The Latest in Origin of Life Research 2022

“Origin of Life” Source: Wellcome Collection

Scientists Solve an Origin of Life Mystery

A Google morning headline struck me today: “Scientists Solve an Origin of Life Mystery.” Maybe this article would help me understand what began the process of my creation. Unfortunately, the subtitle made it obvious that the main headline was misleading. It read:

“Seawater might have supplied the phosphorus required for emerging life.”

Hmm…the main headline seemed definite, whereas the subtitle used the word “might.”

And then there was the first sentence of the article:

“Researchers from the Universities of Cambridge and Cape Town may have found a solution to the mystery of how phosphorus came to be an essential component of life on Earth by recreating prehistoric seawater containing the element in a laboratory.”

Hmm…”may” have found a solution? So, the main headline should probably read:

Scientists May have Solved an Origin of Life Mystery

A title like that would not have gotten my attention so much. I hope this article stays up for a long time so that this post doesn’t become obsolete. You may want to check it now to see that I am not pulling your leg. Actually, it doesn’t matter that much since articles like this happen all the time.


As I’ve been looking for a good reason to share a recent lecture with my readers, I now have a good place to put it. Anyone who is familiar with Dr. James Tour knows how great a scientist he is. This lecture was given at Rice University.

Dr. Tour works in relative obscurity compared to so many headlines like the one above. A guy calling himself “Professor Dave” has 10 times the hits on a YouTube video on this same subject. Professor Dave has nowhere near the knowledge of Dr. Tour and they disagree greatly.

The book of John begins with words that I believe:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of mankind. And the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not grasp it.”

I will continue to watch for headlines like this and once a year comment on at least one of them.

Chris Reimers

9 Responses to The Latest in Origin of Life Research 2022

  1. Tom says:

    Thanks, Chris. I read the article and the scientists’ efforts strikes me as “grasping at straws.” I look forward to listening to Dr. Tour’s video later today while doing some yardwork.

    • Chris says:

      Thanks, Tom. “Grasping at straws” is a perfect phrase to describe the entire Origin of Life Research as I understand it.
      There is a lot in the video that the non-chemist will not understand. It sounds like even certain chemists may not understand some of it. I only understand it a little bit better than most novices because I have listened to Dr. Tour’s nine hours of correction of false accusations and assumptions made by “Professor” Dave Firina in a video that criticizes Dr. Tour.
      Dr. Tour goes at lightning speed here but I think many can understand his main points even if they don’t understand the science. Dr. Tour is one of the most respected chemists in the world so he has earned a listen I think.

      • Tom says:

        I listened to the video while cutting the backyard yesterday. I thought it might be difficult to follow, but Dr. Tour made it enjoyable.

        • Chris says:

          That’s good to hear. I know some of the graphics that you wouldn’t have seen are so complex that, like me, I’m sure you wouldn’t have understood them.
          Still, his honest and knowledgeable comments can seem comical at times as I’m sure you heard from the laughter in the audience. Thanks for letting me know, Tom. I wonder if I should put things like this up because so much of it is above me, but I would think the average person could get an idea of the reasons Dr. Tour is so vocal about current Origin of Life Research.

          • Tom says:

            It was definitely “over my head” because I took only basic science courses in college, but I was able to follow along quite well because of how Tour presented the information.

            • Chris says:

              Chemistry was one thing I was never interested in. Dr. Tour has changed my view of that. He makes it interesting and he speaks with an authority that is fairly earned. Dr. Tour has published many peer reviewed papers and he is at the forefront of some very interesting innovations.

  2. SLIMJIM says:

    Grateful for Dr. Tour!

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