Instigator / Pro

Conifers Are Superior Organisms To Humans


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics
Better arguments
Better sources
Better legibility
Better conduct

After 2 votes and with 14 points ahead, the winner is...

Publication date
Last updated date
Number of rounds
Time for argument
Three days
Max argument characters
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Contender / Con


1. The definitions below are agreed to by accepting the debate and both debaters agree, by accepting, that all voters must use these definitions and that if the voters do not, both debaters will publicly request that the mods remove the vote.

2. All votes *must* have thorough, serious reasons for voting and both debaters agree, by accepting this debate, to publicly ask the mods to remove those votes, after the debate, if the votes are not serious or thorough.

3. By accepting this debate, both debaters and the voters (and maybe one day I can say the moderators too) agree that any vote that is dishonest (defined below) about what occurred in the debate will be requested publicly by both debaters, after the debate, to be removed by the mods.

Dishonest votes include:

a. Voters claiming an argument was made by a debater that was never made and then using this fabricated or exaggerated argument to vote that debater up or down.

b. Voters claiming a source that was provided by a debater states/shows something it does not state/show and then using this imaginary/exaggerated content to vote the debater up or down.

c. Voters claiming a source that was used by a debater for a particular purpose that was not the purpose the debater stated it was being used for or voters exaggerating/self-generating the purpose/intent of the debater in order to vote the debater up or down.

d. Voters ignoring arguments made by a debater to claim the arguments were never made then voting that debater up or down based on the claimed lack of arguments.

e. Voters ignoring sources provided by a debater in order to claim the debater didn't provide them, or to claim that the sources were not supporting an argument not used by the debater to support, or to claim that the purpose for using the source was something not stated by the debater to be or to claim that the purpose for using the source was one that was fabricated by the voter to be then using any or all of these fabrications to vote the debater up or down.

f. Voters claiming a lack of clarity where it is not obviously apparent and where the voter does not specifically explain why it's not very clear or voters exaggerating a lack of clarity without referencing content within the debate in order to vote the debater up or down.

g. Voters using ANYTHING not within the debate in order to vote a debater up or down.

4. Both debaters agree, by accepting the debate, that any votes that a) fail to address the majority of resolution-impacting points made by both debaters, b) are dishonest or lies about debater performance, or c) are vendetta votes/overtly biased will be requested, publicly, by both debaters to be removed by the mods.

5. No kritiks, counter plans, or semantics.

6. Death23, ethang5, Raltar, and any of their related accounts may not vote on or participate in this debate because of the dishonesty section of the rules.

*Full Resolution*
Conifers are superior organisms to humans.

Has the BoP and 4 rounds of 10,000 characters, with 3 days to post per argument, to AFFIRM that conifers are superior organisms to humans and refute Con.

Has also 4 rounds of 10,000 characters, with 3 days to post per argument, to NEGATE that conifers are superior organisms to humans and refute Pro.


conifers - trees that bear cones and needle-like or scale-like leaves that are typically evergreen of the order Coniferales, class Coniferopsida, subdivision Gymnospermae with several families, including the pines and firs (Pinaceae) and the cypresses (Cupressaceae).

superior - better than another of the same type (type refers to living organisms, which both conifers and humans are)

organisms - living things that can react to stimuli, reproduce, grow and metabolize energy, inherit traits, and maintain homeostasis.

to - when compared with.

humans - bipedal primates belonging to the genus Homo, especially Homo sapiens.

homo sapiens - the species group of bipedal hominins characterized by having higher and vertical forehead, brain volume of about 1,400 cc, smaller teeth and jaw, and prominent chin relative to earlier hominins.

May the better argument win and may voters be thorough and honest.

Round 1

Thanks for accepting, Con.
This debate is about being a superior organism, so we should be considering superiority with respects to what constitutes a living organism.
We should be debating organismic superiority between conifers and humans.

I'm here to affirm that indeed conifers exhibit organismic superiority to humans.


1. Conifers can produce their own food, internally, as long as they have sunlight ,water, and CO2, which are all readily available and abundant.

2. Conifers can reproduce without the need for a partner, and, since conifers are amazing at using the wind to pollinate, they don't need insects or really any other plant or animal for them to reproduce.

3. Conifers do not need shelter, and, in many cases, are a source of shelter to humans.
Nearly all conifers are "used mostly for building and construction purposes in the form of lumber" because its "wood has a high ratio of strength to weight and a remarkable record for durability and performance as a structural material."

4. Coniferous forests are carbon sinks, because they accumulate and store carbon in the soil instead of releasing the carbon into the atmosphere as CO2; carbon dioxide heats up the earth.
"More than 75 percent of the carbon accumulated in the forest communities is in coniferous forests," which means that more coniferous forests would result in a reduction of global CO2 emissions.

5. The population of conifers exponentially surpasses that of humans, which speaks to their greater reproductive dominance on earth.
 "This map reveals that the global number of trees is approximately 3.04 trillion...with 0.74 trillion in boreal regions," which the conifers dominate.

6. Along with providing us with oxygen to circulate through our blood, conifers provide us with paper and plastic made from chemically treated conifer wood pulp and foods such as pine nuts and juniper berries.
"Most paper pulp is made from evergreen conifers."

7. Some conifers have "new sprouts [that] may come directly from a stump or downed tree's root system as a clone...[and] can sprout a new tree when the main trunk is damaged by fire, cutting, or toppling."

"When a branch falls off a redwood tree, say in a storm, the branch can come in contact with the soil and develop roots. These provide the branch with nutrients and water, and before long the branch has grown into a tree."

8. Conifers on average live up to about 600 years old, but one bristlecone pine, a conifer, "was later confirmed to be almost 4,900 years old" which speaks to conifers' superior organismic longevity.

*The Case*

Yeah, I know, conifers can't reason, it's likely they don't feel love, they're probably not conscious, and they may lack the innovation that humans bring to the table, but these abilities/attributes are only products of the human struggle to survive that conifers simply need not worry about.

Humans need reason to discern how to get and choose food to eat, and conifers can just eat sunlight.

Humans feel love, because it's needed to acquire mates and friendship, which builds society and furthers the species, but conifers don't need a mate or society or any friends to further their species, because they are such self-sufficient organisms who can reproduce with the help of the wind.

Humans need consciousness to interact with reality, while conifers can use tropisms to detect their environment, which, because it is differential cell growth, conserves energy unlike all that thinking we have to do to merely interact.

Humans need innovation to make better shelter, transportation, communication, and entertainment, but conifers aren't as vulnerable to the elements, they don't need to travel, they don't need to communicate, and don't need entertainment; conifers maintain homeostasis without all of the extra effort humans require.

In summary, humans are constantly struggling to find food, leaving millions of humans starving every day; imagine if humans were as organismically superior as conifers and could step outside and just eat the hunger would end.

Humans are so needy because we're so vulnerable to weather, we require so much energy to maintain homeostasis, we require a mate for reproduction, we require communication to attract a mate, and we get sick and need medicine; conifers need sun, soil, water, and wind, and they're good, so all of those beneficial human attributes, like reason, innovation, and love are effectively unnecessary to a superior surviving organism that requires none of these things.


Congratulations on an excellently presented and well  researched debate. 

Unfortunately I do not have the time nor the inclination to match these efforts but nonetheless I will offer what I consider to be a rational and logical response.

1) Pro lists 8 specific abilities which are only relative to conifers and obviously not relative to humans. It is therefore impossible to make a fair comparative judgement based on these criteria. My understanding of superiority and it's definition is this; superiority is based on a comparison of obvious similarities and not a comparison of distinct differences.

Nonetheless, here are 3 obvious advantages that humans have over conifers:

a) Conifers do not have freedom of movement.
b) Conifers do not have freedom of choice. 
c) Humans for their own gain, can utilise and manipulate conifers.

I would suggest that these three points are direct comparisons of ability and therefore a much more relative indicator of superiority in favour of humans.

2) Evolution:
For pro's consideration, I will mention evolution now as a precursor to evidence that I will present in round 2. Which will consider not only popular accepted theory on species evolution, but will also take a look at material evolution as a whole and the possible implications and necessities of future evolution and the role that humans might be playing.

Round 2
Round 2

Thanks for that response Con.
I think we all understand not having time for debating some rando online when things IRL are way more pressing and actually matter, so I do not fault Con because they "do not have the time nor the inclination to match [my research] efforts;" I totally understand.
That said, let's rebuttal.


I had listed 8 things that make conifers, as living organisms, superior to humans, and Con attempts to refute my case.
I shall respond.

Con claims:
"Pro lists 8 specific abilities which are only relative to conifers and obviously not relative to humans."
My response:
Conifers make their own food via photosynthesis and humans have to eat food from other living organisms.
Metabolizing food and growing is something relative to all living organisms, including humans, it's just that conifers are superior at it.
Conifers can metabolize energy that they create inside of them and humans simply cannot do this.
Consuming energy and metabolizing is relative to humans, despite what Con says.

I mentioned how conifers can easily reproduce with the wind and reproduction is relative to humans as well.
Humans have to go through a bunch of trouble to reproduce, including finding another consenting human, having sex with them, hoping it's the right time of the month (ovulation), hoping that the sperm makes it to the egg without being dissolved by acids inside the female, and of course hoping that the egg is fertilized properly and makes it through the final processes to become a fetus which may or may not make it after conception.

Conifers just drop those cones and that's it; the wind does the rest, and the seeds are easily fertilized.
Also the Redwood Tree can have a branch amputated, placed into the ground, and it will regenerate a clone.
Can humans do this?
Cellular replication and reproduction are both relative to humans and conifers; conifers are simply superior at it.

Withstanding the elements, having a robust total biomass on earth, and successfully living a long time are relative to all living organisms, and it is this characteristic, being a living organism, that we are comparing between conifers and humans, so all those considered, conifers are winning the battle.

Con continues:
"It is therefore impossible to make a fair comparative judgement based on these criteria."
My response:
The criteria is just the components of the definition of organisms, which is reacting to stimuli, reproducing, growing and metabolizing energy, inheriting traits, and maintaining homeostasis.
This is fair because humans are living organisms and necessarily do all of those things and so do conifers, so we can accurately compare living organism to living organism.

Con adds:
"superiority is based on a comparison of obvious similarities and not a comparison of distinct differences."
My response:
Do conifers and humans share the similarity of being living organisms, having the ability to reproduce, inheriting traits, metabolizing energy, and maintaining homeostasis?
If yes, then comparing the two living organisms necessarily entails their obvious similarities, because both are similarly living organisms.

Con reckons:
"Conifers do not have freedom of movement."
My response:
Eh...I had sourced and mentioned that conifers have the ability to move themselves through actions called tropisms.
Tropisms are when plants move their "bodies" toward the sun, atmospheric gases, chemical compounds, or electrical stimulus.
They accomplish this by differential cell growth.
As the cells grow, the plant's appendages move in certain directions to receive more of or avoid a stimulus.

If there's more sunlight in a particular direction, the plant can use tropisms to acquire said light.
Do conifers have free will?
Eh, I'm not willing to say that, but they can move freely with tropisms to acquire beneficial things or avoid detriments.

Con indicates:
"Conifers do not have freedom of choice."
My response:
Neither do humans.
Humans operate under physical laws which themselves are deterministic.
Since humans cannot violate physical laws that apply to anatomy and physiology, they are necessarily operating in a deterministic way.
While humans have the illusion of free choice, their brains and neurons all work together deterministically which produce the choices we make.
Living organisms don't actually have freedom of choice, thought it appears that way.

Con adds:
"Humans for their own gain, can utilise and manipulate conifers."
My response:
So this actually shows why humans are organismically inferior to conifers, because humans lack their own shelter and are so bad at withstanding harsh temperatures that they need to acquire shelter from a superior-with-respects-to-maintaining-homeostasis organism for help.
A conifer would never need a human to help it, because conifers are so organismically self-sufficient.
Humans get food from conifers because humans lack the ability to make their own metabolizable energy and need to source a superior-with-respects-to-metabolism organism to survive.
Con's quote highlights the human's lack of organismic superiority.

End of Round

Con mentions that he will be getting into evolution, but he made no case for humans being superior because of evolution, so I will await Con's response next round.
Round 3
Round 4
Thanks for the debate Con.
May we bow down to conifers' superiority.
I extend all arguments, and I dismiss any argument made hereafter, because I cannot respond.
Any honest voter would do the same.
Vote Pro.