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James Tour: “Molecules Don’t Care About Life”

David Klinghoffer
Molecules Don’t Care About Life
Photo: Screenshot from "Molecules Don’t Care About Life."

Friday here in Seattle we are expecting a huge cloud of wildfire smoke, blowing up from Oregon and California. Thanks, neighbors. Blowing smoke happens also to be what science media and even scientists themselves do a great deal of the time when they talk about the origin of life. As synthetic organic chemist James Tour, of Rice University, forcefully reminds us, no one really has a clue how life got started. The problems are extremely formidable, as he notes in a quick preview:

That’s an excerpt from a presentation Professor Tour gave to Andrews University on the theme “Scientists Are Clueless on the Origin of Life.” It premieres on Friday, September 11, at  10 am Pacific time/1 pm Eastern. Tour is a dynamo and he promises to disperse the smoke of hype and misinformation about life’s origin from nonlife. As he puts it, “Molecules don’t care about life.” They “don’t evolve. They don’t move toward life.” This is not a presentation about God, as he warns at the outset, nor about intelligent design. It’s a rousing reminder that science remains without real information, of any kind, about the ultimate mystery. You can watch that Friday, right here: