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James Tour, Episode 4: On the Origin of Life, “The Devil Is in the Details”

David Klinghoffer
origin of life
Photo: James Tour in a scene from Science Uprising, via Discovery Institute.

A viewer of Rice University chemist James Tour’s new lecture series on the mystery of life from non-life — abiogenesis — summarizes the dialogue between Professor Tour and his atheist critics:

Atheists: Follow the science!

Dr. Tour: Here’s the science. 

Atheists: But you’re a Christian!

Dr. Tour: But this is pure science. 

Atheists: La la la I’m not listening!

That gets it about right. Now in Episode 4 of the series, Tour takes on homochirality, and more. From the course description, and referring to a video by hapless critic Dave Farina:

Diving into the science on homochirality, Dr. James Tour teaches the core chemistry concepts of enantiomers and chirality, exposing enormous challenges in the prebiotic synthesis and resolution of the molecules needed for life. By digging into the cited video’s only provided reference, Dr. Tour puts ink on paper and shows how the devil is in the details when it comes to proper interpretation of the data. Finally, Dr. Tour touches on the stereoisomeric challenges facing synthetic chemists doing origin-of-life, prebiotic research. 

Watch it below now. Want more Tour? Download two free chapters from the recent Discovery Institute Press book The Mystery of Life’s Origin: The Continuing Controversy (2020). Find that here.