Instigator / Pro
1914
rating
104
debates
98.08%
won
Topic

BIGFOOT is BULLSHIT

Status
Debating

Waiting for the contender's second argument.

The round will be automatically forfeited in:

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Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Religion
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One month
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
10,000
Required rating
1500
Contender / Con
1500
rating
0
debates
0.0%
won
Description
~ 1,828 / 5,000

THBT: No credible evidence supports the existence of a large yet undiscovered primate species extant in North America.

Bigfoot sightings are regularly reported in North America.

Here's one report from last summer in my region:https://www.bfro.net/GDB/show_report.asp?id=63153

DEFINITIONS:

BIGFOOTS (or BIGFEET) are "said to be hairy, upright-walking, ape-like creatures that dwell in the wilderness and leave footprints. Depictions often portray them as a missing link between humans and human ancestors or other great apes."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigfoot

BULLSHIT (also BULLCRAP) is "a common English expletive which may be shortened to the euphemism bull or the initialism B.S. In British English, "bollocks" is a comparable expletive. It is mostly a slang term and a profanity which means "nonsense", especially as a rebuke in response to communication or actions viewed as deceptive, misleading, disingenuous, unfair or false.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullshit

BURDEN of PROOF

Burden of Proof is shared. However, any extraordinary claims should be supported by evidence of extraordinary quality and quantity.

PRO will argue the consensus of science. CON must provide substantive, testable (not mere anecdote and conjecture) evidence that a species of North American primate presently exists unacknowledged by the scientific community.

PRO is requesting sincere and friendly engagement on this subject.
No trolls or kritiks, please.

- RULES --
1. Forfeit=auto loss
2. Sources may be merely linked in debate as long as citations are listed in comments
3. No new args in R3
4. Donald Trump's testimony and opinion is never a reliable source of information.
4. For all relevant terms, individuals should use commonplace understandings that fit within the rational context of this resolution and debate

Round 1
Pro
Thanks, christianm, for accepting this debate.

THBT: NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE SUPPORTS the EXISTENCE of a LARGE YET UNDISCOVERED PRIIMATE SPECIES EXTANT in NORTH AMERICA

I.  PHYSICAL EVIDENCE

  • Although the Minimum Viable Population size for large primates is usually estimated in the tens of thousands, some estimates for humans go as low as almost 4,000 individuals.  [1]
  • Large, charismatic, mammalian fauna leave behind large amounts of evidence for their existence, even species that went extinct tens of thousands of years ago.
    • fossil records
    • remains trapped in tar pits, peat bogs, glacial ice.
    • tufts of hair 
    • hunting, scavenging, and food remnants
    • scat
    • footprints
  • Although thousands of bits of evidence for bigfoot have been tested purporting to be one of the above, no evidence of a North American primate or unique primate DNA has ever been confirmed.
II.  PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE

  • We live in a time of exponentially increasing surveillance, satellite imagery, concealed wildlife cameras everywhere, weather watch and fire watch cameras, infra-red cameras and binoculars scanning the forests for migration data, drones, smart phones, etc. 
  • Although the average maximum number of pixels used in digital images doubles every couple of years the quality and definition of bigfoot pictures never increases:  pictures of bigfoot are always blurry, distant, and indistinct.
  • Improved surveillance allowed biologists to identify more than 270 new species last year although only 4 of these were mammals and none were large mammals.  The last new primate to be identified was the bonobo in 1929[2] [3]
III.  ARCHEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE

  • There is no scientific evidence or fossil evidence for any native primate of any size ever in North America.  Great apes evolve from smaller primates but there is no evidence that were even primate ancestors in North America later than 55 million years ago[4]
IV. SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS

  • University of Buffalo cultural anthropologist Phillip Stevens summarizes the scientific consensus regarding Bigfoots as:
It defies all logic that there is a population of these things sufficient to keep them going. What it takes to maintain any species, especially a long-lived species, is you gotta have a breeding population. That requires a substantial number, spread out over a fairly wide area where they can find sufficient food and shelter to keep hidden from all the investigators. [5]
  • Perhaps as recently as 100 years ago, the absence of evidence for a large charismatic mega-fauna like Sasquatch could be considered inconclusive because there were still a small number of remote places unobserved by biologists.  But today, there are no places left in North America where thousands of large primates could plausibly hide from human technology.
PRO concludes that no compelling evidence for Bigfoot has withstood rigorous inquiry.  Bigfoot is not just unproven as a species of very large primate living secretly in North America, the evidence also strongly argues that the continued secret existence of such megafauna is unlikely to a compelling degree.

PRO looks forward to CON's R1 argument.


Con
Thanks to my opponent for accepting this debate.

In my opening, I will make two arguments for the existence of Bigfoot. The first is that he exists as an idea. The second is that it is almost certain that Bigfoot exists in an alternate universe. Note, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, that the question before us merely asks if Bigfoot exists at all, with no further specifications.

1. Bigfoot exists as an idea

This argument can be formatted as follows:

I. The existence of Bigfoot is an idea
II. Ideas exist
III. Therefore, Bigfoot exists.

Bigfoot as an idea has inspired a movie of the same name [1]. Furthermore, the very existence of this debate proves that the idea of a hairy, upright-walking, ape-like creature exists in the minds of many people, including my opponent. But to argue that the idea of Bigfoot exists, we must also establish that ideas do exist.

First and foremost, the existence of ideas is self-evident. Without the idea to create this debate, my opponent never would have initialized it in the first place. Inches exist, even though the classification of distances into units is simply a man-made concept. Numbers exist, even though they are simply concepts in the mind. Ideas, such as stories and designs for objects, can be patented and copyrighted [2]. Note that if someone writes a story, it is the idea that is being copyrighted, not just the physical paper and ink. Someone could type the story in another language, and this would still infringe on the intellectual property rights of the author.

According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, an idea can be defined as follows [3]:
an entity (such as a thought, concept, sensation, or image) actually or potentially present to consciousness
Since human consciousness exists and humans can have original thoughts, ideas themselves must exist.

From a purely sophistic point of view, ideas are the only thing that exists for certain. Objects themselves may be illusions, but our perception of the world is self-evident.

2. Bigfoot exits in an alternate universe

There are many things we cannot directly observe that we know must exist. The multiverse is one of these things. It has also been determined, from a wide range of scientific evidence, that the universe meets extremely specific criteria required for life [4]. Specifically, the existence of planets and of the heavier elements, required for life, relies on the gravitational constant fitting within a very narrow range of values.

The multiverse hypothesis explains why this would be. Specifically:
The idea that underlies it is that, if there is a sufficiently diverse multiverse in which the conditions differ between universes, it is only to be expected that there is at least one where they are right for life.
If such a near-infinite number of universes exists, it is almost definite that Bigfoot exists in one of them. Specifically, if a near-infinite number of universes is sufficient such that one of them allows life (out of pure chance), it is almost certainly sufficient such that Bigfoot exists in one of them. A comparison could be made to the analogy of millions of monkeys with millions of typewriters, in which eventually, out of the vast number of monkeys (or universes), a creature meeting this debate's definition of Bigfoot must eventually exist.

Therefore, Bigfoot exists both as an idea in the mind and as a tangible object somewhere in an alternate universe.

Round 2
Pro
Thanks, christianm-

THBT: NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE SUPPORTS the EXISTENCE of a LARGE YET UNDISCOVERED PRIIMATE SPECIES EXTANT in NORTH AMERICA

PRO

I.  PHYSICAL EVIDENCE
  • CON has made no counterargument
II.  PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE
  • CON has made no counterargument
III.  ARCHEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE
  • CON has made no counterargument
IV. SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS
  • CON has made no counterargument
CON

In my opening, I will make two arguments for the existence of Bigfoot. The first is that he exists as an idea. The second is that it is almost certain that Bigfoot exists in an alternate universe. Note, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, that the question before us merely asks if Bigfoot exists at all, with no further specifications.
That's quite false.  The description of this debate clearly stated that CON "must provide substantive, testable (not mere anecdote and conjecture) evidence that a species of North American primate presently exists unacknowledged by the scientific community."  VOTERS should note those specifications as agreed to by CON via acceptance of this debate and CON's apparent failure to read the rules.   CON should review these specifications now and adhere to specification agreed in further rounds.  

Both of PRO's arguments fail to be substantive or testable evidence.  Both of PRO's arguments are strictly conjecture.

COUNTER 1. Bigfoot exists as an idea

This argument can be formatted as follows:

I. The existence of Bigfoot is an idea
II. Ideas exist
III. Therefore, Bigfoot exists.
CON's major premise is false.  Ideas do not exist.

CON uses Mirriam-Webster's fifth sense of the word to define IDEA as:

5a: an entity (such as a thought, concept, sensation, or image) actually or potentially present to consciousness
ban indefinite or unformed conception
c(obsolete) an image recalled by memory

Since human consciousness exists and humans can have original thoughts, ideas themselves must exist.
Not according to Mirram-Webster's definition of EXISTENCE which reads:

1athe state or fact of having being especially independently of human consciousness and as contrasted with nonexistence
For something to exist, it must be outside of the human mind.  Beyond human thought, beyond just ideas, that is what actually distinguishes existence from nonexistence, by definition.

First and foremost, the existence of ideas is self-evident.
Opposite.  Santa Claus is an idea but Santa Claus does not exist.  Ideas, by definition, do not exist.
Inches exist, even though the classification of distances into units is simply a man-made concept.
Inches do not exist.   Wiktionary defines EXISTENCE as "Empirical reality; the substance of the physical universe."  But an inch is not physically real- one cannot hold an inch, it is only an abstract figure applied to something that exists. 
Numbers exist, even though they are simply concepts in the mind.
Numbers do not exist.  The number two has no substance, no empirical reality.  You cannot experience four.  You can only experience four of something that exists.

From a purely sophistic point of view, ideas are the only thing that exists for certain.
I'll remind VOTERS that Mirriam-Webster's definition of SOPHISTIC is "plausible but fallacious."  Wiktionary's definition of SOPHISTICAL is "Fallacious, misleading or incorrect in logic or reasoning, especially intentionally."

PRO and CON agree that PRO's argument is fallacious, specifically the informal fallacy of proving too much.

"In philosophy, proving too much is a logical fallacy which occurs when an argument reaches the desired conclusion in such a way as to make that conclusion only a special case or corollary consequence of a larger, obviously absurd conclusion. It is a fallacy because, if the reasoning were valid, it would hold for the absurd conclusion"

For example,

I. The existence of a zombie apocalypse is an idea
II. Ideas exist
III. Therefore, the zombie apocalypse exists
I. The impossibility of bigfoot is an idea
II. Ideas exist
III. Therefore, the impossibility of bigfoot exists
CON doesn't mean "all ideas exist" he only means "some ideas exist" and begs a special case for BIGFOOT.

CON's major premise is proven false because existence is only outside of consciousness and ideas are only inside of consciousness.  and so, CON's conclusion, Bigfoot exists stands disproved and fallacious.

COUNTER 2. Bigfoot exits in an alternate universe

There are many things we cannot directly observe that we know must exist. 
Not in science, there ain't.  Scientific knowledge must be observable and testable.
The multiverse is one of these things. 
That's false.  The multiverse is only a hypothesis without even a plan for testing its possibility, much less demonstrating any results.  We have no idea whether a multiverse must exist or is even plausible.    Paul Davies advises:

"Indeed, invoking an infinity of unseen universes to explain the unusual features of the one we do see is just as ad hoc as invoking an unseen Creator. The multiverse theory may be dressed up in scientific language, but in essence, it requires the same leap of faith."

From a strictly rational perspective, the multiverse is belief not knowledge, faith not fact.

It has also been determined, from a wide range of scientific evidence, that the universe meets extremely specific criteria required for life . 
That's not science.  A standard based on exactly one instance is not a criteria worth crediting as scientific or specific. We only know of one instance of life coming into being and we don't even well understand how that one happened.  Good science would not pretend that we know about the potential for  life in universes we cannot even detect or prove as existing.

If such a near-infinite number of universes exists, it is almost definite that Bigfoot exists in one of them.
So it will be incumbent on CON in round two to establish as fact that  a near-infinite number of universes exist or else withdraw this statement as mere unfalsifiable speculation. 

A comparison could be made to the analogy of millions of monkeys with millions of typewriters, in which eventually, out of the vast number of monkeys (or universes), a creature meeting this debate's definition of Bigfoot must eventually exist.
"The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type any given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare. In fact, the monkey would almost surely type every possible finite text an infinite number of times. However, the probability that monkeys filling the entire observable universe would type a single complete work, such as Shakespeare's Hamlet, is so tiny that the chance of it occurring during a period of time hundreds of thousands of orders of magnitude longer than the age of the universe is extremely low (but technically not zero). The theorem can be generalized to state that any sequence of events which has a non-zero probability of happening will almost certainly eventually occur, given enough time."

All CON is conjecturing here is  that IF we, on some future day prove that near-infinite multiverses  do exist THEN there is a non-zero chance that some universe might have a sasquatch in it.  Let's agree that if any scientist  or explorer brings to our universe some authenticated physical evidence or specimen of BIGFOOT discovered within one of those parallel universes before voting commences on this debate, that might then be the first bit of substantive, testable evidence will have presented.  As for now and otherwise, the existence of BIGFOOT in other universes remains entirely unproved.

PRO looks forward to CON R2.

SOURCES:


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