[eDebate] Standards for Evidence

Paul Johnson paulj567
Mon May 11 20:10:31 CDT 2009

More seriously.....

We should not pretend either that our participation in debate invalidates us from producing unique and useful socio-political thought, nor that we may simply say anything that we want to and then use it in a debate round. In general, debaters should pay more attention to qualifications. if debaters do that, it fixes a lot of these problems. We can't really stop people from using shadowy pseudonyms, and as a community, we are best off if we do point out such behavior when it occurs. But we can't stop it from happening. We can only hope that our opponents are as generous and as good natured as we ourselves hope to be to them, and as we are on our best days.

Paul Johnson

--- On Mon, 5/11/09, Anony mous <anon.edebate at gmail.com> wrote:

> From: Anony mous <anon.edebate at gmail.com>
> Subject: [eDebate] Standards for Evidence
> To: edebate at ndtceda.com
> Date: Monday, May 11, 2009, 2:02 AM
> I saw this posted on Cross-X.com, but I thought it would be
> interesting to
> get the college community's opinion (a similar incident
> occured before CEDA
> with a BC student writing a conveniently worded article
> concerning LOST,
> although the circumstances were a bit different):
> "Before the TOC this awesome article came out about
> SPS.
> http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1359/1
> The author credited Justin Skarb for some help.
> Upon further research, it appears Justin Skarb actually
> wrote the article.
> He is also the coach at Damien.
> http://spacesolarpower.wordpress.com.../#comment-3110<http://spacesolarpower.wordpress.com/2008/10/13/time-to-build-a-first-look-at-the-initial-plan/#comment-3110>
> Obviously people have called out Damien before on emailing
> authors and using
> their responses as evidence, and there has been much debate
> on the
> legitimacy of that. This is a seperate matter, and I think
> this issue merits
> some discussion as well. I have three questions:
> 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 debate.
> 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?
> 3) If it is ok to write the article, is it ethical to use a
> pen name?
> 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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