Price-McCabe debate
Debate - Queen's Hall - London, September 6, 1925
A- Followed Scopes Trial (July 10-25, 1925)

B- London newspaper reports of Scopes trial stimulated British interest

C- Price's letters to newspaper drew attention of rationalists (RPA sponsored the debate)

D- Hall was full ~ 3000 , Earl Russell (Bertrand's older brother) moderated

E- McCabe was an experienced lecturer and skilled debater

F- Price was college lecturer lacking oratorical skills as judged by his ministerial failure on Prince Edward Island

G- McCabe began - convincing you of evolution was - like convincing you that the sun occasionally shines in the sky

H- Said that no academic rejected evolution

I- Three major points - London geology, biogeography, vestigial organs
1- Layers beneath London unambiguously chronological

2- Old red sandstone 400 million years old (fossils, radium dating)

3- Discussed human evolution (intermediate fossils) on second pass
J- Went through topics twice with specific examples the second time

K- Price concentrated on McCabe's initial contention
1- Cited books critical of aspects of evolution

2- Overly technical - presented lists of names, literature quotes, geological eras

3- Challenged McCabe to suggest evolutionary mechanism
L- McCabe rebutted that evolution is science and hence mechanism is natural (details unnecessary)

M- Chastised Price for ignoring 2nd and 3rd arguments

N- Price gave more quotes, audience began to interrupt Price

O- High point of Price's career, but a failure - retreated to SDA


Price, G.M., and McCabe, J. Is Evolution True: a Verbatim Report..., Watts & Co, London (1926)

Harris, F. et al, Debates on the Meaning of Life, Evolution, and Spiritualism. Prometheus Books, Buffalo (1993)reprint