[eDebate] Standards for Evidence

J T jtedebate
Mon May 11 09:20:36 CDT 2009

I'll say this:? Justin Skarb was a top-notch debater and an excellent coach. I have no doubt that any policy writing on his part was probably well-researched and insightful...that being said...

Anony mous writes:
1) Is it legitimate for a coach to write articles which are clearly
relevant to the current debate topic? Should we treat these
differently? And should the purpose/content be relevant? For example,
here are two different scenarios:

a) It is clearly written for the purpose of a debate round, such as
this article which included a few disads and a counterplan without
citing research

b) It is not as rhetorically powerful, is backed up with research, and
is written as a product of knowledge acquired over a year of debating
the topic rather than with the intent of producing new evidence. 

Obviously it is difficult to measure intent, although it may not
actually be necessary, since in scenario b it is less likely that the
article would be used as evidence or be the critical card in some

<<<<First, Yes it is legit.? QUALS:? If the coach has any particular experience in the field, they are a legit author by any standard.? BETTER THAN A STAFF WRITER:? Even if a coach--let's say Justin Skarb--had zero "quals", that coach is probably more qualified to make claims based on research than the staff writer from AP that writes politics cards!? INTENT:? don't even go there!? The article Justin evidently wrote was published in a reputable journal in the field.? But for others, you only risk wrongly insulting someone.? No proof = no accusation.

2) If it is legitimate, should the coaches experience on the topic be
an additional factor when comparing qualifications, or should the
evidence be evaluated based solely on the author's other
qualifications? If it is not legitimate, what is the remedy? Should the
evidence be evaluated as nothing more than a lengthy analytic, or is it
an ethics question?

<<<Without proof of intent, there is no ethics question.? I do think it should be a quals debate.? It depends on their topic experience.? Just judging rounds and coaching teams does not inherently make you more qualified.? Do they do research?? Have they done alot on this particulat topic? Do they have any academic background on the subject?? This discussion would not happen in response to a card from a New York Times staff writer, but because he is a coach, Justin gets called out---this is ridiculous.

3) If it is ok to write the article, is it ethical to use a pen name? 

<<<If they did, there would be no way to list qualifications or do independent research to find out their quals.? Was this the case?? If Justin just used a pen name then perhaps he was trying to avoid the silly highschool complaints about intent that some have advanced.? Regardless, it was probably unnecessary...not sure why the pen name thanked the actual author for assistance though...???

Because I am remaining anonymous, I'm not voicing opinions. This is an
attempt to spur discussion from others on an important issue, and
shouldn't just turn into a hate on Damien thread."

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