Dr. Tour wants to know: “This is the origin of life. How did that first living system form?”
A reader must ask if an RNA molecule could possibly govern chemical reactions, suppress free-riders, support co-operators, and act in its own self-interest.
To provide a deeper understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of information-based arguments, I will delve into the underlying mathematics.
The most promising candidate for a “natural engine” is proton flows across thermal vents that theoretically could generate high-energy molecules.
The piece is highly technical and mathematical, but the basic argument can be quickly summarized with only a marginal loss of technical accuracy.