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The Contender
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Sea lions are seals

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/21/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 351 times Debate No: 84174
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (0)




The topic should be self explanatory.


First round: Acceptance only.

Final round: Rebuttals only. No new arguments.

Pro and Con shall not plagiarize, but may reuse their own work.

You flake, you lose.

You troll, you lose.


I accept this debate but I have a question first.

Pro and Con shall not plagiarize, but may reuse their own work.- By this do you mean using scientific articles is not allowed at all or if you source said article it is ok?
Debate Round No. 1


The use of sources such as scientific articles is permitted. Plagiarizing those sources is not permitted.

Argument -

P1 - Any organism of the taxonomic family Phocidae or Otariidae is a seal.

P2 - All sea lions are organisms of the taxonomic family Otariidae.
C1 - Therefore, all sea lions are seals.

This argument is valid. If the premises are true, then the conclusion must be true.

* "P" is an abbreviation for "premise" and "C" is an abbreviation for "conclusion".

Support for P1 -

Support for P1 comes in the form of encyclopedic and dictionary entries for the word "seal". These references are reputable, sufficiently numerous, and are inclusive of the taxonomic families mentioned in P1. The family names have been emphasized.
  • Encyclopedia Britannica [1]
    • any of 32 species of web-footed aquatic mammals that live chiefly in cold seas and whose body shape, round at the middle and tapered at the ends, is adapted to swift and graceful swimming. There are two types of seals: the earless, or true, seals (family Phocidae); and the eared seals (family Otariidae), which comprise the sea lions and fur seals.
  • Oxford Dictionary [2]
    • A fish-eating aquatic mammal with a streamlined body and feet developed as flippers, returning to land to breed or rest. Families Phocidae (the true seals) and Otariidae (the eared seals, including the fur seals and sea lions). The latter have external ear flaps and are able to sit upright, and the males are much larger than the females
  • American Heritage Dictionary [3]
    • Any of various aquatic carnivorous mammals of the families Phocidae and Otariidae, found chiefly in cold regions and having a sleek torpedo-shaped body and limbs that are modified into paddlelike flippers.
  • Collins Dictionary [4]
    • any of two families (Otariidae and Phocidae) of sea carnivores with a doglike head, a torpedo-shaped body, and four webbed feet or flippers: they live in cold or temperate waters and usually eat fish see also eared seal, earless seal

Support for P2 -

Support for P2 comes in the form of encyclopedic and dictionary entries for the term "sea lion." These references are reputable, sufficiently numerous, and demonstrate that sea lion species are of the family Otariidae, which is also referred to as "eared seals." [1][2] "Otariidae" and/or "eared seal" have been emphasized.

  • Encyclopedia Britannica [5]
    • any of five species of eared seals found primarily in Pacific waters. Sea lions are characterized by a coat of short, coarse hair that lacks a distinct undercoat. Except for the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), males have lion-like manes and constantly roar to defend their harems (hence their name).
  • Oxford Dictionary [6]
    • An eared seal occurring mainly on Pacific coasts, the large male of which has a mane on the neck and shoulders. Five genera and species in the family Otariidae
  • American Heritage Dictionary [7]
    • Any of several large seals of the family Otariidae, having a blunter muzzle and a thinner coat than the fur seals, especially the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus).
  • Collins Dictionary [8]
    • any of several genera of large, eared seals without underfur, usually living in colonies along the Pacific coastline


Id like to start by arguing against P1 and P2

P1 - While sea lions are part of one of the families described above there are various physical differences such as The flippers on a sea lion being larger and mainly covered with skin while in comparison the seals are thinly webbed with a claw on each small "toe". Another difference is the ears as seals have ear holes and sea lions have ear flaps which are more easily visible. Seals are more suitable to water due to their inability to walk on their flippers but instead only shuffle around on their bellies. Lastly seals are less social then sea lions. Seals only come up onto ground to mate while sea lions come regularly in "herds" that can reach up to 1500 sea lions.

P2 - This is the same as P1 from what I can see. However the fact that they are part of the Otariidae family still stands as true.

Due to these physical differences sea lions are not seals.
Debate Round No. 2


It is not uncommon for marine scientists to use the word "seal" to refer exclusively to true seals. That's what occurred in Pro's cited article. This is a niche use of the word "seal" and this type of use is not predominate within the American lexicon, as evidenced by the dictionary definitions from round 2.


Sea lions are seals in name and i accept that however i stand by my information and keep the argument sea lions are not seals.

Also this topic is everywhere and you only do this one.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by whiteflame 10 months ago
>Reported vote: AngyBlogger// Mod action: Removed<

4 points to Con (Conduct, Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: I am giving my vote to con. He provided enough evidence that there is difference between Sea Lions, and Seals, specifically in round 2 where he gave examples of such differences, also providing a source although both parties provided sources to their arguments, I slightly liked the cons a little more. So, in conclusion, if they are different, they can't really be the same and I accept the argument cause con gave clear examples of differences.

[*Reason for removal*] (1) The source point allocation is insufficiently explained. Liking one side's sources "a little more" is never sufficient justification for allocating these points. The difference has to be far clearer than simple preference. (2) The argument point allocation is insufficiently explained. The voter has to analyze arguments made by both sides in the debate and come to a conclusion based on that analysis. This vote only analyzes Con's points.
Posted by whiteflame 10 months ago
For some reason, I didn't post this when AngryBlogger's original vote was removed (though he received a message explaining the decision). Nonetheless, I will post that decision, as it should be publicly available.

>Reported vote: AngryBlogger// Mod action: Removed<

4 points to Con. Reasons for voting decision: con made convincing points that i agreed with, and wrote down new original arguments (cant say the same about the other person) but none the less, Con did a good job. Both had good conduct, and spelling, but cons points are just overwhelming.

[*Reason fo removal*] (1) The voter doesn't explain conduct (and appears to think it shouldn't have been allocated). (2) The voter insufficiently explains argument points. RFDs must contain analysis of specific points made in the debate, and this one is overgeneralized.
Posted by ballpit 10 months ago
this is very hard to argue against however it is not impossible and i felt a kritik would be a wrong approach.
Posted by Death23 10 months ago
I've had 12 people accept it before.
Posted by hldemi 10 months ago
Nobody is ever gonna accept this retarded topic
No votes have been placed for this debate.