The Instigator
Maria_Magalhaes
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
Matt_L
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Is the Earth round?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Maria_Magalhaes
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/26/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,763 times Debate No: 44656
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (2)

 

Maria_Magalhaes

Con

My opponent is free to choose his position.
I will be taken the opposite position, as the one chosen by my opponent.
My opponent is invited to start posting his arguments in the first round.
Good luck!

"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please."
Mark Twain
Matt_L

Pro

I will be arguing for the earth being round.

Round- shaped like or approximately like a circle or cylinder. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

Even if the earth isn't a perfect circle (as has been shown by science*), it's still approximately shaped like a circle or cylinder. Therefore, the earth can be considered round.

*http://www.scientificamerican.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Maria_Magalhaes

Con

First of all, I want to point out that my opponent has two heads, which leaves me in a very disadvantageous position.
I just want to ask eventual voters to have this in consideration.
Second, I gave my opponent the possibility to choose his position, so I expect him to own the position the took.

According to the oxford dictionary, quoted by my two headed opponent, earth may have 5 different meanings as a noun:

1. the planet on which we live; the world;
2. the substance of the land surface; soil;
3. electrical connection to the ground, regarded as having zero electrical potential;
4. the underground lair of a badger or fox;
5. one of the four elements in ancient and medieval philosophy and in astrology (considered essential to the nature of the signs Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn);

According to these definitions, only 2 of the 5 possible interpretations of the word "earth", COULD, not necessarily, be indeed round. Because something to be round, requires to have a certain shape, which doesn't happen in 2,3 and 5.

Regarding number 4, i will give the Pro the possibility to show me an example of an underground lair made by a fox or a badger. If he manages to find one, I will show him two that aren't round, nullifying his evidence.

Now, I would explain my reasoning so far, asking you this:
If you were supposed to classify a group of a few objects, where there are some triangles, circles and squares, as round or not. You couldn't say that the objects are round. Because you would be classifying all the objects as round. While if you say that the objects are not round, you are saying that the objects, in their ensemble, are not round. Which can be much easier interpreted as true as the first statement, that all the objects are round.

Now, regarding the first meaning presented by the oxford dictionary.
Earth:
1. the planet on which we live; the world;

My opponent stated and very well, that the planet earth itself isn't a perfect circle, presenting a convenient meaning of round.

But I have to point out, that this definition found in the oxford dictionary is not quite universal.

Google dictionary:
1.shaped like a circle or cylinder.
2. shaped like a sphere.

Freedictionary:
a. Being such that every part of the surface or the circumference is equidistant from the center: a round ball.
b. Moving in or forming a circle.
c. Shaped like a cylinder; cylindrical.
d. Rather rounded in shape: the child's round face.
e. Full in physique; plump.

As you see again, there are several definitions of the word round, that collide and don't mean the same as the interpretation posted by Pro.

But even if we considered this definition of "Round- shaped like or approximately like a circle or cylinder." Could we really say that the planet earth is approximately shaped like a circle? Obviously not! The planet Earth is a tri dimensional object, therefore its shape nothing has to do with a circle.

circle
1. a round plane figure whose boundary (the circumference) consists of points equidistant from a fixed point (the centre).
2. a group of people with a shared profession, interests, or acquaintances.

For the next round I would also like to ask Pro to consider all the abysses and ridges encountered on the planet earth, as the level of dilation on the poles, before trying to claim that round can be considered spherical.

I also invite you to read this article from Scientific American: "Strange but True: Earth Is Not Round"
http://www.scientificamerican.com...

And this one from Space Daily: "The Earth Is Not Round"
http://www.spacedaily.com...

I could go further with more arguments, but I believe my opponent has enough topics to be entertained with.

Good luck!
Matt_L

Pro

I would like to put my the worries of my opponent to rest with regard to my having two heads. I never use both of them while debating as they tend to violently disagree with each other.

Anyway, on to the debate!

Con says that "according to the oxford dictionary, quoted by my two headed opponent, earth may have 5 different meanings as a noun.... according to these definitions, only 2 of the 5 possible interpretations of the word "earth", COULD, not necessarily, be indeed round." Now, while 'earth' does have several different meanings, the name of this debate is not "Is Earth Round," it's "Is The Earth Round." Simply asking if earth is round would indeed include all of the definitions shown by my opponent. But the original question specifically mentions THE earth. When used in this context, the word 'the' refers to a person, place or thing that is unique, such as "The Queen" or "The Nile." Therefore, "The Earth" suggests that there is a singular earth being referenced instead of the plethora of possibilities listed by my opponent.

Moving on to said planet...
Con pointed out that there are several definitions of the word 'round' that disagree with the definition I gave. Fair play. However, if there is even one definition of round that can be applied to the planet earth, then I it can rightly be considered round. I believe that Con provided me with such a definition in her first argument when she rightly threw out my circle definition. This was definition number two from the google dictionary: "shaped like a sphere." Even if the earth is not a perfect sphere, it's still shaped like one. In which case, the planet earth can be considered to be round.

A Short Summary- I only use one head at a time when debating. There can be only one earth in question according to the debate title. Because the earth is shaped in a basic spherical form, it can be considered round.
Debate Round No. 2
Maria_Magalhaes

Con

I will believe my opponent, in regard of his two disagreeing heads, but I will also like to point out the fragility of his position. Since even one of his heads agrees with me, that we can't consider that the earth is round in the general sense of the sentence, or maybe not even in any possible interpretation.

I understand to a certain extent the reasoning presented by my opponent in his first argument, but I definitely don't understand the arguments he used or the conclusion.

Earth:
2. THE substance of the land surface; soil: If someone would want to ask if the soil was round, the person would ask: Is THE soil round?
3. electrical connection to THE ground: Is THE ground round?
4. THE underground lair of a badger or fox: Is THE lair of a fox round?

When I posted the question, as the topic, I was thinking in this forth meaning.
I'm confident that my opponent also heard about the song: What does THE FOX say? by Ylvis. And that put me thinking. After quickly realizing the actual sound of the fox, I started to think about the roundness of its lair. Which influenced me to post this particular question. Is the earth round?

But even the examples that he gave to support his position, completely corroborate my point. He wrote:
" "the" refers to a person, place, or thing that is unique, such as "The Queen" or "The Nile"..."
These examples completely fail to support his argument. I honestly didn't understand if he was referring to The Queen, the British rock band, the Queen of England or maybe the Queen from the royal family of his country. And the Nile, the river? The Nile, the song from Pink Floyd?

You chose the wrong head to debate with...

And I wasn't asking if the planet earth can be considered to be round, being round, an object shaped in a form that resembles a sphere? The question was, "Is the earth round"? And I don't think is scientifically correct or accurately to say yes to that, and that's what I'm standing for.
Matt_L

Pro

I knew this debate must have been a trap but, against the better judgement of my left head, my right head accepted anyway! Now it seems that I've been debating a different subject than my opponent has. Although, to be fair, my opponent wasn't actually explicit about what exactly she was arguing for until I had given my first argument (which was in reference to the plant earth). I have a feeling that if Con seriously wanted to have a debate about fox holes, then she would have stated that more clearly in the debate title. I'd be very interested to see which definition of earth my opponent would have used to defend the earth's roundness if I had chosen to defend the opposite.

Well, as con has already claimed that evidence can be brought forth to disprove fox "earths" being generically round (and because I know almost nothing about foxes or their dens), I would like to give my opponent a "round" of applause for a well won debate.... But I won't. Instead I will foolishly continue to argue (darn you, Right-Head!).

My first foolish move will be to challenge my opponent to produce evidence supporting the idea that the earth/den of a fox is not round.
Debate Round No. 3
Maria_Magalhaes

Con

I want to applaud my opponent's resoluteness to accompany me till this last round! And his fair play for debating such a questionable and random debate! :)

But I would also like to point out, because of my understanding of the chance of misconception of the use of "the earth", that I tried to provide enough information to state that it isn't scientifically correct or accurate to say that "the earth is round" regardless of its possible interpretations! I didn't hide myself behind this misconception whatsoever!

In regarding only to the fox's lair, also known by earth, I want to say that I had already investigated this matter and that most of them are not round, but there are a few that can be considered to be, according to my opponent's questionable meaning of "round". And that there are fox's lairs even in the shape of restaurants, which are definitely not round! But I understand if my opponent chooses to ignore the restaurant shaped lair, because I doubt it could be considered an earth.

Images of earths:

Definitely not round:
http://stuckiniceland.com...

http://th02.deviantart.net...

Round according my opponent questionable meaning of round:
http://www.panoramio.com...

Fox lair in a restaurant shape, (in case you want to cease your curiosity):
http://www.thefoxslairbarandrestaurant.com...

Regarding this matter I will just rewrite the explanation that I gave in the first round, when I first addressed this subject.

"If you were supposed to classify a group of a few objects, where there are some triangles, circles and squares, as round or not. You couldn't say that the objects are round. Because you would be classifying all the objects as round. While if you say that the objects are not round, you are saying that the objects, in their ensemble, are not round. Which can be much easier be interpreted as true, than the first statement, that all the objects are round."

Other example, regarding this matter, is asking if the fox is red? There are some arguable red foxes, because even the red color of these, that are said to be red by some, is questionable. Is it correct to say, that the fox is red? In my opinion the answer should be:

No. ... ... Though there are some foxes that can be consider to be red, depending of which limits of light energy and frequency you consider the light to be red.

Which in my opinion is very far, from a yes..

Fox supposed to be red:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com...

I want to present again my appreciation to my opponent patience and wish him good luck for his last round!
And ask him too, not to hide himself behind the diversity of meanings of the word "earth", because I tried, by all meanings, not to use this in my favor.
Matt_L

Pro

Well, my opponent has provided some very sound logic that I don't believe I can overcome. Just because one fox hole is round, doesn't make the lot of them round. I, therefore, must admit that the earth is indeed not round.

Thank you for your time and for enlightening me about fox holes! I'm sorry I couldn't come up with an awesome final argument. You just can't argue with the facts and hope to win.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 2 years ago
RoyLatham
The key to unraveling dopey semantics is to understand that the meaning of a word is determined by the context in which it is presented. It is not the case that all of the meanings in the dictionary are equally likely or that dictionary definitions are absolute. The prime example is the word "set" which has over a hundred meanings in the dictionary. One might think it impossible to decide which meaning was being used, but in fact context works well so that there is rarely a problem knowing what was intended. Languages other than English often have many more meanings for a word than is common in English, but users of those languages have no problem picking out the intended meaning.

The context of the present resolution is a debate site. The phrase "The earth is round." always has a special meaning beyond the individual words. It refers to "The earth is round ... rather than flat." and references thing like Columbus believing the earth could be navigated. Everybody knows this, so the meaning of the resolution is clear.

This was a fun debate and I don't have a problem with that. But if one intends to stick with debating, understand the basis of silly semantic arguments.
Posted by Matt_L 3 years ago
Matt_L
I though this was a fun debate as well! Thanks for making me think!
Posted by Maria_Magalhaes 3 years ago
Maria_Magalhaes
Hi Matt_L!

You asked me how I would debate if you had chosen to defend that "the earth is not round". I didn't had anything prepared for any of the cases :p But I would probably limited myself to say that the earth is round, giving the definition of round as something shaped in a spherical form and presenting several scientific articles and claims to support that evidence. If you presented all the meanings of earth, as I did, and that it could lead to several interpretations, I would say that only the planet earth and the fox lair can be considered to have a certain shape and that it didn't make any sense to ask the shape of something that doesn't have a shape, so these definitions should be ignored for this case. Regarding the planet I've already answered. Regarding the fox lairs I would say that those that aren't round , though they are lairs they are just shelters. To be consider an earth, the lair needs to be dig and built completely on earth and those that are, are all round.

I would probably claim something like this... But it was fun anyway :) Thanks!
Posted by Jimi_Hendrix 3 years ago
Jimi_Hendrix
You guys are freaks.... ^.^
Posted by Maria_Magalhaes 3 years ago
Maria_Magalhaes
I know SeventhProfessor :) I understood the sarcasm, but even so I found the comment a bit impolite, so I decided to answer. But I wasn't offended whatsoever and my answer was in a challenging playful sense.
Posted by SeventhProfessor 3 years ago
SeventhProfessor
It was a joke. Sorry for the hard-to-read internet sarcasm.
Posted by Maria_Magalhaes 3 years ago
Maria_Magalhaes
I don't understand SeventhProfessor comment, but I found it extremely offensive.
If you want to debate that the Earth is cubic, I will argue that it is a cube root or whatever.

I don't know in which premises SeventhProfessor relied on, to conclude that I'm the worst kind of idiot, but I will like to invite him to debate that too.
Posted by SeventhProfessor 3 years ago
SeventhProfessor
You're the worst kind of idiot. We all know the Earth is a cube.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Krazzy_Player 3 years ago
Krazzy_Player
Maria_MagalhaesMatt_LTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded the final round.
Vote Placed by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
Maria_MagalhaesMatt_LTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded his arguments. Con had better sources.