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Renowned chemist James Tour’s episodes 1-3 on origin of life


Here’s Episode 0 from James Tour, kicking it off. And here are the next three:

Episode 1:

In this introductory episode, Dr. James Tour builds the foundation for this series, defining abiogenesis and describing the characteristics for life, including a discussion on early Earth’s conditions and challenges for prebiotic chemistry. After reviewing the four classes of molecules needed for life, Dr. Tour elaborates on the synthesis problems currently facing today’s origin of life researchers.

Episode 2:

In this brief episode, groundwork is still being laid, as Dr. James Tour explains the early Earth primordial soup concept and enlightens the listener on the layperson’s understanding. Dr. Tour then shows what the contemporary belief is, what levels of education it is held, and where it is taught.

Episode 3:

In this episode, Dr. James Tour examines hyperbole surrounding origin of life claims. Beyond a mere attribution to the press for creating hype, Dr. Tour looks into the published works by researchers themselves, discovering a more proper attribution of the source. He then elaborates how this snowballs further by the press into confusion by professors and laypersons. Finally, some agreement on prebiotic relevance is revealed.

At Evolution News and Science Today, David Klinghoffer reflects on Episode 3:

Rice University chemist James Tour continues his course on abiogenesis. On Episode 3, he turns to detonating some of the hype surrounding supposed progress toward understanding the origin of life from non-life. Tour got going with this 13-part series of lectures in response to a hapless critic, Dave Farina. As a correspondent quips, “I don’t know who Dave Farina is, but he’s kicked the wrong dog.” Indeed so.

David Klinghoffer, “Episode 3: James Tour Detonates “Hyperbole Surrounding Origin-of-Life Claims”” at Evolution News and Science Today

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