The Instigator
Olhando
Pro (for)
Losing
29 Points
The Contender
Kleptin
Con (against)
Winning
51 Points

Time Travel, to the future, is possible.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/11/2008 Category: Science
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,813 times Debate No: 3595
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (20)

 

Olhando

Pro

Time Travel? Sure, we've heard of it.
Its hard to say when 'man' first conceived of it, but back in 1733 a man by the name of Samuel Madden published a work called, "Memoirs of the Twentieth Century ". Which he claimed was a series of letters from English ambassadors in various countries to the British "Lord High Treasurer", along with a few replies from the British Foreign Office, all reportedly written in 1997 and 1998 and describing the conditions of that era.
OK so if we haven't heard of that most of us have certainly seen Back to the Future, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, or that one Simpson's Episode when Homer has the toaster that transports him through time. But we know thats fictional, so we ask how can a man visit a seperate time let alone a time indeed the future.

The truth is, it's easier to visit the future then it is to visit the past, and some scientists have even figured out how.

Let me first define future as: the time yet to come based on the beginning of the trip. I see the loophole using the term future, because it is a time yet to come, it can never actually get here. That is why I define it based on preliminary assumptions. You can use it like this "Scientist from 2008 visited the future year of 3000, but when they got there the year 3000 was the present."

I hope you see my meaning.

Heres one scenario for how such a trip might be accomplished:

First, we need to understand Special relativity. Its defined as: the physical theory of measurement in inertial frames of reference, and was proposed in 1905 by Albert Einstein. Special Relativity brings in the idea of Time Dialation: Time dilation is the phenomenon whereby an observer finds that another's clock which is physically identical to their own is ticking at a slower rate as measured by their own clock. Basically, an object traveling at high speeds ages more slowly than a stationary object.

If we could travel at near the speed of light to a distant star, slowed and turned back around, once again shot off towards Earth at near lightspeed, we could come back to a Earth aged over 1000 years.

What would something like that take? Well come astrophysicist's have been working on that.

The astronauts capsule would weigh, say 50 tons, and his/her multistage rocket, loaded with even the most advanced anitmatter fuel, would have to wiegh more then 4,000 times as much as the Saturn V Rocket. Now, heres how matter-antimatter fuel works. For every particle of matter, (nuetron, proton, and electron) there is an antimatter (antinuetron, antiproton, and positron). Bring a particle of matter together with a particle of antimatter and they will annihilate eachother, producing a pure energy usually in the form of gamma-ray photons. On the back of the rocket would be a large mirror-- a light sail.

To launch the capsule from Earth, a giant laser positioned in the solar system would fire at this mirror, accelerating it for the first quater of its journey. The rocket would then be racing away from the Earth at 99.9992 percent the speed of light. The astronaut would then turn her rocket around and, in its engines, matter and antimatter would annihilate eachother to produce gamma rays that exit out the back, slowing the rocket to a halt after another 250 light years. Then the matter/anti-matter engines would fire again, accelerating the rocket back up to speed for the journey. Finally, the astronaut would pull out another mirror, and the laser stationed in the solar system would fire at it again, efficently slowing down the rocket for its return to Earth.

With this acceleration, as the rocket picked up speed, the astronauts feet would be pressed against the floor, making him/her feel as though she was back on Earth to ensure a comfortable ride. The astronaut would age 6 years and 3 weeks while accelerating up to a speed of 99.9992 percent the speed of light, at which point should would be 250 light-years away from Earth. He/she would then age another 6 years 3 weeks slowing down and ending her journey 500 light-years away- she would thus have aged 12 years 6 weeks. She would repeat this process on the return trip aging another 12 years 6 weeks. Earth would be 1,000 years older when she return, but she would have aged fewer then 25 years.

Lets look at the problems...

1. This project would require space-based lasers vastly more powerful then those available currently.
2. Also, at present we can make one antimatter atom at a time; we would have to be able to make it and store it safely in bulk.
3. We would have to develop technoology for cooling the engines to prevent melting.
4. The ship would need to be shielded from interstellar atoms and light waves it would run into.
There would be many serious engineering problems. It wouldnt be easy, but it is scientifically possible for a person to indeed visit the future.

"Time is of your own making;
its clock ticks in your head.
The moment you stop thought
time too stops dead."
-Angelus Silesius

Thanks to -
Professor J. Richard Gott from Princeton University, "Time Travel in Einstein's Universe."
Kleptin

Con

Special relativity works out on paper and correlates with other calculated data but cannot be used for time travel because of a very simple misocnception.

Clocks don't tell time the way we think they do.

The flaw of special relativity is that it assumes that clocks somehow look around at where they are and display time the same way a thermometer displays temperature. Clocks all operate by doing a certain thing at a certain rate. In the urban legends of fast traveling aircraft where the times are off by one second, that can easily be attributed to barometric conditions and other variables that effect the mechanism by which clocks work.

Clocks, mechanical or electrical, are completely incapable of judging any time dilation, even if it did exist. An objective measure of time "changing" would have to exist, and we don't have that.

It doesn't matter how fast something travels, time exists when motion exits and any velocity is a form of motion. Time travel is impossible because time only exists as a conceptual aid for motion and change.
Debate Round No. 1
Olhando

Pro

My opponents argument attacks the theory behind Special Relativity,

"Clocks all operate by doing a certain thing at a certain rate. In the urban legends of fast traveling aircraft where the times are off by one second, that can easily be attributed to barometric conditions and other variables that effect the mechanism by which clocks work... Clocks, mechanical or electrical, are completely incapable of judging any time dilation, even if it did exist. An objective measure of time "changing" would have to exist, and we don't have that."

1. Con's first mistake is to offer no sources decrediting the idea of Time Dilation and/or the possiblities behind Special Relativity. He simply argues with his own logic. Unless he is a credited physicist or mathmetician, his argument is irrelevant.

2. In his assertion that Time Dilation is something we don't have, he uses the example of the clocks on the ground and in the airplane, his assumptions that there are barometric conditions and other variables that effect the mechanisms by which clocks work, that argument may stand. Though I never referenced time travel here on Earth.

Let me clarify by saying I used to idea of astronauts. Astronauts experience the effect of aging a little less then the rest of us. Because the Russian cosmonaut Sergi Avdeyev was in robit a total of 748 days during three spaceflights, he's about one fiftieth of a second younger then he would be fi he hadn't gone on those trips. This results from the interaction of the two effects. First, a clock sitting at rest wiht respect to Earth at the altitude of the Mir Space Station would slightly tick faster than one on Earths surface. Thats because Mir is higher up in Earths gravitational well. But the secoond and larger effect is that the astronaut would be traveling at more then 17,000 mph, and his clock would be clicking more slowly then if he were stationary with respect to Earths surface. His orbital velocity is .00254 % the spped of light-- the slowing of his clock is small but real.

Mr.Avdeyev is the greatest time traveler to date. Mr.Avdeyev has travelled to the future by about one fiftieth of a second. Thats not much, but it is a stop. A journey of a thousand years must begin with a fraction of a second.

This example is proving Special Relativity, and does not involve barometric pressure, because the lack of atmosphere of space.

3. In conclusion, the con has not offered any arugments to disprove the resolution, that "Time Travel, to the future, is possible". This is not an argument on Special Relativity.

I trust that all voters will acknowledge these 3 points in response to the Con, and vote pro.
Kleptin

Con

My opponent's last response was disrespectful and deceitful. Argument by authority is a logical fallacy. He would have us assume that just because he tags "and this is supported by people with credentials", it must be the truth.

"1. Con's first mistake is to offer no sources decrediting the idea of Time Dilation and/or the possiblities behind Special Relativity. He simply argues with his own logic. Unless he is a credited physicist or mathmetician, his argument is irrelevant."

I have offered a valid, logical counterpoint which he has absolutely refused to address. Given that all of these scientists judge special relativity to be true based on the notion that time can be objectively measured by clocks, of course special relativity works out.

BUT CLOCKS DON'T WORK THAT WAY.

I don't need a doctorate in physics or mathematics to make a logical counterpoint that completely disrupts this entire debate. If my opponent cannot counter my notion that time doesn't exist the solid way he assumes it does, then he himself has no basis for his argument.

Thus, my argument is *very* relevant and his dismissal of my argument on the grounds that I do not have credentials he is pleased with is an AD HOMINEM ATTACK. This is a logical fallacy and unacceptable in debate. I repeat, it is necessary for this debate for my opponent to address my counterpoint.

"2. In his assertion that Time Dilation is something we don't have, he uses the example of the clocks on the ground and in the airplane, his assumptions that there are barometric conditions and other variables that effect the mechanisms by which clocks work, that argument may stand. Though I never referenced time travel here on Earth."

I needn't limit myself. The whole concept of special relativity is founded on the experiments on earth, since none so far have been reproducible to preferable proportions in space. Therefore, my pointing out a MASSIVE LOGICAL FLAW in the preliminary experiments is of utmost importance in judging the validity of this concept in general.

"Mr.Avdeyev is the greatest time traveler to date. Mr.Avdeyev has travelled to the future by about one fiftieth of a second. Thats not much, but it is a stop. A journey of a thousand years must begin with a fraction of a second."

Begging the question fallacy. There is no legitimate proof that Mr. Avdeyev has actually aged a fiftieth of a second. Is there a little meter on his forehead that says his body age has increased by a fiftieth of a second? Is there biological evidence in his cells? The answer is no. It's just that based on flawed logic and inaccurate scientific experiments, that's what the numbers calculated into. In reality, Mr. Avdeyev probably hasn't aged at all, because of that singular flaw I mentioned. My opponent has a moot point here because the only way this piece of "evidence" can help him, is if he proves what he is debating. Thus, circular logic, begging the question.

"3. In conclusion, the con has not offered any arugments to disprove the resolution, that "Time Travel, to the future, is possible". This is not an argument on Special Relativity."

Incorrect. I have offered an argument which you deemed invalid. Of course, your judgment was fallacious and my argument still stands. For clarity, I will repeat it.

*****************************************

If you stick a thermometer in someone's mouth, the level of the mercury will change because of constant laws regarding temperature, volume, and pressure. If you then stick the thermometer in ice water, the level of mercury will decrease similarly.

My opponent and the supporters of time travel ERRONEOUSLY believe that a clock works the same way. You cannot stick a clock in dilated time, and compare it with a clock in non dilated time and see a difference. Clocks simply don't work that way, they don't measure time. They just keep ticking over and over again. So clocks are not capable of measuring TIME DILATION, thus, any sort of experiment that has been done so far that says such is INVALID.

My opponent obviously does not have an answer for this, even though it is a simply logical flaw in his argument. I ask my opponent to kindly STOP citing scientific concepts drawn from this fallacy UNTIL he can respond to my counterpoint.

Otherwise, this debate is decided in my favor.
Debate Round No. 2
Olhando

Pro

I'd like to first apologize to my opponent, "My opponent's last response was disrespectful and deceitful.", no harm intended.

But in regards to, "He would have us assume that just because he tags "and this is supported by people with credentials", it must be the truth."

I do not mean it is the truth, and I do agree I posed my idea wrong by saying "Unless he is a credited physicist or mathmetician, his argument is irrelevant." , what I do mean is this: People with credentials, who have studied a particular field, especially one like astrophysics, have more credibility then someone with no experience. Wouldn't you agree? And you in fact offered nothing by anyone besides yourself, and still you offer no opinions against time dilation but your own.

"I have offered a valid, logical counterpoint which he has absolutely refused to address." - Your counterpoint,
"Clocks don't tell time the way we think they do... The flaw of special relativity is that it assumes that clocks somehow look around at where they are and display time the same way a thermometer displays temperature. Clocks all operate by doing a certain thing at a certain rate. In the urban legends of fast traveling aircraft where the times are off by one second, that can easily be attributed to barometric conditions and other variables that effect the mechanism by which clocks work."

In fact I answer this, by previous stating you have no sources (something esstianal to a credible debate) stating ideas against Special Relativity or Time Dilation, and by my second point.
"2. In his assertion that Time Dilation is something we don't have, he uses the example of the clocks on the ground and in the airplane, his assumptions that there are barometric conditions and other variables that effect the mechanisms by which clocks work, that argument may stand. Though I never referenced time travel here on Earth. "

I later explained the example with the astronaut, referencing Earth's gravitational well,
"First, a clock sitting at rest wiht respect to Earth at the altitude of the Mir Space Station would slightly tick faster than one on Earths surface. Thats because Mir is higher up in Earths gravitational well"

"I needn't limit myself. The whole concept of special relativity is founded on the experiments on earth, since none so far have been reproducible to preferable proportions in space. Therefore, my pointing out a MASSIVE LOGICAL FLAW in the preliminary experiments is of utmost importance in judging the validity of this concept in general."

Once again my opponent basis a claim of his logic. "In reality, Mr. Avdeyev probably hasn't aged at all, because of that singular flaw I mentioned. My opponent has a moot point here because the only way this piece of "evidence" can help him, is if he proves what he is debating. Thus, circular logic, begging the question."

Special relativity is part of general relativity, and is valid only under a limited set of conditions. The theory of general relativity provides strict rules that neither special relativity, nor any of our other theories of the universe, can violate. General relativity is something widely believed in and tested (http://www.reasons.org...). All NASA scientists can go off of is equations to ensure a safe flight, and it is equations scientist use that are proving this time travel is possible.

I conclude with this to opponent, bring forth an opinion other then that of your own. Though the theory of time travel has to be based on the assumption that time travel is real, that is what this debate is about. Mathmeticians and scientist believe it is real, at least to the future. Its not that the clock is clicking differently, its that to an outside observer it is clicking either slower or faster, it is the increased or decreased observation from our conscious that make time travel possible, time is after all an observation.

I hope this answers all of your counterpoints.
Kleptin

Con

My opponent has again taken the coward's way out, and has again violated the rules of debate.

While it is true that my counterpoint is purely from my own personal observation and no one else's, this is NOT grounds for dismissing it.

Again, this is a direct violation of the rules of debate.

If I say that 1+1=2, how is it any more or less true than when a mathematician says 1+1=2? My opponent has disrespectfully decided that NOTHING I say deserves analysis purely because the sources he cites comes from people with better credentials.

That being said, I respectfully answer my opponent with a resounding "NO". I need not bring in outside opinions because my opinion is still valid. What is questionable is that you have not directly answered my question in the TWO ROUNDS I have given you to do so.

***********************

My opponent SLIGHTLY touches upon the counterpoint I made at the beginning of this debate only at the very end.

"Its not that the clock is clicking differently, its that to an outside observer it is clicking either slower or faster, it is the increased or decreased observation from our conscious that make time travel possible, time is after all an observation."

My opponent, by making this point, basically shoots himself in the foot. What my opponent has been describing as time travel is only delayed reaction. If things travel at near the speed of light, they don't travel in time. It's just that an observer on earth wouldn't be able to interpret the data fast enough.

We perceive information through light waves, and if things travel near the speed of light, of course it would give the ILLUSION that time is slowing. In reality, it is not. It's just that our flawed biological data processors (our eyes) are not correlating with reality properly.

My opponent said it himself. To a person on earth, a clock moving away at the speed of light would seem to click SLOWER. But as soon as that clock makes its way BACK TO EARTH, it would seem to click FASTER until it reaches "normal time". This is akin to Doppler's effect of sound waves. Thus, all the experiments regarding time travel are based merely on illusion of the senses.

In that case, I must conclude that my opponent did not, in any way, shape, or form, develop his argument that time travel is possible. All of his responses were based on illogical premises that I have pointed out several times over and his final response revealed an ADDITIONAL flaw in the entire concept of time travel.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Molokoplus 8 years ago
Molokoplus
Kleptin, I found your argument to be weak on the grounds that you do not understand that relativity is not based on light and perception, but on the fabric of spacetime. As an object attains velocity, and therefore energy, it's mass will increase. This is evident in E=mc^2. As an object attains more energy, it sinks deeper into the fabric of spacetime, resulting in time progressing slower for that object. That's all there is to proving that time travel is possible; Olhando, you have the right idea.
Posted by Kleptin 9 years ago
Kleptin
I need to get over myself? Do you realize how hypocritical that sounds?

I would gladly accept it if you told me that what I said was inaccurate, but labeling it as "laughable" with no solid, objective explanation was just obnoxious and arrogant.

Yes, the comment section is for comments. Productive comments. Not unproductive insults.

"Kleptin, I found your argument to be weak on the grounds that x,y,z"

As of yet, you still haven't provided an argument. In fact, you echo my opponent's logical flaw in disregarding my argument on the basis of credentials. From that, I can either conclude that you don't understand the rules of debate, or that you simply don't have any other grounds on which to disagree with me.

I don't have much more to say. If you wish, send me a challenge. Even though you're obviously a prick, I may very well be wrong in what I say and I'm not too proud to debate you, lose, and walk away learning something I didn't know before.
Posted by leethal 9 years ago
leethal
Ok, I'll dumb this down as much as possible for you Kleptin. If you choose not to take this advice as 'constructive', that's your own problem. Either way, I'm saying it because, well, because I can and because it's true. Here goes...

You proved in your debate to know very little about any of the concepts you were discussing. When I said that your knowledge of Special Relativity was 'laughable', I meant that it made me laugh when I read it, due to its incredible inaccuracy. A further review of the votes made me laugh harder, as it showed that more people were willing to take your word over Einstein's, despite your utter lack of proof, and Einstein's abundance of it.

If you think I was trying to offend you, you need to get over yourself. I was criticizing a bad debate, and if that's not the purpose of this comments section, I don't know what is.
Posted by Kleptin 9 years ago
Kleptin
Pro wasn't trying to offend me. I thoroughly enjoyed my debate with Pro.

Leethal is the one trying to offend me. Please see below.
Posted by Danielle 9 years ago
Danielle
Kleptin, I don't think Pro was trying to offend you :'(
Posted by Kleptin 9 years ago
Kleptin
I actually managed to grasp that concept, but that's the problem. The speed of light is only relevant in that it is the way we interpret visual information.

Assume there is a device that blinks at a constant rate of once per second with an infinitely bright light that we can see from any distance.

As it travels near the speed of light away from earth, it would seem to blink slower than once per second. However, if it came back towards us, it would blink FASTER than once per second and by the time it gets back here, all the "lost" time would have been balanced out.

Time dilation is only an illusion due to our flawed senses. Time itself doesn't change. Light is just a phenomenon with little to no importance. The significance of the speed of light is no more than the speed of sound or the speed of anything, actually.

If we were a blind species that could only derive information from sound, time dilation would occur when things travel near the speed of sound.
Posted by British_Guy 9 years ago
British_Guy
I'm sorry - but this debate could have been much better. What should have been done at the start was ensure that both sides had a basic understanding of (at the very least) what the theory of time dilation IS. This is advanced theoretical stuff, and I myself have trouble understanding how all these theorems and things work.

I'll do my best to explain. Einstein hypothesized that if one approached the speed of light, light would begin to appear differently to that person. Imagine a rowboat being a beam of light. It is moving away from you. But if you were to travel in your own rowboat after that one, the rowboat would not seem to be moving away as fast.

Now, apply this to a spaceship approaching the speed of light. If light were to travel more slowly, then a blinking clock would not blink as fast. This is not because the clock is looking around at its environment and measuring it differently, but because it is reflecting how it and the environment has fundamentally changed. Not just the clock is aging slower, but the entire vessel. (Including you and your cells, according to theory.)

But for light, as opposed to rowboats, it doesn't matter which direction you travel in - the distortion still occurs.

It's a very confusing subject - and I'm not exactly sure if I described it satisfactorily. It's something that I learned a little about when I was reading a book about black holes.

And, by the way, I think that Kleptin did raise a good point - we don't really know if time would slow down if we reached the speed of light, becaue no one has ever been able to do it. And even though Einstein's theory is the best guess we have as to the behavior of time, it is still just a guess.

But, it's the best we have, and I hope I explained it somewhat correctly. But if anyone reads anything about my explanation and would like to add to or alter it, please feel free to.

Thanks! I just thought I'd add my two cents to what I find a fascinating subject.
Posted by Kleptin 9 years ago
Kleptin
The answer to your question is "no". You have not given a productive comment. If you wanted to make a productive comment, you would have type a clear, concise, and mature response detailing the specific areas of your disagreement instead of typing a response that was clearly meant only to provoke.

Insulting my understanding with absolutely no specific explanation only shows that you have some sort of inherent bias towards either me, or my position. You could have easily specified that there were flaws in my understanding that led to a poor argument, but you did not do so. Since we barely know each other, I can rule out the possibility that you are invalidating my position based on a bias against my person. Thus, I must conclude that your only justification for invalidating my position is bias against the position I am supporting for this debate.

At this point, I honestly don't care whether or not you have any solid reason for declaring my understanding "laughable", because you've already shown to me, at least, that you're not serious as a debater at all.
Posted by leethal 9 years ago
leethal
No, I'm sorry Kleptin... Was "your understanding of special relativity is laughable" not 'productive' enough of a comment for you? I'm pretty sure that comment was attacking your so-called arguments, and not your stance.
Posted by Kleptin 9 years ago
Kleptin
I'm sorry, do you have anything productive to say or are you just going to attack me based on my position instead of my arguments?
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