Turning Science Into Speculationlatest work skips those annoying scientific details and instead takes a high-level view of the origin of life:
Christoph Adami of Michigan State University in East Lansing decided to study the origin of life purely in terms of information theory, so he could ignore the chemistry involved. He assumed that molecules must exceed a certain length in order to have enough information to self-replicate. These long molecules are made from different kinds of short molecules, called monomers.
Adami calculates that if you start with an equal number of each type of monomer, the odds of getting a self-replicating molecule are very low. But if you adjust the distribution of monomers in the environment to match the distribution within a potential self-replicator, the chances improve by many orders of magnitude. It's a bit like hammering randomly on a keyboard on which the most frequently used letters are proportionally larger – your odds of accidentally typing a word are much better than the famous infinite monkeys banging on typewriters.
And by skipping those details, you can always get the right answer:
Once a self-replicator emerges at random, evolution can start improving its abilities. "You only have to make this very first step, where you are getting some crappy replicator," says Adami. "The moment evolution can actually work with it, you're done."
That was easy. And like the multiverse, it’s not impossible:
We have no idea what the distribution of monomers was like on early Earth, but Adami says studies show meteorites contain an unequal distribution of monomers approaching what you might need for life. "It is not impossible that basic self-replicators cooked up on some meteor and ended up contaminating Earth."
But that is only because it is not falsifiable.