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

Resolved: The sky over planet Earth is not blue.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/7/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,160 times Debate No: 60123
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (17)
Votes (2)





I'd like to thank domr ahead of time for accepting this debate. This debate is about weather or not the sky itself is blue. This does not include clouds, pollution, or a rainy day.

No trolling
First round is accpetance
Round 2 is Contentions, no rebuttles
Round 3 is rebuttles and conclusion
No semantics.

Sky-the space over the Earth where the sun, moon, stars, and clouds appear (

Is-present 3d singular of be (

Blue- color on the visible color spectrum that has a wavelength of range from 450 nm to 495 nm.


Thank you for inviting me to take part in this debate.

I look forward to hearing your arguments.

I would assume this is a shared BoP. Please confirm this.

Good Luck.
Debate Round No. 1


Yes the BOP is shared. It must not have C&P'd to this debate. You see I tried to do this before and something weird occured, but anyways let's get to the debate.

Contention 1: The Sky is actually Clear.

The sky itself is clear! The reason that it appears blue is that white light travels to the Earth from the sun. The when it hits Earth's Atomosphere the white light is split into it's colors (Rainbow) and just because the light hits the Earth at certain angel the sky appears to have a bluish tint to it. The blue light is then scattered across the atmosphere. ( Warning link is in a foreign language. Use Google Chrome to tranlate it if needed.) See Diagram bellow for more info. Due to the scatter Red and orange, being on the opposite end of the Visible Light spectrum the travel further and thus is why the sun appears that color. (

"Brad Panovich, Chief Meteorologist at NBC Charlotte, explained that when the distance between the sun and our eyes is the shortest, violet is the color that makes it through the atmosphere best without being scattered. Technically, the sky is violet, not blue—our eyes compensate and we see it as blue." (

Here you can see that it's not actually blue, but violet. Our eyes make it appear blue.

Contention 2: Sunset's and Dawn is Red and Orange

During the sunset the Sun's angle in the sky is different so the color that get's through changes and the color that appears the most is red and orange which gives it the look it has. (

Contention 3: Tritanopia

People who have the color blindness Tritanopia will not see a baby blue sky during the day, but instead will see a dark blue-Greenish (emerald) color. We cannot exclude any groups of people in this debate as adding all is a must, because it includes the society as a whole. (

Contention 4: The Stary Sky

Another proof that the Earth's Sky cannot be blue is that When we look up at the night sky we can seeing the vast darkness out outer space which is only lighted by the stars. If the sky was blue it would also be blue at night. We all remember this iconic photo correct.

If the Earth's sky was truely blue then we would not be able to see the land masses bellow or even the clouds.


Thank you Con for clarifying BoP. Your arguments are insightful and educational. However slightly misleading.

"Contention 1: The Sky is actually Clear."

This is a common misconception. While yes, the gasses that make up our atmosphere(s) (aka the sky) are clear, when they are mixed together they absorb colors except blue. This is how most objects work when light waves come in contact. They reflect certain colors distinguishing them to the human eye.

This is why my shirt is grey, or wood is brown, or grass is green.

Therefore the gasses making up the sky are not clear, as their property reflects light to our eyes transmitting a certain color (in this case blue).

"Contention 2: Sunset's and Dawn is Red and Orange"

I cannot argue this point, I can onyl clarify, that because the sun is furhter away from us during sunrise and sunset, it has to travel through more air, more gasses, which do change the apparent color of the sky. However, throughout most of the day, in which light is present, the sky is blue.

"Contention 3: Tritanopia"

Color blindness affects 8% of men, and 0.5% of women. This is every type of color blindness. Which means people who have color blindness affecting only certain colors, such as the blue of the sky, is a much smaller percentage.

While they are every bit as important to society, we must disregard their opinion when arguing color, as they're genetic difference compromises the majority's opinion on color.

"Contention 4: The Stary Sky"
This is wildly inaccurate...

The sky is not opaque. You can use a small amount of food coloring in water to change the color of it, but still be able to see through the other side. The gasses in the sky make up the color blue (the majority of the time).

The reason why we can only see the blue sky, and not space is because there is not a lot of 'anything' in space near us to reflect light off for us to see. (occasionally we will see a planet, or the moon during the day time as it is in the correct spot and is relfecting enough light for us to see.

The reason why we can see the land from outer space is because the light from the sun is able to reflect off of it and it then reaches outer space for astronauts to see.

Proof to why the sky is blue:

Con's own picture of the world. You see many land masses and and also large areas of blue. This is the water. Anyone who has filled up a clear glass cup of water is well aware that water is in fact clear.

The reason why we see so much blue, is because the water as reflective properties and is reflecting the color of the sky back up through space.

Thus the only conclusion is, for the majority of the day while the sun is overhead, the sky is blue.

(We cannot count night into this argument, as there is very little light to reflect off the gasses in the sky to show any color.)

Debate Round No. 2


I would like to point out to my opponent that according to the rules round 2 was for Contentions only no rebuttal's.

Contention 1: The Sky is Clear

My opponent here is incorrect when he says the sky is blue based off what the eye sees. You see this actually helps me out is, because everything comes from the sun's white light. Take a nice red apple for example. The reason that it appears red is because of the fact that red is the color that it reflects and the rest of the colors are what the apple absorbs. The same works for Con's T-Shirt. ( Con ignores my arguments on the distortion of the color of blue through the sky via distortion. This point is important, because it makes the sky appear blue. He also dropps my argument on the sky actually being violet, but our eyes pick up the majority blue.

Contention 2: Sunset at Dawn is Red and Orange

My opponent dropps this point. He acknowledges that the sky appears to be red and orange at these times. Due to the definition of the word is the fact that there are times when the sky isn't blue up holds the resolution.

Contention 3: Color Blindness

My opponent says that we must discard the color blind, because their opinion doesn't count. This is a huge fallacy. We must include everyone in this debate as the resolution is that the Sky is not Blue. Thus meaning that it has to be a blue sky.

Contention 4: Stary Nights

My opponent also dropps how the sky at night is black. My opponent is greatly misled. He states that the sky is not opaque, but he failed to give you it's definition so I'll define it for us. Opaque- nottransparentortranslucent;impenetrabletolight;notallowinglighttopassthrough. ( If that was a true statement then we would not be here right now as Photosynthesis requires sunlight to work and if his state about the sky not allowing light through is correct then we would not be breathing as photosynthesis wouldn't be able to work.

My opponent is again in correct as he states that a the ocean is blue, but water is clear. You forget that we filter our water in developed countries and we get clean clear water. The reason why the ocean is blue is that the majority of the molecules in the ocean absorb all the light that isn't blue (as I explained in Contention 1) and the blue light is then seen by others. ( (photo on right is SVS Global Biosphere shot by NASA) (photo on left by NOAA)

Satellite image of Africa and surrounding waters.

In conclusion, we can see that the sky is not blue through the fact that the sky at night is black, during sunset is red/orange, and that during the day it is actually Violet! My opponent has dropped several very important points in this debate such as the sky being violet, black, and red/orange at sunset all of these are highly important. We can see that the blueness is caused by the scatter of the blue light waves out of the white light from the sun. The ocean is blue due to the absorption of the blue molecule not a reflection of the sky.

Thank you and please vote Pro.


I did not clearly read the rules, most rebuttals can take place at any time, so if voters see fit, pelase deduct a conduct point for my non-adherence to the round 2 rules.

HOWEVER, Con states I did not define opaque. I did define it with my source in the previous round.
Con decided to ignore my source and define it. He chose not to click on my link (or ignore it) This redundancy should invoke a reduction in conduct as well, so we should now be considered even in conduct.

My opponent has claimed I have dropped many points. This is incorrect, and attempt to make voters think I have conceded.

I must clarify my rebuttals so Con will see the sky is blue.

Never in your premise was their any indication of the sky needing to be 100% of the time blue. So if the sky is blue at any point in time, I therefore have satsified my BoP.

Contention 1: The Sky is Clear:

My opponent stated the sky is opaque, or not transparent, and also argues that the sky is clear. This is a contradiction and this contention needs to be thrown out.

Con is also trying to argue that nothing has color as everything is white light in only certain waves of light reflect color, but that color does not exist? I do not understand what he is stating.

If certain waves of light are relfected off of an apple, a t-shirt, or the collection of gasses in the sky, the wavelengths that our eyes perceive is the color of the object(s).

Contention 2: Sunset at Dawn is Red and Orange

My opponent is correct, I have dropped this point. But the sky in its majority is blue. Therefore I have satisfied BoP.

Contention 3: Color Blindness

The majority outweighs the insignifcant percentage of people who are color blind. This argument is invalid as they do not process color as the average person does.

If we are too acccept their opinion and the distortion their color sees, then nothing has a solid color. Everything can change colors when the property of the object is unchanged because some genetic disorder causes a different sight of the object in a few people.

Contention 4: Stary Nights

I did not drop this point. Color is the wavelengths of light the are relfected off of an object. Since there is no signifcant light present to create a reflection of wave lengths, the color of the object stays the same.

If you are holding your shiny, red, Granny Smith apple in your hand in an encolsed, windowless room...and every light source is immedately turned off (so that you are in complete darkness) that apple now black??

NO. The apple still holds its property of reflecting red light to show its color, but the absence of light prevents it from showing its color. The same logic applies to the sky when the sun is not present.

I also never stated the Ocean is blue. The ocean is clear, as I stated water is clear. It reflects the light of the sky. If you wear to take a cup of water from the ocean (instead of your tap) my logic apples. The water is clear.

When you swim in the ocean, and you get out, you see water droplets on yourself. They are not blue, they are clear, but are now reflecting the color of your skin due to the transparent effects of water.

  • "Blue wavelengths are absorbed the least by the deep ocean water and are scattered and reflected back to the observer’s eye
  • Particles in the water may help to reflect blue light
  • The ocean reflects the blue sky"

Yes, the ocean does have traits of reflecting blue light, however part of the reason is also due to its relfective properties of the blue sky, which fit will into my reasoning to why it looks blue from space.

So the majority of the time, the sky is blue. The sunset is the only time in which it cannot be considered blue. Night time cannot be considered at all in this argument because no light is present to reflect any colors. Black is the absence of color/light.

Con's definition of "Is" also states the present.

I am located in Wisconsin (USA) and it is precisely 5:01pm.

The sky is presently blue due to the height of the sun, and the reflecting of the gasses in the sky showing a clear blue light.

Debate Round No. 3
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by brant.merrell 3 years ago
I think PRO had an 'a priori' faulty contention 2, which could be a penalty . . . while CON could have won contention 2 without dropping it, which could be a penalty . . . It's like CON's inferior debate performance was linked to PRO's inferior logic / semantics performance. That's always awkward on DBO. What do you do?

Hate to leave you guys in suspense, but I've got nine days to vote on this. I'm gonna go take a nap now.
Posted by brant.merrell 3 years ago
I recognize there may be errors in my RFD, so I'm putting it in the comments section for critique.
Posted by brant.merrell 3 years ago
PRO did, after all, define blue as a wavelength in round 1, not as a subjective inference of the physical world.
Posted by Domr 3 years ago
Are you just precluding your RFD? or do you just not want to vote on this? or...??

?thinking out loud?
Posted by brant.merrell 3 years ago
Colorblindness was treated as an 'opinion' by both sides in this debate. This string of exchanges was therefore treated as a minority discussion, where colorblind people are the minority. It boiled down to whether their opinion 'counts.'

CON did not need to let this happen. We are all colorblind to ultraviolet, infrared, X-ray, gamma, and radio light, but we still recognize their differences in science because the ability to see a color does not define an opinion about color.

I think that tabulates a deduction against CON's arguments.
Posted by Domr 3 years ago
I have had my fair share of grammar issues as well. Well mine were mostly spelling actually.

So I think the grammar vote should be even.

Conduct is up to the voters, we both made somewhat of a mistake.

sources...i might personally give an edge to Con..but its CLOSE

And well of course I think my argument is better ;)
Posted by brant.merrell 3 years ago
DBO is not much of a grammar stickler, but . . .

Round 2 Pro:
"Due to the scatter Red and orange, being on the opposite end of the Visible Light spectrum the travel further and thus is why the sun appears that color. "

Correct form:
"Due to the scattered red and orange rays, . . . . "

". . . which are opposite each other on the visible color spectrum . . . "
". . . which are opposite from the color blue on the color spectrum . . ."

" . . . photons of all colors . . . "
". . . red and orange photons . . . "
". . . blue photons . . . "

". . . must travel farther through the atmosphere before hitting the earth, . . ."
". . . must travel farther through space after being deflected from the earth, . . ."
". . . must travel farther from the sun to get to the earth, . . ."

". . . which is why the sun appears orange and red."

I could just assume PRO is making the scientifically valid point among all these possibilities, but
1) this would assume I know the science as well or better than PRO,
2) I would be assigning more credit to PRO than he has verbalized, and
3) I would be forcing CON to argue against an unclear point.

This has to be a grammar deduction.
Posted by Domr 3 years ago
We're pretty good at this.
Posted by lannan13 3 years ago
Yep, I don't mess around when it comes to debating. I like to get things done.
Posted by brant.merrell 3 years ago
You guys started and finished this debate in three hours?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by distraff 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's argument that the sky is actually violet was never refuted. However Con did refute Pro's arguments from color blindness, sunsets, and nights. Con's argument that water is blue from space was refuted. Overall, Pro wins this one.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I'm not sure how to vote this. However, since lannan proves that the sky is actually NOT BLUE while Domr only suggested that it didn't LOOK blue, lannan wins arguments because actuality beats what it looks like