Abstract. The origin of life’s biggest mystery is the origin of the genome which contains the information to cybernetically control all aspects of cellular life today. Without formal control, no life would exist. The genetics-first and metabolism-first models will be examined, each having characteristics that strain scientific credibility.
Major physical science limitations and the formidable information science problems are examined. These problems usually result in over-simplifications in speculative scenarios. More serious are the 11 peer-reviewed scientific null hypotheses that require falsification before any of the naturalistic scenarios can be considered as serious science.
Assuming the problems can be resolved, the requirements for a minimal “genome” can be discussed in the areas of initial generation of programmed controls, replication of the genome and needed components that make it useful, regulation of “life’s” processes, and evolvability. Life is an intersection of the physical sciences of chemistry and physics and the nonphysical formalism of information science. Each domain must be investigated using that domain’s principles. Yet most scientists have been attempting to use physical science to explain life’s nonphysical information domain, a practice that has no scientific justification.