The Instigator
WilliamsP
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Mikal
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

We are not alone.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Mikal
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/18/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 916 times Debate No: 46199
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)

 

WilliamsP

Pro

We are not alone. Humans are most certainly not the only intelligent species in the Universe. There is no God that made us or no Messiah that protects us, but there is a fundamental truth: We are not alone.
There are uncountable - seemingly infinite - planets and stars in our Universe. We have only discovered a fraction of a percent of the entire cosmos. In our galaxy alone, there are sixty billion planets that have conditions that could possibly support life. We have not yet visited these planets, but it is reasonable to assume that our galaxy holds many billions of intelligent species, which are maybe similar to humans, identical to humans, or even so diverse and distinct that we would not recognize the species as intelligent when we first encounter them.
If a television screen represented our Universe, the part we have discovered and that we are able to observe would be a fraction of a pixel. If our Earth represented the entire cosmos, a single drop of water could represent the observable Universe. Surely, we are not alone. Surely on other worlds in other realms, shall there be life. Surely there shall be life that can rival us and that can challenge the human capabilities.
You may ask why aliens haven't visited us yet if they are truly real. That is a question we shall explore in this debate. But I will express what I do know: Humans are sometimes a pathetic and susceptible species. Why would aliens waste their time with us? Why would they avoid us and not visit Earth? There are many reasons, including the way we treat our planet, the way we tread our fellow humans and the way we think and feel. We pollute our air and our water, we kill our fellow humans, we allow the extinction of animals to occur, and we commit uncountable wrongs every single day. Of course, we have done a lot of good in our entire time of existence, but we have also committed uncountable wrongs.
I look forward to my opponent's argument, which I am afraid will not be valid.
Mikal

Con

I accept

I will give my adversary a chance to lay out his first contentions in detail and then I will post my first round.
Debate Round No. 1
WilliamsP

Pro

The Universe holds uncountable planets and stars. There are seemingly infinite realms and worlds, and galaxies and solar systems. The cosmos is addressed with many questions: Questions of origin, questions of fate, questions of destiny among many others. The vast space of our cosmos holds some of the most fantastic mysteries of all time. One question shall be answered as the debate progresses: Are we alone or are we just a single species out of uncountable more? My stand shall be this: We are not alone. We are joined by seemingly infinite other lifeforms.
Earth is our home. Earth is our planet. And yet, we have been grounded for too long. It is time to look up at the stars and proclaim, "We are not alone." It is time to admit that out of many, we are one. It is time to realize that we are not alone. It is time to recognize the existence of life many miles away. There may not be life on the dark side of the moon or on the surface of Venus, but somewhere out there, there is life.
As we sit in front of our computers, there is a civil war raging on a planet in a nearby galaxy. As we read a crime novel, a chancellor if giving his inaugural address in a realm billions of light-years away. Right now, uncountable different lifeforms are enjoying their life, as millions are enduring war and poverty. The aliens may not have cultures similar to ours. They may not have governments and families and marriages, but I know this: They are intelligent.
There are over sixty billion planets in our galaxy alone that have conditions that could possibly support life. With billions of galaxies in the observable Universe, it is reasonable to assume that there are so many planets that could support life that we don't have a word for the number that will describe them. I recognize that not all of these planets will have intelligent life, but there may be unintelligent life as well: microscopic beings.
When I say, "We are not alone," I am not only talking about intelligent life that resembles humans. I am talking about all sorts of life. There may be animal-like life, plant-like life or even life that we cannot classify according to our system.

I believe I have made my point. I will quickly review what I said in a few short sentences: There are uncountable planets and stars. Why couldn't and wouldn't there be life on some of these planets? There may not be intelligent life everywhere, but when you search thoroughly, you shall find it.
Mikal

Con

Here we go

Lets review the resolution at hand. My adversary is claiming

"We(humans) are not alone"

and clearly is directing this at aliens and other sorts of human like creatures. We can tell this during his R1 and R2 statements

"We are not alone. Humans are most certainly not the only intelligent species in the Universe"


In addition to this I am calling Pro out right away on his resolution. In R2 he is assuming what we are debating is is highly likely. We are not dealing in odds of probability, we are dealing in odds of certainty per the resolution.

The resolution is not

"We are probably not alone"

The resolution is however

"We are not alone "


There is a fundamental difference in saying something "does exist" and "possibly exists", and per the resolution we are debating "there is intelligent life". I will not allow him to alter his own resolution in R2.




Empirical Evidence

This is the heart of the debate. Remember we are not dealing in odds of chance or probability, we are dealing in certainty. This is very similar to arguing "There is a God", except we are arguing "There are aliens and other intelligent life". What my adversary is attempting to do is rationalize how and why this life could exist. We could similarly do the same thing with God. Why does he exist? Because it makes sense and it explains how the universe could exist. In this instance we are looking at aliens. Do Aliens exist? His next line of logic follows this. Yes they probably do exist, there are thousands of galaxies that we have not explored, and due to us forming from evolution there is a chance at least one planet has produced intelligent life similar to earth. This line of logic is flawed by itself. I could say there is (x) that exist on other planets. That gigantic bugs possibly exist or that creatures like dinosaurs still exist on other planets because we have seem similar things on earth. So at least one on these planets, there is a high probability that one satisfies the needs to meet this criteria.

While if we looked at his logic formally, there is nothing to flawed about it. It is flawed, but not as flawed as we would think. He is just reasoning, it happening on earth so it could happen somewhere else. He could even break down numbers and probability as to the variety and chances of it occurring.

The issue is that this does not support his premise and resolution. Again we are not weighing in odds of probability but certainty. We are dealing with empirical evidence, not theories. When we say (x) exists there has to be empirical evidence to support that claim. We have no seen no evidence to support intelligent life beyond earth. At least anything that is empirical. All the circumstances where people have witnessed something or thought they have saw something, almost all of it has been or easily can be debunked by science. Here are just a few that can be explained logically [1]


No empirical evidence to support intelligent life.

Let us review two thinks real quick

Empirical Evidence - provable or verifiable by experience or experiment. [2]

Circumstantial Evidence - indirect evidence that tends to establish a conclusion by inference [2]

Direct Evidence - real, tangible, or clear evidence of a fact, happening, or thing that requires no thinking or consideration to prove its existence, as compared to circumstantial evidence [2]




Here is a breakdown on how to tell direct and indirect (circumstantial) apart.

" The following examples illustrate the difference between direct and circumstantial evidence: If John testifies that he saw Tom raise a gun and fire it at Ann and that Ann then fell to the ground, John's testimony is direct evidence that Tom shot Ann. If the jury believes John's testimony, then it must conclude that Tom did in fact shoot Ann. If, however, John testifies that he saw Tom and Ann go into another room and that he heard Tom say to Ann that he was going to shoot her, heard a shot, and saw Tom leave the room with a smoking gun, then John's testimony is circumstantial evidence from which it can be inferred that Tom shot Ann. The jury must determine whether John's testimony is credible. " [3]

So essentially most of the cases are like this

"Ann walked outside and she saw a bright light in the sky, she looked up and saw something similar to UFO soar through the sky. Therefore Ann believes there is a UFO"

Situations like this are entirely circumstantial and can be debunked easily. Anywhere from a lighting storm happening and a plane flying through the sky, or even someone playing a practical joke. In a majority of these situations you can go back and almost create the same type or even the same exact situation that happened.

You never see stuff like this

" Ann walked out side and saw her neighbor being abducted by alien. Jill also saw the same thing"

This is direct evidence, and most situations that do come out like this are instantly shot down as hoaxs and rightfully so. Either the people are mentally unstable or a variety of other reasons. In all the years on earth we have never once seen or heard any type of empirical evidence to support the fact that there is life on other planets.

Almost everything we see is indirect evidence or assumption. Nothing like an alien being caught on tape or the news, has ever came out.


Nasa Findings

Almost everything we see in space exploration correlates to possibility. It has never been reported that carbon, oxygen, and the other essentials that we need for life have ever been found on other planets. They have acknowledged there may be different types of life but again this is an assumption. The most that has ever been reported is that NASA has found different structures of life that use arsenic as a DNA base. Again this is a possibility that life at the bacterial level could exist, but is still miles from being proven [4]. There could possibly be life at microscopic level existing on other planets, but nothing iron clad has ever been found yet. All of the evidence is circumstantial and assumption. Granted there is a high possibility that it could exist, and that life on other planets may have a different base structure than what we are use to such as oxygen and carbon, but no such life has ever been recorded or brought back. This is speculation based off of findings on earth.


In Closing

My adversary has adopted a nearly impossibly conclusion. He has chosen to defend there is intelligent life beyond earth.

He would have been better off trying to defend the possibility of life beyond earth and deal in odds of probability. That is not the case in this debate though. He has made the positive claim "there is"

There has never been on empirical tests or direct evidence to confirm this, so for the time being the most logical conclusion is to assume it is a possibility but not a fact.

We are probably not alone, but my adversary has presented nothing to show that we are. Nor will he be able to. We are not operating under odds of probability, but empirical and direct evidence.

There is no way he can uphold this



[1] http://www.space.com...
[2] http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...
[3] http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...
[4] http://www.foxnews.com...
Debate Round No. 2
WilliamsP

Pro

I acknowledge the flaws of my argument, but I shall point out yours:

You wrote, " It has never been reported that carbon, oxygen, and the other essentials that we need for life have ever been found on other planets. " That is completely untrue. Our neighbor planet, Mars, has trace amounts of oxygen in its atmosphere. Carbon and oxygen aren't elements limited to Earth. They are found on nearly all planets. The planets we have discovered that do have these elements have them in small amounts, but they are still present.
Mars once had water. We can infer that based on the evidence. Mars has valleys and canyons that reveal that there were once rivers flowing on Mars. We have discovered water in its solid form - ice - underneath the Martian surface. It is reasonable to assume that there was once life on Mars. This assumption is based on real evidence, therefore we can treat the assumption as if it were fact due to it being nearly impossible of it not being the truth.
You wrote, "...essentials that we need for life..." We may not have found an oxygen-rich atmosphere and flowing oceans, but the essentials that we need for life are everywhere. May I point out that what we need for life may not be what other lifeforms need for life? We are carbon-based lifeforms that require water and oxygen. There are certainly species out there that can operate without oxygen and water. There are certainly species that do not require any of the elements we do.
I am an amateur debater, I admit. But I also hope you recognize the flaws of your argument. The probability of life existing beyond Earth is so large that we can assume that were are in fact not alone.
Mikal

Con

Responses



Response 1

" You wrote, " It has never been reported that carbon, oxygen, and the other essentials that we need for life have ever been found on other planets. " That is completely untrue. Our neighbor planet, Mars, has trace amounts of oxygen in its atmosphere. Carbon and oxygen aren't elements limited to Earth. They are found on nearly all planets. The planets we have discovered that do have these elements have them in small amounts, but they are still present. "

Granted I conceded there are trace amounts and worded that horribly. Was just copy and pasting a debate a did a long time ago, that still does not change my contention at all. Just because a planet has trace amounts of oxygen's does not entail that it can support life , or that life exists on that planet.

Lack of correlation =/= entail causation.

My adversary would have to show that there is life on mars, and not just elements that are shared with earth. Even with oxygen and carbon dioxide there is no reason to believe it can support life, due to it having different levels of them.

He then goes on to argue probability, the debate is over at this point.


Response 2

"I am an amateur debater, I admit. But I also hope you recognize the flaws of your argument. The probability of life existing beyond Earth is so large that we can assume that were are in fact not alone. "

The only flaw the argument is mis representing the fact that there are no traces of oxygen on mars. I conceded I was in error with this. As I mentioned it does not negate the resolution. We are not dealing with the possibility of life existing, but arguing the fact that life does not exist. The BOP is on you to provide direct and empirical evidence to support this claim. I have shown and why that is impossible and negated the resolution.



Conclusion

My adversary has all but conceded this and knows he can no longer defend the topic.

We are not debating probability but are debating a clear stance

"We are not alone"

For this to hold true my adversary must provide empirical or direct evidence to support this stance or it is negated. I have shown how and why possibility does not always entail fact. Therefore he can not defend this resolution. It is impossible.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by WilliamsP 3 years ago
WilliamsP
Damn you, Mikal. I would have won this debate if it had been 5 rounds. Trust me, I would have found plenty of evidence to support life.
Posted by KCParker 3 years ago
KCParker
Mikal,

You claim that NASA has found no evidence of Carbon, Oxygen, or any other essentials of life on other planets. This is wildly incorrect. As for Carbon and Oxygen, these elements are present throughout the entire visible universe; they are found in everything from stars and planets to asteroids and nebulae. In fact, they represent some of the more prevalent elements in the known universe (1).

As for 'essentials of life,' we can discuss several things. The first is that, in addition to Carbon and Oxygen, every other element found in Earth-based life (i.e. phosphorus, iron, nitrogen) is also present throughout the known universe. It goes farther, though. We and all known life on this planet are comprised of nucleic acids, amino acids, sugars and other organic molecules. These are complex assemblages of C, O, N, P and a few other elements we've been discussing. THESE TOO have been detected on planets, moons, and other structures in the universe. The building blocks of life as we know it are abundant in the cosmos (2).

With that said, would you oppose the (modified) argument that the existence of extraterrestrial life is likely?

(1)https://www.webelements.com...
(2) http://www.sciencedaily.com...
Posted by WilliamsP 3 years ago
WilliamsP
I changed it to three rounds. I look forward to this debate.
Posted by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
change this to 3 rounds and ill take it
Posted by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
change this to 3 rounds and ill take it
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by jamccartney 2 years ago
jamccartney
WilliamsPMikalTied
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: First of all, Pro is correct. Secondly, Con did not give as many facts as Pro did. Pro used good, solid evidence while Con did not. For sources, Con used them and Pro did not, which gives him the points for that.
Vote Placed by DudeStop 3 years ago
DudeStop
WilliamsPMikalTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Rebutted Pros arguments. Pro pretty much conceded the debate...
Vote Placed by bluesteel 3 years ago
bluesteel
WilliamsPMikalTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro essentially concedes in Round 3 by saying he acknowledges all the flaws in his argument. Pro expects us to generalize from conditions that are not even habitable to us, but resemble our habitable conditions, that life *must have* evolved there. Yet, Pro falls far short of proving a more definitive "we are not alone." Pro proves that the necessary preconditions might exist for life. But necessity is not sufficiency and favorable environmental conditions do not inherently result in life. I could build the perfect panda enclosure, but that doesn't mean a panda will ever appear in it. Environmental conditions are not enough to carry this debate, so I voted Con because Con explains that the resolution requires proof by certainty, not proof by possibility and speculation.