With what small, flickering sliver did Life begin?
It was certainly not yet a cell, or even something well below that form, but endowed with RNA or even DNA. To place such things as these as the necessary starting point reveals from where we are currently standing, and looking, imbued with that position, to identify the first traces of Life. And from such a standpoint, we will not be addressing the actual Spark of Creation, but really yet another stage in the following Evolution.
We realise what Evolution is, and merely extrapolate backwards until that process “seamlessly transforms” into a very similar process in the preceding non-living substances.
We impose an incrementalist conception upon an Event that could never be such.
The Origin of Life on Earth was the most significant transforming Event in the history of the Universe (as far as we know), and such an approach laced through with the usual banker assumptions of more commonplace changes will never reveal what actually happened.
Not only was that event far earlier than such “life indicators” that we insist must be present, but even the significant steps in the following Evolution were always majorly redirected by very similar Events, which we term Emergences.
So, in concertinaing and truncating the earliest wonderful living miracle, we effectively emasculate the real, creative processes involved, and disable our chances of revealing what would be the most important understanding possible for Mankind.
Why is it that all those involved in the quest to reveal Life’s actual Origin, insist upon their mechanisms and processes, though admittedly writ very long and very large?
It is because that trajectory from non-living chemical processes to the very First Life actually involved the most unpredictable series of 'miracles', which changed the whole game, and the whole context too. For in finding any means of making sense out of Reality in general, we first had to make it intelligible. And to, therefore, start with such miracles was not a good idea at all. No one addressed the miracles! The dominant method, which has been developed to date, is the “pluralist analytic, scientific method", wherein various Wholes are identified, and “held still” in order to discern their hidden components (Parts). And if ever that proved inadequate, a complete locality would be isolated, and nailed down with many less-significant factors totally removed, while others would be increasingly held constant, until our hoped for and maybe only previously glimpsed “key relation” was revealed clearly and continually. Only then could it be measured and the results formulated into some sort of Formal Relation or Equation.
Such a methodology did, and still does, put into our hands the wherewithall to replicate those vital conditions, and USE the relations to some required end. But, it is crucially flawed, because it cannot deal with unfettered Reality, but only with a maximally modified and indeed “farmed” version of it, which we can set up and exploit!
It cannot deal with Life!
And that certainly not only includes its Origin, but in each and every significant, qualitative change in its subsequent development. For that particular standard process of investigation would kill it – stone dead!
Its applicability to the “Forms” evident from Living Things, and the chemistry and the physics occurring within Living Things is indeed possible, but never to Life itself.
For Plurality – the conceptual basis for that method divides things into their contributing Parts, as if they are entirely separable and caused by purely bottom-up factors in a strictly physical or chemical way.
Life was never that, so it became impossible to investigate the Origin of Life by such means.
Instead, we do small within-a-level causal sequences such as Oparin’s studies of Sols and Gels, and hope that sufficient other areas can be cracked to “come together” like a jigsaw puzzle - to reveal Life.
That is a forlorn hope, for Life is not such a collection of investigatable “Parts”: it is an integrated Whole, and the means to deliver the trajectory of its First Appearance is certainly not yet in our scientists’ hands. Nor, will it ever be while they restrict themselves to pluralist means. First Life was not created by cumulative, incremental processes at a pre-Life level, which at some point “passed” a vital threshold and – “Lo, behold Life!”
The transition to Life was a revolutionary trajectory, with diverse and contrasting Phases, which we term an Emergence. Those who, like Oparin, deliver necessary precursors such as appropriate chemical forms, or organic syntheses, say absolutely nothing about the transforming Event itself. The truth is the very opposite of their assumed cumulative aggregations, for the evidence is that such Emergences are always triggered off by a cataclysmic dismantling of the preceding stability, as the ONLY way that the totally new could possibly emerge, and thereafter an unavoidable battle between alternatives, and a integrating of defensive and constraining sub processes, which would finally establish a wholly new Level of Stability could be achieved, which we term Life!
Indeed, a crucially universal law is negated within such an Event.
It is the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which perpetually pertains within Stability, but is replaced by its opposite during the creative heart of these transforming Events. And this can only be achieved when in the dismantling of a current stability, all its “policemen processes” are dissociated, so that a uniquely totally unfettered situation allows previously prohibited constructional processes to proceed and grow.
Notice also, that these Events do not all succeed. There is no inevitability about them. Many will not make it to a new Level of Stability and will fall back to something akin to the prior state. But even these failures will contribute to a following ascent. Every failure will leave behind scraps or detritus, which could be participants in the next revolution when it occurs. And, these Emergences have been happening throughout the whole history of the Universe, and every single stable success, has, in the end, come to its demise. No Stability is eternal!
How could our current pluralist, pedestrian and incrementalist conceptions ever crack this unique kind of problem? They have never been able to do it, and their methodology prohibits them ever doing it now or in the future.