My watch list  

James Tour

James M. Tour is a synthetic organic chemist, specializing in nanotechnology. He is well-known for his work in molecular electronics and molecular switching molecules. He has also been involved in other work, such as the creation of a nanocar and NanoKids, an interactive learning DVD to teach children fundamentals of chemistry and physics. Dr. Tour was also a founder of the Molecular Electronics Corporation. He holds joint appointments in the departments of chemistry, computer science, and mechanical engineering and materials science at Rice University. Dr. Tour received degrees from Syracuse University (BS, 1981), Purdue University (PhD, 1986) and completed postdoctoral work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1986-1987) and Stanford University (1987-1988).[1]

In the Scientific American article "Better Killing Through Chemistry"[2], which appeared a few months after the September 11 attacks, Tour is credited for highlighting the issue of the ease of obtaining chemical weapon precursors in the United States.

A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism

For more details on this topic, see A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism.

In February 2006, the New York Times reported[3] that Dr. Tour was one of a small number of nationally prominent researchers among five hundred scientists and engineers whose names appear on Discovery Institute's controversial petition, "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."[4] The two-sentence statement has been widely used by its sponsor, the Discovery Institute, and some of their supporters in a national campaign to discredit evolution and to promote the teaching of intelligent design in public schools.[3][5][6][7]

The New York Times article described Tour as saying that 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. Despite this, he said he remained open-minded about evolution. He was quoted as saying "I respect that work" and being open to the possibility that future research will complete the explanations.[3]

On his web page labeled "Evolution/Creation" [1], Tour writes that "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." He goes on to quote from Blaise Pascal ([2]), Kreeft ([3]), and Charles Malik ([4]).


  1. ^ James Tour's Bio at James M Tour Group website
  2. ^ Musser, George (Nov 2001). "Better Killing through Chemistry: Buying chemical weapons material through the mail is quick and easy". Scientific American. Retrieved on 2007-09-06.
  3. ^ a b c Few Biologists but Many Evangelicals Sign Anti-Evolution Petition, Kenneth Chang, New York Times, February 21, 2006.
  4. ^ Signatories of 'A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism'
  5. ^ Doubts Over Evolution Mount With Over 300 Scientists Expressing Skepticism With Central Tenet of Darwin's Theory
  6. ^ Forrest, Barbara (May,2007), , Washington, D.C.: Center for Inquiry, Inc., . Retrieved on 2007-08-06.
  7. ^ Does Seattle group "teach controversy" or contribute to it? Linda Shaw. The Seattle Times, March 31, 2005.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "James_Tour". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE