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Basically, what scientists are learning is that the complexity required for life (in terms of biomolecule formation and self-organization) is much greater than the complexity available by natural process (beginning with lifeless matter). This huge difference has motivated scientists to stretch their imaginations, to creatively construct new theories for reducing requirements and enhancing possibilities.
a big scientific riddle not yet resolved is what happened before the first self-reproducing cellular organisms appeared on Earth, likely between 3.8 and 3.5 billion years ago. Although biological systems consist of well-described sets of coupled chemical reactions, very little is known about the transition from inanimate matter to living entities, i.e. from the most complicated chemistry we can think of to the simplest biology. The majority of researchers in the field of origins of life have worked under the assumption that a population of self-replicating RNA (or RNA-like) molecules started competing for a limited amount of resources (i.e. nucleotides or analogous monomers) in their local environment
researchers have conjectured on a possible link between the emerging concept of chemical evolution and the established notion of biological evolution.....It is turning increasingly apparent that evolutionary theory can no longer keep the ‘black box’ of individuality closed....Two additional arguments can be given to support the necessity of merging the new systems approach and evolutionary theory.....one can reformulate the question of the origins of life in the following global terms: before full-fledged biological systems appeared on Earth, what systems could overcome the apparent thermodynamic barrier to complexification and produce the rather intricate self-reproducing entities that initiated evolution
In this prospective critical review, we have focused on the first steps of the process of the origins of life, which have important implications for subsequent stages....As a result, new perspectives and theoretical approaches to understand evolvability as a general property of matter, well-grounded in experimental data, should also be brought forth.
molecular evolution are the basis for naturalistic explanations of abiogenesis. It is true that these do have some relation and overlap in the sense that molecular change (in genes) drives biological evolution. So, it is not necessarily invalid to join the two, especially when you consider that it is hard to draw a definitive line between life and non-life.