The Instigator
Akhenaten
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
KasperKid
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points

Zombie fungus is a fraud

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
KasperKid
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/2/2017 Category: Science
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 856 times Debate No: 105487
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (51)
Votes (1)

 

Akhenaten

Pro

The concept that a fungus can overtake and control an ant's brain is a fraud. Universities look for crazy things to research and waste the public's money all the time. This is an illogical concept. The fungus appearing is just a natural process of aging and there is nothing controlling or sinister about it.

https://www.theatlantic.com...
KasperKid

Con

I DISSAGREE! However, I have an open mind and I am ready to be proven wrong. Ok, anyway, as far as I have seen, the fungus is not literally able to control the ants body. However, it is able to introduce chemicals to the ants brain that makes it do what it wants. Their are many examples of this, not just with ants. For example, Hairworms take over crickets and force them to jump into water when they are ready to reproduce. Another example, the female jewelwasp is able to inject a toxin into a cockroaches brain in order to make it follow her back to a area where she can lay her eggs. Another example, Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that can only reproduce in a cats gut, infects rats and mice causing them to be sexually attracted to cat urine. this allows the parasite to get inside a cat. My sources are,

https://news.nationalgeographic.com... https://news.nationalgeographic.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Akhenaten

Pro

It appears that my opponents argument is so weak that he has already resorted to finding other examples of parasitic organisms to support his views. Thus, my opponent has already inadvertently admitted that his argument is inherently weak. Note - None of the examples that my opponent has given includes a fungus taking control of an animal. Thus, all of these examples are irrelevant to this case.

Note - The article that I have referenced doesn't state that the fungus has reached the ant's brain. Thus, it is merely speculation that the fungus is controlling the ant's actions. Generally speaking, fungus only attacks dead things. Thus, if an ant has a fungal infection, it is because the ant has reached the end of its life and is about to die anyway. Thus, the appearance of the fungus relates to the ant's body condition and not to the aggressive nature of the fungus which is presumed to be attacking the ant. Thus, fungi are incapable of planning such a complex maneuver of manipulating the ant's behaviour. Thus, this is just scientific wishful thinking and is not, in essence, a logical assumption.

http://www.pnas.org...

https://www.britannica.com...

We can plainly see from the Encyclopedia Britannica reference that funguses only attacks dead plants and animals. Although, It can appear on the skin of a living person, animal or plant but remember that the top layer of skin is dead and not living. This applies to plants as well. If a plant is dying or is malnourished it may acquire a fungal infection. Thus, the fungus is attacking only the dead part of the animal or plant and is not attacking the living part. Thus, I have clearly demonstrated that the concept of a fungus controlling and manipulating an ant is just wishful thinking. Thus, the university system is just looking for an excuses to use government money to fund bogus research projects.
KasperKid

Con

I apologize if i did not explain better why I was referencing mind controlling parasites. I thought you would understand. I was referencing them to show that the idea of mind control as you say it is not unrealistic, as it is shown by multiple examples throughout nature. Continuing, when the fungus infects the ant, whether it is alive or dead, the ant behaves in a way unlike it should. It moves toward sunlight and ignores its duty. Other ants no longer recognize the infected and proceed to kill on site. On your statement that the fungus does not contact the brain, it is still controlling the ant. Also, growing a mushroom out of your head is not part of a ants normal aging process. Sorry I took to long to respond, I was busy doing other things.
Debate Round No. 2
Akhenaten

Pro

In order to win the debate my opponent must prove that the fungal infection can occur at all stages of an ant's life and not just at the ants old age and subsequent death. The documentaries do not mention what the normal behaviour of the ant is without the fungus being present. Therefore, it is impossible to determine whether this behaviour pattern would have occurred with or without the fungus. Note - David Attenborough depends on creating sensationalist story lines to promote his documentaries and is likely to exaggerate his claims for the purpose of creating a controversy which would attract the public's attention and boost his ratings.

https://www.youtube.com...

From my experience, fungus only attack dead things and not the living. Note - Just observe your fruit bowl. The longer you leave it the more fungus will appear. Do you ever see any fungus on fresh fruit, vegetables and meat. Answer - Never!!!!!!!!!!
In the documentary, you will only see the fungus on dead ants. There is no footage of the fungus on a living ant. I rest my case.
KasperKid

Con

Ok, i have a few issues. I DON'T need to prove that the fungus can take control at any time of life or death because that is not the argument. The argument is whether the fungus can take control of the ant, which it can. If the ant is dead, and its still moving and carring out tasks, then its is a sort of zombie ant. The fungus takes control. Theirfore, the zombie ant is not a faud. Continuing, you can find normal ant behaivior on many other documenteries. It seems as though we are arguing about different things. Im arguing on whether the zombie ant is a fraud or not, and you seem to be arguing about when the fungus can take control. Reread your title please.
Debate Round No. 3
Akhenaten

Pro

True to form, my opponent takes the lazy debater approach of "you prove everything and I prove nothing". This is the default and expected behaviour of somebody who has no moral responsibility and sense of duty. He is desperately looking at the debate title in the hope that there is some legal loop hole that he can cleverly jump through to escape the embarrassment of defeat. My opponent would dearly like to limit the focus of the debate to one small sentence and one small concept of that small sentence. Sorry opponent, the debate is about many issues concerning fraud, fungus, ants, T.V. presenters and the validity of scientific data. You have to address all these things in a logical manner to win the debate. Your replies are very short because you don't know much about the subject and you are just winging it free style hoping to brush off my facts with some authoritarian nonsense.

Note - A debate is not just about the title. The first post contains the details of the issues at hand. A title is limited in the number of words that can be used and therefore only contains one of many concepts under consideration. My opponent needs to read the first post to understand all the issues under discussion. My opponent has, thus far, wasted precious time and space trying to find excuses NOT to address the issues at hand. This is NOT the behaviour of a sincere science investigator and advocate.
KasperKid

Con

"The concept that a fungus can overtake and control an ant's brain is a fraud. Universities look for crazy things to research and waste the public's money all the time. This is an illogical concept. The fungus appearing is just a natural process of aging and there is nothing controlling or sinister about it." Is what we are arguing about. You later said "In order to win the debate my opponent must prove that the fungal infection can occur at all stages of an ant's life and not just at the ants old age and subsequent death." What do the two have in common? Almost nothing. The fungus is called a zombie fungus for a reason. I agree with you that the fungus takes over around the time of death. I don't agree with you that its just a fraud and that the fungus cannot take over a ant. The fungus does take control, as pointed out by our articles. I would appreciate it if you spent some time in the next section arguing with me about the fungus instead of spending two paragraphs pointing out what you think i'm doing wrong.
Debate Round No. 4
Akhenaten

Pro

My opponent is still confused about what the debate is about. This is due to his lack of debating skills and experience. He has wasted 4 rounds of debate in trying to establish what the topic is about and has made many false assumptions. Then he goes on to state that my first post differs from a later statement.
Quote -
"In order to win the debate my opponent must prove that the fungal infection can occur at all stages of an ant's life and not just at the ants old age and subsequent death." What do the two have in common? Almost nothing."

I am just identifying THE CRUX OF THE MATTER which the scientific research paper and documentaries all fail to mention. The research paper and documentaries don't mention anything about the age of the ants at the time of their deaths. Thus, the research and documentaries have not provided sufficient information about the ants life cycle in order to justify the conclusion that the fungus is controlling the ant's behaviour. If the fungus is controlling the ants, then, why doesn't the fungus control the younger ants? Why does the fungus only attack the old ants? etc.
They have also failed to provide any evidence that this behaviour is abnormal and never occurs in any ant colony.

Note - The documentary states that many dying ants don't climb trees and simply fall to the ground and die. Thus, the evidence is very shaky and is most likely just wild speculation and sensationalism created for the purpose of controversy and to increase viewer ratings.

Thus, I believe that I have clearly demonstrated that the so called 'evidence' that proves fungus can control an ant's behaviour is both insufficient and faulty. Thus, fungus never attacks living organisms and only attacks dead and non-living tissue.
KasperKid

Con

The fungus infects ants while they are forging: fact
The fungus injects chemicals into the ants which causes it to clime to higher vegetation: fact
"mind control" as my opponent calls it has been shown repeatably throughout nature: fact
The "zombie fungus" is not a fraud: fact
if the fungus was just a fungus that grew from dead ants, then the history channel probably wouldn't spend so much time making a big deal about it. Pro, and Cons evidence proves this. Also, why is this fungus so picky about its hosts? Wouldn't a fungus that just grows from dead ants be fine with any old ant? Look at the evidence bellow.
https://www.livescience.com...
Debate Round No. 5
51 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by KasperKid 6 months ago
KasperKid
lol spends his time calling me a little brat instead of addressing the points I've made. Your evidence has no logic or reason. You are all about self and ego and winning at all costs. Ha no wonder this guy has never won a debate.
Posted by Akhenaten 6 months ago
Akhenaten
Your evidence has no logic or reason. Age is a very important factor which you keep ignoring because you know that it will unravel your flimsy assumptions and false logic. Lets face it. You are just a little boy with no experience or knowledge.You use bluff and disdain to create a false sense of worth. I am sure you would murder your own mother just to get an extra point or two added to your rating. That's about your level of morality. Science is nothing to you. You are all about self and ego and winning at all costs. This is my final post on this subject, obnoxious little brat.
Posted by KasperKid 7 months ago
KasperKid
Still not addressing my evidence and logic. I've already explained why the research shows no age. Im tired of repeating myself. If you are unable to answer the questions, then I will resort to copying and pasting this paragraph multiple times.
Posted by Akhenaten 7 months ago
Akhenaten
If the spores can take control of the ant at any age, how did you know this? Note - There is no mention of the ant's age in any of the research papers. Thus, the research papers are of no scientific value if all the factors haven't been taken into consideration. I personally know that the ant died of old age and the fungus only came along after the ant's death. This is because I have something called common sense and logic of which you are totally devoid. Also, I have worked in a laboratory and know what the correct procedures are. Whereas, you are just an inexperienced moron who has no knowledge or experience and who gets his corrupt brain dead mates to vote for him. lol
Posted by KasperKid 7 months ago
KasperKid
Still waiting for you to tell me why it only effects certain ants and causes them to do strange acts? Yawn. Waiting........................................................ Yawn. Still waiting............... Yawn. Still waiting..........................................................????????????????????????
Posted by KasperKid 7 months ago
KasperKid
Ah I see now. This means that their IS NO designated age! The spore can take control of an and of ANY age. Their is no evidence for it because the time the spore infects its victim can be anytime, at any age. Sorry I took your word for it when you said the fungus took control of its victims only at old age. Also, yes, I am getting repetitive, so instead of copying and pasting, please try again to review the facts and answer my questions.
Posted by Akhenaten 7 months ago
Akhenaten
You have gone into a zombie state of repetition due to a brain circuit short out. The facts don't fit your preconceived ideas and your brain has blown a fuse in preference to having to face the possibility of being wrong. The the university system that has used a zombie state of control over school children who are walking to their deaths without knowing why.
There IS NO EVIDENCE of the age of the ants at their deaths. That is my point. The study hasn't included the ants age. Thus, the study hasn't considered the possibility that they died of old age and not due to the fungus. Thus, this is why I am asking you for the ant's age. Its the missing link that can prove your case to be right. All you need to do is provide the ant's age and you can win the debate. If you fail to provide the ant's age you lose the debate. Its called guilt by omission.
Posted by KasperKid 7 months ago
KasperKid
Send me the evidence that states the age please. The spore infects the brain and kills it. "Please send your humble apology and retraction of all previous statements to prevent further humiliation and embarrassment." This just shows that your not here at debate.org to learn anything. You've lost, and I think your having trouble realizing that. I accepted this debate in order to see another point of view, not this. Still haven't explained why the ants act so strangely before they go to the exact height and humanity the fungus needs to grow. still stalling. By now I'm just copying and pasting past statements.
Posted by Akhenaten 7 months ago
Akhenaten
Still waiting for you to tell me how old the ants are when they die due to the fungus infection? Yawn. Waiting........................................................ Yawn. Still waiting............... Yawn. Still waiting..........................................................????????????????????????
Posted by Akhenaten 7 months ago
Akhenaten
Ants can live for 7- 15 years. Whereas, the fungus cycle is for only about 2 weeks. Thus, there must be plenty of living ants which have full cycle fungus growing on them in plain sight. Thus, your explanation that it is invisible and in the spore stage is illogical. Note - Please send your humble apology and retraction of all previous statements to prevent further humiliation and embarrassment. lol
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by KostasT.1526 7 months ago
KostasT.1526
AkhenatenKasperKidTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: RfD in the comments