How did non-living chemicals become living plants and animals? Origin of life research has been the focus of countless hours and vast expenditures by expert scientists for the last 70-plus years. The results have been, well, unremarkable. Chemist Dr. James Tour of Rice University issued a 60-day challenge. The James Tour challenge to the leading origin-of-life researchers called for them to show what progress they have made in 70 years.
Dr. Tour points out that there are five major hurdles that the origin-of-life scientists must clear. They are the fundamental problems that stand in the way of life originating from non-life (abiogenesis). In simplified form, they are:
Linking amino acids into chains
Linking nucleotides into RNA molecules
Linking simple sugars into chains
The origin of biological information
The assembly of all components into a cell
YouTubers are claiming that scientists have completely solved these obstacles to abiogenesis. If that is true, Tour challenged the leading origin-of-life researchers to verify and explain it. The James Tour challenge gave them 60 days to put up their evidence. Dr. Tour said if they could show that they have solved even one of those problems, he would shut up about the issue.
The James Tour 60-day challenge expired at the end of October 2023. Not one scientist could meet his challenge. In other words, in 70 years of research, no progress has been made on any of the major roadblocks to non-living matter becoming a primitive living cell.
If brilliant scientists with the best equipment and modern laboratories ever manage to produce life from basic elements, what will they prove? They will not show that life can originate by unguided accidents. They will have demonstrated that an intelligent being can create life from non-living matter. That is what the Bible has said for thousands of years.
— Roland Earnst © 2023
James Tour debates a YouTuber who claims science has solved all origin-of-life problems.
James Tour mentioned in “Scientists and God” in our quarterly publication.