In The First Gene, David Abel’s Chapter 9 covers “Examining specific life-origin models for plausibility”:
Abstract: All models of life-origin, whether Protometabolism-First or pre-RNA / RNA World early informational self-replicative models, encounter the same dead-end: no naturalistic mechanism exists to steer objects and events toward eventual functionality. No insight, motive, foresight or impetus exists to integrate physicochemical reactions into a cooperative, organized, pragmatic effort.
Inanimate nature cannot pursue the goal of homeostasis; it cannot scheme to locally and temporarily circumvent the 2nd Law. This deadlock affects all naturalistic models involving hypercycles, composomes and chemotons. It precludes all spontaneous geochemical, hydrothermal, eutectic, and photochemical scenarios. It affects the Lipid, Peptide and Zinc World models. It pertains to Co-evolution and all other code-origin models.
No plausible hypothetical scenario exists that can convert chance and/or necessity into an organized protometabolic scheme. In this paper the general principles of previous chapters are applied to the best specific models of life origin in the literature. Tibor Ganti’s chemoton model and the pre-RNA and RNA World models receive more attention, as they are the most well-developed and preferred scenarios.
Here are the chapter topic heads:
Introduction: Every naturalistic life-origin model encounters the same great impasse 232
1. Cairns-Smith clay life 233
2. Silicon and Boron based life 234
3. Geochemical self-organization models 236
4. Protometabolism First Models 238
4.1 Composomes 239
4.2 Compartmentalization 240
4.3 The problem of sequencing 241
4.4 Hypercycles 241
4.5 Tibor Ganti’s well-developed chemoton model 242
5. Self-replicative, auto-catalytic, informational models 256
5.1 RNA World models 256
5.2 PreRNA World and RNA analogs 260
6. Early photosynthetic models 262
7. Code-origin models 264
8. Composome, Chemoton, and RNA evolution models would have been extremely 265
9. Panspermia 269