The Instigator
BLAHthedebator
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Beginner
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

Resolved: An alternative for animal testing should be found.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Beginner
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/3/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,129 times Debate No: 69395
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (64)
Votes (4)

 

BLAHthedebator

Pro

This is the second round of Zaradi's Prized Debate Tournament.

Rules:

1. First round is acceptance. BoP is on me, at least for the most part.
2. Forfeiture warrants a full 7-point loss, unless there is a good reason why.
3. No semantics.
4. Con accepts all definitions and waives his/her right to add definitions (now I sound exactly like bsh1...)
5. All arguments must be made within the character limit. Sources are exceptions and are permitted to be made elsewhere in the debate (comments section, external document, etc.)

Definitions:

Alternative: (n.) one of multiple possibilities. [1]

Animal testing: "Animal testing, also known as animal experimentation, animal research, and in vivo testing, is the use of non-human animals inexperiments (although some research about animals involves only natural behaviors or pure observation, such as a mouse running a maze or field studies of chimp troops)." [2]

Found: past participle of find [3] (find: to recognize or discover something to be present. [4]

I hope Beginner and I will have an interesting debate.

[1] http://www.google.com.vn...;
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...;
[3] http://www.google.com.vn...;
[4] http://www.google.com.vn...;
Beginner

Con

I accept the debate parameters. Burden of proof is mostly on Blah. I will be running a mixture of arguments and critique to my opponent's case (hopefully it'll do the job :P)

Without further ado..
Debate Round No. 1
BLAHthedebator

Pro

Thank you, Beginner. I'm slightly scared of his debating chops, so I'll try my hardest now.

Please note that part of the following arguments are from a past conceded debate that I was the contender of, and I have added in extra arguments with it.

Also, I would like to point that that I will not be arguing that it is the most detrimental method of testing. I am only arguing that although it is the best choice for biomedical research currently, there needs to be an alternative for it. I am not, however, advocating for a method because the resolution does not require me to do so.

==Contention 1 - Mistreatment of tested animals==

In animal testing, scientists aren't at all careful as to how they are handling animals that they test. Some of these cases can go unreported, and most go on the news.

" Concerns have been raised over the mistreatment of primates undergoing testing. In 1985 the case of Britches, a macaque monkey at the University of California, Riverside, gained public attention. He had his eyelids sewn shut and a sonar sensor on his head as part of an experiment to test sensory substitution devices for blind people. The laboratory was raided by Animal Liberation Front in 1985, removing Britches and 466 other animals. The National Institutes of Health conducted an eight-month investigation and concluded, however, that no corrective action was necessary. During the 2000s other cases have made headlines, include experiments at the University of Cambridge and Columbia University in 2002." - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia [1]

As shown, animal testing can put animals into extremely harsh conditions. For example (shown above), an animal could have his eyelids sewn shut. [1] Other cases show that animals are force-fed ordeprived of food or water [7]:

"To satisfy the requirements of the testing process, animals may be force-fed, deprived of food or water for lengthy periods of time, or physically restrained against their will." - Udemy [7]

This is a reason why we need to find another method to replace animal testing in biomedical research.

==Contention 2 - Animal tests are unreliable==

Humans and other animals are different species, as each species has a different anatomy, organ structure, fixation of DNA and whatnot. Therefore, an animal test with good results can cause the death of many humans. [2]

"Species differences in anatomy, organ structure and function, toxin metabolism, chemical and drug absorption, and mechanisms of DNA repair—among myriad other differences between humans and other species—can give us inadequate or erroneous information when we attempt to apply animal data to human diseases and drug responses. For example, penicillin is toxic to guinea pigs, aspirin is poisonous to cats, and the recalled diet drug phen-fen caused no heart damage in animals, while it did in humans." - Neavs [2]

In fact, one case actually showed that more than 80 HIV vaccines that were safe for animals, when tested on humans, either had no effect or actually worsened the risk of them geting HIV. [2] This proves that animal tests are completely unreliable, and even dangerous, most of the time.

Studies suggest that 9 out of 10 animal tests fail this way. [3]

[3]

Another example of failed animal testing is that years or research and billions of dollars on inflammatory disease has been wasted on mice. In this case, injecting a person with a mild amount of E. Coli could give them a shock, but with mice you would have to inject the same amount of E. Coli bacteria into mice a million times just to kill one. [5] Since the biology and immune system of mice and men (no pun intended... or is it?) are different from each other, obviously the result is that one of them will go virtually unharmed when injected with a certain pathogen (in this case, the mice) whilst the other would have a severe or visible reaction.

"If you inject a person with a bolus of bacteria, she might get a fever. Her heart rate could go up, and her breathing might start to quicken. Left unchecked, there's a chance her body would succumb to inflammation, her organs failing as she dies.

Do the same to a laboratory mouse, and something unexpected happens: The cells of its tiny immune system don't get so overcharged. The animal gets the opposite of a fever; its temperature begins to drop. A modest squirt of toxin from E. coli can put a human into shock, but the relative dose must be increased a million times before it kills a mouse." - Slate [5]


Yet, more than half of animal testing is done on mice, as of 2010 [5][6]:



Thus, we can conclude that animal testing is an unreliable method of biomedical research and we should look for more reliable methods to replace animal testing.

==Contention 3 - Despite failed tests, on balance animal tests are extremely costly==

As though the above information were not enough, statistics show that $16,000,000,000 is wasted annually on animal tests. [4] (Zoom in for ease of viewing)

[4]

What's even more major, $16,000,000,000 is enough to do the actions inside the above picture. Combine that with the fact that $16,000,000,000 is wasted every year, and the U.S. could have been a much better place.

Unfortunately, all of this money is taxed from U.S. citizens alone. [4][8] Rather than have a system which mandates taxing citizens, we could use a more efficient and reliable system without taxing the public.

Obviously we can conclude that we are wasting taxpayer money on unreliable animal testing warrants finding another system.

==Conclusion==

As you can see, for these reasons it is definite that we ought to find an alternative for animal testing.

I end this round with the following picture [9] (open image by link if photo is broken):

s://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net...; alt="" />

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org......;
[2] http://www.neavs.org......
[3] http://www.buav.org......;
[4] http://brandongaille.com......;
Beginner

Con

Thank you Blah. You are no mean debater, and I look forward to the challenge.

I will be dedicating this round for my constructive case and will make formal rebuttals in later rounds.

Brief Appeal to Authority

A 2011 poll of nearly 1000 biomedical scientists showed that “more than 90% of the poll’s respondents agreed that the use of animals in research is essential”[1]
Stefan Treue, head of the German Primate Centre in Göttingen says that, “after lay-people have visited his laboratory and seen how work is conducted and why, "something like 98% understand and accept that this is a small but important and irreplaceable part of biomedical science”[1]
The same source goes on to note a percentage of scientists had mixed feelings on the issue of animal testing.
“[A]lthough researchers overwhelmingly feel free to discuss these concerns with colleagues, many seem less at ease with doing so in public. More than 70% said that the polarized nature of the debate makes it difficult to voice a nuanced opinion on the subject, and little more than one-quarter said that their institutions offer training and assistance in communicating broadly about the importance of animal research.”[1]

We do not test on animals because of some twisted sadistic pleasure in it. Scientists and even the ‘lay people’ who are given an overview of what these tests are about generally agree that the tests are irreplaceably significant. There is simply no substitute for animal testing. Mice and chimpanzees, for example, share 98-99% of a human’s genetic makeup. Animals are the only subjects other than human beings with similar enough systemic constitutions to give us our best comparative data. We shouldn’t be seeking an alternative because there is no alternative.


The Importance of Animal Testing - an Anecdote

The first stages to the discovery of life-saving diabetes treatment was made by Charles Best and Frederick Banting[2] by conducting tests, such as organ harvesting, on a number of dogs. One of the dogs had its pancreas cut out, and its living progress recorded over time. Banting and Best then diced up the pancreas and created a pancreatic solution which they injected into the dog. The result of these experiments and numerous trials afterward was the discovery that a certain mixture of pancreatic material, produced after numerous counts of trial and error, countered the effect of diabetes. This material, a.k.a. insulin, is a monumental discovery in biomedical science. Diabetes was known as a cureless disease with a 100% mortality that can only be delayed for 1-2 years. It is estimated that there are currently 29.1 million people in the United States who have diabetes[3]. The lives and organs of tens of dogs and hundreds of cattle in the early decades of the 20th century and the result of their sacrifice are still effectively impacting the lives of millions of people. While not all animal testing will achieve such amazing results, this anecdote serves as an example among many of the indispensability of animal test subjects. We can stare at things in petri dishes all day, but such measures simply cannot duplicate the results of testing on fully functioning living systems. If Banting and Best did not harvest the dogs’ organs, they could not possibly have found the pancreas’ essential correlations to diabetes nor would they have discovered the insulin that keeps over 20 million people living in the United States alive.

Who Benefits?

“Without animal research, millions of dogs, cats, birds, and farm animals would be dead from more than 200 diseases, including anthrax, distemper, rabies, feline leukemia, and canine parvo virus, according to Americans for Medical Progress (AMP), a nonprofit group that supports the responsible and humane use of animals in biomedical research. Today, those diseases are largely preventable, thanks to vaccines and treatments developed in animal research.

In human terms, research with animals has led to vaccinations against smallpox, measles, mumps, diphtheria, and tetanus; development of anesthesia, antibiotics, and insulin; use of cardiac pacemakers and heart bypass surgery; surgical advancements for organ transplants, hip replacements, and cataract surgery; and treatments for a host of diseases, including diabetes, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, and children’s leukemia.”[4]

Of course, unless you preferred we tested hip replacements, organ transplants, anasthesia etc. on humans, non-animal alternatives such as cultured petri-dish cells aren’t going to help you find out the after-effects and survivability of animals after such operations. There’s just no practical way we can replace the functionalities of a live animal.

An Alternative to Animal Testing?

In order to monitor results of testing on a living system, a living system must be tested on. Only living things have living systems. Our only option, in order to duplicate results obtained from animal testing, is to test on some other living thing. But here we stumble upon a contradictory problem: all living things are animals. We test on rats and other mammals because these mammals are the closest things to the homo sapien sapien other than the homo sapien sapiens themselves.

The only other alternative we have to replace animals, who already replace human beings, is to artificially create some living thing which replicates mammalian living functions; to genetically engineer another living thing. Again, we happen upon the same problem. This genetically engineered living mammal would necessarily be an animal. Testing on this animal would mean animal abuse, bringing us all the way back to the perceived problem of animal testing.

I assert that any alternative method to duplicating the results of animal testing can only be animal testing. I hate to ask my opponent to present an alternative, but we simply cannot invest in a pointless venture to find an alternative if no feasible direction toward which we should go toward this alternative is presented.

I assert that looking for alternatives to animal testing is a waste of valuable time and resources. Such a venture is only reasonable if we had a practical idea as to where we were going with the invested capital, but we don’t.

Some Other Facts about Animal Testing.

It is often suggested that since the majority of products from animal tests fail, animal tests are bad models for humans. Many of these statistics are taken out of context. Animal rights activists, when citing such statistics, often neglect other relevant data. For example, my opponent elicits an oft-cited statistic which states that 9 out of 10 or 90% of the drugs tested on animals fail in clinical studies.

Many products are experimental. Of course they’re going to fail. Conductors of animal-testing experiments aren’t going to succeed with everything they try. That they so rigorously maintain a healthy skepticism on the effectiveness and safety of the majority of trial products shows is actually a good thing.

Consider the following chart:

94% of all drugs that pass the animal trials fail the human trials from phase 1-3 with 86% failing after the phase trials. Note that even human trials fail at just as large a ratio as animal trials. Is this grounds to claim that human tests are bad models for humans? That’s ridiculous. These are trials. They are bound to fail, that’s what experiments are: trial and error until the desired result is attained. Living animals are the next best alternative to living humans. That’s all there is to it.

“Here is where it is important to understand a little about the drug development process.Before the preclinical animal tests there are a large number of pre-preclinical non-animal tests done on all manner of research tools including computer models, automatic screening, cell cultures, microbial studies and more. These methods are used to (relatively) cheaply remove many potentially toxic, or obviously non-starting drugs from reaching the more expensive animal testing stage – greatly reducing the amount of animal research required for a drug to reach market.

So contrary to animal rights claims of alternative methods being better, the truth is that 94% of drugs that pass animal AND non-animal preclinical tests will fail in human tests.So rather than damn just the animal tests, have animal rights activists managed to damn all of preclinical research? In short, no.”[5]

Conclusion

Animals' systems are analogous to human systems and are the closest things we have (other than humans) to test on.
We simply don’t have an alternative to replace what animal testing provides.
Animal testing is necessary to saving lives and alleviating pain and suffering of a larger demographic.
While most of us can agree that premature death and suffering are loathsome, the reality is that these things cannot be avoided.




SOURCES

[1] http://www.nature.com...
[2] http://www.nobelprize.org...
[3] http://www.cdc.gov...
[4] http://cvma.net...
[5]http://www.understandinganimalresearch.org.uk...


Debate Round No. 2
BLAHthedebator

Pro

Thank you, Beginner. This round is for rebuttals.



==Rebuttal 1: Brief Appeal to Authority - Why Animal Testing is Irreplaceable==

Firstly, my opponent admittedly states that he is briefly using Appeal to Authority. Although this is a logical fallacy, that isn't the only one Con is using. The very fact that this piece of evidence is based on the majority wins rule makes it Ad Populum, another logical fallacy. Just because many people agree with something does not mean it is right. Although there is some justification that it is effective, it does not really help much at all with his case.

"There is simply no substitute for animal testing." - Opponent

This is untrue. Alternatives are already being found, and more future ones are being thought of and considered [1-6]. I will show these in my fourth rebuttal.

Plus, human testing is another alternative to animal testing. If we can easily find effective treatments that work only on non-human animals, why can't we do the same with humans, and find cures more quickly that way?

"“There is no doubt that the best test species for humans are humans. It is not possible to extrapolate animal data directly to humans due to interspecies variation in anatomy, physiology and biochemistry.”" - Neavs, MacLennan and Ammos [3][7]

"Mice and chimpanzees, for example, share 98-99% of a human’s genetic makeup." - Opponent

Here we are talking about how humans and non-human animals have different internal immune systems and system structure, not about the genetic makeup, which defines what a living thing looks like. Thus this is irrelevant.

"Animals are the only subjects other than human beings with similar enough systemic constitutions to give us our best comparative data." - Opponent

Again, this is blatantly false. The alternatives that have been found and even the ones that are being considered for the future are proven to predict human reactions better than animal testing [6].

"These modern methods are more relevant to humans and have been found to predict human reactions better than the traditional outdated animal tests." - Cruelty-free International [6]

"We shouldn’t be seeking an alternative because there is no alternative." - Opponent

See above. The fact that we have many ideas and even actual alternatives completely disproves this statement, and thus *most* of Con's case is debunked.

Also, I want to make this clear. An alternative is different to a replacement because alternatives are not permanent changes to the status quo, and we can alternate through alternatives. A replacement is permanent, or at least they last longer as changes. Literally the resolution only looks for a choice that should be prioritize when available.

==Rebuttal 2: The importance of Animal Testing: An anecdote==

My adversary's entire contention relies on one single event, yet he attempts to use this to prove his entire case correct. But this is completely irrelevant.

What my opponent needs is statistics instead of single anecdotes. You can't declare animal testing as irreplaceable just because out of countless animal experiments scientists have found several cures or treatments for human diseases. It just doesn't make sense.

Rather than relying on a form of experimentation that barely gives you a percentage of success out of total tests, we should rely on alternatives that are much more trustworthy and productive. Literally it's a similar thing with sourcing in a debate; you should rely on actually reliable links and sources, not sources that barely even do anything to help your case. We should do the best to find more trustworthy forms of biomedical experimentation.

Both my adversary and I agree that we need to find the most reliable form of experimentation. Where we disagree is which form of experimentation that is.

==Rebuttal 3: Who benefits?==

My opponent's third contention relies on how much animal testing has helped in biomedical research. What he does not realize is that with alternatives we could do even more than the things he's listed. Let's reiterate a quote shown above:

"These modern methods are more relevant to humans and have been found to predict human reactions better than the traditional outdated animal tests." - Cruelty-free International [6]

Obviously if we have achieved so much with animal testing and yet we have found and have ideas of better methods, it would only be extremely beneficial to switch to those alternatives when available.

"Of course, unless you preferred we tested hip replacements, organ transplants, anaesthesia etc. on humans, non-animal alternatives such as cultured petri-dish cells aren’t going to help you find out the after-effects and survivability of animals after such operations. There’s just no practical way we can replace the functionalities of a live animal." - Opponent

If my opponent believes that we should prefer animal tests over human tests because there is no risk of human death, but that we can let the animals die instead, then I blatantly disagree with the ethics here, but so be it. However the fact that there are even alternatives and ideas of alternatives other than human testing debunks this entire statement.

Even so, the resolution states that we should find an *alternative*, not *replacement*. As shown above, these are two different things. Although some dictionaries mark them as synonymous, Google defines them differently.

Alternative: an available possibility. [8]

Replacement: something that takes place of another thing. [9]

Literally we are talking about alternatives as available possibilities, to which my opponent agreed in round one. We are not talking about alternatives as replacements for animal testing, because we are not talking about taking down animal testing in any sense. The resolution only requires Pro to state why we should have another choice other than animal testing.

==Rebuttal 4: An Alternative to Animal Testing?==

"In order to monitor results of testing on a living system, a living system must be tested on." - Opponent

This isn't false, but it isn't entirely true either. Here I will list the alternatives and future alternatives to animal testing:
  • Computer modeling [1-4], a type of experimentation which simulates human disease and helps scientists understand how different things can be used to treat sicknesses.
  • Cell and Tissue culturing [1-4], a form of biomedical research where cells and tissue are cultured. This has helped to create monoclonal antibodies [10].
  • In Vitro testing [1-3], also known as organs on chips. It involves human cells being grown to mimic human organ structure. According to Wikipedia, this is considered to be a future method which will soon be used. BONUS: Watch Video [11].
  • Microdosing [2][3], when a very small dose of a drug is inserted into a human body to look at how the body metabolizes it without risking the person's entire body, before testing on large scale human tests.
Literally, these are only a few of the alternatives and ideas for alternatives that have been brought up. Thus once again my opponent's statement has been debunked.

"Our only option, in order to duplicate results obtained from animal testing, is to test on some other living thing." - Opponent

False. Again I have already stated and listed the alternatives above, and a few of them do not rely on actual animals.

"But here we stumble upon a contradictory problem: all living things are animals." - Opponent

Again this is false. It seems that my opponent is trying to strawman out of this debate with completely false fallacies. For example, plants are living organisms, but they aren't animals. Technically a cell is a living organism, but it isn't an animal. This brings us to stem cell research [3], another proposed alternative.

"We test on rats and other mammals because these mammals are the closest things to the homo sapien sapien other than the homo sapien sapiens themselves." - Opponent

Yes, but that doesn't mean they are as reliable as the alternatives proposed above. These alternatives, as shown above, have been proven to be more effective in predicting human reactions than animal testing.

"The only other alternative we have to replace animals, who already replace human beings, is to artificially create some living thing which replicates mammalian living functions; to genetically engineer another living thing." - Opponent

See above. The rest of this contention is debunked just by me having listed the proposed alternatives.

==Rebuttal 5: Trial and Error rule==

My opponent's last contention defends the fact that experiments such as animal tests are meant to fail in some cases, because that is what an experiment is. However, that doesn't make a difference. Although the alternatives above must fail at least sometimes, again they have been shown to fail less and succeed more. It is only right to prefer the more accurate tests over less accurate ones.

==Conclusion==

I have refuted all my opponent's contentions.

The resolution remains affirmed.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...;
[2] http://www.peta.org...;
[3] http://www.neavs.org...;
[4] http://cfhs.ca...;
[5] http://www.humanesociety.org...;
[6] http://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org...;
[7] MacLennan & Amos. (1990). Clinical Science Research Ltd., UK, Cosmetics and Toiletries Manufacturers and Suppliers, XVII, 24.
[8]https://www.google.com.vn...
[9]https://www.google.com.vn...
[10] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[11] https://www.youtube.com...;
Beginner

Con

Thank you, Blah. Unfortunately, every single one of my opponent's sources in his first constructive round fail to lead to relevant source material. Link [1], for example, leads straight to the wikipedia homepage, link [2] and [3] leads to its respective homepages, etc. Most of my opponent's links are simply inaccessible. However, I will still address my opponent's points despite its not having real source material to give them the weight they were intended to have. My opponent can attempt to reproduce the links in the next round if he so wishes, but I will refute his points here and now.

Clarifications

First I would like to address what I perceive to be an attempt at a semantic exploit of the resolution. My opponent, in an attempt to refute the relevancy of my negative case, says "An alternative is different to a replacement because alternatives are not permanent changes to the status quo, and we can alternate through alternatives."
However, in his constructive round, my opponent explicitly states: "we need to find another method to replace animal testing in biomedical research"
That we are debating a replacement to animal testing is also very clearly stipulated by the resolution as it asks whether or not we should find to find an alternative for animal testing. It does not as whether or not we should be looking for alternatives. The resolution clearly asks for one method to replace animal testing altogether, and my opponent's first constructive round indicates the same.

So to reclarify: this debate is about whether or not an alternative for animal testing should be found. The negative case argues that animal testing is both necessary and irreplaceable; that there is nothing that can make up for animal testing.

==C1 - Mistreatment of Tested Animals==

My opponent claims that scientists 'aren't at all careful' when testing on animals. This is an assertion that I will disprove in a couple moments. He then gives us an anecdote of a primate having its eyelid sewn shut. While a trial may or may not have been conducted with care, a trial's procedural result, i.e. i.e. having a sewn eyelid, does not say anything about whether or not the procedure is executed with care.

"One of the most important, but unknown facts about biomedical research is that just like at your pet’s veterinarian’s office, there are research veterinarians, husbandry specialists and animal health technicians – people who care deeply for animals – ensuring that animals in research receive the highest quality of care. These well-trained professionals work directly with researchers to minimize discomfort or distress, two factors that affect the well-being of animals as well as the quality of the data collected in the study."[1]

"Research institutions are required to have an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). IACUCs approve and review research protocols, ensure that anesthesia and postoperative medications are used when appropriate, and that alternatives to animals are sought out and integrated into studies whenever possible.

Most institutions go above and beyond regulatory requirements by volunteering to have their programs reviewed every three years by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC). This accreditation process is very stringent and institutions with AAALAC accreditation are known for their commitment to excellence and humane animal care."[1]

The scientific community is neither careless nor inhumane. It already uses as many non-animal alternatives to testing whenever possible. However, there exists no single alternative that can completely supplant the entirety of living systems provided by animals. I'd like to reinvoke the following passage from my previous round: "contrary to animal rights claims of alternative methods being better, the truth is that 94% of drugs that pass animal AND non-animal preclinical tests will fail in human tests."[2]
Non-animal pre-clinical tests include all those that animals rights activists believe should be used. However, no proponent of animal testing ever declared that 94% of drugs that pass non-animal tests fail in human tests. Such a statement would be an inacccurate lie that ignores the fact that preclinical tests include animal testing.

==C2 - Animal tests are unreliable==

"I have not failed, Ive just found 10,000 ways that won't work." -Thomas Edison
The lightbulb was known to have taken about 1000 trials before it was successfully invented. That is 1 trial of success out of about 999 trials of failure, a measly 0.1% success rate or a monumental 99.9% rate of failure. That's what trials are for: testing every possible facet that needs testing until it works. Compared with the 90% rate by which the FDA rejects drugs that pass clinical trials, the biomedical community is working with relatively reasonable odds.
And again, I refer to the inaccuracy of the 90% statement on failure of clinical trials as it ignores what the preclinical trials actually are.

While preclinical trials do produce practical products only 10% of the time, this 10% has saved the lives of countless millions. Insulin, for example, currently sustains the lives of over 20 million human beings in the United States alone. Again, I would like to elicit the following passage from my previous round:

“Without animal research, millions of dogs, cats, birds, and farm animals would be dead from more than 200 diseases, including anthrax, distemper, rabies, feline leukemia, and canine parvo virus, according to Americans for Medical Progress (AMP), a nonprofit group that supports the responsible and humane use of animals in biomedical research. Today, those diseases are largely preventable, thanks to vaccines and treatments developed in animal research.




In human terms, research with animals has led to vaccinations against smallpox, measles, mumps, diphtheria, and tetanus; development of anesthesia, antibiotics, and insulin; use of cardiac pacemakers and heart bypass surgery; surgical advancements for organ transplants, hip replacements, and cataract surgery; and treatments for a host of diseases, including diabetes, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, and children’s leukemia.”[4]



Whatever harms animal testing might bring upon the human or animal community may or may not be an issue, but the benefits of animal testing saves the lives and livelihood of an immense quantity of animals and people. I believe on a cost benefit analysis, the benefits greatly outweigh the costs.

==C3 - Despite...costly==
C3 is reliant on C2, which is based on tests' failures. I believe my response above addresses most of C3. Is money put into animal testing actually wasted? My opponent claims that there is 16 billion dollars put into animal testing, but I've shown that animal testing is clearly beneficial. What it provides to society more than justifies its costs.

Blah's Rebuttals

"human testing is another alternative to animal testing" - Blah
No. Humans are animals, and all arguments that can be made against animal testing, such as pain, suffering, etc. can be made with human testing. In suggesting this, my opponent presents us with a massive double standard which favors animals over humans. This suggestion severely undermines my opponents case. We as humans generally value individual humans more than we do other individual species, and subjective or not, human lives are more important than, say, the lives of mice.

“There is no doubt that the best test species for humans are humans. It is not possible to extrapolate animal data directly to humans" - Neavs, MacLennan and Ammos
I've presented clear examples, i.e. surgical tests, that show that animal data can and has been extrapolated directly to humans.

"we should rely on alternatives that are much more trustworthy and productive"
And what alternatives are these?

"My adversary's entire contention relies on one single event, yet he attempts to use this to prove his entire case correct. But this is completely irrelevant."
I refer to my refutation to my opponent's C2.

"humans and non-human animals have different internal immune systems and system structure, not about the genetic makeup, which defines what a living thing looks like." - Blah
Humans may differ from non-human animals, but if they were so different as to be unreliable, how come we've been able to derive real results from them? In fact, petri dish cells have no internal immune system and system structure. My opponent later goes on to declare that other methods, such as petri-culture testing, is more accurate and better than animal testing. I declare this a false assertion. Even if non-animal testing methods may be more effective in some cases, not all cases can dispense with animal testing. There is no replacement that can duplicate the results of an entire living system besides another whole living system. It is impossible to ascertain whether a heart bypass works, for example, without conducting an actual heart bypass. Computer simulations and petri-dish examinations can only show so much.

"all living things are animals" - Me
In context to my rhetoric, this refers to all living things with animal functionalities and systems which are obviously animals. My opponent attempts a negation with a grammatical technicality. I refer to rule number 3.

Conclusion

C1 and C2 fail under countercases. C3 fails from the failures of C2. Moreover, I believe the negative constructive case is insufficiently addressed thus remains affirmed.

[1] http://www.amprogress.org...
[2] http://www.understandinganimalresearch.org.uk...
[3] http://www.uky.edu...
[4] http://cvma.net...
Debate Round No. 3
BLAHthedebator

Pro

Thank you, Beginner.

Apologies to my opponent. It seems the first four sources in my first constructive case do not link to relevant source info. I will reiterate them here:

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.neavs.org...
[3] http://www.buav.org...
[4] http://brandongaille.com...

If the sources say that the page can't be found, just refresh them. Now, onto the debate.

==Clarifications==

Again, I apologize to my opponent. That very sentence (as well as the other) was a result of copying my arguments from a similar debate I had participated in. Voters, deduct conduct points from me if you wish.

However, I blatantly disagree with his second premise. The fact that we are determining just one alternative does not mean we are making that one a replacement, we are making that a prioritized alternative. We can still use animal testing when needed. Plus, my contentions state that those were proposed alternatives. The single alternative that is determined to be best or working will then be "found".

Heck, I'd even go far as to say that it doesn't matter if we find one or many, because at least we are finding at least one alternative. If we find one alternative, why stop there? Biomedical research is broad and needs many forms of testing. Moreover, you cannot find multiple alternatives without finding at least one in the first place, so literally it goes both ways.

Obviously we both agree that animal testing is irreplaceable. But that isn't the point. What we should be arguing about is whether or not we should find an alternative(s) and whether we can alternate from each of the testing methods. That's exactly what the resolution calls for. This should easily address my opponent's arguments that say and are affected by the statement that animal testing is irreplaceable.
Although my constructive round was thus somewhat off-topic, the rest of my arguments aren't at all taken down just yet. The only part that was of-topic was two little sentences - that don't contribute to my case in any way, but instead just to place the conclusion for an argument.

Also, my opponent is incorrect in stating that I am playing semantics. If the word that the semantics is based on has already been clarified and agreed on, it isn't playing semantics regardless of whether my opponent is misunderstanding the definitions I set, which he is.

==Counter-rebuttal 1: Mistreatment of tested animals==

Literally what my opponent is trying to do is tell us that animal tests are conducted with the highest possible amount of care and minimize discomfort or mistreatment. That doesn't mean the animals aren't still being mistreated. Minimizing discomfort or mistreatment could still be mistreating the animals, because we don't know *what* absolute that testers are trying to "minimize" it to.

In fact, my opponent fails to state examples for how they aren't mistreated. I will state examples here as to how they are mistreated [5]:

"This is life for an animal in a laboratory. It is deprivation, isolation, and misery.

On top of the deprivation, there are the experiments. U.S. law allows animals to be burned, shocked, poisoned, isolated, starved, drowned, addicted to drugs, and brain-damaged. No experiment, no matter how painful or trivial, is prohibited – and pain-killers are not required. Even when alternatives to the use of animals are available, the law does not require that they be used—and often they aren’t." - Peta [5]

Such immoral actions only affirm that there should be an alternative. The last sentence in this quote will address part of my opponent's contention - often alternatives aren't used regardless of availability.

==Counter-rebuttal 2: Animal testing is unreliable==

Again, in my last round, the alternatives I had proposed were shown to be much more reliable than animal testing. Obviously every type of test is going to be trial and error, but if we want to succeed in biomedical research, we need to both fail in some cases AND get to the answer more quickly.

This argument, however, was not addressed in any sense, but rather dropped. Extend this line of argument.

==Counter-rebuttal 3: The cost of animal testing==

My adversary starts off this rebuttal by stating that my contention is reliant on the last contention. This is true, but isn't entirely true. This rebuttal could go on just with the 16 billion dollars used on animal testing.

Even if it were entirely reliable, my opponent's rebuttal to this isn't valid. If only a small percentage of animal testing succeeds, then obviously it should only be worth the same percentage of that 16 billion dollars that have been used.

==Counter-counter-rebuttal==

"No. Humans are animals, and all arguments that can be made against animal testing, such as pain, suffering, etc. can be made with human testing. In suggesting this, my opponent presents us with a massive double standard which favors animals over humans." - Opponent

This is completely false. As shown by Wikipedia, animal testing is the testing of drugs and products on non-human animals. Thus this is irrelevant.

"I've presented clear examples, i.e. surgical tests, that show that animal data can and has been extrapolated directly to humans." - Opponent

That makes it applicable in some cases, but not extrapolatable. Again, we can only try it out, but we cannot predict the outcome very successfully with test information.

"And what alternatives are these?" - Opponent

I refer to my extended argument above.

"I refer to my refutation to my opponent's C2." - Opponent

This refutation has been addressed, both before and during this round.

"Humans may differ from non-human animals, but if they were so different as to be unreliable, how come we've been able to derive realresults from them?" - Opponent

Because the real results have been derived only at very rare times.

"In fact, petri dish cells have no internal immune system and system structure." - Opponent

That doesn't mean we can't derive better results. We only need to study possible answers if we already have a base on the chemistry of human immune systems and structure, which we do.

"My opponent later goes on to declare that other methods, such as petri-culture testing, is more accurate and better than animal testing. I declare this a false assertion. Even if non-animal testing methods may be more effective in some cases, not all cases can dispense with animal testing. There is no replacement that can duplicate the results of an entire living system besides another whole living system..." - Opponent

I can only declare this as a false assertion if there are no sources to prove this, which I have used to prove that they are more reliable. Also, again we are not debating replacements but rather alternatives.

My opponent then says non-animal tests can only show so much. That's the case for everything. Nothing can show more than just so much, especially animal testing, where the immune systems are almost completely different, as shown.

""all living things are animals" - Me
In context to my rhetoric, this refers to all living things with animal functionalities and systems which are obviously animals. My opponent attempts a negation with a grammatical technicality. I refer to rule number 3." - Opponent

Again, my opponent accuses me of playing semantics. It can't be playing semantics, however, if a statement is so off as to literally be twisted in a way to unfairly help his case and imply that stem cell resarch isn't applicable, then obviously the debate needs to be placed back on track. The point of really playing semantics is trying to twist the debate so it goes off the resolution. I wasn't doing that. Thus it isn't playing semantics.

==Conclusion==

I have countered and refuted every single one of my opponent's arguments both for his case and against my case.

The resolution is affirmed.

[5] http://www.peta.org...;

(I hate it when I add only one source in a round...)
Beginner

Con

Profused thanks to Blah.
Now then.

Clarifications

If my opponent believes he can lose conduct points to allowed to move the goal post, he is wrong. The resolution is very clear in that regard with my opponent's own first constructive round explicitly indicating the very same. Anything else fundamentally negates the affirmative position.

"alternatives to animals are sought out and integrated into studies whenever possible." - Source [1] R3
This means that whatever alternative my opponent proposes must necessarily address the use of animal testing in parts where the progression of a study is impossible without animal testing. And because animal testing is irreplaceable in many studies and trials, no alternative can replace animal testing. Any venture for an alternative is a waste of time and money

R4 - "Obviously we both agree that animal testing is irreplaceable. But that isn't the point." - Blah
But it is the point. By conceding that animal testing is irreplaceable, my opponent concedes that there is no alternative to animal testing. I assert that trying to find what doesn't exist is something that we should not be doing. In short, agreeing to animal testing's irreplaceability is nothing less than concession to this debate.

This statement can't be any more clear:"we need to find another method to replace animal testing".
This debate is and has always been about the complete erradication of animal testing in favor of an alternative.

Contentions of Absolutes

CC-R1 - Mistreatment of Tested Animals.
The rebuttal here addresses my opponent's claim that scientists "aren't at all careful" when testing on animals. The claim belongs to Blah, and it is to Blah to support tihs claim. My rebuttal first questions the relevance of my opponent's evidence (eyelid sewn shut) to the claim. My opponent does not address this side of the refutation and does not contest that his evidence is not conducive to his claim.
The rebuttal secondly clearly indicates that research facilities hold themselves up to high standards of animal care by going above and beyond the necessary protocols of care (satisfying more than just the IACUC standards) to subscribe to higher standards such as those of the AAALAC.
My opponent complains that I do not provide any examples of exact methodology of care in response to the following:
"here are research veterinarians, husbandry specialists and animal health technicians – people who care deeply for animals – ensuring that animals in research receive the highest quality of care."
Basically, he is asking me how veterinarians, husbandry specialists and animal health technicians - people who care deeply for animals - go about ensuring that animals in research receive the care that they do. I'm not sure I really need to do this, but here you go:
Veterinarians are literally animal doctors[1] and provide medical care and services to animals. Animal husbandry is "the science of breeding and caring for farm animals."[2]. "Animal and pet health technicians have a wide range of job duties, serving and assisting vets in many procedures, ranging from trimming animals' nails to providing support during surgeries."[3]
Contention 1 does not hold.

CCR2 - Animal testing is unreliable

My opponent's concession to animal testing's irreplaceability undermines this argument. However I will still address the points made under this. My opponent asserts that the alternatives he's proposed were shown to be much more reliable, but in what aspects? It is not explained how these alternative methods are more reliable and in which areas they are more reliable. Reliable or not, my opponent concedes that animal testing is necessary. In the aspects in which animal testing cannot be replaced, there can be no alternative. Simple logic.
"if we want to succeed in biomedical research, we need to both fail in some cases AND get to the answer more quickly." - Blah
It has been indicated in earlier rounds that the rate of failure cited is a statistic that covers a combination of both animal-testingand non-animal testing. The combination of both fail at a high rate, and it is dishonest to use this statistic to claim that animal-testing is unreliable. Since it's a combination of both, I can just as easily claim that non-animal testing methods are unreliable which just shows the absurdity of my opponent's claim. Secondly, my opponent has not shown that results would be achieved in higher probability without animal testing. But again, my opponent concedes that animal testing is necessary, thus implicitly dropping this and all cases.
Contention 2 does not hold.

CCR 3 - The cost of animal testing
My counter to this point is simple. The benefits to global society provided by animal testing justify the costs, both physical and monetary, of animal-testing. I provided myriad statistics pointing explicitly to the diseases mitigated and parties aided by animal-testing including about 200 major animal diseases and a host of human diseases and procedures; a simple point that my opponent doesn't really address.

Contention 3 does not hold.


The affirmative case fails on every single contention. Let us now look into the response to the negative case:

I claimed that any test on a living system (i.e. surgery) can only be represented by a test on another living system.
My opponent suggests human testing as an alternative, to which I point out that humans are animals and that any argument made against animal testing, such as pain, suffering, costs, etc. can be made with human testing.
My opponent resorts to the definition of animal-testing provided in R1, which is fair since I did waive all my ability to define terms. However, that human testing still would present all the same problems of animal testing remains uncontested. This is why my opponent's suggestion undermines his own case. Blah contradicts himself.

Me - "we've been able to derive real results"
Blah - "the real results have been derived only at very rare times."
I've addressed the statistic which supports my opponents claim here many times. The 9 out of 10 statistic, which is the statistic of FDA's approval, covers both animal and non-animal tests in preclinical trials. Again, it is dishonest to attack the reliability of animal testing using these statistics because the preclinical trials that these statistics include both animal and non-animal trials.
And again, 1:10 is a manageable ratio as far as trials go.

"That doesn't mean we can't derive better results."
The argument is that there are some results that cannot be duplicated in any way accept with animal-testing (or human testing), hence animal-testing's irreplaceability, which my opponent has conceded. Better results in some areas, no results in others. Assertion or not, the logic is sound. You cannot achieve a dog without a pancreas without removing a pancreas from a dog. The effects of not having an organ can only be ascertained by, well, having something not have an organ. Preferably, this something is an animal, not a human.

""we should rely on alternatives that are much more trustworthy and productive""
My opponent suggests alternatives, but does not show why they will be more productive or more trustworthy in general.

Conclusion

I'm simply going to say that my opponent failed to address the majority of my points including bot not limited to the benefits of animal testing as weighed with its cost, the reliability of his statistics and my general assault against them.
Nary an affirmative contention holds any grounds.
My opponent undermines the affirmative by suggesting human testing.
Finally, my opponent concedes the majority of the negative case in arguing outside of the resolution and agreeing with a major negative contention which says that animal testing is irreplaceable.

Vote CON.

(P.S. links 5-10 of your first round are still broken.)

Sources

[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[2] http://tinyurl.com...
[3] http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 4
BLAHthedebator

Pro

Thank you for the amazing and challenging debate, Beginner!

By the way, if the links are broken, just refresh the links and they'll come up again.

==Clarifications==

"If my opponent believes he can lose conduct points to allowed to move the goal post, he is wrong." - Opponent

That means I'm not wrong, because that was not in the least what I was thinking. I was thinking that due to my two faulty sentences in my first constructive round, and with the confusion, it would be justified to deduct conduct points from me.

But that doesn't mean the resolution deserves to be changed mid-debate just because I made those two faulty sentences. The resolution is the resolution, not where either my opponent or I went off-topic.

""alternatives to animals are sought out and integrated into studies whenever possible." - Source [1] R3
This means that whatever alternative my opponent proposes must necessarily address the use of animal testing in parts where the progression of a study is impossible without animal testing." - Opponent

We can't be sure here. The source I had cited in the previous round says the opposite and that the alternatives are often unused. [1]

"R4 - "Obviously we both agree that animal testing is irreplaceable. But that isn't the point." - Blah
But it is the point. By conceding that animal testing is irreplaceable, my opponent concedes that there is no alternative to animal testing." - Opponent

Again, just because I said something different in the debate, doesn't mean the resolution itself changes. That only means I was off-topic. But now I'm not. My opponent disregards literally every line of reasoning made for why an alternative is different to a replacement. Extend this.

"This statement can't be any more clear:"we need to find another method to replace animal testing".
This debate is and has always been about the complete eradication of animal testing in favor of an alternative." - Opponent

The definitions in round 1 are prioritized over what we say in the debate. Yes, that statement is very explicit, but that statement doesn't change anything about the resolution or the definitions. Voters may deduct conduct points, but the arguments still remain undecided.

Literally, my opponent wants to change the resolution with something stated mid-debate. This is an action that is worthy of a deduction of conduct itself.

What's more, as stated previously, there were only TWO sentences that stated so, and even then they were just concluding sentences, albeit faulty ones, which didn't affect my arguments in any sense. We should prioritize the definitions first.

==Rebuttal 1: Contention of Absolutes==

My opponent states that his rebuttal refutes my statement on how scientists "aren't at all careful" when testing on animals. However what he fails to realize is that mistreating animals isn't careful. at all.

My adversary then questions the relevance of my evidence where the eye of a macaque monkey was sewn shut. I don't see how this is irrelevant, because his eye was literally SEWN SHUT. Why, for example, couldn't the scientists find another, safer way of having his eyes stay closed for the test? Why couldn't they try the test safely on humans instead?

The final part of his rebuttal shows how staff take high standard care for the animals in testing. However, his evidence proves irrelevant. This is because he only states how the staff are medically taking care of the animals, which isn't the real point here. Let us see this snapshot in a film showing scientists mistreating beagles [2]:



Here we see that a staff member is literally holding a dog's head in place without any care.

Obviously this is only one of the examples of animal cruelty/mistreatment. Here are more examples [1]:

"Animals are infected with diseases that they would never normally contract, tiny mice grow tumors as large as their own bodies, kittens are purposely blinded, rats are made to suffer seizures, and primates’ skulls are cut open and electrodes are implanted in them. Experimenters force-feed chemicals to animals, conduct repeated surgeries on them, implant wires in their brains, crush their spines, and much more.

After enduring these terrifying, painful procedures, animals are then usually dumped back into a cage without any painkillers. Video footage from inside laboratories shows animals who cower in fear every time someone walks by their cages. They don’t know if they will be dragged from their prison cells for an injection, blood withdrawal, a painful procedure, surgery, or death. Often they see other animals killed right in front of them." - Peta [1]

Obviously one of the reasons we must find an alternative for animal testing is because animal testing consists of animal cruelty and mistreatment.

(By the way, I know there is a slight hint of Appeal to Emotion in the quote. Just focus on the relevant information.)

==Rebuttal 2: Animal testing is unreliable==

Again, my opponent claims that irreplaceability is the concession of all arguments, which I had proven false above and in previous rounds.

My opponent then claims that I have not shown how non-animal testing is more reliable, which is true. However, this job is simple. Here we have an example [3]:

"For example, to assess skin irritation alternatives such as Reconstituted Human Epidermis, like the skin model EPISKIN, can be used. These tests use reconstituted human skin donated from cosmetic surgery and have been shown to be more effective than the original cruel rabbit Draize skin test that they replace." - Cruelty Free International [3]

The proposed alternatives have been proven to be more relevant to humans as opposed to the animal system-based test method.

"It has been indicated in earlier rounds that the rate of failure cited is a statistic that covers a combination of both animal-testing and non-animal testing. The combination of both fail at a high rate, and it is dishonest to use this statistic to claim that animal-testing is unreliable." - Opponent

This isn't specific. The non-animal testing method could, regardless, have been the slightest bit more reliable, and has been proven to be. Just because they are both at a high failure rate does not mean one, meaning the non-animal testing methods, is a lower failure rate than the other. The lower failure rate has been shown to belong to non-testing methods. Thus this contention remains affirmed.

==Rebuttal 3: The Costs of animal testing==

My opponent claims that the benefits to global society justify the costs. However, my opponent fails to realize that there are cheaper ways to biomedically experiment without having to inflict harm on animals, as well as getting better results and thus further reduces the price on experimentation. All of these were shown above. This is much more efficient and convenient.

Even then, the benefits to global society alone do not justify the costs. Let me reiterate the statement that those $16,000,000,000 was spent for animal testing in the US ALONE. Animal testing is done worldwide, and so the costs would be much higher than even $16,000,000,000. And yet more harm is inflicted on animals regardless of the low reliability of animal testing. Thus my opponent's rebuttal does not hold.

All things considered, the benefits of finding an alternative to animal testing does not hold.

==Counter-rebuttal 1: Human alternatives==

My opponent's claim that every single argument that I made against animal testing, and arguments against it in general, could be made on human testing. However, this is false. My opponent fails to remember that we are looking for an ALTERNATIVE to animal testing. Should the test inflict excessive harm or pain, we can switch back to animal testing in those cases. Otherwise we should use human testing to research.

But what's most important is that we use other alternatives which do not use any sort of animal at all. This way absolutely NO pain or harm is inflicted, and we get better results at a lower cost. This should be clear by now.

==Counter-rebuttal 2: Reliability==

I refer to my counter for contention 2.

==Counter-rebuttal 3: Duplication==

That is literally why the resolution is worded the way it is. If we can't duplicate the results we find in animal testing without animal testing itself, then we use animal testing itself. But in other cases, it would be more justified to use proposed alternatives.

==Counter-rebuttal 4: How reliable are these alternatives?==

My opponent falsely claims that I never explain how the proposed alternatives work. The brief summaries of how the alternatives work (above) should be explanations in themselves when you read the rest of my arguments.

==Dropped Arguments==

Extend the majority of my rebuttals that my opponent never responded to, as well as the arguments made in previous rounds.

My opponent must not respond to these dropped arguments in his last round, since they have been dropped throughout. Any response to these cannot be countered and must be disregarded.

==Conclusion==

I am very frustrated with Con's case. His entire case relies on the fact that animal testing is irreplaceable when that isn't even the topic at hand.

My opponent even claims that I am the one arguing outside the resolution when in fact my opponent does not give any relevant reasoning as to why I am. The definitions were very clear - and it seems my opponent is trying to make strawman arguments in order to twist the resolution into something completely different, and something that would give Con the automaic win, which is why I worded the resolution that way to make it fair.

Disregard all my opponent's arguments that have been shown by me to be off topic.

Vote Pro.

[1] http://www.peta.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...;
[3] http://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org...;

Beginner

Con

Thank you Blah. It's been a pleasure.

==Clarifications==


I really did not want to pursue this line of argument, but my opponent's attempts at using the word 'alternative' to warp the resolution simply cannot be ignored even if it should be as according to the rules in R1. So voters take note as a I explain the resolution in full clarity.

Blah: "An alternative is different to a replacement"

In context, the meaning is very clear. As stated in round 1, an alternative is defined to mean "one of multiple possibilities". My opponent claims that this definition means that animal testing would still be implemented. However consider these statements:
Wage labor is an alternative for slavery.
Communism is an alternative for Democracy.
These statements necessarily denote a replacement of the previous system. Similarly, an alternative for animal testing denotes a replacement of animal testing. My opponent claims that the definition of the word 'alternative' means that we can cycle through alternatives. Nowhere in the definition of the word of alternative is such a condition specified. Any meaning that can or cannot be attached to the word must consider its context. The word itself specifies nothing more than what is written for its definitions. My opponent's citation of the word's definitional clause and his explanation are entirely incongruent. His attempts at semantics (argumentation via definitions) fail.

Secondly, 'Animal testing', as stated in round 1, is defined to be 'the use of non-human animals inexperiments".
Blah: "We can still use animal testing when needed."
My opponent clearly supports some animal testing, but the resolution does not ask whether we should find an alternative to some animal testing. It asks, instead, for us to consider finding an alternative to animal testing. The resolution does not exclude any facet of animal testing. All animal testing falls under it. To support any amount of animal testing is to support the negative resolution

"I said something different in the debate, doesn't mean the resolution itself changes."
Exactly.

Blah - "That very sentence (as well as the other) was a result of copying my arguments from a similar debate I had participated in."

I went to find the debate and here it is, ladies and gentlemen:
http://www.debate.org...
The resolution of the past debate to which he is referring to is exactly the same as the one we are doing now. In an attempt to point out the discrepancy between his newly defined resolution and the one being argued in his first constructive round, Blah points out that his first round is copied from another debate. This is a null point because both debates have the same resolution. Whatever Blah was arguing there is exactly what he's arguing here. Is he attempting to move the goal post? Yes.

==Contention of Absolutes==

This contention states that animal-tests 'aren't at all careful', to which I cited the employment of professions specifically tailored to care for animals. I also questioned the relevancy of his evidence, the 'eyelid sewn shut' scenario. I stated that the results of an experiment and whether or not an experiment is performed with care are entirely independent considerations. My opponent does not address this critique, instead opting to present new cases of experimental results in addition to reiterating the one which I was questioning. (By the way, I don't see how that picture helps your case as it does not prove that general care provided to the animal in question is nonexistent).
"Most research animals do not experience procedures that are any more invasive than what most people face during an annual physical examination. When potentially uncomfortable procedures are involved, anesthetics and analgesics are used to relieve discomfort."[1]

==Animal Testing is unreliable==

I've repeatedly shown that the statistics that my opponent uses aren't entirely relevant or conducive to this contention. Again, both animal and non-animal methods are part of the preclinical trial. The statistics ignore this fact and falsely attributes all failed trials to animal testing. My opponent completely drops this crippling refutation. On this alone, my opponent's second contention fails.

My opponent then goes on to claim that there are better alternatives to animal testing. Instead of having us click into the broken link that doesn't work even after refreshing, he has us consider the quote derived from the link. Fine. My opponent cites one single case in which some alternative method is better than animals-testing. He does not, however, show that alternatives are better than animal testing in general. Once again, I'd like to re-elicit my opponent's concession to the necessity of animal testing as an irreplaceable part of biomedical research. Even if some areas can be shown to function better without animal testing, other areas cannot function at all.

As I've forwarded, animal testing is replaced whenever possible (it is expensive, time consuming, etc.). It cannot be replaced when replacement is impossible. There is no alternative when an alternative is impossible. It's so simple it's tautological.

Contention 2 remains refuted.

==Costs==

My opponent declares that the costs of animal testing do not justify its benefits. This contention is necessarily subjective. The results of animal testing saves millions of lives every year[2], both animal and human. If my opponent believes $16 billion outwieghs these lives, then there's nothing more for me to say. I assert that the millions of lives that are annually sustained clearly outweigh $16 billion.

So much for my opponent's contentions. Now for mine:

==Blah's Rebuttals==

"My opponent's claim that every single argument that I made against animal testing, and arguments against it in general, could be made on human testing. However, this is false. My opponent fails to remember that we are looking for an ALTERNATIVE to animal testing. Should the test inflict excessive harm or pain, we can switch back to animal testing in those cases. Otherwise we should use human testing to research."
My opponent declares that we should use human testing and alternate with animal testing. This fundamentally undermines every single contention he's made. I've shown quite early on that the rate of failure of human testing is just as proportionally high as the rate of failure of general preclinical tests. The costs of human testing would also be massive relative to animal testing. Same problem, different entity. Eyelids sewn shut, etc. Blah negates his own cases with this suggestion.

Duplication: My opponent concedes the case, opting to refute its relevancy to the resolution.

Alternatives' reliability: Irrelevant. My opponent has clearly conceded that animal testing is irreplaceable. This means that he agrees that reliability in areas in which animal testing is irreplaceable is exactly zero. Again: "It is impossible to ascertain whether a heart bypass works, for example, without conducting an actual heart bypass."

Dropped arguments?: I've addressed all three of my opponent's contentions and his counter-rebuttals repeatedly. My opponent, on the other hand, repeatedly failed to address necessary facets of my refutations which served to negate his contentions. Extend nothing here.

"My opponent must not respond to these dropped arguments in his last round, since they have been dropped throughout. Any response to these cannot be countered and must be disregarded."
I've addressed anything that had any impact to this debate.

What I've refuted:
C1 - I've shown that my opponent's first contention fails by providing necessary materia indicating the employment of animal-care professionals in animal-testing environments. I also showed my opponent's evidence to be inconclusive.
C2 - The evidence for this case is something I've repeatedly addressed. My opponent repeatedly fails to mitigate the errors of his evidence. C2 is negated. On the other hand, I've argued that animal testing has yielded real results and that, contrary to my opponent's argumentation, these results have been shown to be extrapolatable. My opponent's concession to animal tests' irreplaceability also negates C2's other facets (more reliable results vs. no reliable results).
C3 - Millions of lives > $16 billion

Concessions & failed address:

That animal testing is necessary (conceded)
That there is not functional alternative to animal testing as a whole (follows from concession of irreplaceability)
That animal testing saves lives both animal and human
That animal test facilities do subscribe to care
That, appeal to authority or not, animal testing is agreed to be necessary (a point Blah concedes later in the debate)
That there is no replacement for animal testing (the debate on a platter)

==Conclusion==

There's nothing left to say really.
My opponent suggests that I lose conduct points. I find that absolutely hilarious.
The affirmative has been successfully negated.
Thank you Blah for the debate.
Vote CON.

[1] http://www.amprogress.org...;
[2] http://www.mofed.org...;
Debate Round No. 5
64 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by BLAHthedebator 1 year ago
BLAHthedebator
Dude, I posted that 4 hours before you did...
Posted by Valkrin 1 year ago
Valkrin
*1570 views
Posted by BLAHthedebator 1 year ago
BLAHthedebator
AND we have 1520 views.
Posted by BLAHthedebator 1 year ago
BLAHthedebator
Thanks for the detailed RFD 16K.
Posted by 16kadams 1 year ago
16kadams
Costs: Con concedes that animal testing is costly, but says it has benefits. Overall, this point was not very influential on my vote.

Semantics: This was an important part of the debate. Alternative vs replacement and whether or not irreplaceability was important. In R1, the accepted definition for alternative was "one of multiple possibilities". This means all Pro has to do is prove that an alternative, even if it isn"t used often, should be sought out. So he does not need to replace animal testing. In fact, it would likely occur often under his system. But some alternatives, in some cases, Pro proves was beneficial. Con, for example in his rebuttal to irreplaceable, even said that alternatives are often sought out. This means scientists actually utilize current alternatives and may use them in the future. As Pro proved that sometimes bad things occur " even if it is rare. So this means, at least sometimes, new alternatives are needed where current ones are lacking. Thus, overall, I think this point helps Pro.

This was a good debate. And in many ways, I am tempted to vote Con. I think he proved, in general, animal testing is a good thing. But Pro offered many cases of this not being the true. In those extreme cases, an alternative which does not harm the animal should be sought. So, overall, Pro proved that an alternative, NOT A REPLACEMENT, should be found. Thus, I vote Pro, reluctantly.

As for sources, Pro relied upon many extremist sources (e.g. PETA, Cruelty Free) and Con used many more scientific (e.g. Nature) sources. So the quality of Con"s information is better, and I give him sources. Con used some websites partial to his side, too. But he used many more balanced sources in order to argue his points. So I gave him sources. So this debate ends in a modest win for Pro (3-2).
Posted by 16kadams 1 year ago
16kadams
I will weigh each of the arguments and say which side won the point.
Irreplaceability and effectiveness: The arguments in relation to effectiveness, overall, go to Pro. Although Con proved animal testing is about as good as human testing, Pro provided many alternatives which he claims are more ethical. Regardless of the ethics, Pro only needs to provide one example of an alternative which is just as effective as animal testing. If he can find one, just one, this means animal testing is not irreplaceable. If he proves animal testing is bad, than it is preferable. Pro actually proved " and Con even kinda conceded " that human testing is slightly more effective. This means, on a pure effectiveness basis, Pro wins. Con argues animals have similar genetic makeup, but Pro shows how genetic makeup alone is not indicative as to how their anatomical structures relate to humans. As Pro properly notes, an alternative is not a replacement. So he can actually win even if it is effective. We can make an alternative that does not harm animals, even if it is less effective, for moral reasons. Regardless, overall, Pro wins this point.

Mistreatment: I would say Con wins the point, but Pro proves that mistreatment sometimes occurs. Con proves that, generally, the scientists working with animals care for them and wish to minimize harms inflicted on them. Pro proved, however, that many cases of mistreatment can and do occur. So, even though Con proves that *in general* animal testing is not harmful, Pro proves that even though it is rare, it does occur. This means alternatives should be sought out so the scientists can use the alternative if they suspect their experiment as leading to pain. Further, Con actually concedes that alternatives are sought out (R3). This means alternatives actually are often preferable from an ethical standpoint. So even though Con wins the point, parts of it serve to undermine his case.
Posted by 16kadams 1 year ago
16kadams
Now onto Con"s case:
(1) Con presents a brief appeal to authority. Although Pro will try to simply dismiss this, and this point alone is weak, I do see how it is a good point. Most people who work in the field say that it works. Alone, this point is weak. It is good for contextualization, though.

(2) An anecdote is just that. An anecdote. This point is weak.

(3) Con argues we must test on a living thing. His argument, that people are also animals, is pure semantics. In R1, animal testing was defined as "non-human animals in experiments". So his point about "humans are animals" and actually, in a way, breaks rule 4. But I will ignore that. Con argues that any alternative would be animal testing, as no matter what we would have to use a living thing. This is an interesting point, except the semantical point about humans, and could destroy Pro"s case if upheld.

(4) Con offers a really cool point: not only do the tests usually fail in animals, but they also fail in human-only tests. They also fail in non-human and human tests if they pass both. Thus, to say that animal testing has a high failure rate is not a good argument. Even though it may have a high "failure" rate, it is still extremely important to our understanding of disease and treatment.
Posted by 16kadams 1 year ago
16kadams
This was a pretty good debate. Though it seemed as though a lot of it came down to semantics.
The cases of both sides were pretty straightforward. Pro"s case:

(1) C1 was pretty clear and is the most common argument used against animal testing. The argument is that many cases, both in the past and in the present, have demonstrated that animal testing kills or injures animals through experimental treatment. And not only does it lead to a violent end, but the procedure of the testing itself harms the animal. Pro cited examples of animals having their eyes sewn shut and being starved.

(2) Pain is only immoral if it is unjustified. Pro attempts to argue animal testing is unjustified because, usually, the tests are not applicable to humans. If this is true, an alternative should be found simply because it is (1) ineffective and (2) harms the animals in the process. He says animals are anatomically different and 90% of the time what occurs in animals does not occur in humans. Pro shows a lot of evidence that trials in mice/rats do not apply well to humans, and then presents evidence indicating the majority of testing is done on mice. This means most conclusions from animal tests are not clinically important. This also means a more effective treatment should be sought out.

(3) Although possibly the weaker argument, it is very appealing to random readers like me. The cost of animal testing, as Pro argues, is very high: $16,000,000,000 per year. An alternative could be found in which billions are saved. Another alternative is to simply find no alternative (just test directly on humans). The billions of dollars "wasted" could be used for things more productive. Con must prove animal testing is worth this amount of money.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
@debate_power - Um... alright, I've got to ask, why? Are you talking about using prions to treat disease, or are you talking about treating prion diseases? In either case, I think you'd need some form of systemic testing.
Posted by debate_power 2 years ago
debate_power
I believe prion-based drugs wouldn't require testing...
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by TWG-Rorschach 1 year ago
TWG-Rorschach
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded in the fact that animal testing is irreplaceable. Henceforth an alternative should not be found.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 1 year ago
16kadams
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Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 2 years ago
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Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
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