A common attempt to overcome the need for information in the first cell is to equate information to a reduction in entropy.
A fundamental hurdle facing all origin-of-life theories is the fact that the first cell must have had a free energy far greater than its chemical precursors.
In an article here yesterday, I described the thermodynamic challenges to any purely materialistic theory for the origin of life.
Popular articles on origin-of-life research often portray the field as constantly advancing and quickly converging on a purely materialistic explanation for the first cell.
As the authors rigorously show, producing anything of significant complexity requires that knowledge of the outcomes be programmed into the search routines.