The Instigator
AngelofDeath
Con (against)
Winning
16 Points
The Contender
Sswdwm
Pro (for)
Losing
12 Points

Resolved: the Zombie Apocalypse Will Happen

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
AngelofDeath
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/24/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,068 times Debate No: 53273
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (47)
Votes (8)

 

AngelofDeath

Con

Be it resolved that: the zombie apocalypse will happen.

I would like this to be a serious debate, so no trolling please.

My only rule is that my opponent cannot use Max Brooks as a legitimate source, since he doesn't have a PhD on zombies. If this does happen, however, I request that voters please take note and vote for me.

Format:
Round 1, acceptance
Round 2, claims
Round 3, rebuttals
Round 4, rebuild and voting issues

Although this is a serious debate, i want all involved to have fun, sooo.... Good luck and over to my opponent!!! ^_^
Sswdwm

Pro

Thank you for the open challenge Pro!

This is indeed a serious topic, and needs to be taken as seriously as an imminent bolloid impact, therefore I will be arguing in favor of the resolution. It's not a question of if, but a question of when the Zombie Apocalypse will occur.

Definitions & Clarifications:

I don't strictly agree with Pro's definition of 'Zombie'. Which she suggested in the comments to be:
"The body of a dead person given the semblance of life, but mute and will-less, by a supernatural force, usually for some evil purpose"

I will be not be strictly arguing for a supernatural force for one, as a naturalistic one (particularly an advanced pathogen such as that depicted in 'I am Legend') and nor will I be strictly be arguing for a mute/will-less individual.

There may be situations where a zombie may appear vocal and with some sense of purpose despite losing it's 'Human' conciousness.

I would like Pro to clarify this issue, if she accepts it then great, if not then I will have to change my angle of argumentation.

Back to pro for her opening arguments!
Debate Round No. 1
AngelofDeath

Con

I would first like to thank my opponent for accepting, considering this is really a weird topic to debate since there's no actual historical evidence to prove either of us right, soooo......

>Definitions & Clarifications:

Because Pro doesn't agree with my definition of "zombie," (I'm Con, btw) I have decided to slightly edit the original definition, which can be found here http://dictionary.reference.com...

After verifying with my opponent that my slightly edited definition fit his purposes through PM, now the new definition reads as---
Zombie: The body of a dead person given the semblance of life, by either a supernatural or scientific force, and can be mute and will-less or may appear vocal and with some sense of purpose, despite losing it's "human" consciousness.

Now, without further ado, I present to you....
***My Arguments!***
I would like to thank this website http://www.cracked.com... for most of my arguments.... :D

>Temperature
---Heat---
Temperature would play a major role in ruining a zombie apocalypse. Neither dead animals nor humans nor any dead organism can last long in the sweltering sun because of gut flora. Thanks to this bacteria, dead organisms can't withstand much heat before they are completely ruined, e.g. road kill. If they do, the gases inside them would cause them to explode from the pressure inside them caused by excess heat exposure. The plethora of bacteria in our bodies start eating the body from the inside out when we're dead and begin multiplying. This causes gases and acids, which in turn cause the body to bloat and due to heat, would cause the zombie to explode, which means no more zombie, and no more zombie apocalypse.
On the other hand however, the cold also affect zombies in negative ways.
---Cold---
If zombies were exposed to excess cold temps, they would simply freeze due to the high amount of liquids in their bodies. Human bodies contain more that 60% water, so they would eventually be rendered immobile. Even after they thaw out, their muscles would be damaged and unusable due to a condition commonly known as freezer burn which ruins unwrapped meat. Keep in mind that all zombies are, are basically lumps of mobile dead meat. In this case, winter would work as a freezer and zombies would work as unprocessed meat. If the zombies aren't wrapped properly (or wrapped at all, in this case), then the muscle will be destroyed and they will be rendered useless as a zombie, unable to further pass on the disease.

>Decomposition & Predators
---Decomposition---
Decomposition plays a major role in the ruins of a perfect apocalypse. As soon as our bodies die, decomposition begins to take its course. First, a fresh body experiences *rigor mortis*. This means that their body would go hard and stiff; if zombies are to come back to life after death somehow (assuming scientists accidentally found a way), the zombies would have to know how to move past this stage of decomposition. Then putrefaction begins, and the scenario I described in my temperature argument earlier, which I won't delve into, now. Not only this, there are also many predators of dead meat, which, once again, I emphasize, this is what a zombie is. http://forensics4fiction.com...
---Predators---
What is a zombie made of? Well, taken into consideration that a zombie is a reanimated dead human body, it is made up of dead meat and bones. With the high amount of scavengers and insects around, there is no way a zombie could remain in existence. Zombies would act just like road kill. They would either decompose in a few weeks and stand no chance against the bacteria eating away at them, or they would be entirely consumed by nature. Since zombies are driven by a need for human flesh, they will mostly disregard the insects. And because they are basically a bag of bones and rotting muscle, they stand no chance in fighting off scavengers or even carnivores such as wolves and vultures.

>Death & Rising of the Dead
Usually, once a person dies, they are not revived. However, there are certain cases where there have been exceptions, such as CPR, cryopreservation, or sneezing. http://www.medindia.net... (number 58) I shall now define dead as: an organism whose bodily functions have ceased to work anymore. In this case, "zombies" are dead humans who are revived somehow. However, there have been no successful attempts at cryopreservation, so even if the body were perfectly preserved, a person could not come back without a lot of damage done to his/her body unless there is another scientific way someone can be brought back, craving human flesh/brains. http://www.bbc.co.uk...

>Zombie Apocalypse?
I think not.... the definition of apocalypse, which I will now bring up as part of my argument, is "the complete final destruction of the world." http://www.google.com...
Therefore, if "zombies" were to be created by scientists somehow (most likely by accident, and not for an evil purpose) they would not last long enough to create sufficient chaos to be defined as an apocalypse.

>Conclusion
Due to temperatures and decomposition, zombies would not survive even if they were created. However, it is highly unlikely that they will be, since there is no way to bring someone back from the dead yet. If zombies cannot be created, there will be no apocalypse.

Thank you!!! ^_^ My apologies if this sounded kind of slapped together.... I was working really hard on it last night, but then my computer crashed and I lost everything. Luckily, my outline was already printed out, so I just basically added a little detail to everything and gave up. However, I would like to thank everyone for bearing with me and for my opponent once again for accepting this debate!

I would also like to thank my Oral Comm teacher (whose name will remain unknown) for introducing me to debate, and my best friend for being obsessed with zombies to motivate me to prove her wrong. :P Both of them unknowingly made me decide to debate this topic, haha. :D

Over to my opponent, and may the odds be ever in your favor! :D
Sswdwm

Pro

Thanks for a well-informed opening argument Con, now I will lay down my case.

Preface:
The fiction of zombie outbreaks has been present in literature since the 1900’s, and has its roots in Vodou tradition since much earlier years[1]. A zombie outbreak was originally attributed to a supernatural reanimation of recently deceased individuals who can infect other living individuals (usually via. biting).

Disease Traits:
The most plausible type of vector for which the ‘zombie disease’ can transmit and manifest by is likely a virus. There are many reasons to accept this:

  1. 1. We already have great experience in manipulating reteroviral phages to implant the genes of choice, one common example is the treatment of cystic fibrosis [2]
  2. 2. Virus’ have exceptionally rapid turnover rates & infectability
  3. 3. Because of (2), viruses have the greatest capacity to evolve and adapt to environmental, pharmacological and other pressures


Given that we already have very intricate capabilities to build entire genomes from scratch[3], and in the future will have increasing capability to tune & tailor genomes to do virtually anything we want, it is very, very plausible that a virus that animate a diseased individual would be in the pipeline in the near future that would do very much what we would regard as zombification.


Evolutionary Drive & Conciousness (Or lack thereof):
All organism’s primary drive is to reproduce, and given that some of the deadliest diseases such as HIV & HCV require blood-blood contact or sexual intercourse in order to be transmitted, it is very plausible that a highly infective route, biting, would be a good way to transmit a virus with a large, powerful function of its own.

Given that biting is a good route for transmission, we can see that any virus that would control the ‘will’ of an individual to drive them to bite others will be increasingly favoured by natural selection as it would improve its reproduction capabilities. We already have many examples of sub-conscious or minimally-conscious animation states in humans today, such as sleep walking, where an individual would be capable of performing a variety of actions whilst remaining unaware of their doing so. Several ‘murders’ have been overturned because such cases were astonishingly done so while sleepwalking[4]. Even complex actions, such as driving, burying, obtaining of weapons have been reported to occur whilst sleepwalking.

Zombie’s Survival Capabilities:
It will become quite apparent when reading zombie literature, or watching related movies that zombies are quite durable, this is not by accident. Zombies lack consciousness, and therefore lack the ability to perceive pain, allowing them to continue actions despite suffering injuries that would otherwise completely disable uninfected humans. We already have significant evidence of the performance-enhancing abilities of pain-dulling in the Anglo-Zulu war. Where unarmed Zulu warriors under the influence of muscimol [5] (a hallucinogenic drug) defeated a British army using guns & ammunitions using nothing but hand to hand combat, blades and spears.

Moreover, the lack of neural activity would reduce the energy requirements of a human by ~20% [6], and humans are capable of surviving for weeks without food anyway.

Summary of a viral zombie outbreak:
So, from my above points, a picture of what a viral zombie outbreak would be like would quickly emerge. Minimally conscious or unconscious individuals with an intrinsic drive to biting other individuals would emerge, and after the initial outbreak, natural selection would advantage the individuals with best ability to infect others (presumable with the virus having increased control of the drive of these individuals).

These people would be effectively ‘brain dead’, which fits the definition of a deceased individual and for all intents and purposes, zombies.

The Impact of a Zombie Outbreak:
Remarkably, zombie outbreaks are well-studied computationally and mathematically in the scientific literature. The most comprehensive study was made by Dr. Robert Smith? [7, 8] (yes, question mark is real) who discovered that when modelling a zombie outbreak akin to how a flu infection outbreak, the fact that the diseased also become zombies resulted in an ‘unstable system’, in that the zombies would never achieve equilibrium. Either the outbreak is eliminated completely, or the outbreak will quickly kill/turn all humans into zombies.

Reanimation & Lack of Immune Response is the critical difference:
The reason why a zombie outbreak would be unstable and would lead to an apocalypse is very subtle, it is the fact that the diseased could also become zombies. Normally in disease, if the disease kills or leads to the death of the individual infected then this would be bad for the reproduction of the pathogen, as it would have less time to transmit itself to other humans, and thus the system reaches an equilibrium. With zombies, this is nowhere near as significant as an issue, as a zombie can reanimate, and also the diseased healthy people are susceptible to zombification.

*Adapted from source [8]

Normally the death rate, or cure rate would lead to an equilibrium, or tailing of the maximum infectivity of a population. But with a bioengineered virus which effectively animates ‘dead’ individuals they would then have a minimal immunological response. The only non-destructive intervention is a possible cure, which WOULD allow for an equilibrium akin to those seen in other infections. However even assuming one could be rapidly engineered and rushed out (the timescale of the outbreak will likely be too short to do so, as our experience with the H5N1 aka ‘bird flu’ virus has shown) such an outbreak would still be disastrous.

From the following graphs from the paper by Dr. Smith? it is plainly seen that without intervention, the zombie virus would rapidly kill/infect all humans.

*Taken from source [7]

Millitary Intervention:
The only way humanity would be able to survive such an outbreak is reported to be rapid, and powerful military intervention, which I argue is unlikely to be organisable under the time scales involved in a typical disease outbreak. But this is likely the only method of the survival of humans so I will spend a bit of time attacking this.


Impact on Infrastructure, Fear:
Like it or not, the entirety of modern society is built on layer upon layer of technological infrastructures, which range from electrical, food, water production, waste disposal, security, communications etc. All of these infrastructures require people to maintain operations, therefore any outbreak that would affect these infrastructures will be disasterous for society.

Moreover, I will argue that the expected human response to a zombie outbreak would actually catalyse the decimation of the human species.

First of all, generally infectious diseases are quarantined, and individuals isolate themselves. Our best case studies of this are the black death plague, or smogs [9, 10].

I think we can reasonably argue that any disease that results in the animation of infections unconscious individuals would result in mass panic and fear. Panic and fear would paralyze the infrastructures of society, and either cause disorganisation, with the dispersion of the population, or cause organisation of the population, with a milatarized response. However both these responses are lethal.

Disorganised Response:
With a disorganised response, with the dispersion of the population, then infected individuals would quickly spread from its point of origin, and a military ‘hunt them down’ campaign would be doomed to failure due to the lack of containment and organisation of people.

Organised Response:
If for example, there was a ‘safehaven’ for uninfected individuals, this would result in the concentration of susceptible individuals into a single place, just a single infection within a densely packed ‘defensive point’, like a siege of a castle, would result in fatal consequences for this cohort. This is a common problem seen in factory farming [11], where an infection of a single animal in a densely packed system would rapidly lead to the infection of all its neighbours.

Conclusion:
As argued, a zombie outbreak would be disastrous to the human species, and would indeed be an apocalypse. The end of all humans. Be prepared, be afraid.

I look forward to Con’s rebuttals, back to Con!

References:
[1] http://www.livescience.com...
[2] http://hmg.oxfordjournals.org...
[3] http://www.livescience.com...
[4] http://health.usnews.com...
[5] http://www.pbs.org...
[6] http://www.sharecare.com...
[7] http://mysite.science.uottawa.ca...
[8] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[9] http://www.reuters.com...
[10] http://history.howstuffworks.com...
[11] http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 2
AngelofDeath

Con

Thanks to Pro for his wonderfully written (and neat) arguments, and now, I present.... *drumroll*

REBUTTALS!!!

>Disease Traits
Con argues that a zombie disease can transmit and manifest most likely by a virus, claiming we can manipulate viruses already and they have high infectability rates. In this way, the "zombie virus" will be spread, making the zombie apocalypse possible. However, I believe this can not be so. The definition of zombie clearly states that zombies are dead, and viruses can only take over living organisms. Also, viruses can reproduce if and only if they have a living host, which zombies are not. http://faculty.clintoncc.suny.edu... Once an organism dies, the virus ceases to reproduce anymore, meaning there can be no zombies. While a human is alive, however, they could display zombie-like traits, but that wouldn't fit the definition of a zombie.

>Evolutionary Drive & Consciousness (Or lack thereof)
My opponent claims that biting would be a good way to transmit the "zombie virus." On the contrary, (if we are to assume as of right now that a virus could survive and reproduce in dead bodies) biting is actually a terrible way to transmit a disease. Using common sense, let's look at this following scenario on a completely hypothetical mindset--
Pretend for a few minutes that you, the reader of this, are completely fit, and you work out every day instead of staying in front of your computer 24/7. Now, imagine that you walk outside, and you live somewhat in the woods. First, I want you to try to find an animal, whatever the size. (Squirrels would probably be most common, so let's assume you find a squirrel.) Now, I want you to try to catch the animal you just found, and attempt to take a bite out of it.
Thank you, readers, for participating! :D
Do you think that it was very likely for you, even being really fit, to take a bite out of that animal? Even if it were something larger than a squirrel and couldn't climb, do you honestly believe that you can catch it in the first place? No? That's how we are to zombies. Now, think again, if you actually did somehow manage to catch the animal you found, how likely do you think it was for you to actually take a bite out of it (disregarding germs and a mouthful of fur)? Most likely, any animal that you catch, if it's not a cat or a dog, it will struggle when you hold it, and will struggle against you even more when you lean in to chomp on its face. That's how most humans would react in regard to a zombie trying to eat your face off. On top of that, humans have weapons that animals in the wild don't have. In fact, 62% of Americans have more than one gun in their household, http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com... which makes it even more unlikely for a "zombie" to get close enough to even touch a human, let alone bite. Add that to the fact that they are rotting and most like smell really bad.... How many people would let something like that get near them?

>Zombie's Survival Capabilities:
Pro states that a zombie's immunity to pain and lack of consciousness would be a factor in favor of the zombie apocalypse, but I highly disagree. If a zombie were to be immune to pain and stumble around with no purpose but to bite humans' faces off and pass on the zombie-ism, there would be many things wrong with this picture, and many reasons why this is actually bad for the zombies. We feel pain because that's our bodies' way of saying, "Hey, damaged goods, do not use!" That way we can fully heal ourselves before starting to use that body part again. However, there is a disease called congenital analgesia, where you physically cannot feel any pain. http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov... This isn't good for them, because they have a higher chance of dying. Likewise, if zombies can't feel any pain, they would just run down their bodies until they physically can't move anymore because all of their body parts are broken and they can walk or crawl or even drag themselves anywhere.

>Summary of a viral zombie outbreak
From what I just rebutted, you can clearly tell from my first point that this would not work. However, just to fully touch all of Pro's points, I also refuted the other parts of his points for in case he has a really really good comeback as to why it actually would work. Also, I didn't want all that good typing to go to waste, so I tried doing it justice by refuting it the best I could. LOL.

Pro states that being brain dead would fit the definition of zombie. But this is not true, because the definition of brain-dead is "irreversible brain damage causing the end of independent respiration," meaning they are still technically alive. http://www.google.com...

>Reanimation & Lack of Immune Response
Erm *running out of time* I actually kind of agree with this one, after skimming over it, so i guess i just won't touch it.

>Military
Not necessary.... sufficient people in America have guns to prevent a zombie apocalypse.
In fact think of the south, where just about everyone has a gun to hunt with or to just shoot targets with.

>Infrastructure, Fear
My opponent claims that it would be disastrous for society if there were no one to maintain these operations.... however, there have been many times where there were blackouts and no one could fix it for days at a time. Sure, people had a hard time, but no one died from lack of electricity, they died from heat. No one died from not having running water, they died from not stocking up on water. No one died from lack of waste disposal. I could on and on.... The point is, people will rise up to the occasion if need be, and they will survive even if it does mean it's somewhat inconvenient.

Pro also claims that fear would cause disorganisation. Yes, it does, but just because something is disorganized doesn't mean that it would be considered an apocalypse. Disorganized: functioning without adequate order, systemization, or planning; uncoordinated. http://dictionary.reference.com... As you can tell, that is clearly not mass destruction....

>Conclusion
I believe I have fully refuted all but one of Con's arguments, due to lack of time. (Sorry!!! I'll try to procrastinate less next time lol) There will be no zombie apocalypse, so chill out, relax, and do whatever you want because we're not going to die from a fiction story....

Over to Pro, good luck!!! ^_^
Sswdwm

Pro

Thanks Con for a very capable rebuttal!

Death:
Con disputes the definition of death I am working with. One of the medical definitions of death of humans regards the brain as quoted:

"Part (1) codifies the existing common law basis for determining death " total failure of the cardiorespiratory system. Part (2) extends the common law to include the new procedures for determination of death based upon irreversible loss of all brain functions." [1]

Brain death results in the loss of conciousness, and sense of self. Everything that you identify as 'you' disappears once the brain dies, irrespective of whether or not the remainder of your body is still perfectly functioning or not.

This is perfectly logical, one can have their heart stopped, kidneys removes, liver, limbs etc, and still be 'alive', however once the brain is removed, then you are quite clearly dead. Therefore I remain firm on the notion of a viral infection that takes over neurological functions once the brain dies (naturally or otherwise). The virus itself could (and likely will, being a virus that affects the brain) lead to brain death, and it's not a far stretch of imagination that a virus that transmits via biting would find it beneficial to kill off the host brain to drive the host to bite others with its own control.

Therefore the virus I propose would indeed create a zombie, a dead person with a drive to reproduce (bite). However just because the person is dead doesn't mean the tissues the person is made of is dead, which I will argue later are necessarily at least in part alive.

Biting:
My pet cat was not most pleased by my participation in Pro's savage experiment, but nonetheless I do not see significant issue on the transmission of the disease via biting. Some of the deadliest and most persistent diseases known require sex or blood-blood contact, which is not ideal and yet they survive just fine, HIV is the only known pandemic, too. [2] Moreover the single most deadly disease to man, rabies, is exclusively transmitted via biting, the only disease known to have a 100% fatality rate.[3]

Given that the effects of decomposition are not expected to be significant, it is reasonable to think that trust amongst fellow humans will result in many unsuspected zombies to have free reign to bite their victims. Moreover this effect will be much amplified in busy areas (trains, city centres, shopping malls, etc), where close contact is essentially mandatory.

Decomposition:
This is not necessarily a problem. I will freely grant that the lifespan of a zombified person will most certainly be much reduced over an uninfected person, but not enough to mean a zombie attack will fail. I've already mentioned that zombies will possess greater physical durability with the lack of pain perception, therefore are already advantaged in direct conflict.

I also find my Pro's assertion that decomposing bodies will explode. I would like to ask, where is her evidence of this? Indeed the only exploding animals I can find require a little help from their fellow humans (see video).

Cold:
There is no reason to assume that zombies do not have a working metabolism (and therefore achieve homeostasis), indeed a working metabolism is necessary of zombies are ever to even move or retain posture. Therefore zombies should have a degree of tolerance to cold temperatures. Furthermore, cold also affects uninfected humans too, making them sluggish, and therefore easier pickings for the infected zombies.

Predators:
As argued in mathematical modelling, a zombie apocalypse would be expected to occur over an exceptionally rapid period of time, within a matter of just days, or a couple of weeks. umber of predators in the environment today that target humans is astonishingly small, even if zombies made for an easy target it would take significant time for predators to latch onto this and take advantage of it (requires a degree if evolution). Therefore remains a weak argument against zombies.

Revival:
Revival, or 'resurrection', without any assistance is already well documented (cases). When you factor in a virus that specifically drives brain death and neurological control, this becomes significantly more plausible. Remember that the virus released would be genetically engineered by humans, and we already have astonishing versatility in bioengineering today and this is I only going to increase over the next century.

Household Guns & Economy
Pro raises an interesting point regarding household ins in the states, but do also understand that other countries have more densely populated and do not permit guns (European Countries, East Asia), which is a much more ideal 'breeding ground' for zombies. That is not to say it would not cripple the states as well, remember that largely wiping out any major populated country will have devastating economical knock on effects. Even an epidemic that affects the less wealthy nations such as those in Africa will cripple the states as food and oil imports would effectively shut down, international trade would also be severely restricted in attempts to contain any zombie migration (which is unlikely to be effective).

This crippling of trade will result in food prices in first world nations that import most their food (such as the UK) will increase to starvation inducing levels, and countries that do produce enough food internally will have much-reduced flexibility and contingency. Pro asserts that power disruptions, water shortages would not significantly impact a nation, but this is flat out false, anything that cripples a countries infrastructure will reduce that nations ability to weather an epidemic, as the economy will halt, starvation, sky high prices, poor communication, organisation will occur - effectively leaving a state in anarchy. [4]

Conclusion:
I have pretty much underlined my case, and demonstrated half of Con's rebuttals to be irrelevant to the case at have, the zombie apocalypse will indeed be a real one!

References:
[1] http://pntb.org...
[2] http://perspectivesinmedicine.org...
[3] http://www.wadsworth.org...
[4] http://www.livescience.com...
Debate Round No. 3
AngelofDeath

Con

Wow, last round..... okay.... here I go....

>Death
My opponent states that brain death qualifies as death because everything that defines "you" as a human being disappears once your brain dies, even if the rest of your body is still functioning. But this contradicts the definition of death, which is "Having lost life; no longer alive" http://us.yhs4.search.yahoo.com... Since this is the case, I see no reason to further elaborate as to why I am correct, and my opponent is incorrect in this instance. However, just to make it absolutely clear that my opponent is incorrect in this instance, I would like to call to everyone's attention all the people who have genetic disabilities, such as muscular dystrophy or Trisomy 23. They are people who are fully alive; in fact, the only thing wrong with them is that they have brains that don't function fully the way they should. If braindead people are considered "dead" then these people should be too, since they don't behave the way other humans do, fully in control of their bodies.

Therefore, the virus that Pro suggested would not work in causing a proper zombie apocalypse.

>Biting
My apologies to Pro's kitty (poor kitty D:), but I believe my argument still stands. If a cat, which is already domesticated, (assuming kitty struggled against Pro when he tried to bite kitty), wasn't the happiest of animals when attacked by teeth, then why would humans be, especially by the teeth of creatures who smell really bad and aren't our friends who provide us with food, water, and shelter? Pro argues that a lot of diseases, such as HIV, thrive quite well, though they are hard to transmit, so why won't the zombie disease? Well, if you take into consideration that HIV could be transmitted through blood donations or sex, then the answer is obvious. HIV is transmitted through acts of pleasure (sex) or acts of kindness (blood donations). However, the zombie virus is transmitted through biting, which is from a slow-moving decomposing human. Clearly, this is not the same as how rabies are transmitted. Usually, it would be an accidental bite from a pet to an unsuspecting owner, or a wild animal only trying to protect itself. Why would humans just hang around zombies so they can be bitten?

Pro also argues that the effects of decomposition would be insignificant, but decomposition starts as soon as an organism dies, so the zombie actually would, in fact, display advanced levels of decomposition and death. Therefore, humans would be unlikely to be bitten.

>Decomposition
Pro says that my decomposition argument doesn't pose a threat to the possibility of a zombie apocalypse because they continue to function even after a lot of damage to their bodies. On the contrary, the fact that they don't feel pain and don't respond to the fact that they are damaging their bodies means that they could potentially just run off a cliff and break every single bone in their bodies and stop working. How does this aid the zombie apocalypse into existence? If all zombies unknowingly destroyed themselves, there would be no zombie apocalypse.

>Exploding
I said that *heat* would make a decomposing body explode because the bacteria inside them makes gases. When these gases are heated, they expand. As they expand, they have nowhere to go, and so the body explodes. I believe I provided this http://www.cracked.com... to explain where I got "exploding" from and why it actually could happen.

>Cold
Pro asserts that zombies could have a working metabolism, but this again, doesn't fit the definition of zombies, which states that they are dead. If they are dead, they cannot possibly have a *working metabolism* to fit the definition. Pro also states that they must, since they have to move or retain an upright posture. But this doesn't help his case, it only further confirms why a zombie apocalypse could not, in fact, happen.
Although the cold does make humans sluggish, it also (if zombies can be reanimated in their dead state) makes zombies immobile, which makes a zombie apocalypse less likely, instead of more likely.

>Predators
Contrary to what my opponent thinks, a zombie apocalypse actually would not occur quickly. Why? Because they would have no way to pass on the disease (as I previously stated) in a rapid or practical manner. Therefore, the small amount of zombies would be quickly demolished by the large amount of predators out there. Pro also says that there aren't very many predators of humans. However, these predators aren't humans, they're just hunks of dead meat. Any animal, no matter how much common sense they have, will eat whatever food available to them. Flies and cockroaches eat everything, so why not other animals, concerning zombies, which are basically dead meat?

>Revival
I see no reason to reinstate my stance on this, seeing as I already said, viruses can only survive in live organisms, not dead things.

>Guns and Economy
Other countries do have guns, just less than what Americans have. Also, I believe that the armies of other countries will sufficiently take care of its citizens when need be. Even if they can't, guns aren't the only weapons people can use as protection. Knives are also a good choice, among other weapons.

Since I'm running out of time again (ahhh!!!!) I'll just barely skim over this part....
People can stock up on canned foods and bottled water. Even if they die, as long as they die without being bitten, they won't turn into zombies, and zombies will cease to exist as soon as they all finish decomposing or being eaten, whichever comes first. If humans can just wait zombies out, the the apocalypse will not happen, because it wasn't enough a catastrophe to qualify.

>Conclusion
The zombie apocalypse will not happen. Due to shortage of time, I will not elaborate further.

************************VOTE CON!!!**************************

****If it was too long to read, here's why you should vote for me:****
1. The zombie apocalypse is just a children's tale, created to scare little kids into behaving. There's no way it could actually happen.
2. Before there could be enough zombies to wreck Earth, they will have either destroyed themselves due to lack of common sense or decomposition/ scavengers of dead meat.
3. I am awesome.
4. For serious? If you think that a zombie can actually catch up to you, and then take a bite out of you, then you must be really unfit, sorry...
5. They would never survive nature.... it's too tough as it is, why would another organism just miraculously thrive, when so many other organism have gone extinct?
6. I'm sure I miss a bunch of other points, but.... oh, well..... life moves on, I guess.....

Over to PRO! Good luck and thanks once more for accepting this debate and giving me this opportunity to learn!!! I had fun, and I hope you did too! ^_^
Sswdwm

Pro

Thanks Con,

Preface
I would like to begin by offering a massive thanks to Con for instigating this awesome debate, I have very much enjoyed participating and am pleasantly surprised by Con's argumentation. Best of luck to her in voting!

II. Death
This, clearly is one of the main bones of contention, it is true that viruses cannot infect dead tissues, but I have maintained the notion that dead individual's do not necessarily have dead body tissue. A virus that selectively kills the conscious brain (induces brain death), and induces (primitive) control via the neural network is my main suggestion for a putative zombie outbreak. This is not the only way it could physically occur without falling back onto black magic, of course, but the method I have provided seems the most plausible, and therefore most likely.

Pro's definition of death has come from a Yahoo! web page where as mine has come directly from the 'UNIFORM DETERMINATION OF DEATH ACT', which is the legally accepted criteria of death in 50 states of the US. I don't think Con's assertion should be taken seriously, as the criteria I gave doesn't appear to be disputed in medical circles.[1]

If we had to accept that every single cell in the body must be dead in order to correctly qualify for a zombie then I will quickly concede that zombies are essentially impossible as I have suggested, and most certainly would require supernatural means of occurrence, which is beyond the scope of this scientific debate. I have already defended why it's logical to consider one dead once the brain dies, as all sense of 'you' or self is tied to the brain. You die when your brain does, which is what is supported by the statutes now in wide use throughout world.

This angle has also pretty much undermined half of Con's objections, as Con's objections regarding decay and decomposition are largely irrelevant to this debate. Con's other objections regarding muscular dystrophy and trisomy 23 are also completely irrelevant, as both conditions do not influence whether or not the brain is alive, or even consciousness. Behavioural defects does not mean the person is dead, I agree, but I never made any such claim.

III. Biology:
Pro drops my points regarding the plausibility of such an infection being developable, and also drops my points on the evolutionary capabilities of such a viral outbreak. Therefore we can conclude as much that an evolvable viral outbreak, spreadable by biting is indeed very much possible in the (probably near) future.

Going back to my point on evolution, viral strains that are better at transmission are going to be the ones that will quickly dominate the pandemic, and disfavorable effects, such as decomposition, sluggishness, and 'obviousness' will be bred out of the outbreak. We can expect a more stealthy, less physically disabling viral strain to emerge over the course of the pandemic, which is the opposite of what Con is arguing against.

Con also doesn't address my points on zombie durability due to their lack of pain perception. Making them great candidates for attacking other humans, and the effects of pain suspension I have already evidences with the reference to Zulus.

IV. Biting:
This seems to be the other most important objection Con has raised, so I will spend a bit more time to address it.

First much of Con's objection is made with the assumption of the zombies being decaying, decomposing walking beings, but I have already argued that this is not necessarily the case. Moreover symptoms need not arise immediately after infection, which is one of the problems with HIV/AIDS, the disease is carried for a period before the symptoms become significant. Admittedly in the case of zombification this will be much more abrupt and rapid, since it involves brain death, but in many cases of abrupt deadly diseases, there is a lag period for the infection to multiply before it's effects become obvious, even in rabies. Rabies has a 2-12 week incubation period before symptoms are obvious, by which time it's too late for the patient.

Given a latent period, and the fact zombies are going to be prima facie indistinguishable from their uninfected counterparts until their mental abilities are tested, then there is ample opportunity for infected individuals to mingle/pass unnoticed by their uninfected counterparts. Much like how HIV & HCV does today.

V. Societal Response
As I have already demonstrated in round 1, any response to a zombie outbreak would require rapid, and powerful military/armed response in order to mitigate the outbreak. Con has suggested that many people carry arms in the states - ignoring the fact that arms are prohibited amongst civilians across much of the world, and the states might not be the place that the ones releasing the zombie outbreak would choose to stage their apocalypse.

Remember from my round 1, the entire world is linked into a large infrastructure, with trade, internet, utilities, food etc all intimately interlinked. There is a reason why the US uses sanctions in order to derive political effect. Trade sanctions impacts the economy, and yes, the lives. A zombie outbreak, which would induce mass panic and hysteria would as I argued literally bring all trade and utilities to a halt. The effect would essentially set the world back 200 years. Borders would close, hospitals would close, civilians would starve and anarchy would result. One only needs to look as far as Somalia[2] and Albania[3] to see the effects of essentially, anarchy.

.... In fact I find it very worrying how dismissive Con was of the economical and sociological implications of a zombie outbreak, these are real concerns not just for a zombie apocalypse, but also for nuclear wars[4], solar flares and boloidal impacts. Society, which is essentially a big house of cards, with progressive tiers and layers of infrastructure and technology which allow for us to thrive in such large populations, will readily collapse the moment a few cards are pulled from the bottom.

VI. Concentration:
The way a society responds is critical to how a zombie pandemic will play out, responses that concentrate humans into one place (defensively) will mitigate essentially all of Von's points regarding being able to catch their victims. This seems to be the most likely response however to a zombie outbreak, and places like hospitals, schools, etc which require concentration of humans are going to be counter-productive, it makes the problem worse!

In a disorganised response you have free zombies reigning unchecked, hidden amongst the uninfected people that are scattering to safety, etc. obviously this type of response will fail as I argued, which Con has not addressed.

VII. Conclusion:
I have set the stage for societal anarchy, self destruction and a zombie apocalypse.
Be prepared, and good luck. Vote Pro!

VIII. References:
[1] [http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com...
[2] http://www.hdcentre.org...
[3] http://www.basicint.org...
[4] http://atomicarchive.com...
[5] http://todaysfacilitymanager.com...
Debate Round No. 4
47 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by AngelofDeath 2 years ago
AngelofDeath
Awwwww

Thanks for voting and looking and even reading this debate guys!! <3 ILY

Thanks shaun for debating me and waiting the 6 months for the results lol <3
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
I can't believe it has been half a year...

Congrats kitty.
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
...

Nac
Posted by AngelofDeath 2 years ago
AngelofDeath
@Gaming_Debater

LOL I WISH IT WOULD

But i seriously doubt it..... People have more important stuff to look at, and besides, the debates on the front page are the ones with the most comments, i think?
Posted by Gaming_Debater 2 years ago
Gaming_Debater
Anyone think this will get on the front page,.?
Posted by Gaming_Debater 2 years ago
Gaming_Debater
RFD 1

The definition of death and zombie were disputed too much, so I decided to read with my default definition:

death: the inability to reproduce independently, evolve, mate, have bodily functions, and grow.

zombie: a pseudobiological entity consisting of rotting flesh that walks the earth on a hunt for tehe brains of living beings.

Con convinced me that:

- decomposition, predation, and temperature would play a major role in stopping the apocalypse
- people could smell zombies nearby quickly enough to kill a lot of them with various weapons since they are rotting meat
- their slow speed would make them easier to deal with
- military intervention would help

Pro convinced me that:

- the HIV virus would spread quickly
- the world would go back 200 years

various weapons would still be owned, potentially reducing the zombie population quickly, especially with military intervention. They have scientists, but the drawback in technology would make that unhelpful, but they could cover themselves in anti-infection outfits and bring those to uninfected people. But due to the roles of temperature and predation, I am convinced that these would wipe out a lot of zombies quickly. Zombies would be unconscious, thus not know what was happening and not do anything about it. More foreign armies could thus go to the more populated areas with zombies and wipe them out. with their combined military power, they would have no issue wiping all of them out quickly. Con dropped a couple of Pro's arguments.
Posted by Gaming_Debater 2 years ago
Gaming_Debater
I'm gonna vote on this later
Posted by Gaming_Debater 2 years ago
Gaming_Debater
This should be on the front page.
Posted by Gaming_Debater 2 years ago
Gaming_Debater
:( I wish i could vote on this.
Posted by Loveshismom 2 years ago
Loveshismom
I know who hot the 666th view it was the devil (just kidding)
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
UchihaMadara
AngelofDeathSswdwmTied
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Reasons for voting decision: *terrified*
Vote Placed by Gaming_Debater 2 years ago
Gaming_Debater
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by NiamC 2 years ago
NiamC
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Reasons for voting decision: This was indeed a very good debate to read. Both have such good argument points. Both of the length and good structure. Pro used rebuttals against Con quite well, but Con was able and was effective in 'rebutting' against these. Personally, I don't really think that there will be Zombie Apocalypse (if there is then God help us). Despite this, I feel that Con was able to make a more convincing argument about this topic. Good game. P.s. I think that this is my 50th debate vote.
Vote Placed by Ajabi 2 years ago
Ajabi
AngelofDeathSswdwmTied
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Reasons for voting decision: An interesting debate, and I promise a lengthier RFD soon. In essence I think that the resolution called for a necessity of the Zombie Apocolypse and while a possibility or later steps may have been argued the fundamental points were not. I understand Pro to have the BoP and I do not think he justified it, therefore I vote Con.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
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Reasons for voting decision: This debate focuses primarily on one aspect and that was what is dead defined as. I feel Con didn't defend this point well enough to ignore Pros arguments. As such pros arguments have to hold, in fact I am surprised Pro did not attack Cons definition which contradict Cons stance vis. "brain-dead is "irreversible brain damage causing the end of independent respiration,"" Surely this already shows Cons arguments are flawed? I feel both sides cited sources, and am calling these points equal. Regarding spelling and grammar, I noticed more obvious mistakes in Pros argument and so I am awarding these point to Con. Great and fun debate to read.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
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Reasons for voting decision: Despite loveshismom's vote, I believe that con made stronger points
Vote Placed by Loveshismom 2 years ago
Loveshismom
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by MysticEgg 2 years ago
MysticEgg
AngelofDeathSswdwmTied
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Reasons for voting decision: An excellent and informed debate from both debaters; I congratulate you both! Pro gets conduct, not due to personal attacks, but rather because Con advertised why the voters should vote Con, instead of allowing them to vote from their own judgement. While I also preferred Pro's presentation style, (s)he also made various S&G errors, so I cannot award him/her the point. It shall remain neutral. Arguments go to Con, though. I really liked his ideas and how he defended them on nearly all fronts. However, Pro correctly pointed out (albeit, semantically) that his/her definition of death did not necessarily involve bodily death, per se, so Con's arguments all fell to this technical interjection. But, since I do not believe that Pro demonstrated adequately how the apocalypse "will" happen, Con wins. If it was how the apocalypse "can" happen, then Pro wins. Except: It's not; Con wins. Semantics works both ways, Pro. Sources were equal, in my opinion. Excellent debate, though; very well done!