We found this at the website of Pat Robertson’s Christian News Network (CNN). Their headline is Renowned Chemist Says Evolutionists Do Not Understand the Origin of Life.
Oh dear, a “renowned chemist” is revealing our deepest secret. Or is he just making a fool of himself? Or maybe CNN is simply getting carried away? Let’s find out. We’re told:
A prominent chemist who was recognized this year as one of the 50 most influential scientists in the world says most scientists do not understand how evolution could explain the existence of life.
Aaaargh!! To begin with, the origin of life, although it’s certainly an interesting unsolved problem, is not part of the theory of evolution, which describes the behavior and development of life after it exists. And who is this renowned scientist that CNN is touting? They say:
Dr. James Tour is a well-known professor at Rice University, specializing in chemistry, nanoengineering, and computer science. Over the last 30 years, Tour has authored over 500 research publications, and he was recognized as one of “The 50 Most Influential Scientists in the World Today” by TheBestSchools.org. Tour has also received awards and recognitions from the American Chemical Society, Thomson Reuters, Honda, NASA, and others.
Wikipedia has a writeup on him: James Tour. He seems to be a competent organic chemist. But it also says this:
In 2001, Tour signed the Discovery Institute’s A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism, a controversial petition which the intelligent design movement uses to promote intelligent design by attempting to cast doubt on evolution. To those who “are disconcerted or even angered that I signed a statement back in 2001” he responded “I have been labeled as an Intelligent Design (ID) proponent. I am not. I do not know how to use science to prove intelligent design although some others might. I am sympathetic to the arguments on the matter and I find some of them intriguing, but the scientific proof is not there, in my opinion. So I prefer to be free of that ID label.”
He had also said that he felt the explanations offered by evolution are incomplete, and he found it hard to believe that nature can produce the machinery of cells through random processes. On his website, he writes that “From what I can see, microevolution is a fact” and “there is no argument regarding microevolution. The core of the debate for me, therefore, is the extrapolation of microevolution to macroevolution.”
This is bizarre. He insists that he’s not a slavish follower of the Discovery Institute’s nonsense, yet he dances the micro-macro mambo, which we described in Common Creationist Claims Confuted. He’s obviously some kind of creationist, but he follows his own path — a creationist beaker keeper.
This illustrates something we’ve said before: A creationist can be an architect, engineer, dentist, inventor, or a number of other things — even, as in this case, an organic chemist. But they function in those occupations by using knowledge, skills, methods, and technologies that are clearly non-biblical. Most importantly, their creationism — as an imagined cause or mechanism — can’t be investigated, so it never leads to anything of scientific value. Okay, let’s return to the CNN story:
In a video released in late 2012, Tour explained that he has had extensive experience studying the origin of life. “I will tell you as a scientist and a synthetic chemist,” Tour said, “if anybody should be able to understand evolution, it is me, because I make molecules for a living, and I don’t just buy a kit, and mix this and mix this, and get that. I mean, ab initio, I make molecules. I understand how hard it is to make molecules.” Despite his experiences and expertise, Tour admits that he does not understand how evolution could account for life’s existence.
He’s misusing the word “evolution,” which — as we’ve already said — doesn’t account for life’s existence. But he’s correct that nobody has yet succeeded at synthetically generating life. We’ve discussed that in The Origin of Life — Miraculous or Mundane? Then they quote Tour again:
“I don’t understand evolution, and I will confess that to you,” he says in the video.
Yeah, we can see that. CNN continues:
“Is it okay for me to say, ‘I don’t understand this’? Is that all right? I know that there’s a lot of people out there that don’t understand anything about organic synthesis, but they understand evolution. I understand a lot about making molecules; I don’t understand evolution. And you would just say that, wow, I must be really unusual.”
It’s okay to say that. But what can’t be said — at least not logically — is “I don’t understand this, therefore Oogity Boogity!” Here’s more:
“Let me tell you what goes on in the back rooms of science — with National Academy members, with Nobel Prize winners,” Tour stated. “I have sat with them, and when I get them alone, not in public — because it’s a scary thing, if you say what I just said — I say, ‘Do you understand all of this, where all of this came from, and how this happens?’”
The answer he inevitably receives, Tour explained, is: “no.”
Egad! The deep dark secret is out! Darwin is doomed! Well, maybe not. Skipping quite a bit, here’s another excerpt:
After recognizing that evolutionists are “collectively bewildered” by life’s origins, Tour joined nearly 900 other scientists in signing A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism, which states: “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”
Whoopie! Here’s the stunning conclusion of the article:
If evolution cannot account for life’s existence, then how did life originate? Tour says the most reasonable answer is simple. “I believe fundamentally that God created us all,” he told the Houston Chronicle.
Okay. That’s what he believes. All he needs to do now is accomplish something of scientific value based on that belief. Nobody’s ever done it before, but maybe Jimmie Tour will be the first. We shall see.
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