fish could only see a constant fuzz that was either white, gray, or black (depending on the amount of light the eyes were in), but this physical evolutionary trait was passed onto the fish's offspring, and thus began the process of modern eyes. The reason we nearly all animals today have eyes is because their ancestors that survived could see better. Another part of the quote by Hoffman said that organism of equal complexity to those that can see, but sees none of reality and is just tuned to fitness, will survive better, and, again, this is just wrong. All evolved species are the ones that were best suited for their environment, but they weren't tuned to just fitness. The quote says "For example, an organism tuned to fitness might see small and large quantities of some resource as, say, red, to indicate low fitness, whereas they might see intermediate quantities as green, to indicate high fitness. Its perceptions will be tuned to fitness, but not to truth. It won’t see any distinction between small and large — it only sees red — even though such a distinction exists in reality." This is wrong, though. If all species were tuned to fitness, then they would have vision like this, or something similar, and not all do (some do, not all). Humans don't either. We don't immediately look at something and know whether it's better for our fitness or worse, we have to explore it, test it out, and discover how it truly affects us, and then we can know if it benefits us fitness-wise. But we aren't born fitness-tuned, and it's the same for many, many other species. With Hoffman's simulations, if the organisms that see only reality go extinct, why are humans still here? And dogs? And many many other species?

2. Quantum entanglement is a tricky subject, and I honestly can tell you it is extremely confusing to me. One thing my opponent highlights that no matter how far apart, two entangled particles will still always interact with each other and influence each other, and this is something I can agree on. It's like this experiment called Schroedinger's Cat. Say you put a cat into a box with a vial of poison, a switch, and a radioactive isotope. Now say the switch's position is determined by whether or not the isotope is decaying (the switch has a sensor on it to detect the decay), and the switch can either keep the vial together or drop and break the vial, killing the cat. When you put the cat into the box and close the box, there is a 50/50 chance that the cat is either dead or alive, and the result can't be known until you open the box to look. This essentially is quantum entanglement. If you had two entangled particles, they have a 50/50 chance of existing in one state, separately (particle A and particle B cannot be the same upon observation). Until you look to see which states the particles are in, they, theoretically, exist in both states (and, like the cat, until it is observed, it exists as both alive and dead).

What my opponent is stating is that there couldn't be space because these particles affect each other no matter the distance between them. But this doesn't actually mean there's no space. There's no signal between each particle telling each other which to be upon observation (or none that we have observed, and probably never will), it simply is a game of chance. You have a 50/50 chance of particle A being, for example, up, and particle B being down, and vice-versa. What you get is just determined on the particle's final state. I actually find my opponent's third and second-to-last sentences on the matter of Q. Entanglement to be more of the possibility: the state of the particles isn't determined by our dimension (or other forms of reality, etc), but is determined along the lines of a different dimension, one undetectable by us. This isn't troubling if the dimension coexisted with ours, as it still would have the same rules as ours, but it was just unknowable, undetectable.

Quantum Gravity is also real tricky, but I disagree with Con. He says if we throw space out, then quantum mechanics work, but I fail to believe this (no I'm not ignorant, it simply doesn't seem rational). You simply can't throw space away, as it is observable. We can observe the space between atoms with extremely powerful microscopes, so space between things has to exist, it isn't a factor that can just be dropped. Space is no illusion, it is real, it is observable through experimentation.

Additionally, in the same article that my opponent used for Quantum Entanglement, the scientists literally say that quantum mechanics cannot be proven, but only given support. "You can't prove quantum mechanics, but hidden local action is incompatible with our experiment," Shalm said. "Our results agree with what quantum mechanics predicts about the spooky actions shared by entangled particles." While the scientists say that their experiments agree with quantum mechanics, that doesn't simply prove them.

My opponent's argument about how the cuteness of objects isn't physical but conscious can also be disproven. To be cute, one must have cute features: Nice hair, proportionate face, etc. These features are physical, and additionally, so are the features that make babies cute (puffy faces, stumpy limbs, etc). While a reaction to cuteness is partially conscious, the actual cuteness isn't, it's physical. But survival and reproduction aren't necessarily based on cuteness. In nature, many females of a species are attracted to the biggest or strongest of a group (alpha male of a wolf pack, walruses, etc.), and these big/strong features are all physical. It's physical aspects of species in reality that influences mating.

Space can exist, though, alongside quantum entanglement. Again, a space between particles exists, there's no need for signals to be passing between entangled particles, as their state is unknown until observed, and is not determined by the influence of each other, but simply chance. Additionally, if there is some sort of signal (even though there doesn't need to be), it is possible that it may exist in a dimension or form undetectable to us, somewhat like quantum foam, or string (string theory). These are theorized to be in different dimensions. My opponent's claim This only makes sense if the space between them is just illusory as the particles are certainly behaving exactly they would have to if there is no space between them" is just that, a claim. Yes, the particles ACT as if there's no space between them, but this doesn't prove that space is impossible, it only says that particles are very similar to each other, regardless of their distance.

I've run out of characters to cite.


My opponent, again, has no logical basis for claiming I am off topic. The resolution of the debate is:

"Is space exploration beneficial for humanity and life on Earth?"

The conclusion to my argument against the resolution is:

"Space exploration is not beneficial for humanity and life on Earth."

It just does not get any more on topic than that I'm afraid. The debate resolution was not conditional, so theoretical situations are not relevant. The debate is about what is actually the case and since the existence of space is necessary for space exploration to be beneficial then attacking the resolution from this angle is completely valid (even if it wasn't expected).

My opponent finally tries to actually take a stab at my arguments, which I appreciate, but all of his reasoning fails and the resolution is still negated.

- Evolution

Pro says:

"... Con is making the claim that evolution is not determined by reality..."

This is utterly false. I am making the claim that:

"Evolution is determined by reality, but our perceptions are completely non-veridical."

So my opponent is committing the Straw-Man fallacy, which is:

"Substituting a person's actual position or argument with a distorted, exaggerated, or misrepresented version of the of the position of the argument."

My opponent says that actual physical things like mountains are what separates species, but this is exactly what is being disputed (physical objects) so he is just asserting my position false without good reason. The fact that species exist as different categories is sufficient to conceptually "separate" them; space is not required. He then says evolution is not a mathematically precise theory when this is just blatantly false. Take the Price Equation for example:

"In the theory of evolution and natural selection, the Price equation (also known as Price's equation or Price's theorem) describes how a trait or gene changes over time. The equation uses a covariance between a trait and fitness to give a mathematical description of evolution and natural selection." [1]

Now the equation cannot be applied to every situation but there are other equations that can be substituted in. What my opponent fails to realize is that all science is mathematically precise; if it wasn't then science wouldn't work so well.

Pro then says that the theorem of Donald D. Hoffman was not actually presented in the article. Well, of course not, the actual math would bore the readers. The mathematical physicist Chetan Prakash proved the theorem so we can reasonably affirm it's truth. Hoffman goes into more detail about his mathematics in further detail in other papers [2].

Pro then questions the assertion that true perceptions aren't fitter perceptions. He claims that things like the eye are physical and they exist because seeing reality better is fitter. However, this begs the question because Hoffman has given good reason to think that eyes and physical objects don't exist, they are just icons of our mentally constructed user interface. Seeing more of a physical reality is better for survival (I do not dispute this), but that doesn't mean there is a physical reality. Perceiving space and 3D objects is better for fitness and eyes are icons which represent the medium of our visual experience. We cannot forget that evolution isn't about truth; it's about survival. All of our perceptions help us survive but they are non-veridical perceptions. He also says that all evolved species are ones that are better suited for their environment and not just tuned to fitness. However, being better suited for the environment is a fitness function itself so Pro is clearly mistaken. My opponent then says if Hoffman's example with the water holds then why do we perceive reality as it is? But this assumes that we do see reality as it is (more question begging). Also being tuned to fitness doesn't mean we automatically know what's fit, the point is that our perceptions are tuned to what's useful not what's true. We perceive space and 3D objects because they are useful fictions that help us survive; but we don't perceive any of the true reality. Pro then restates his position by saying if Hoffman's simulations show that organisms that perceive reality go extinct then why are we and other animals still here? The answer is self-evident; because we don't perceive any of the real reality... this is the point. We perceive space and 3D objects because they are useful but they aren't actually there; which is exactly what Hoffman's theorem and hundreds of thousands of simulations show.

- Quantum Entanglement

Quantum Mechanics has more support than any other theory in science, and is more "proven" than The Big Bang Theory, The Theory Of Relativity, or the Theory Of Evolution. Proof is a strong word that only really holds for mathematical proofs, but the evidence for Quantum Mechanics is overwhelming so it would be astronomically improbable for it to be false. My opponent is advocating an experimentally discredited interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. He is saying that the chance of finding the particles in their respective states is 50/ 50, one particle isn't actually determining the state of the other they are just unknown before measurement. However, this would seem require local hidden variables which Pro's own quote from the article says is incompatible with the experiment. There could be non-local hidden variables but the Kochen-Specker Theorem [3] mixed with violations of the Leggett-Garg inequalities [4] make that extremely unlikely.

Pro says that the causation could be happening in a dimension not accessible to us. I agree; it happens in the external world which is not spatial. But since the particles appear within space then it makes no sense to say the causation takes place outside of space (unless the space is actually illusory). Either way, I can easily invoke the Surprise Principle to show that Quantum Entanglement strongly supports a spaceless ontology:

"A principle governing abductive inference; an observation O strongly favors one hypothesis (H1) over another (H2):

a.) If H1 were true, you would expect O to be true

b.) If H2 were true, you would expect O to be false" [5]

The particles behave as if there is no space between them. We would expect this if there was no space, but we would not expect this if there was space (one would have to create an ad hoc hypothesis to save space).

Either way you slice it, Quantum Entanglement strongly supports a spaceless reality.

- Quantum Gravity

He says space cannot be an illusion because we observe it. However, this utterly absurd reasoning because all optical illusions are observed so this cannot be taken as a serious argument from Pro. There are plenty of times humans have extensively observed something and it turned out we were wrong; space is just another one of those things. Now, even though there is no physical reality we have to take physical evidence seriously; just not literally. Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are incompatible because they both assume time and space which leads to paradoxes, so in order for Quantum Gravity to work; one has to go. This was the whole point of Fotini's paper I presented in the first round; "Space Doesn't Exist, So Time Can".

If we get rid of space then the resolution is negated because we cannot explore that which doesn't exist. Since non-existent scenarios are not beneficial, then space exploration would not be beneficial for humanity and life on Earth.

If we get rid of time then the resolution is negated because exploration requires time. Since non-existent scenarios are not beneficial... Well, you get the point.

Since Quantum Gravity must exist (as Relativity and Quantum Mechanics describe the same universe), and you can't keep both time and space without logical contradictions; this is the nail in the coffin.

Quantum Gravity negates the resolution.

As far as cuteness goes, Pro says that to be cute one must have nice hair and proportionate faces. Since these are physical properties this shows a physical reality exists. This can easily be disproved. We would perceive hair and faces if a baby was hallucinated, yet, a hallucination happens in a conscious mind and there would be no physical hair or faces this experience corresponds to. The same is true for any physical object we experience in a dream. So we have examples of experiences of physical things even though there is no actual physical things "out there" being experienced. Hair and proportionate faces are merely icons in the mentally constructed user interface we experience to help us survive; they aren't properties of an actually existing physical reality.

- Conclusion

Pro's rebuttals to my Evolutionary argument were Straw-Men and Question Begging. Since they were logically fallacious; the Evolutionary argument stands. Pro argued for two possible alternatives to spaceless interpretations of Quantum Entanglement. One hasn't been taken seriously in over 30 years, and the other makes no sense assuming the particles exist within space. Either way, by invoking the Surprise Principle it was shown that the spaceless interpretation is more strongly supported. The Quantum Entanglement argument stands. The Quantum Gravity argument was addressed by the claim that we observe space so it cannot be an illusion. However, all illusions are "observed" so this objection doesn't go through either. Since P1 of my argument is self-evident and was not disputed, and P2 was sufficiently supported; the conclusion is inescapable.

The resolution has been negated.

- Sources

Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by nickrulercreator 1 year ago
I goofed in my round 5 submission. I meant to say "doesn't automatically mean he wins," but forgot the "doesn't"
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by EdgeOfTheInfinite 1 year ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:16 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro was on topic with the debate, but con technically wasn't off topic. I feel con's arguments were far more advanced and he had better sources including university websites and .gov sites. Pro used waitbutwhy and wordpress which can have biased or uncredited information.