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Chemist James Tour Remembers Ide Trotter

Photo: Ide Trotter, PhD, Princeton-trained chemical engineer and Darwin skeptic, delivers testimony before the Texas State Board of Education.

With the passing of Ide Trotter, already noted here and here, a fearless defender of the Christian faith has been promoted to glory. My most cherished recollection of Ide was at a meeting in Dallas when I was speaking with him at a table where DVDs of talks on intelligent design were being displayed. The famous physicist Professor Lawrence Krauss approached and mockingly spoke of the content at the table. Ide looked Professor Krauss in the eye and asked, “Are you a serious man?” To which Professor Krauss replied, “What?” Ide repeated, “Are you a serious man?” Professor Krauss was unsure how to answer, and Ide, starting with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), began to pick apart the famous physicist and the hypocrisy of his research claims. It didn’t last long because Professor Krauss just turned and walked away. I was relieved that Ide was my friend, not my intellectual adversary. Ide was a very generous supporter of several organizations that promote scientific understanding coupled with a presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many, including me, have been touched by his life. 

Editor’s note: Dr. Trotter’s family asks that rather than offerings of flowers, memorial gifts may be given to the Center for Science and Culture, among other good causes.

James Tour

Professor of Chemistry, of Computer Science, and of Materials Science and Nano-Engineering
James Tour is the T. T. and W. F. Chao Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Computer Science, and Professor of Materials Science and Nano-Engineering at Rice University. A synthetic organic chemist, he received his BS in Chemistry from Syracuse University, his PhD in synthetic organic and organometallic chemistry from Purdue University, and postdoctoral training in synthetic organic chemistry at the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University. He has served on the faculty of the University of South Carolina and as a visiting scholar at Harvard University. Tour has over 700 research publications and over 130 patent families.



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