DNA Origin of Life

Dr. James Tour to debate evolutionist on the origin of life this Friday

Yes, there will be a live stream. Yes, it will be open to the public.

Dr. James Tour is famous among Christians for his accurate, informed skepticism about naturalistic theories of the origin of life. But how would his ideas survive attacks from a critic? We’re about to find out.

Join us for an exciting debate between Dr James Tour and Dave Farina on The Science of Abiogenesis.

This in-person event will take place on Fri May 19 at 7:00 PM CST in Keck Hall 100, Houston, TX and will be streamed LIVE on YouTube!

Dr. James Tour is a world-renowned scientist and professor of chemistry at Rice University. He will be presenting evidence that he believes demonstrate huge problems and hype in the origin of life field.

Dave Farina is a prominent atheist and Youtuber who will argue for the theory of abiogenesis, the idea that life arose from non-living matter through natural processes.

Join us Friday May 19 at 7PM CT at Rice University or ONLINE to for this highly anticipated event! See more at tourvsfarina.com


May 19th, 2023, at 7 PM CT

Stream the debate LIVE at watch.tourvsfarina.com. It’s the ONLY place to watch the debate between Dr. James Tour and Dave Farina LIVE from Rice University on May 19th at 7 PM CT.

If you are near Houston, then you can attend in person. I’m going to be watching the live stream, instead:

It’s being streamed via YouTube.

As an introduction to the debate, recall that there are 3 parts to the origin of life problem.

  • First, you have to come up with the building blocks of the components.
  • Second, you have to sequence the building blocks correctly to build the components.
  • Third, you have to assemble the components into a living, self-replicating cell.

All three of these areas are challenging for atheists who believe that life was not created by an intelligent agent.

I remember learning about professor Dave from this recent article from Evolution News:

The saga of renowned organic chemist James Tour and atheist YouTube personality Dave Farina continues in the second season of Tour’s video series on the origin of life. As a recap of Season 1, Farina responded to Tour’s critique of origin-of-life research with a critique of Tour’s claims. Tour then created a 14-part video series detailing the multitude of errors in Farina’s response. It also serves as an advanced tutorial on the dismal state of origin-of-life research.

Farina in turn responded to Tour’s video series with two new videos (here, here) that included interviews with three scientists: Lee Cronin, Bruce Lipshutz, and Steve Benner. Cronin and Benner are considered leading origin-of-life researchers, and Lipshutz is a highly respected synthetic chemist. Their testimony was intended both to discredit Tour’s assessment of the field and to assure viewers that researchers are making steady progress in unraveling the mystery of life’s origin. Tour’s new series exposes that the truth is the exact opposite.

That post by Brian Miller is excellent. You can drill down as far as you want to, but if you just are new to the topic, he gives you the big picture.

I thought this part was interesting:

The most problematic interview was with Bruce Lipshutz, describing his design of surfactant molecules that enable amide/peptide bonds. Farina claimed that Lipshutz was challenging Tour’s statement that amino acids do not spontaneously link together in water. The problem is that Lipshutz sent Farina the video clip about his research for a completely different purpose. He was unaware Farina used the clip to challenge Tour’s claim, and he never even saw Tour’s video. Most importantly, Lipshutz was not linking together amino acids, and he was not performing the chemistry in water but in a hydrophobic pocket (here, here).

What Farina did not know was that Tour has been friends with Lipshutz for nearly forty years, so he emailed Lipshutz asking him about his comments. Lipshutz not only stated that he was unaware he was in Farina’s video, but he acknowledged that his research is irrelevant to the question of amino acids linking into chains in water.

And this is very direct:

Farina is a committed atheist who has demonstrated that he is not encumbered by the same ethical standards that James Tour is. He is also not trained in the chemistry that Tour addressed in his videos, so his misrepresentation of the science is not surprising. What was far more disturbing to Tour was the extent to which Cronin and Benner exaggerated the relevance of their experiments to the question of life’s origin.

So, there is a lot of deception, intentional or unintentional, going on from the naturalistic side of the debate.

When my YEC friend told me how excited he was about this debate, I had an idea about why he was. And I think it’s because Professor Dave has been talking about things he doesn’t understand for a long time on social media. I knew that he didn’t have the same credentials as Dr. Tour, who works in the labs and publishes research. So a YouTuber with a large following is going up against a specialist with real-world knowledge and experience. So, we are looking forward to a public resolution of this debate. A lot of non-Christians who have been following Dave are about to have their worldview rocked.

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