The Instigator
EmilyMemmi
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Bogcha
Pro (for)
Winning
26 Points

Viruses are Living organisms

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Bogcha
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/7/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 552 times Debate No: 74936
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (5)

 

EmilyMemmi

Con

I am here to prove that viruses are not living organisms. (First round is acceptance only!)
Bogcha

Pro

I accept the challenge.
Good luck instigator :)
Debate Round No. 1
EmilyMemmi

Con

Thank you, and good luck to as well.

So my opening argument is a basic Biology class- All living organisms must undergo all the life procceses! (movement, reproduction, stimulous-response/sensitivity, nutrition, excretion, respiration and growth)

So let's go down the list-
Movement- A virus cannot move itself
Reproduction- It cannot reproduce by its own means, only by taking over host cells (which does not count!)
Stimulous-response/sensitivity- Cannot respond to environment
Nutrition- It does not obtain or use energy
Excretion- Does not produce wastes
Respiration- Does not undergo respiration
Growth- Does not grow or develop

Sources- http://www.oum.ox.ac.uk......
http://www.cliffsnotes.com......;
Bogcha

Pro

I will formulate my response in this round by first rebutting your arguments logically/with examples then the second part will be composed of my arguments (Why a virus IS a living organism). Please read carefully.

"Movement- A virus cannot move itself"
This is in fact not true. It has been proven that viruses module their cytoskeleton to create movement (think of a worm and how it moves);

"Reproduction- It cannot reproduce by its own means, only by taking over host cells (which does not count!)"
You are missing the fundamental knowledge of reproduction. Two cells are required for reproduction in order to create a new one. It is a vague argument but i do not wish to go very technical. Think of this: A man cannot reproduce with another man.. he needs a woman (her cell...). The sperm (containing half the DNA information) will fertilize the egg (containing half the DNA info) and will give rise to a new cell. The same happens with viruses. It replicates it's DNA and injects it into the host cell.

"Stimulous-response/sensitivity- Cannot respond to environment"
This is somewhat correct but incorrect at the same time. In the event of a DNA injection (reproduction of the virus) the infected cell (containing the DNA of the virus) does respond to stimuli.

"Nutrition- It does not obtain or use energy"
Here is the response to that "Viruses are too small and simple to collect or use their own energy" they just steal it from the cells they infect. Viruses only need energy when they make copies of themselves, and they don't need any energy at all when they are outside of a cell" [1]

"Excretion- Does not produce wastes"
This should be deduced from the point above. But if you are unable to, i will explain it to you in one sentence. What goes in must come out (maybe not in the same molecular composition).

"Respiration- Does not undergo respiration"
The reason why we breathe is to supply oxygen to the cells in order for them to be able to burn the nutrients from the food we ingested to create energy. Now i would argue that energy cannot be "absorbed" by the virus, but apparently they are able to somehow harvest it.

"Growth- Does not grow or develop"
I would agree that they do not grow (in height or weight) but in the DNA injection stages where the DNA of the host undergoes a mutation, the resulting virus must be developing in order to continue the cycle.

Here are my arguments as to why viruses are Living Organisms:

Evolution within Host
As you might be aware the membrane of the viruses is composed of "mating" connectors that when they come in contact with a cell membrane (one of your body cells) an interconnection happens, allowing the virus to enter the cell. [2]
If the virus is able to mimic these mating connectors (for a lack of better words) in order to perfectly align themselves and trick the cell into thinking that is a substance that requires some adaptation and evolution (Ebola as example). Living organisms are able to adapt and to evolve. Therefore a virus is a living organism.

Viral Evolution between Hosts
A virus is able to quickly change it's outer surface and it's genes in order to appear as a new entity to the host/new cell. Due to this quick changes, once cell is infected, the virus can spread to other cells that have different specialties. (ie first the virus infected a skin cell then it evolved and affected a muscle cell). It's rapid adaptation and evolution can be then transferred to other hosts that might not be part of the same biological tree branch. (from a frog to a human).

[1] http://askabiologist.asu.edu...
[2] https://www.youtube.com...
Debate Round No. 2
EmilyMemmi

Con

Movement- I don't know why you think they can move themselves, because they can't! (0)
Reproduction- It does reproduce by sexual or asexual reproduction, which are the only types of reproduction that organisms can do! I understand reproduction, which means I understand that viruses cannot and do not reproduce!!!(1)
Stimulus/Response- You have failed to prove that the virus responds to the environment.
Nutrition-They do not need energy, the cells they have invaded need energy. As the virus and the invaded cell are different, the virus does not need nutrition.
Excretion- This point is based off the nutrition, as Pro said in their argument.
Respiration- You are merely making claims. They do not undergo any respiration, or any metabolism at all. (2)
Growth- They don't grow or develop, you are again simply making claims.

Evolution within Host
The viruses do not adapt and evolve, they just have specific protein coats!

Viral Evolution between Hosts
This has no basis and does not even make sense to me.

(0)-http://kdshives.com...
(1)- http://biology.about.com...
(2)- http://www.prism.gatech.edu...
Bogcha

Pro

Your argument of movement involves in and out of the cell. Once the virus is inside the cell why would it move out? All it will do is affect adjacent cells, which is what that reference mentions.

Your argument in reproduction is flawed. What the virus does is copies it's DNA and then injects it into the DNA of the cell (nucleus). When that happens the DNA in the nucleus will undergo a mutation which in turn will give rise to other viruses.

Your argument on stimulus does not cover or reflect on what i have mentioned. What i said is that a healthy cell responds to stimulus. If the nucleus is being hi-jacket and a foreign DNA (viral DNA) then the cell becomes a virus in turn. Its DNA gets overwritten by the viral DNA. See my logic?

Energy is the outcome of nutrition. I said they need energy in order to replicate (DNA replication). That requires energy due to all processes requiring energy. Therefore what the virus does is it harvests the energy from the cell. Look at my reference.

Excretion argument can be further developed. If the energy harvested is being used or allocated towards DNA replication, and since not all processes are 100% efficient, some excretion or waste (energy waste such as heat) can be generated.

Growth.. i will keep it simple. All animate objects (or capable of creating/multiplying offsprings) must grow.

VOTE PRO :)
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by PointlessQuestions 1 year ago
PointlessQuestions
EmilyMemmiBogchaTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I Thought That Pro Had Better Constructed Arguments.
Vote Placed by HomelySherlock 1 year ago
HomelySherlock
EmilyMemmiBogchaTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: While I agree that a virus is not a living organism, the extent of Pro's arguments was repeatedly insisting they were right. They made points which were easily refuted. They may have used more sources, but Pro had better ones.
Vote Placed by CommunistDog 1 year ago
CommunistDog
EmilyMemmiBogchaTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Well formulated argument
Vote Placed by Ian159 1 year ago
Ian159
EmilyMemmiBogchaTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: The scientific illiteracy on the part of con is concerning. Also, cliff's notes is NEVER a viable source.
Vote Placed by Lumberjay85 1 year ago
Lumberjay85
EmilyMemmiBogchaTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had a much more convincing argument. He/She was successfully able to refute Con, while Con's refutes could have used some more development.