David L. Abel, editor of The First Gene, offers, in an abstract of Chapter 1, “ProtoBioCybernetics?”
Cybernetics addresses control rather than mere constraints. Cybernetics incorporates Prescriptive Information (PI) into various means of steering, programming, communication, instruction, integration, organization, optimization, computation and regulation to achieve formal function. “Bio” refers to life. “Proto” refers to “first.” Thus, the scientific discipline of Proto-BioCybernetics specifically explores the often-neglected derivation through “natural process” of initial control mechanisms in the very first theoretical protocell.
Whether an RNA World, Peptide World, Lipid World, or other composomal Metabolism-First model of life-origin is pursued, selection for biofunction is required prior to the existence of a living organism. For gene emergence, selection for potential biofunction (programming at decision nodes, logic gates and configurable switch-settings) quickly becomes the central requirement for progress.