The Instigator
brian_eggleston
Pro (for)
Winning
19 Points
The Contender
barlowwillis
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points

It would be legal to breed Homo floresiensis for profit.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/30/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 752 times Debate No: 3849
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (7)

 

brian_eggleston

Pro

For those who don't know, Homo floresiensis, nicknamed "hobbits" are a diminutive human sub-species who are known to have lived on the Indonesian island of Flores as recently as 10,000 years ago, when it is believed a volcano wiped them out.

However, Flores is very remote and it is possible that a pocket of hobbits survived the eruption and their decedents are living on the island, undiscovered, to this day.

I would be interested in leading an expedition to Flores in the hope of capturing a colony of live specimens, which I would then breed in captivity - my intention being to sell them either as pets or as work-hobbits.

I believe that this would be legally sound as only Homo sapiens are considered to be human - all other creatures are animals – and humans are legally entitled to breed animals for profit.
barlowwillis

Con

Several recent studies are discovering that "Homo Floresiensis" are in fact "homo sapiens". as they are humans it would not be legal to bred and sell them. this is slavery.

According to Anthropology.net March 5th, 2008
"New research from the Proceedings of the Royal Society B raises the possibility that Homo floresiensis was nothing more than population of Homo sapiens that were endemic cretins."

"The authors of this new study suggest that what is now looked at as Homo floresiensis is nothing more than a group of Homo sapiens who lived on an island that was deficient in iodine."

Several recent studies are discovering that "Homo Floresiensis" are in fact humans. as they are humans it would not be legal to bred and sell them. this is slavery.

Also my opponent said "only homo sapiens are considered to be human" this is not true. According to Animal Diversity Web Homo is Human. sapiens and floresensis are just variations.

According to National Geographic
Despite its smaller body size, smaller brain, and mixture of primitive and advanced anatomical features, the new species falls firmly within the genus Homo.

This was also in the National Geographic Article and I found it interesting given your demeaning description of them as 'pets' or 'work-hobbits'

"Given that Homo floresiensis is the smallest human species ever discovered, they out-punch every known human intellectually, pound for pound."

It is also unethical. I doubt any court would rule in your favor.
Debate Round No. 1
brian_eggleston

Pro

First of all, I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this challenge and also for responding in such an eloquent and well-informed fashion.

Before I address the points she raised, I would like to explain that, should I be successful in securing a breeding population of hobbits, I would indeed expect to face legal challenges to my operation based on ethical concerns and I hope this debate will help me to pre-empt any such actions.

However, I would not expect a large number of court summons as the Homo floresiensis stud farm I envisage will provide the highest levels of hominid-husbandry and also adhere to the strictest animal welfare regulations.

Indeed, conditions will be so good that the inmates would not seek to escape - nobody should be fooled by the rolls of barbed-wire, electric fences and watchtowers that will surround the compound – they will be there merely to prevent hobbit-rustling.

My dear opponent, in your reply, you cited various respected sources that speculated that Homo floresiensis are (or were) deformed Homo sapiens, and I quote one example:

"New research from the Proceedings of the Royal Society B raises the possibility that Homo floresiensis was nothing more than population of Homo sapiens that were endemic cretins."

At best, all this proves is that, like the issue of global warming, the scientific jury is still out. Incidentally, don't you think it was a bit unkind of the Royal Society to call the poor little hobbits "cretins"? :)

Indeed, the majority of experts agree that hobbits are a completely distinct from modern humans as a species.

For example, Dean Falk of Florida State University wrote in Science Magazine:

"The brain of Homo floresiensis was assessed by comparing a virtual endocast from the type specimen (LB1) with endocasts from great apes, Homo erectus, Homo sapiens, a human pygmy, a human microcephalic, specimen number Sts 5 (Australopithecus africanus), and specimen number WT 17000 (Paranthropus aethiopicus). Morphometric, allometric, and shape data indicate that LB1 is not a microcephalic or pygmy. LB1's brain/body size ratio scales like that of an australopithecine, but its endocast shape resembles that of Homo erectus."

Also, Matthew Tocheri, from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC told BBC News:

"What was very clear from my perspective looking at the Hobbit's wrist bones is that it does not belong in the group that includes modern humans and Neanderthals. It basically has the same type of wrist that we see in [the ancient hominid] Homo habilis, that we see in Australopithecus (the famous 'Lucy' fossil) and that we see in living chimps and gorillas today."

In other words, if it couldn't be proved that Homo floresiensis are humans, they could be legally exploited for commercial gain.

Post Script: Your final quote was from an article in National Geographic:

"Given that Homo floresiensis is the smallest human species ever discovered, they out-punch every known human intellectually, pound for pound."

This is exactly what will make them such great pets – their intelligence, combined with their human-like manual dexterity, will mean that they could be easily trained to do household chores.

Industrial corporations would also be very interested in buying them to operate dangerous machinery because, not only would they save on the wages of a human operative, but they would also avoid having to comply with health and safety legislation.
barlowwillis

Con

My opponent said:
"Incidentally, don't you think it was a bit unkind of the Royal Society to call the poor little hobbits "cretins"?"
In regard to my source saying:
"New research from the Proceedings of the Royal Society B raises the possibility that Homo floresiensis was nothing more than population of Homo sapiens that were endemic cretins."

Do you know the definition of cretin in this context? They were not being unkind. According to The Free Dictionary, a cretin is a person who is mentally handicapped and physically deformed because of a thyroid deficiency.
And according to South Alabama Glossary of Pathology and Medical Terms
Cretin is CRETIN - one whose physical and mental development has been retarded or arrested due to thyroid deficiency.

Therefore it would not be smart to as my opponent stated: "Industrial corporations would also be very interested in buying them to operate dangerous machinery" as they would be at risk of hurting themselves and others. they are not really intelligent as modern humans are to operate 'dangerous machinery'

They are humans but not equivalent to modern humans in intelligence or size, so owning them would be unethical and a huge liability.

My opponent also suggested "they would also avoid having to comply with health and safety legislation." this is poppycock. Having hired 'Hobbits' would not exempt anyone from having to comply with health and safety legislation. For example: Animals on set of movies have to have humane officers present. they are legally bred for profit but have many regulations about their safety (as they should). I see no other choice than to vote CON.
Debate Round No. 2
brian_eggleston

Pro

Thank you to my opponent for her valiant attempt to defend her seemingly impossible position!

Before I start, I should like to think that I did, in fact, realise the true meaning of the word "cretin" and assume my opponent realised this, which is why when she copied and pasted my comment she omitted the ":)" at the end of the sentence!

Anyway, she then continued:

"They are humans but not equivalent to modern humans in intelligence or size, so owning them would be unethical and a huge liability."

This may well be true, but this debate is not about ethics, it is about whether or not it would be legal to breed hobbits for profit, which I have shown that it would be.

So, just to reiterate, in addition to making fantastic pets, they would also be highly prized for use in industry.

But wait! There's more!

Any villains reading this will no doubt have spotted that the 3ft average height of adult hobbits would make them ideal burglars.

Criminals – here's a golden opportunity for you to do your illegal bidding by hominid proxy – and best off all, there's no danger of having your collar felt by the Old Bill.

That's right! If the filth turn over your gaff, all you have to say is: "Do me a favour, guv! You're having a bleedin' bubble, ain't yer? I ain't never seen them sparklers in my life before - and geet yer flippin ‘ands of me, I know my rights. If you want to know who twocked the bling, copper, ‘ave a word with my bleedin' hobbit, innit!"

The police won't be able to touch you, or your hobbit, for that matter. The last time a non-human was convicted of a crime was when a monkey was hung as a French spy after being shipwrecked off the coast of Hartlepool, England, during the Napoleonic Wars.*

So, there we have it. Because Homo floresiensis are biologically distinct from Homo sapiens, they are therefore not human in the eyes of the law and it would be perfectly legal to breed them for profit.

*Source: http://www.hartlepoolunited.premiumtv.co.uk...
barlowwillis

Con

My opponent said in his latest post that this debate was not about ethics but legality. these words are synonomous. according to dictionary.com ethics means A set of principles of right conduct. this is basically the same definition of law/legality.

as for your charming dead monkey story, it is irrelevant. The homo floresiensis are humans, for the last time. homo means human. the sapien/ floresiensis bit just specifies what type of man referred to. also legalizing hobbit sales for criminal activity doesn't help your case. actually all that monkey story says is that they WILL hang non humans for criminal activity, not that it matters since HOMO FLORESIENSIS ARE HUMANS!!!!

their brains are about 1/3 the size of ours so they can't be trusted to operate machinery or be hired by industries as my opponent thinks.

I think it is obvious that CON is the way to go. Vote con and you won't have to worry about hobbits stealing your stuff, losing your jobs to miniature people, etc. thank you and have a great day.
xoxo barlow
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by brittwaller 6 years ago
brittwaller
CON simply didn't push the points hard enough. Hilarious, though.
Posted by bexy_kelly 6 years ago
bexy_kelly
Haha pet hobbits. thats the best Ive heard in quite a while!
Posted by JTSmith 6 years ago
JTSmith
As the law stands now, I would think that such an enterprise would be legal, but undoubtedly some activist would denounce it, call it slavery, and then take you to court. Seeing as the court has the power to declare something human based on its competency and emotional awareness, you would run a huge risk of the judge ruling against you and shutting you down.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by JBlake 5 years ago
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Vote Placed by brian_eggleston 6 years ago
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