I have been seeking to describe the science of purpose. Now it is worth getting down to the basics of what science actually is and how it works.
Cell membranes are essential for life because they actively maintain homeostasis, providing a consistent environment inside the cell.
Science provides a clear expectation of what natural processes produce, and what we observe in the biopolymers of life is dramatically unexpected.
This is not a question of scale — even if the “chemist’s flask” were the entire Earth.
In the time of the early Earth, Airgas, the supplier from which the researchers obtained their materials, was not around.