Joined: Dec. 2007
In the Two Challenges for KL ... thread, BS77 brings up a supposed million dollar prize "for proposing a highly plausible natural-process mechanism for the spontaneous rise of genetic instructions in nature sufficient to give rise to life."
He gives this URL for more info on the prize: http://www.us.net/life/
When you go there, you find our old friend, David Abel at work again. This time he has a "foundation". The address of this "foundation" is given as
The Origin-of-Life Science Foundation, Inc
113 Hedgewood Drive
Greenbelt, MD, 20770-1610
Oddly enough, if you go to Google Maps and type in that address, then switch to Satellite picture, you find you're looking at what appears to be an ordinary house in an ordinary residential neighborhood.
To win, you seem to have to have your paper printed in a prestegious science journal (as Salvador would say), then their in-house staff scrutinizes it, then they hand it to a ten judge panel. If 70% of the judges pass it, they hand it to another ten judge panel. If 70% of those judges pass your idea, it's handed to a third ten judge panel. And so on until the fifth ten judge panel passes on your idea. However, the foundation reserves the right to have more than ten judges in any panel.
"The final and highest tier of judging will be carried out by a select group of highly respected life-origin investigators and theorists along with Nobel laureates and distinguished members of many National Academies of Sciences who are not necessarily life-origin specialists."
They list just about everybody you've ever heard of as judges. Here's the first few, the rest can be found under "Judging":
Freeman J. Dyson, USA, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
A. Graham Cairns-Smith, SCOTLAND, University of Glasgow (ret),
Jack W. Szostak, USA, Dept. of Molecular Biology, Massachusetts Gen. Hosp.
Jeffrey Tze-Fei Wong, HONG KONG, Biochem., Hong Kong Univ.of Sci.& Tech.
Charles H. Townes, USA, Physics Dept, University of California at Berkeley
John D. Barrow, U.K., Appl Math & Theor Physics, Cambridge
Pier Luigi Luisi, SWITZERLAND, Institut fur Polymere, ETH-Zurich
Paul Davies, AUSTRALIA, Professor of Physics, Burnside, South Australia
I wonder how many of them have heard of the foundation?
Meanwhile, I wouldn't make winning this prize a vital part of your retirement plans.