Much like the gentleman you quote, I don't know how the theory works either, but here's a thought.
I suggest that a stipulated set of amino acids (and I nominate Dr. Tour as having the last word here) be given a computer code representation, that (a very large number of) the conditions that an (also large number) of that same theoretical collection of amino acids might have been confronted with in both a series and parallel method of exposure, with a series of random (but not inconsistent with modern climatic patterns) selection of physical conditions as well. Let the computer simulation program run to some reasonable approximation of the geologic time scale of Earth and, I suggest, we might have a first-order approximation of TENS. Or not. If nothing else, it's a way to help better decide where to
Don't look at me to do it though, I have neither the finances nor the mental horsepower to put it all together.
Just to be clear, I remain unconvinced of any proposed theory that purports to explain physical existence - even your apparent first choice. Personally, I endorse the Fart Theory of Physical Existence; I fart, therefore I am. The odoriferous evidence is irrefutable I am consistently told.
Also, I have no trouble recreating the effect ad initio either.