The Instigator
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14 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
14 Points

Scientific Evidence does not support a Great Flood

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/11/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,588 times Debate No: 28080
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (6)




Copied from your previous debate with Ron-Paul.

Full Resolution: The great flood was an actual historical event that is supported by scientific evidence.


The Great Flood: "Noah's flood - (Biblical) the great deluge that is said in the Book of Genesis to have occurred in the time of Noah; it was brought by God upon the earth because of the wickedness of human beings."

Historical Event: "Based on or concerned with events in history."

Scientific evidence - Scientific theories are validated by empirical testing against physical observations. Theories are not judged simply by their logical compatibility with the available data. Independent empirical testability is the hallmark of science—in science, an explanation must not only be compatible with the observed data, it must also be testable. By "testable" we mean that the hypothesis makes predictions about what observable evidence would be consistent and what would be incompatible with the hypothesis. Simple compatibility, in itself, is insufficient as scientific evidence, because all physical observations are consistent with an infinite number of unscientific conjectures. Furthermore, a scientific explanation must make risky predictions— the predictions should be necessary if the theory is correct, and few other theories should make the same necessary predictions. We can formulate this logic by the following:

Premise 1: Theory T predicts Observation O
Premise 2: Observation O is not observed
Conclusion: Therefore, theory T is probably false.

Or conversely

Premise 1: Theory T predicts Observation O
Premise 2: Observation O is observed
Conclusion: Therefore, Theory T is given added support.


1. The first round is for acceptance.
2. A forfeit or concession is not allowed.
3. No semantics, trolling, or lawyering.
4. Debate resolution, definitions, rules, and structure cannot be changed without asking in the comments before you post your round 1 argument. Debate resolution, definitions, rules, and structure cannot be changed from all moments after the debate has been formalized.
5. BOP is shared

Voters, in the case of the breaking of any of these rules by either debater, all seven points in voting should be given to the other person.

Debate Structure:

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Presenting all arguments (no rebuttals by con)
Round 3: Refutation of opponent's arguments (A few new arguments may be brought up, but nothing out of the blue)
Round 4: Defending your original arguments and conclusion (no new arguments). Round 5: Closing statements - 1,000 characters maximum.

Debate Round No. 1


Thank you, muted, for accepting this debate. It is certainly refreshing to debate someone as knowledgeable as you on this subject even though it seems like we have been debating so much on several different topics. Thank you for being so friendly and open minded.

Contention 1: The Animals

Bringing two (or seven) of each kind [1] of animal into the vicinity of the ark presents serious challenges.

A. Traveling

If animals traveled from other parts of the world from where they live today, they would have faced extreme difficulties. There are several problems with the animals as far as traveling is concerned. The first is the problem of getting to the ark, and the second is returning to their natural environment after the flood (Isaak, Problems with a Global Flood: Second Edition 1998).

First, certain kinds of animals such as sloths and penguins cannot travel over land very well. Consequently, they will be easy prey for predators – especially post flood because of the lack of food for predators.

Secondly, certain kinds of species require special diets. Therefore, they would have had to bring it along. The problem comes post-flood: It would be very difficult for them (and their special food) to survive.

The humidity requirement for certain species is a requirement. For example, some cave-dwelling arthropods cannot survive in less than 100% relative humidity. Thus, the humidity alone could have killed them.

Animals that live on islands would have been easy prey for other animals. When mainland species are introduced to islands, they drive out many indigenous species – often times to the point of extinction. .

Next, it would have been nearly impossible for animals to get to their present ranges. The penguins would have had to travel a long way to get from Turkey to the Arctic and the Koalas would have had to swim across miles of ocean to get to Australia. How could they have survived if the environment that they require does not exist between the points of Mt. Ararat in Turkey and their range?

Finally, Animals are often found on limited ranges. For example, marsupials are limited to Australia and lemurs to Madagascar and certain plants are also found on only certain ranges. How was it possible for that to occur?

So in conclusion, the geographical distribution of species provides strong evidence that the Flood is impossible.

B. Caring for the Animals

Caring for the different types of animals amongst Noah’s ark would have been extremely difficult for Noah and his family to do.

Special Diets

Many animals, especially insects, require special diets. Koalas, for example, require eucalyptus leaves, and silkworms eat nothing but mulberry leaves. For thousands of plant species (perhaps even most plants), there is at least one animal that eats only that one kind of plant. How did Noah gather all those plants aboard, and where did he put them?

Fresh Food

Many animals only eat their food fresh. (Foelix 1996) Consequently, it would require that Noah would keep fresh food upon the ark. As a result, it means that more than 7 pairs of certain prey animals may have had to come aboard.

D. Species Survival and Post-Flood Ecology

Genesis 7:23 says, “He [God] blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the ground.” If the Flood was as described, then this was certainly an understatement!


Plants would have had a difficult time surviving because many plants and seeds would be killed simply from being submerged for a few months. It would have been even harder to survive had this been in salt water. This is because submergence impedes exchanges of O2 and CO2 between leaves and the environment (Colmer, Winke and Pedersen 2011).

Also, some plants geminate only after being exposed to fire or ingested by animals; these conditions would be rare after the Flood.

Noah could not have gathered seeds for all plants because not all plants produce seeds and a variety of plants cannot survive a year before geminating (Benzing 1990). Moreover, it begs the question how he distributed them all over the world!

Genetic Erosion

Genetic erosion is the overall loss of genetic diversity in a species (Fairbanks 2012). Had a large population suddenly become extinct or die out; we should expect to see it. 150,000 years ago, humans and hominids alike almost became extinct. Isolated populations with fewer than 20 members are usually doomed even when extraordinary measures are taken to protect them (Simberloff 1988).

Contention 2: The Flood Itself

I will briefly quote and summarize the case that Ron-Paul gave in your previous debate (found here;). I feel that this is a solid argument and I am just going to bring this up: There is simply not enough water to cover the entire world. To quote your opponent:

The total volume of water on Earth is about 1.4 billion cubic kilometers

of a sphere
= 4/3 r3 where


Radius of Earth = 6,378.15 Kilometers

Height of Mt. Everest = 8.85 Kilometers

The volume of water needed to cover Earth to the height of Mt. Everest is
approximately the difference in volume of a sphere needed to encompass Mt.
Everest and the volume of a sphere the size of the Earth.

Volume of a sphere encompassing the Earth at sea level

= 4/3 (6,378.15 KM)3 =
1,086,825,918,019 KM3

Volume of a sphere encompassing Mt. Everest

= 4/3 (6,378.15 + 8.85 KM)3
= 1,091,388,460,971 KM3

The Difference = 4,530,488,766 KM3

Notice that this is more than 3 TIMES the amount of water presently on


The story of Noah’s Flood simply does not hold any water: Noah’s boat doesn’t float (pun intended). The animals alone would have trouble traveling and many animals would go extinct after the flood – the prey dies and so does the predator. Genetic erosion would have certainly have killed off many of the species. Finally, the story of Noah’s Flood does not hold water because water on the earth is insufficient to have produced a global flood on the magnitude that the Bible states it to have been.

Thank you for reading these arguments. Remember, do not refute these statements - rather, I want you to bring up arguments in favour of a Global Flood.


Avasthi, Amitabh. After Near Extinction, Humans Split Into Isolated Bands. April 24, 2008.

Benzing, D. H. Vascular Epiphytes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Campbell, Andrew. Continential Drift and Climate. n.d.

Colmer, Timothy D., Anders Winke, and Ole Pedersen. "A perspective on underwater photosynthesis in submerged terrestrial wetland plants." US National Library of Medicine . November 30, 2011.

Fairbanks, Daniel J. Evolving: The Human Effect and Why it Matters. Amherst: Prometheus , 2012.

Foelix, Rainer F. The Biology of Spiders, 2nd Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Gishlick, Alan D., Al Janulaw, and Eric Meikle. Monoculture and the Irish Potato Famine: cases of missing genetic variation.August 22, 2008.

Isaak, Mark. Problems with a Global Flood: Second Edition. November 16, 1998.

Simberloff, Daniel. "The contribution of population and community biology to conservation science." Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 1988: 473-511.

Younce, Dr. Max D. Only One Continent Until After The Flood. June 15, 2012.

[1] Biblical language uses “kind” rather than species. Interestingly, Creationists can’t agree amongst themselves as to what constitutes a “kind.” There have been different definitions ranging from each individual species to entire kingdoms! (Isaak, Claim CH512: Noah's ark could have carried pairs of all kinds of animals for a year. 2003)



I would like to thank Microsuck for beginning this debate. It certainly has to potential to be intellectually stimulating, unlike my previously concluded debate. I make a claim to open-mindedness, but not to knowledgeability.

I would like to present several lines of evidence for a global flood. Notice that as this is a historical event, we cannot prove to a certainty the event. At most, we can establish higher probability for it happening than not happening.

The first argument of mine somewhat collides with the second contention. All quotes in blue.

I. Plate Tectonics

Plate tectonics is one of the best evidence for a global flood. More rigidly, it is known as catastrophic plate tectonics. In this debate, I will use a well recognized PT modelling program known as TERRA. [1] It has been clearly shown on more than one occasion that continental drift, mountain formation, such as that of everest, and ocean valleys are caused/begun by CPT. In fact, catastrophic beginnings of continental subductions have been used as explanations in the Earth and Planetary Science Letters [2].

However, I must needs explain myself. In [3], Baumgardner has provided quite a technical explanation, which I will quote somewhat. (For verification, see citations in [3], I will not cite those.)

Silicate minerals make up approximately 90% of the earth’s crust. [4] All silicate minerals contain Si or O.

“Experimental studies of the deformational behavior of silicate minerals over the last several decades have revealed the strength of such materials not only depends strongly on the temperature but also on the deformation rate. ..
In this type of solid deformation, material strength depends on the deformation rate in a strongly nonlinear manner, proportional to the deformation rate to approximately the minus two-thirds power. At somewhat higher levels of shear stress, these materials display another type of deformational behavior known as plastic yield, where their strength decreases in an even more nonlinear way, in this case, inversely with the deformation rate... When these deformation-rate-weakening mechanisms are combined with the temperature weakening discussed above, the potential for slab runaway from gravitational body forces is enhanced dramatically...these weakening mechanisms can reduce the silicate strength by ten or more orders of magnitude without the material ever reaching its melting temperature(Emphasis original)

This is the basic background to the issue, without which we would never understand the issue fully. It can be found anywhere.

Runaway subduction[5] is the theory that (and I will quote from TalkOrigins): “Baumgardner's computer model shows that runaway subduction explains how the global flood occurred. The cold, heavy crust of the ocean floor sinks into the lighter, hotter mantle, releasing gravitational potential energy as heat. Runaway subduction posits that this process greatly accelerated: "As the plates deform the surrounding rock, the mechanical energy of deformation is converted into heat, creating a superheated 'envelope' of silicate around the sinking ocean floor... As the plates pull apart, the gap between them grows into a broadening seam in the planet. This sends a gigantic bubble of mantle shooting up through these ridges; [w]hich displaces the oceans; [w]hich creates a huge flood" (Burr 1997, 57). God "caused an enormous blob of hot mantle material to come rushing up at incredible velocity through the underwater midocean ridges. The material ballooned, displacing a tidal wave of sea water over the continents. . . . Then, after 150 days (Genesis 7:24), the bubble retreated with equal speed into the Earth" (Burr 1997, 56).”[6]

Now, for the final portions, I will quote [3] again, “supersonic steam jets were almost a certainty along the spreading boundary between diverging ocean plates during the runaway phase of the catastrophe...jet velocities exceeding the Earth’s escape velocity might be possible...the energy per kilogram of steam escaping to space is sufficient to accomplish the bulk of the lithospheric cooling while the plates are moving apart and do so without depleting the oceans of all their water. At a velocity of 14 km/s, for example, 1 kg of steam has about 108 J of kinetic energy. Removal of this amount of heat is enough to cool 140 kg of rock by 1000 K, for a representative specific heat of 710 J/kg-K. On the order of 1000-1500 m of water would then be needed to cool the present ocean lithosphere to its current state. Although this is a lot of seawater, it is not... beyond...comprehension.

...seawater is converted to supercritical steam as the water penetrates downward through the fractured and porous newly formed sea floor, and then emerges almost explosively at the throat of the jet... heating of the bulk ocean is...modest. Moreover, the seawater entrained in liquid form at the ocean-jet interface and lofted in widely dispersive trajectories provides a potent source of heavy rain so long as the jets are active...With this entrainment mechanism... the water that falls as rain is not required to condense from the vapor state”

It is clear from this that plate tectonics support a global flood. This has been modelled via TERRA, a scientific modelling program, and it passes all physical tests. So we see that there is indeed enough water, because Everest was not around yet. We also see that it is not impossible for a flood to have happened. Combined with the following, there is strong evidence for it.

II. Fossil conditions

Fossils are frequently, almost consistently, found in flooding conditions [7]. Note that it is not merely bottom of the water kind of sediment. Such sediment are generally undisturbed. Flooding sediment, however, shows that the sediments are much swirled and “muddied” when the animal has died and it allows the creature to be buried quickly. This is consistent with a global flood, but not with a meteor impact.

What is far more fascinating is the fact that most, if not all, of these fossils demonstrate another aspect of being in flooding conditions. They all suffer from torn ligaments and broken bones [8]. Fast currents, with lots of sediment and “swirling,” consistent with a global flood, must have had to occur. Local floods are just too small for fossils in such conditions to be strewn throughout the world.

III. Strata

“Sedimentation experiments have been conducted in still water with a continuous supply of heterogranular material. A deposit is obtained, giving the illusion of successive beds or laminae. These laminae are the result of a spontaneous, periodic and continuous grading process, which takes place immediately, following the deposition of the heterogranular mixture.

The thickness of the laminae appears to be independent of the speed of sedimentation but increases with extreme differences in the size of the particles in the mixture. Where a horizontal current is involved, thin laminated superposed layers developing laterally in the direction of the current, are observed.”[9] (Emphasis original)

From this we can see clearly that laminae is not the product of eons of slow sedimentation, but rather fast to very fast water laying down sediments, consistent with a global flood.

1. TERRA is the doctoral thesis of J.R. Baumgardner. See: (It is not well updated, though.)
9. (The English translation of a paper presented to the French Academy of Sciences in Paris)
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you, Muted, for your swift response to bring forth your opening statements. I look forward to your rebuttals to the arguments against a Global Flood.

I. Plate Tectonics

Please forgive me if I misunderstand anything. I had a difficult time understanding your argument here. Therefore, I will summarize the rebuttal given by Talk.Origins. [1] In the next round, please be a bit more detailed and specific. I would like you to better structure your arguments (refer to the PM).

First, the Theory does not work without miracles – The thermal diffusivity of the earth would have to increase ten thousandfold to get the subduction rates proposed, and something would have had to cause the advance of the retreat of magma. A divine intervention would have also been necessary to cool the new ocean floor and raise sedimentary mountains in months.

Secondly, Bamumgardner’s own modeling shows that during the Flood, the currents would be faster over continents than over ocean basins. Therefore, sediments should be removed from continents and deposited in ocean basins. However, the sediments on the basins are on average 0.6 km thick, while on continents, they are an average of 2.6 km thick.

Finally, the Cenozoic sediments are actually post flood according to his model. Yet these fossils show 65 million year record of evolution – certainly not something that was flash flooded in the deluge.

II. Fossil Conditions

I could not find anything in your sources to show this. In your eighth source, I read this [2]:

Fossilized impressions of soft-bodied organisms are exceptionally rare in coarse-grained strata. Fossilized mass-stranding events of soft-bodied organisms are even rarer. The Upper Cambrian Mt. Simon–Wonewoc Sandstone in central Wisconsin contains at least seven horizons characterized by hundreds of decimeter-sized impressions of medusae; these represent one of only two fossilized mass-stranding deposits. Medusae exhibit features nearly identical to those observed in modern scyphozoan strandings, including impressions of subumbrellar margins and gastrovascular cavities. This deposit provides insights about soft-tissue preservation in Phanerozoic marginal marine sediments, and suggests that large soft-bodied pelagic organisms were abundant in Cambrian seas.

What this has to do with a Global Flood is beyond me.

Your seventh source stated this[3]:

Bone bed 43 is one of at least eight paucispecific Centrosaurus bone beds located in the Dinosaur Park Formation (Upper Campanian) in Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada. It long has been used as a case example for evidence of herding and social behavior in dinosaurs, but a detailed analysis of the site has not been presented until this study The bone bed is dominated by the disarticulated, mostly fragmentary and slightly abraded remains of Centrosaurus apertus, with minor occurrences of other taxa, notably teeth from the large tyrannosaurid Albertosaurus libratus. Fossils occur in a stacked to amalgamated succession of lag deposits, deposited and reworked at the erosional base of a paleochannel. The most parsomonious scenerio suggests that Centrosaurus material represents part of a large aggregation of animals (possibly numbering in the thousands) that died by drowning on the alluvial plain. Disarticulation occurred at a point upriver from the bonebed site. Scavenging by theropods, primarily Albertosaurus, at or near the original site of death is suggested by the high number of shed theropod teeth. A subsequent event prior to fossilisation moved the material to its present location removing many juvenile-sized and hydrodynamically light elements from the original death assemblage. Evidence for distinct size classes amongst the preserved elements is not supported by the data, but the size range of elements preserved are representative of living individuals that would have ranged from small juveniles to mature adults. The large data base of specimens from bone bed 43 allows for the illustration of the ontogenetic changes that occurred in the diagnostic cranial elements of Centrosaurus.

Once again, what does this have to do with what you are saying?

III. Strata

The sorting of sediments into laminae according to particle size and density in a turbidity event is known as a Bouma sequence, and it is well known that such a sequence can be deposited in a short period. In addition, volcanic pyroclasts are known to form laminae rapidly. My opponent’s source is unique amongst what I found in claiming that his valid, but limited, laboratory findings are equated to a fundamental revolution in geology. Finally, my opponent’s source fails in his work to demonstrate that the major stratigraphic groups, which are hundreds of meters thick, could possibly have been, or were laid down rapidly. [4]

Back to you.



I would like to thank Microsuck for a short response. My very great apologies, my R2 ref 8 is bad. In copying from the other debate, I picked the wrong reference. As such, I will re-cite it. My apologies once again.


Dr. Baumgardner has actually himself responded to these criticism [3].
“If these critics had read my papers carefully, they would have learned that a low thermal diffusivity actually aids the runaway mechanism. Whether or not the runaway occurs at all depends on a competition between heat production due to deformation and heat loss due to thermal diffusion. Low, rather than high, thermal diffusivity assists this process.
The timing of the uplift of today’s high mountain ranges is actually a problem for the uniformitarians. The current uplift rate for the Himalayas of 1–2 cm/year, for example, implies 10-20 km (or 33,000-66,000 feet) uplift per million years! Again, if the critics had read my papers, they would know my time scale for the isostatic rebound is the centuries after the catastrophe rather than months.” This is partially why I quoted from Baumgardner’s original article. Critics don’t read creationist models before criticising. Furthermore, the point made about a problem for uniformatarians is vastly more than that faced by creationist is a very good one.
The second objection contains the same problem as the first. The critic has not read the arguments. Ocean basins are, in this model, formed and deepened near the end of the flood, thus, we should not expect what Ishaak expected.
The third objection has also been answered clearly by Baumgardner [3]: “[Baumgardner] place the end of the Flood near the end of the Cenozoic, near the point that the Pliocene sediments begin in the record.” Thus, the objections fail as catastrophically as the Flood itself!

II. Fossil conditions

Once again, my apologies, the correct references is [2]. To support my arguments, I will quote from 2.
“Physical transport was important, as shown by the alignment of elements, the uniform shapes
and size distribution of the commonest specimens, and abrasion. Rare larger blocks show evidence of alignment of elongate elements, parallel to each other and to other clasts (Fig. 5). In
addition, the distribution of bone sizes shows strong evidence for physical sedimentary sorting.
Nearly all the bones are compact robust elements, vertebral centra, metapodials, and phalanges of ornithopods (Fig. 8), of comparable dimensions, namely 20-70 mm maximum diameter. Larger
limb bones are broken into segments rarely exceeding 100 mm in length, although the com-
plete elements would have been 300-450mm long. The delicate pterosaur bones, some 100
segments of limb shafts, and rare ornithopod teeth, are surprisingly well preserved, perhaps by having been caught up in spaces between the larger more robust elements.” (Emphasis mine)
We can see clearly from this that they were not killed by a meteor impact. A much more likely explanation is a global flood. My apologies once again for the non permissible failure in citing.

From what you’ve already quoted of 1, I will quote the exact portion which I think supports my case. “The most parsimonious scenario suggests that Centrosaurus material represents part of a large aggregation of animals (possibly numbering in the thousands) that died by drowning on the alluvial plain.” Drowning? That sure doesn’t sound like a meteor impact, but much more like a Global Flood.

III. Strata

Microsuck has actually basically conceded this point. All I have to do now is to show that the author is correct. Indeed he is. Why? For many years, as the author pointed out, and like I also did, laminae was long assumed to represent eons of time. This experiment is certain falsification of that idea. Just because you increase the depth of layers by hundreds of meters does not mean that the experiment is wrong. All one has to do is to increase the height of water and amount of sediment. Hence, Global Flood.
To prove that the idea of eons is still prevalent despite experiments to the contrary, I will quote from Wikipedia. “Lamination develops in fine grained sediment when fine grained particles settle, which can only happen in quiet water” [4]

As shown by the experiments though, this is false.

Contention 1: The Animals

As I have not much space, I will refute in brief. Firstly, animals of the past were not as specialized as present animals. It is known that when speciation happens, the new species is not as robust in terms of genetics than the older species. This has been observed happening, but is not evolution.

Koala’s dependence on gum is actually an addiction. Not a drug addiction, but an addiction nonetheless. [5] Furthermore, the biogeography of vegetation in the past is much different than the present.

Those arthropods could actually have gained access to the cave before 100% humidity went away. 100% humidity must have occurred after the flood.

What the whole contention fails to note is the fast rate of diversification observed in nature. Island species are basically specialized versions of mainland species. Sometimes the mainland species dies out due to predators of their own but the island species remain. This is another observed fact of nature. [6]

All points about travelling are mute if we consider that they actually spread out over the whole world but died out in all but their present ranges. This is a scientifically acceptable view. You actually have your facts a little off. Marsupials are found in the Americas as well.

Animals normally thought to be carnivores have regularly been known to consume vegetation. [7] This is not an isolated case, google “vegetarian lions” to find more. As such, more pairs of clean animals are not needed.

I do not understand your point about seeds and saltwater. Firstly, plants did not have to grow directly after the flood, those that propagate more rapidly could have grown and have been eaten faster than those that needed special conditions. Secondly, and very much more importantly, Darwin himself conducted experiments on soaking seeds in saltwater. [8] He was trying to understand how plants got to the islands. Once again, experiments show that the Flood is highly possible.

The point about genetic erosion is no problem for creationist. Creationist have long been pointing out that the first created kinds were much more genetically robust than the species of the present. Bottlenecking them would not be too much of a problem.

I have several more arguments that I would have made. The first of thosewould be the ref 8 of the previous round about soft-bodied fossils. However, I will not go into it. Instead, I will conclude. (The second contention has been answered thoroughly by CPT)


Firstly, I would like to thank Microsuck for the debate. Moving on, his arguments has little weight because most of his objections apply to uniformatarian views as well. To cite it as a problem for creationist and as such implying that uniformatarian views are right is just incorrect.

1. (A better version than jstor (Ref 7))
Debate Round No. 3


I have two hours left and am unable to post this round. Way too busy lately.


Ok. Before we re-start, I must copy all of it to somewhere.
Debate Round No. 4


Sounds fine. Voters, leave this as a tie.


We may re-start when you've written the rebuttal. I will be using the same things, down to the wrong citation.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Muted 5 years ago
Tie the debate, please.
Posted by Muted 5 years ago
we have at least two, so it shows that we can overcome the curse.
Posted by Magic8000 5 years ago
The muted-microsuck curse

You two will never finish a debate.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
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Reasons for voting decision: @1Devilsadvocate: No, con clearly asked for the debate to be a tie.
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