Well, that’s one theory:
That wordy description can be distilled into something much more palatable without sacrficing accuracy: “genes, metabolism, and membrane,” science writer Michael Marshall wrote for National Geographic. When metabolism and self-replication are wrapped in a lipid shell, the most basic life – the chemoton – has emerged.
Hungarian scientist Tibor Gánti conceived the chemoton as early as 1952 and formally described it in his book Az élet princípiuma in 1971. The book’s title hints at why the chemoton has not received much attention. It was announced to the world in Hungarian, at a time when Hungary was behind the Soviet Union’s Iron Curtain. The chemoton would not reach English readers until 2003, when RNA world was firmly entrenched as the leading theory of life’s origins.
Where the chemoton and RNA world collide is on enzymes. While Gánti’s theory views enzymes as the result of a long evolutionary process within cells, RNA world sees them as fundamental – RNA enzymes, called ribozymes, may have been performing all sorts of functions necessary to the proliferation of early RNA-based life.Ross Pomeroy, “Could the Chemoton Conquer RNA World? ” at RealClearScience
See also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips – origin of life What we do and don’t know about the origin of life.