“That’s not my concern.” As you may have heard, that was the recent fumbled statement of a prominent U.S. politician to an interviewer who stressed the urgency of addressing certain vital domestic problems. No doubt he regretted the answer and what it seemed to imply. It’s also, in effect, the reply that origin of life (OOL) researchers give to Rice University chemist and OOL critic James Tour when he points out that reports of their progress on solving abiogenesis depend on a breathtaking hustle. They perform careful lab experiments using pure, specially purchased chemical ingredients. They then assure the credulous popular science media that the junk that’s produced has something relevant to say about how life might have originated on the early Earth — where there were no labs, no chemical ingredient suppliers, and no human researchers. When confronted with what a hustle this is, they reply, says Tour in a conversation with philosopher of science Stephen Meyer, “That’s the early Earth’s problem. That’s not my problem.” Of course they don’t use that language but they might as well, since it would be a lot more candid.
Dr. Meyer, author of Return of the God Hypothesis, who recently appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience as the interviewee, discussing the origin of life and other subjects, here reverses roles and interviews Dr. Tour. This is the first of four conversations between the two, to be released over the coming month. Very interesting stuff: