Nanotechnology Prof James (Jim) Tour & Glasgow biology Lee Cronin debate contemporary Origins of Life research and whether Lee’s lab is on the way to discovering it.
Prof James (Jim) Tour: “Tour has over 700 research publications and over 130 patent families, with an h-index = 143 and i10 index = 644 with total citations of ~100,000 (Google Scholar). Based on the impact of his published work, in 2019 Tour was ranked in the top 0.004% of the 7 million scientists who have published at least 5 papers in their careers. ”
Lee Cronin:“A professor of chemistry, nanoscience and chemical complexity, Lee Cronin and his research group investigate how chemistry can revolutionize modern technology and even create life.”
See also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips – origin of life What we do and don’t know about the origin of life.
61 Replies to “At Unbelievable: James Tour vs. Lee Cronin on origin of life”
As I have mentioned on another thread . . . the radio programme this video comes from, Unbelievable, is excellent! It’s hosted by Justin Brierly who is pretty good at listening to both sides of whatever discussion he is hosting. I subscribe to the audio podcast version and have done for many years.. I can’t say I find every episode interesting but many, many are.
For the last couple of years the show has produced some particularly good episodes under the label The Big Conversation. If you check out thosee episodes you will hear some rather famous atheists and Christians having very collegial discussions. I’d call these episodes the best of the best but you may find that some other regular episodes address a particular topic you find engaging.
OT: The economic impact this coronavirus thing is having is going to be bad. I went to to the ATT store yesterday thinking about upgrading and they were out of Samsung S10s, Google pixel, pixel XL, and iPhone Pro Max. I asked them when they were going to be getting more in, and they said all the stores are out right now.
JT, I was supposed to be travelling to Beijing for work next week but it was obviously cancelled. My next work trip is to Vietnam in May. Fingers crossed.
OOL explained here:
This recent paper explains OOL too:
It seems like Dr Cronin is not alone in the race for the Evo2.0 $10M prize.
Ed George, the big physics meeting in Denver was just cancelled. The port of LA people just said they expect 25% fewer containers in March. Every stock index I checked from the Dax to the Nikkei is down 11-16%. This will probably cause multinational recession. Ugh.
JT, Switzerland has banned all events that have more than 1000 attendees.
Just kind of watch this, is it just me or did Lee Cronin claimed that he was going to make life and then turned around and said well if things behave like life It’s life, Most of it seem like he was blaming James tour for creating a narrative
But I’m not sure if I really respect lee Cronin Ever since 2011 when he claimed to create metal life that was evolving and self replicating
The prize is for a communications system to evolve naturally. There must be a coder sender, a code, and a translator receiver. The message must have five pieces of information. Professor Cronin has no chance, going by this interview.
He was badly stung by his own words approving of the chemical soup, and he mischaracterised what Tour said, complaining that Tour was setting the debate by constructing narratives. At the half way mark his idea had not even been reached there was so much correcting needed.
It was interesting but all it did was throw a great deal of darkness on the subject.
again… here is a very clear message for all atheists – especially for PavelU
(PavelU, you are so desperate, posting here the same non-sense again and again)
so, here it is AGAIN:
EVEN IF SCIENTISTS WOULD HAVE ALL THE COMPONENTS/PARTS OF CELL IN SECURELY STORED IN LAB-FREEZERS, THEY WOULD NOT KNOW WHERE TO START IN ORDER TO CREATE THE SIMPLEST SIMPLEST SIMPLEST CELL.
SO TO BELIEVE, THAT SOME RANDOM, UNGUIDED NATURAL PROCESS ASSEMBLED THE CELL IT IS LIKE TO BELIEVE IN MIRACLES….
WHEN YOU WILL FINALLY GET IT, PAVELU ????
STOP POSTING THIS OOL NONSENSE OVER AND OVER….
in regards to the TOUR vs CROONIN debate, it is always the same … some clown shows up claiming he knows how the life MIGHT emerged, but then, you will very soon find out, it is just another story-telling clown … for 150 years, since the OOL research began, it is always the same… desperate atheists and other clowns trying to prove that designed life SOMEHOW self-designed by random :)))))))))))))))))))))))))
… and all what they can is story telling and attacking people who can recognize what is undeniable…
let me sum up:
in this debate, an engineer is talking to a biologist – natural science graduates WHO NEVER MADE ANYTHING….
Your first comment in this thread seems very related to this:
Do you fully agree with Martin_r @10-12?
BTW, bias disclosure: I like Martin_r’s comments and his interesting blog.
Jawa, 13: Your first comment in this thread seems very related to this: https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/huge-discordance-between-gene-trees-in-a-new-phylogenetic-study/#comment-693895
Why link to a comment in another thread?
14: Do you fully agree with Martin_r @10-12? BTW, bias disclosure: I like Martin_r’s comments and his interesting blog. ????
No, I do not fully agree with Martin_r.
How many more questions do you want me to answer before you respect your side of the deal?
I haven’t counted them yet. I’ll let you know when I will count them.
What specifically you don’t agree with in the comments @10-12 by Martin_r?
Were you the first to comment in this discussion about the Unbelievable debate?
Jawa, 16: I haven’t counted them yet. I’ll let you know when I will count them. ????
I won’t hold my breath.
17: What specifically you don’t agree with in the comments @10-12 by Martin_r?
I don’t have time to go through all his comments line-by-line. I might do so later but I don’t see the point. Are you just trying to start a discussion and no one else wants to participate?
18: Were you the first to comment in this discussion about the Unbelievable debate?
Yes. I had mentioned the Unbelievable programme in another thread and thought I’d talk it up again.
“Why link to a comment in another thread?”
Here’s the deal:
“How many more questions do you want me to answer before you respect your side of the deal?”
Read the text of the deal linked @21.
Jawa, 21: Here’s the deal:
Yes, I remember.
So what now, you want me to go through Martin_r’s statements and tell you exactly what I disagree with? I’ll have a think about that since you seem to be just messing about.
If you want to have a discussion then why not ask me a question directly?
I don’t believe any scientists are trying to create a synthetic cell from its constituent parts. I think there is work going on seeing how simpler structures may have come about.
I don’t think anyone believes that a purely random process created the first cell. I understand the notion is that the cell descended from an earlier, simpler basic replicator via descent with modification.
I do not think that any scientist working on possible scenarios for the origin of life is a clown. I believe they are sincere. It doesn’t mean they will succeed but they are not clowns.
Most of the rest of Martin_r’s statements are just venting. I don’t feel the need to offer an opinion on someone’s emotional statements.
Do you agree with AaronS1978 @8 and Belfast @9?
Any objection to their comments on the Unbelievable debate?
An earlier, simpler replicator that was created via random processes.
So, according to this:
– order (‘cells’) arise from ‘random’ processes.
Do you agree with Dr Tour’s arguments presented in the Unbelievable debate?
blah blah blah …. you should team up with motormouth Cronin …
Cronin is a very convincing story-teller :)))))))))) i can imagine, that lots of simple uneducated people can even buy Cronin’s just-so-stories …
I remember Dr Cronin thinking he was getting closer to ‘making life’ but he’s not there yet. He was enthusiastic about a new line of inquiry. I know nothing about ‘metal life’.
I must admit I didn’t pick up on some kind of prize so I can’t comment on that.
I did find the conversation trying at times as I thought both sides spent too much time “correcting” the other side instead of talking about the science. It was no where near my favourite Unbelievable episode.
Martin_r, 28: Cronin is a very convincing story-teller :)))))))))) i can imagine, that lots of simple uneducated people can even buy Cronin’s just-so-stories …
I have no problem letting him have a go. If he fails, so be it. But there’s nothing wrong with trying.
Truthfreedom, 26: An earlier, simpler replicator that was created via random processes. So, according to this: – order (‘cells’) arise from ‘random’ processes.
Not purely random processes though. Environmental pressures would allow some to survive and reproduce and some not.
Did Dr Cronin sound 100% clear, coherent, serious and honest in the discussed debate and in the previous Unbelievable discussion he had with Perry Marshal and Denis Noble late last year?
BTW, do you know the requirements for the Evo2.0 $10M prize?
Jawa, 27: Do you agree with Dr Tour’s arguments presented in the Unbelievable debate? Any objection?
I may be incorrect but I don’t believe he was specifically arguing against life having arose through unguided processes; he seemed to be saying that it’s all very complicated and that Dr Cronin was not even close yet. But he did say, at one point, that if Dr Cronin was successful he would accept the results and that it would not shake his faith. I thought that was pretty fair.
Jawa, 32: Did Dr Cronin sound 100% clear, coherent, serious and honest in the discussed debate and in the previous Unbelievable discussion he had with Perry Marshal and Denis Noble late last year?
He sounded sincere in both cases. I don’t think he was able (or even tried very hard) to present all the technical data but I wasn’t expecting him to do so on a non-technical radio interview programme.
BTW, do you know the requirements for the Evo2.0 $10M prize?
Nope, I know nothing about it.
Are you really interested in serious discussions on important topics or gossiping about off topic irrelevant things?
Jawa, 35: Are you really interested in serious discussions on important topics or gossiping about off topic irrelevant things?
I am trying to answer your questions honestly without being rude or casting aspersions on others’ view or style. I’d like to be as fair as possible to everyone.
So those original ‘environmental pressures’ were not ‘random’? Does that mean they were ‘constrained’?
Truthfreedom, 37: So those original ‘environmental pressures’ were not ‘random’? Does that mean they were ‘constrained’?
I don’t think temperature or humidity or altitude or mineral content or seasonal variation, etc are random. I would not say constrained though but that just be a personal connotation.
“ Are you just trying to start a discussion and no one else wants to participate?”
No, you’ve got that wrong.
You started our discussion by asking an question about an off topic irrelevant thing in another thread.
The current discussion started here with this OP itself. Actually you posted the first comment.
BTW, other contributors have commented on your comments here.
If they were neither ‘random’, nor ‘constrained’, what were they then?
Jawa, 39: The current discussion started here with this OP itself. Actually you posted the first comment.
I was just promoting the programme as a whole, not necessarily this particular episode. I think everyone should listen to Unbelievable.
BTW, other contributors have commented on your comments here.
And I have been replying.
Truthfreedom: 40: If they were neither ‘random’, nor ‘constrained’, what were they then?
Like I said, I may just have a personal bias against constrained.
Environmental conditions depend on the interaction between many, many factors. Geography is a big factor which influences a whole range of conditions which will affect who ‘wins’ and who loses. Earth has a large satellite, the Moon, which gives us tides which have an effect. Earth is considered to be in the ‘Goldilock zone’ so we have temperatures conducive for liquid water. Earth has a strong magnetic field which has a big effect. I do not consider any of these ‘random’. If you want to say they are constrained that’s fine with me.
By the way, my ability to edit my posts after initially posting them has vanished for some reason so apologies for uncaught spelling and grammatical errors.
Was your question @19 (cited @39) pertinent, considering what we have seen here?
“ By the way, my ability to edit my posts after initially posting them has vanished for some reason so apologies for uncaught spelling and grammatical errors.”
I noticed the same problem lately.
Jawa, 43: Was your question @19 (cited @39) pertinent, considering what we have seen here?
I was just wondering. I’m allowed to wonder and ask. And you’re allowed to ignore or criticise or whatever.
Jawa, 44: I noticed the same problem lately.
It’s annoying. I’m trying to respond quickly out of respect but I hate making mistakes that might impeded comprehension or conversation.
I would offer the opinion that Prof. Tour is ultimately going to damage his credibility if he keeps allowing the Discovery Institute to co-opt his work and name. He seems to be a credible scientist who is naïve to the ideological agenda being pursued by the ID folks. He, at least twice in the Unbelievable discussion with Prof. Cronin, explicitly tried to distance himself from the ID movement. He couldn’t have been much more clear on that point, and, in fact, brought the issue up spontaneously because the discussion wasn’t even going in that direction. I think he acknowledged that Cronin is pursuing a serious research program and indicated that if Cronin and his lab are successful in developing life criteria to satisfy the Evolution 2.0 prize, he would accept the results. It will be interesting to see how the Discovery Institute and its allied publications and affiliates spin this discussion.
UD replies: Why would there be any need to “spin” it? If Cronin demonstrates that life can be generated by blind and mindless natural forces, then ID will have been falsified. If ID is falsified, we would expect the Discovery Institute to admit it and fold up shop. You see, unlike Darwinian evolution, ID is falsifiable. BTW, we are not holding our breath waiting for Cronin to demonstrate the life can be formed from blind and mindless natural forces.
The part that sets me off and this is when he says it’s evolving UD did a piece on this a while back to
That article is based on a paper that is over 10 years old.
There is now a coronavirus case at Lackland Air Force Base, where I did basic training many decades ago.
“Off we go, into the wild blue yonder…”
A living cell is a description based organization; having the dynamic freedom to describe itself as well as any variation of itself. To accomplish this feat of physical independence, it uses a system of discontinuous association to establish a multi-referent medium, then uses that medium to describe a semantically-closed dissipative process, plus a description of the means to interpret the description. Each of these requirements are carefully detailed in the physics literature and Lee Cronin has not accomplished any of them.
Jawa, why does the age invalidate anything? My point was that I haven’t respected much of lee Cronin since this. He still pushed this out
@50 Jim Thibodeau
Yep. ‘Natural’ selection in action. It has been happening for billions of years. Humans are not special, just another type of DNA arrangement.
Nothing matters, it is just ‘nature’ doing its thang.
I heard on the radio that genetic analysis at a flu research facility in Washington state indicates that COVID-19 was circulating in the general population over a year ago.
Chuckdarwin is worried that James Tour,
Really??? This coming from a guy who goes by the handle “Chuckdarwin”
Let me let you in on a little secret Mr. “Chuckdarwin”. Charles Darwin himself, as well as all modern day Darwinists, was and are driven by an “ideological agenda” and are certainly not driven by the science.
In fact Charles Darwin book “Origin Of Species”, far from being a scientific text that was filled with experimentation and mathematics, was far more of a theological argument that was based on faulty theological presuppositions, (S. Dilley, P. Nelson). In fact Darwin himself was trained in Theology, not math or anything else that would be considered foundational to creating a brand new field of science. Moreover, Darwin himself said that he found mathematics to be “repugnant.”
Which is just as well, mathematics itself finds Darwin’s theory to be “repugnant” as well as absurd in the highest degree.
I would offer that you are an insipid troll who doesn’t know what it is talking about.
Figuring out the truth behind our existence is not an ideological agenda. Understanding that blind watchmaker evolution is untestable and unscientific, is not an ideological agenda.
And if Cronin et al., fail, what then? Would Cronin become an IDist? If not, why not?
How could Lee Cronin create life? I recall that at least twice in the program he could not provide any characteristics of what constitutes “life”. How will he know it if he should create it?
The evo 2.0 prize webpage says:
This means that Dr. Cronin’s work apparently has not much to do with the Evo 2.0 prize.
As more research sheds light on the functional complexity of the complex functionality of the biological systems, it seems like the goalposts are constantly moving farther away from Dr Cronin’s ideas.
BMP and WNT signalling cooperate through LEF1 in the neuronal specification of adult hippocampal neural stem and progenitor cells
The awarding of the Evo2.0 OOL $10M prize seems less probable every time we look at the scientific literature.
Rockets, gauges, and pendulums: applying engineering principles to cell biology
Nonequilibrium physics in biology
Once Dr Cronin gets the OOL figured out, they could reinvest part of the $10M prize back in research in order to figure out how to get the below thing working:
Diurnal regulation of SDG2 and JMJ14 by circadian clock oscillators orchestrates histone modification rhythms in Arabidopsis