Stated Casually: Interview with a Christian Origin of Life Researcher

Here’s an interview Jon Perry had with Jay Forsythe, who is a researcher in the origin of life, who is also a Christian:

Dr. Jay Forsythe is an analytical chemist studying the origin of the life. He teaches at the College of Charleston and does research for the Center for Chemical Evolution. Here he talks about his research on protein formation before life (depsipeptide formation, to be specific) and he also talks about his unique perspective on science and religion.

Jay is a Protestant Christian. He talks about what it’s like spending his career searching for a natural origin of life while also maintaining his faith in God. He gives his advice to Christians and other religious people who currently find evolution and origin of life research to be in conflict with their faith.

I’m pretty sure he’s not looking to disprove God.


@Rumraket I’d be very interested to read your opinion if you’ve listened to the whole thing.


I listened to it when it first came out and I came away agreeing with a lot of what was said and I thought it was a good interview. I also find that Jay Forsythe does really interesting work in the origin of life. I don’t remember everything that was said well enough to comment on it without listening to it again. Anything in particular you want my opinion on?

Nothing specific, I was just wondering if there was something specific that jumped out or if you highly recommended spending the time to watch it.

I definitely think it is worth watching, both because Jay Forsythe offers his perspective as a scientist who is a Christian working on the origin of life(his experiences both pro and con when people he meet come to know of his religious views), but also because the actual research he does on wet-dry cycles and depsipeptides seems promising.


@Michael_Okoko this is the video I was referring to. I had actually watched the first half hour but don’t remember what it was about. If you watch it, definitely increase the speed, they talk slowly.

@Mercer does this qualify as not hearsay?

Here’s what my ears perked up on, based on my worldview:

these are just approximate time stamps:
50:00 Jon: James Tour “is in a mindset that if origin of life can happen naturally, then his faith is doomed. He doesn’t say that if you ask him” He references persecution against Christians in science and says that it does happen…then uses the words “obnoxious,” “distracting,” “bitterness” to describe Tour. I think that counts as persecution Jon :wink: He also praises him a bunch.

around 1:18:00 - 1:22:00
“A huge gap”…“we have no idea how big it is”
It’s not simple to find something simple - it’s either complex or dead ends

“there’s a lot of explaining to do”
they talk about right-handed and left-handedness.

(I’d heard Tour use the word chiral but I didn’t know what it meant. That’s what makes science so fun! Are there other “handed” things in nature besides standard model particles, molecules and people? I’d love to know if anyone knows of others). This seems like an obvious ID argument. Not trying to make one - it’s just interesting to me.

RNA won’t last in test tubes because there’s life everywhere…

“why would biology pick amino acids to form proteins” :joy: Jay invokes a design argument by accident I guess

1:41 on
They talk about faith and science. Even though I disagree with him on evolution (he says it’s so clear based on genetic testing) I actually really, really liked his answer here.

It does when he presents his own observations.

hearsay | ˈhirˌsā |
information received from other people that one cannot adequately substantiate; rumor: according to hearsay, Bob had managed to break his arm.
• Law the report of another person’s words by a witness, which is usually disallowed as evidence in a court of law: everything they had told him would have been ruled out as hearsay | [as modifier] : the admissibility of hearsay evidence.

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Sugar is chiral: dextrose is right-handed, levulose is left-handed. Sucrose, our common cane sugar, is chiral and its purity is actually measured by shining light through it and measuring the polarisation.

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