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.
The most promising candidate for a “natural engine” is proton flows across thermal vents that theoretically could generate high-energy molecules.
Dr. Tyson’s imagination wanders from Enceladus, a moon of Saturn, to the Cambrian explosion.
We are nearing a half-century since Eigen wrote about this paradox, and it “still challenges theoretical biologists.”
“Warm little ponds,” in Darwin’s quaint expression, are actually very hostile environments for generating nucleotides.