February 13, 2018
“…We have no idea how the molecules that compose living systems could have been devised such that they would work in concert to fulfill biology’s functions….Those that say, “Oh this is well worked out,” they know nothing — nothing — about chemical synthesis — nothing….From a synthetic chemical perspective, neither I nor any of my colleagues can fathom a prebiotic molecular route to construction of a complex system. We cannot even figure out the prebiotic routes to the basic building blocks of life: carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins. Chemists are collectively bewildered. Hence I say that no chemist understands prebiotic synthesis of the requisite building blocks, let alone assembly into a complex system. That’s how clueless we are. I have asked all of my colleagues — National Academy members, Nobel Prize winners — I sit with them in offices. Nobody understands this. So if your professors say it’s all worked out, if your teachers say it’s all worked out, they don’t know what they’re talking about…”
— Dr. James Tour, one of the world’s most-respected biochemists.