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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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/2/2017 Category: Science
Updated: 2 days ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 177 times Debate No: 105487
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (13)
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
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Akhenaten 1 hour ago
Akhenaten
I have already proven that the research is a fraud. Now, it is up to con to disprove it.
Posted by KostasT.1526 10 hours ago
KostasT.1526
You had to prove that the fungus attacks the elder ants, as it was your claim. All the sources cited provided information against that claim. Just stop being a crybaby and learn what the burden of proof is.
Posted by whiteflame 12 hours ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: KostasT.1526// Mod action: NOT Removed<

4 points to Con (Conduct, Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: RfD in the comments

[*Reason non-removal*] The voter clearly and specifically explains both point allocations sufficiently.
************************************************************************
Posted by Akhenaten 14 hours ago
Akhenaten
Con's argument has no evidence of the ant's age. Thus, your vote is based on ignorance and bias as stated.
Posted by KostasT.1526 16 hours ago
KostasT.1526
I have no interest in quotes concerning ignorance and bias that are based on ignorance and bias in the first place. When the facts prove you wrong, the only thing you have left to say is this nonsensical phrase. I believe the term that best suits your condition is "pathetic".
Posted by Akhenaten 17 hours ago
Akhenaten
"Children should be seen and not heard" A famous old saying. This saying is fully justified by KostasT.
Thus, KostasT has proven that children are biased and ignorant little monsters that gang up on oldies.
Posted by KostasT.1526 1 day ago
KostasT.1526
RfD part 2
Hence, Con has proven that the fungus takes control of their ant victim. Pro's second claim was that the phenomenon is just a matter of the ant's age and health state and not a result of the fungus' aggressive nature, with the aforementioned being an assumption not based on observation of the process, as they did not cite any authoritative source that provides observation data in favour of their claim. On the other hand, both Pro's first source and Con's last source factually describe how it is the fungus that is responsible for the whole process and not the ant's condition, with the second of the two sources elaborating on how does the fungus actually select its victim, proving Con correct again. Con's BoP was fulfilled.
Sources: Both sides cited enough and credible sources to support the points made in the debate.
Posted by KostasT.1526 1 day ago
KostasT.1526
Rfd part 1
Conduct: While Con's behaviour was appropriate, Pro loses conduct points because of their baseless insults towards their opponent, as seen in the following paragraph:
"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."
Arguments: The instigator's claim was that "The fungus appearing is just a natural process of aging and there is nothing controlling or sinister about it.", while the contender maintained that the zombie fungus does take control of the ant while it is alive and not because of the ant's age and health state. Con fulfilled their BoP, describing the scientific process through which the fungus invades the ant's organism and takes control (R2), with their statement being completely supported by Pro's initial source, the credibility of which the latter did not argue against. Pro countered by claiming that "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.", but the article falsifies this statement, as it describes how the fungus takes control of the ant without touching the brain, supporting Co
Posted by Akhenaten 1 day ago
Akhenaten
14 years do little research - fact
14 year old's don't know much about anything - fact
14 year old's are lazy - fact
Posted by Akhenaten 2 days ago
Akhenaten
The ant study doesn't include (A) A control group of ants which are not infected.
(B) The age of the ants which are infected.

Thus, the study is ineffective and useless information.

Note - Still can't see any vegetarian lions. lol
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by KostasT.1526 1 day ago
KostasT.1526
AkhenatenKasperKidTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 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:04 
Reasons for voting decision: RfD in the comments