The Instigator
Pat
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
Hound
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

Santa Claus could exist

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Pat
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/20/2010 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,983 times Debate No: 14094
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (2)

 

Pat

Pro

Scientifically and mathematically, there is a possibility that Santa Claus could exist.

Before I begin, I would like to clarify that I am not referring to Saint Nicholas, but to the jolly man in the red suit we know today.

I therefore ask whoever chooses to challenge me, to convince me, and the audience, that there is no, or a negligent, chance of Santa Claus' existence.
Hound

Con

Greetings one and all! Holiday wishes to the audience and my opponent!

I accept, as Con, to prove that Santa Claus's existence is, indeed, highly improbable.

I shall allow my opponent to begin with his case so as to have an even number of rounds. Good luck and Merry Christmas in advance!
Debate Round No. 1
Pat

Pro

I thank my opponent for his blessings, and wish him a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year. I also thank him for his consideration in not posing an argument, and giving me the floor.

Before I begin, I would like to remind the audience that this debate is about the possibility that Santa Claus could exist, not that he actually does.

First of all, Santa Claus has not one night, but over 24 hours (31, to be precise) to deliver his present thanks to the time zones. We can assume that Santa uses these to his advantage and travels from east to west.

On the issue of flying reindeer, I would like to point out that there are hundreds of thousands of undiscovered species in the World, so one cannot possibly rule out the existence of flying reindeer.

If one assumes that Santa Claus and Mrs Claus have the ability to reproduce, one can see how today there can be not just one Santa, but nearly a quarter of a billion (accounting for any sudden deaths, accidents, diseases, etc). It is also, however, true that these Santa's would be quite, well, idiotic, due to the in-breeding, but that is irrelevant.

I would, also, like to take this chance to (and I ask for my opponent's pardons, if I'm stealing one of his points) present the audience with this very famous (or infamous) article on Santa Claus:

http://www.writersdreamtools.com...

I encourage the audience to take a moment to read this article, particularly because the rest of my argument in this round will probably not make sense to them;

� Santa Claus represents goodwill, so he will naturally give gifts to every single (good) child in the World. So we'll increase that 378 million to the full 2 billion. Or will we? Consider the fact that the population of the World, particularly before the Industrial Revolution, was FAR below this figure. Therefore, a few Santa's (going back to my theory of Santa reproduction), may have sufficed. In the past, there were far fewer people than there are today.

� Not only can I point out the fact that the (original) author of the article demeans his own argument through his follow-up points, as he fails to consider his own reduction of the population to 378 million, but he fails to remember a very known theory written by Albert Einstein; the faster an object moves, the more time dilation there is. Therefore, Santa has more flying time than we previously assumed.

� I can, very well, render all his arguments void by talking of space and quantum physics. In space, a vacuum, one does not have air resistance, therefore being able to move much more rapidly. All that is required is a continuous supply of oxygen, and appropriate protection for those in space. I leave the issue of quantum physics to the next round, where I shall discuss it in more detail.

� I would like to finish up by pointing out that the laws of physics are not absolute, and can be broken.

SOURCES:

http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.angelfire.com...
Hound

Con

Thank you.

Before I begin rebuttals, I would like to clarify something. My opponent stated in Round 1 that he wished to debate that Santa Claus, AS WE KNOW HIM TODAY, could exist. This means that the common folklore and myths about Santa would have to be attributed to him, or Pro fails to meet his burden of proof.

"If one assumes that Santa Claus and Mrs Claus have the ability to reproduce, one can see how today there can be not just one Santa, but nearly a quarter of a billion (accounting for any sudden deaths, accidents, diseases, etc). It is also, however, true that these Santa's would be quite, well, idiotic, due to the in-breeding, but that is irrelevant."

Do you mean these Santas live contemporarily or is this a next-generation thing? Regardless, Santa is seen as being a being that does not die. There is no folklore of Santa begetting. Besides, your title says "Santa could exist" not "Santa could have existed." You're speaking of the original Santa Claus, offspring is not beneficial to your case. One man cannot possibly deliver to the entire world by the means of "flying reindeer." These reindeer may tire, they are sentient after all. If they are indeed going at a supersonic speed, they are bound to tire and Santa himself may have to take breaks, being a sentient being himself.

Interesting article.

"� Santa Claus represents goodwill, so he will naturally give gifts to every single (good) child in the World. So we'll increase that 378 million to the full 2 billion. Or will we? Consider the fact that the population of the World, particularly before the Industrial Revolution, was FAR below this figure. Therefore, a few Santa's (going back to my theory of Santa reproduction), may have sufficed. In the past, there were far fewer people than there are today."

Again, you're surfacing the idea that there are numerous Santas. Santa as we know him today is a single figure. He does not have help aside from elves and reindeer; he solos the whole thing. This may have been true in the past (the Industrial Revolution statement) however how would Santa do it today? If he's still solo, wouldn't it be more difficult for him to do all this since there are even MORE people? Impossible. Santa Claus would be one individual with reindeer that can fly. Santa must land on the house quiescently, gather the appropriate presents, go down the chimney, find the Christmas tree, fill the stockings, leave the presents, eat the milk and cookies, and go back up the chimney. Doing this 2 billion times is impossible to do in one night, as one house would take at least five minutes, since he is restricted by the fact he is not a machine. This is all speaking from a scientific perspective.

"� Not only can I point out the fact that the (original) author of the article demeans his own argument through his follow-up points, as he fails to consider his own reduction of the population to 378 million, but he fails to remember a very known theory written by Albert Einstein; the faster an object moves, the more time dilation there is. Therefore, Santa has more flying time than we previously assumed."

Yes, 31 hours it was? Or is it more now? Regardless, since Santa Claus would technically be required to do all the things he must do in order to deliver presents, it is STILL not enough time, especially with traveling distances.

"� I can, very well, render all his arguments void by talking of space and quantum physics. In space, a vacuum, one does not have air resistance, therefore being able to move much more rapidly. All that is required is a continuous supply of oxygen, and appropriate protection for those in space. I leave the issue of quantum physics to the next round, where I shall discuss it in more detail."
I'd appreciate elaboration, as I'm a bit confused. Santa travels by space now? :S.

Lastly, I'd like to introduce this:

4) The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming

that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized Lego set (2 lb.),

the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is

invariably

described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no

more

than 300 lb. Even granting that "flying reindeer" could pull

10

TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with 8, or even 9

reindeer.

We need 214,200. This increases the payload - not counting the weight

of

the sleigh - to 353,430 tons. This is four times the weight of the

ocean-liner Queen Elizabeth.

5) 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles/second creates enormous air

resistance. This will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as a

spacecraft reentering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer

will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each. In

short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the

reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake.

The

entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 0.00426 of a second.

Meanwhile, Santa, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06

times

greater than gravity. A 250-lb. Santa (seems ludicrously slim) would be

pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 lb. of force.

If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead now.

Biologically speaking, of course.

(Why Santa Is Impossible, http://www.jeremycogan.com...)

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.writersdreamtools.com...
http://www.jeremycogan.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Pat

Pro

I thank my opponent for a speedy response and apologise for posting so late.

Before I begin this final argument, I would like to clarify that what I meant by the statement I made in Round 1, was that I did not mean: "Santa Claus did exist 'cause in the past Saint Nicholas used to deliver presents to all the unfortunate people in his town".

Furthermore, I am not leaving my base by saying that there could be more Santas if they reproduced. They still use reindeer to travel, still travel on Christmas Eve (or 5th December, depending where you live), and probably wear the same clothes. The only difference is that there is more than one Santa, since there are now more children. Even if the original Santa is dead (notice that I am not confirming anything, merely suggesting, as my aim is to prove that the possibility that Santa Claus could exist is not 0).

I also request my opponent to not write his points in verse form, please, as it can get confusing.

Santa may not travel by space, I am saying that he could, to not suffer from the things the author of that (in)famous article talked about.

Since my opponent also references the article, I shall continue to discuss it before I introduce the idea of quantum physics. This article assumes that there are good children in every corner of the Earth, in every single land mass on Earth; every few kilometres (or was it miles?). Doesn't that seem ludicrous? There aren't that many people in places like Greenland, Iceland, Antarctica, etc. Therefore, Santa can skip over these areas rather quickly. He can, also, continue to accelerate here, as he doesn't have to make stops.

As I said, there are 2 billion children in the World. 2 billion people UNDER 18. Does everyone under 18 believe in Santa? As I recall, "those who don't believe, don't receive", or something along those lines, right?

Therefore, that number gets substantially reduced. Not to mention the fact that not every single child in the World is a good child.

Again, if we say that Santa travels through space, air resistance doesn't come into the picture. Space is a vacuum. There is no weight in space; weight is caused by gravity. Santa does feel gravity, however, as I doubt he ever leaves Earth's orbit; since he is continuously falling, a similar effect is produced.

The logic behind the argument that the reindeer are exposed to 14.3 quintillion J is, well, put plainly, bizarre, and questionable at best. My opponent himself says that this type of reindeer could exist. Following this logic, they are an undiscovered species by the rest of the World; therefore posing these questions:

� How can you treat land reindeer the same as flying reindeer? If they are an undiscovered species, then no one (escept Santa, obviously) knows anything about their strength, stamina, etc.

� Just because they look alike and eat the same food, doesn't mean that they are simply an "evolved" version of the land reindeer. Monkeys and chimpanzees look similar to me, but are they the same? Do they belong to the same species? Do they even belong to the same genus?

� No matter how ludicrous it seems, if these are new species, then they may be able to resist such enormous energy exposure. They are used to flying, maybe even in space, so they may also be developed to stand this much energy exposure.

I shall now begin to talk about quantum physics.

The terminal velocity of a reindeer in dry December air over the Northern Hemisphere is known with tremendous precision (accepting the fact that flying reindeer have exactly the same properties as land reindeer, with the sole difference being that one can fly and the other can't). The mass of Santa and his sleigh (since the number of children and their gifts is also known precisely, ahead of time, and the reindeer must weigh in minutes before the flight) is also known with tremendous precision.

All of that, when taken together, means that the momentum vector of Santa and his cargo is known with incredible precision. An elementary application of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle yields the result that Santa's location, at any given moment on Christmas Eve, is highly imprecise. In other words, he is "smeared out" over the surface of the earth, analogous to the manner in which an electron is "smeared out" within a certain distance from the nucleus in an atom. Thus he can, quite literally, be everywhere at any given moment.

In addition, the relativistic velocities which his reindeer can attain for brief moments make it possible for him, in certain cases, to arrive at some locations shortly before he left the North Pole. Santa, in other words, assumes for brief periods the characteristics of tachyons.

So, in conclusion, why does the author of this article assume that there is at least one good child per household? Why assume that the houses are evenly distributed, and that every single area on the Earth has the same population? Why not take into account parallel processing? Why not take into account the theory that Santa can warp time? Why not make mention of the possibility that there is more than one Santa now? Who says that Santa can't do what he needs to do in a few seconds? Housewives do it all the time in the discount periods!

If 10,000 vehicles with an average weight of 4,000kg cross a bridge every day, is the bridge supporting 40,000,000kg? No, it is supporting an average well below that. Thus Santa's sleigh need not support the full weight of all the presents, just as a telephone line does not support the weight of all the faxed documents transmitted. It has been demonstrated that several thousand times as much sound energy as previously possible can be produced by controlling the boundary waves at the speed of sound, avoiding shock waves and the sound barrier. So why couldn't Santa have discovered equivalent ways of taming the drag coefficients, and improving the thrust of cloven hooves a long time ago? He's had all the time in the World!

And with this, I end my debate. I wish my opponent and the audience a merry Christmas and a happy New Year, and wish my opponent luck. May the best man win!

SOURCES:
http://www.ijmc.com...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.jardmail.co.uk...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...(fiction)
Hound

Con

Thank you, Pro.

I understood what you meant in the first round. What I was saying is that you said "jolly red suit that we know today." That means you're trying to prove that the modern Santa exist. The modern Santa has beliefs and myths about him that you must adhere to in your case.

"Furthermore, I am not leaving my base by saying that there could be more Santas if they reproduced. They still use reindeer to travel, still travel on Christmas Eve (or 5th December, depending where you live), and probably wear the same clothes. The only difference is that there is more than one Santa, since there are now more children. Even if the original Santa is dead (notice that I am not confirming anything, merely suggesting, as my aim is to prove that the possibility that Santa Claus could exist is not 0)."

1. Nowhere in folklore does it say Santa has help.
2. Where would they live? The North Pole? I thought it was a house on the North Pole? I'm to assume an entire generation of Santas live there?

"I also request my opponent to not write his points in verse form, please, as it can get confusing."
It was a c/p, sorry. However, it did show a little debunking in your quantum physics statement that you failed to give attention to.

"Santa may not travel by space, I am saying that he could, to not suffer from the things the author of that (in)famous article talked about."
Why are we arguing the validity of the article again?

"Since my opponent also references the article, I shall continue to discuss it before I introduce the idea of quantum physics. This article assumes that there are good children in every corner of the Earth, in every single land mass on Earth; every few kilometres (or was it miles?). Doesn't that seem ludicrous? There aren't that many people in places like Greenland, Iceland, Antarctica, etc. Therefore, Santa can skip over these areas rather quickly. He can, also, continue to accelerate here, as he doesn't have to make stops."

Again, why are we disproving/proving the article? You fail to take into account that there are families with more than one child. Even if one is bad, another is bound to be good. You must assume every 1 in 2 household is stopped by San, at least.

"As I said, there are 2 billion children in the World. 2 billion people UNDER 18. Does everyone under 18 believe in Santa? As I recall, "those who don't believe, don't receive", or something along those lines, right?"
Again, the family thing. Also, there are adults that may or may not still believe in Santa Claus. Santa does not discriminate on whether or not you're a child.

"� How can you treat land reindeer the same as flying reindeer? If they are an undiscovered species, then no one (escept Santa, obviously) knows anything about their strength, stamina, etc"
Nothing is possible unless proven otherwise, scientifically speaking. You cannot fly without any sort of mechanism that helps you. If you cannot prove it, it has to be considered nonexistant. It's how it is in courts; no evidence, then the accused walks.

"� No matter how ludicrous it seems, if these are new species, then they may be able to resist such enormous energy exposure. They are used to flying, maybe even in space, so they may also be developed to stand this much energy exposure."
You can't assume about an undiscovered species.

"So, in conclusion, why does the author of this article assume that there is at least one good child per household? Why assume that the houses are evenly distributed, and that every single area on the Earth has the same population? Why not take into account parallel processing? Why not take into account the theory that Santa can warp time? Why not make mention of the possibility that there is more than one Santa now? Who says that Santa can't do what he needs to do in a few seconds? Housewives do it all the time in the discount periods!"
Again, we're not arguing about the validity of the article; I'm not even sure how we got on that subject anyhow. You speak of Santa warping time after you elaborated so much on how it would be "possible" for a Santa to do all this without any sort of supernatural assistance (sans the reindeer and such.) Discrepancies. Santa Claus, as today knows him, uses a sleigh and stops at each household all across the world in one night. This is biologically impossible.

In conclusion, I'm not sure how exactly we got on the subject of arguing the validity of the article. Santa Claus was supposed to have completed his trip without any sort of warping time, because the zeitgeist (as my opponent said, today) views him as a figure that does it without any sort of assistance of that caliber. Santa Claus is viewed as the same person, as immortal. Santa Claus children would have to go through the same process anyhow. Saying there could be more than one Santa on the night of Christmas poses a discrepancy to the arguments my opponent made.

Thank you for a great debate and happy holidays.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by AznMagic 6 years ago
AznMagic
http://www.snopes.com...
he could exist. but if he did he'd be dead according to physics =D
Posted by Hound 6 years ago
Hound
That's not the same thing.
Posted by Pat 6 years ago
Pat
Yeah, I'm a novice too. I don't think I did that bad though, for a first debate.

You're basing that thing on a psychological THEORY. I think I could prove there's not a goldfish sitting on my shoulder without too much trouble xD
Posted by Hound 6 years ago
Hound
Or prove them, for that matter.
Posted by SoSilly 6 years ago
SoSilly
Of course Santa could exist, it's based on exactly the same reasoning as God.

You can keep changing how they work so they don't conflict with facts, therefore can't 'disprove' them.
Posted by Chrysippus 6 years ago
Chrysippus
"All of that, when taken together, means that the momentum vector of Santa and his cargo is known with incredible precision. An elementary application of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle yields the result that Santa's location, at any given moment on Christmas Eve, is highly imprecise. In other words, he is "smeared out" over the surface of the earth, analogous to the manner in which an electron is "smeared out" within a certain distance from the nucleus in an atom. Thus he can, quite literally, be everywhere at any given moment.

In addition, the relativistic velocities which his reindeer can attain for brief moments make it possible for him, in certain cases, to arrive at some locations shortly before he left the North Pole. Santa, in other words, assumes for brief periods the characteristics of tachyons."

Awesome.
Posted by Hound 6 years ago
Hound
You're neglecting the fact that I'm still a novice.
Posted by wjmelements 6 years ago
wjmelements
I did a CON argument using the same sources this time last year. IMO, my argument was more concise.
http://www.debate.org...
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Postup10101 6 years ago
Postup10101
PatHoundTied
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Vote Placed by AznMagic 6 years ago
AznMagic
PatHoundTied
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