The Instigator
Conor
Pro (for)
Losing
21 Points
The Contender
Lt.Zubin
Con (against)
Winning
67 Points

Monkeys eat their children from time to time

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/10/2009 Category: Arts
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,857 times Debate No: 8579
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (15)

 

Conor

Pro

It's true you fat idiot.
Lt.Zubin

Con

Thank you for the debate challenge.

The statement "Monkeys eat their children from time to time" immediately presents two central problems. The first is what is exactly meant by "monkey", especially since the answer to this question can vary widely depending on the extension of the term monkey to certain primates. For the purpose of this debate, I will consider monkeys by their biological definition, namely, that they are members of the phylogenetic group categorized as primates and have a tail (this definition excludes gibbons, chimpanzees, bonobos, humans, and other apes). The second problem with the question is what is meant by "from time to time". This vague wording allows for many interpretations of the statement based mainly on semantics, thereby distracting us from the central question of this debate. To get around this problem, I propose that "from time to time" be interpreted as "occuring frequently enough so as to be observable on multiple occasions and not seen as exceptionally uncommon". This is different from saying that it only has to have happened once, or that it theoretically could happen.

Given these assumptions, the debate is actually quite straightforward. Monkeys do not regularly, or even moderately rarely, eat their own children. No such behavior has been convincingly documented, as far as I can research. It is very true that monkeys will occasionally kill the children of other monkeys, especially in the case of males looking to eliminate the offspring of sexual competitors. Even rarer is the occurence of mothers killing their own children, usually based on a perceived illness on the part of the child that would cause the subsequent upbringing of the child to be a waste of resources. However, monkeys EATING their own children is the central statement, and such a phenonmenon has not been documented in a meaningful way. Here's where the definition of monkey comes into play. Chimpanzees, which are apes, and not monkeys, will sometimes kill their children or the children of other mothers. Sometimes, as has been observed by the researcher Jane Goodall, this killing involves consuming the meat of the infants. IF this debate included all of primates and not just monkeys, the resolution would be much less clear. However, the statement "monkeys eat their children from time to time" implies not just that the event occur enough times to be an observable, repeatable phenomenon, but also that it occur within the phylogenetic category of monkeys.

I challenge my opponent to present clear evidence that this behavior is in fact not drastically uncommon in monkeys. Otherwise, this may be a very short debate.

SOURCES:
http://www-personal.umich.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
Conor

Pro

"observed by the researcher Jane Goodall, this killing involves consuming the meat of the infants"
Although, as you said, this statement does not make the proposed resolution true, it leads me to present you more evidence that was collected, in fact, by Jane Goodall herself, the very researcher you sought to discredit me with.
According to a 2004 bimonthly report, (annotated by Queen Latifa, among others), "monkeys, including the small white-fronted capuchin, have been increasingly observed as, or caught in the act of, eating their children, or the children of the other members of their species"(http://en.wikipedia.org...).

"To get around this problem, I propose that "from time to time" be interpreted as "occuring frequently enough so as to be observable on multiple occasions and not seen as exceptionally uncommon""
My second problem is with these proposed definitions that you have assumed in making your arguments. As instigator, I propose that "from time to time" be interpreted as "approximately once every 1-2 days, or 24-hour periods."

"However, monkeys EATING their own children is the central statement, and such a phenonmenon has not been documented in a meaningful way. "
On the contrary, several reports made by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities as well as two independent reports by CBS News Sunday Morning (http://en.wikipedia.org...) have evidently concluded that "monkeys have adopted a serious and potentially harmful trend of increasingly eating their infant offspring, so relatively often that, even in times of nutritional abundance and thriving, baby monkey bones are being found dispersed among the many Crab-eating macaque villages that populate Southern Laos." (http://en.wikipedia.org...).

With surmounting evidence, I rest my case.
Lt.Zubin

Con

When I first saw the latest post, I was more than somewhat alarmed. It seemed that my opponent had done thorough research and found conclusive evidence that the practice of monkeys eating their children from time to time being fairly widespread. Upon further observation, however, of my opponent's post, the quotes seemed more and more ridiculous, until I noticed that they were in fact completely fabricated. The links to websites that he provided were seemingly random wikipedia articles. The supposed quote from CBS News linked to the wikipedia page of CBS Sunday Morning News, nothing more.

Perhaps my opponent finds that locating evidence of the alleged monkey-children-eating phenomenon is too difficult, seeing as there is none. Perhaps he is hoping that the reader of this debate will not bother to read into his arguments and/or accept them on blind faith.

Whatever the case, my opponent has as of yet presented no real evidence or any sort of arguments for monkeys occasionally eating their own children, having opened with an ad hominem attack and continuing with a barrage of pure fantasies. I urge him to conduct research on this topic and provide evidence for his stance, as I may very well be proved wrong on this topic if real evidence is put forth.
Debate Round No. 2
Conor

Pro

I can't stress enough how credible my evidence is. Monkeys DO, in fact, eat their children approximately once a day.
And I assumed you interpreted "their" as a possessive adjective pertaining to the whole community or species of monkeys. Therefore, the mother or father of a singular monkey familial unit can eat the monkey babies of another monkey familial unit.
A recent study, done by *Cannibalism in the Wild Study Group*, suggests that the problem of infanticide followed by cannibalism (I'm unaware of any single term for the consumption of one's own offspring) is more widespread than previously thought. One researcher, Antonio Malvoroni, concluded after a recent trip to South Africa to observe several Chlorocebus tribes, that "after conclusive documentation and observation, I've concluded that velvet monkeys {chlorocebus} display an odd and seemingly disadvantageous tendency of eating their own offspring, usually within 2-3 months of birth, and offering chunks (such legs or thighs) to other mothers of the same clan" (http://en.wikipedia.org...).
If that's not definitive evidence, Lieutenant Zubin, then I don't know what is.
Zubin your own grubin.
Lt.Zubin

Con

Thank you, Conor, for placing yet again little responsibility on me for refuting your arguments.
A quick google search reveals no hits for "Antonio Malvoroni" besides this very debate. The same goes for the supposed study: "Cannibalism in the Wild Study Group".
In fact, Chlorocebus monkeys, also known as velvet monkeys, do not include large animals in their diet, never mind their own children. The only animals that they consume are invertebrates such as insects, and some small vertebrates.

In this debate, my opponent has provided no credible evidence of monkeys eating their own children. Research on my own part has revealed that while chimpanzees may consume the meat of other juvenile chimps, but as chimps are not monkeys, but are apes. Also, while some monkey species systematically kill the children of other monkeys, they do not eat them, and this only occurs between separate monkey families.

The resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by nikiri 7 years ago
nikiri
Question: What is the point of debating a fact?
Posted by Conor 7 years ago
Conor
I thought you liked me...
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
B/A - TIE/CON
Conduct - CON
"It's true you fat idiot."
S/G - TIE
Arguments - CON
"Thank you, Conor, for placing yet again little responsibility on me for refuting your arguments."
Sources - CON
"Upon further observation, however, of my opponent's post, the quotes seemed more and more ridiculous, until I noticed that they were in fact completely fabricated."
Posted by Conor 7 years ago
Conor
Thanks, guys.
Vote for me?
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Yes they were.
Posted by mongoose 7 years ago
mongoose
The false links were funny.
Posted by Conor 7 years ago
Conor
Spell monkeys correctly, small towner.
Posted by James.ticknor 7 years ago
James.ticknor
I clicked on this mainly because of your opening arguement. Then I read your second speech. What an...interesting transformation. But one thing...

"Monkeys DO, in fact, eat their children approximately once a day."
Three things are wrong with this.
1. You state that all monkeys in the world eat their children about every 24 hours.
2. They would have to have a lot of babies.
3. If they did, there wouldn't be any baby monkies, or a future for monkies.
Posted by Conor 7 years ago
Conor
Lol, I think you'll appreciate mine.
Posted by Conor 7 years ago
Conor
Have you read our arguments, nags? Just read them.
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