November 8, 2023 | David F. Coppedge

Christian Chemist Trounces 10 Leading OoL Researchers

James Tour’s easy challenge to origin-of-life leaders
is a total victory against chemical evolution


The clock has run out. Dr James Tour, famed chemist at Rice University, challenged ten of the world’s leading origin-of-life researchers to put up or shut up with simple evidence, and they all folded.

Pasteur’s swan-necked flask experiment  demolished belief in spontaneous generation

Not since Louis Pasteur challenged proponents of spontaneous generation to answer his evidence against it has such a dramatic contest been waged by a Christian or creationist against the evolutionary establishment.* Like Pasteur, Dr Tour gained an easy victory. Belief in the spontaneous generation of the first cell by “chemical evolution” is today’s emperor with no clothes. Tour called their bluff, and they responded with silence. They should be shamed out of academia.

Who is James Tour?

Dr Tour is an eminent structural chemist at Rice University who has made recent headlines with molecular motors, his flash Joule heating method of forming instant graphene from any carbon source (including coal), and a method of recycling lithium batteries cheaply in a flash.

A devout and open Christian, Dr Tour leads Bible studies and reaches out to almost everyone he meets with the gospel of Jesus Christ and evidence for faith in God’s word, such as the resurrection of Jesus. As a scientist, he is also extremely well versed in the chemistry of life and the many and daunting hurdles faced by origin-of-life researchers who deny a Creator. He knows many of them personally.

Dr James Tour

For the past couple of years, Tour has bypassed the censors in the journals by posting detailed videos on his YouTube channel debunking “chemical evolution” with both depth and humor. These have become quite popular. Yet the leading naturalistic origin-of-life researchers have not stopped misleading the public with Big Lies, claiming they are getting warmer at explaining how life evolved in a primordial soup. Some leading chemical evolutionists including Steve Benner have responded indirectly with their own YouTube videos, but not face to face with Tour.

Last May, Dr Tour debated a YouTube blowhard, a fake “professor” Dave Farina, on the question of whether or not origin-of-life researchers were clueless about how life appeared on Earth. Farina relied on smirking smears, ridicule, and Big Lies about published papers to claim they were “not clueless” — words he dramatically wrote in large letters on the blackboard. Even some evolutionists were disgusted with Farina’s disrespect and bad manners toward the distinguished scientist.

The Challenge

Most of the 10 researchers are named in this book by a journalist who interviewed them.

On August 25, fed up with the nonsense from the evolutionists who would not take his criticisms seriously, Dr Tour put out a bold challenge on his YouTube channel. He promised to admit he was wrong, take down all his anti-evolution material on his channel, and stop making more videos about chemical evolution—on one condition: that any one of 10 leading origin-of-life researchers—all chemists with intimate knowledge of the chemistry of life—would answer just one of 5 questions about how life overcame particular hurdles that had to be surmounted before a living cell could appear. The questions are explained in the video, and the names and portraits of the contestants are shown.**

To make it even easier for the 10 contestants, Dr Tour took himself out of the judging and allowed three of the opponents to judge for themselves on whether they had succeeded. He published his challenge with flair in a video, wrote them all personally, and gave them 60 days to respond.

Time’s Up

The clock ran out on October 24th.

We take you now to the link to the video Dr Tour posted yesterday of the results.

This is historic!


Pasteur wrote after his victory, “Never again shall the doctrine of spontaneous generation recover from the mortal blow that this one simple experiment has dealt it.” What will history record about this dramatic challenge?***

*Other contenders come to mind: Lord Kelvin, who gave Charles Darwin and his disciples major headaches, and Henry Morris and Duane Gish, founders of ICR, who debated leading evolutionists on university campuses for years in the 1960s to 1980s.

**One of the contestants, Steve Benner of the University of Florida, I met at JPL and challenged with some questions of my own (see 5 Nov 2004) after he had joked to the audience that the problems facing workers in OoL were almost enough to make him a creationist. Benner knows the hurdles in OoL intimately (see 31 Dec 2013) but bluffs in front of the media as if they are getting warmer (see 1 May 2008). He is one who has made videos against Dr Tour’s criticisms, and one that Dr Tour selected to be a judge of the results.

***Evolutionists might just try to ignore it and hope it goes away. Enough of us can keep the issue alive to the media so that it cannot be swept under the rug.

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  • tjguy says:

    To be fair, although Lee Cronin did not send in any answers to the questions, he did offer to present his views to Dr. Tour at Harvard which he is scheduled to do on Nov. 28th. Benner, on the other hand, who claims he can present a plausible route for Origin of Life in just one hour, refused to discuss this with Dr. Tour even though he offered to fly down to his lab in FL at his own expense. So his claim is a bit dubious, imo.

    • It is admirable that Cronin reached out to invite Tour into his lion’s den, but he was not one of the three judges. By not showing up, the OoL judges lost by forfeit. And Cronin did not meet the deadline to actually answer any of the questions. I doubt he will be able to at Harvard.

  • JSwan says:

    I followed Dr. Tour’s challenge and his explanation of the lack of response. I’m very proud of him – he has guts. But most of all he is on the side of truth and sound knowledge!

  • KWF says:

    I agree with JSwan. I watched the DFarina debate yesterday and look forward to the LCronin event Nov. 28th. I think they get JTour’s point and that is why their responses are a literature blitz none of which directly answer the question under discussion. Papers and research is offered that give reference to chemical reactions that show good research, but fall short of clear demonstration of being workable answers for the JTour ‘primordial soup’challenges.

    • JSwan says:

      Interestingly, the BEST ‘primordial soup’ ever we have today – AND ALL OVER THE WORLD! That’s freshly dead organisms of ALL KINDS. Exactly the right concentrations and proportions of needed biochemicals, lack of the toxins that scientists would otherwise have to filter out, all the biochemicals in the proper locations relative to each other, they have complete structure and architecture needed for life – BUT ONLY DECOMPOSITION OCCURS!

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