Claim: We present a testable hypothesis related to an origin of life on land in which fluctuating volcanic hot spring pools play a central role. The hypothesis is based on experimental evidence that lipid-encapsulated polymers can be synthesized by cycles of hydration and dehydration to form protocells.
Reply: That presupposes that lipids that can be used as cell membranes were readily available prebiotically. That is far from being warranted.
Open questions in prebiotic chemistry to explain the origin of the four basic building blocks of life
Claim: Drawing on metaphors from the bootstrapping of a simple computer operating system, we show how protocells cycling through wet, dry, and moist phases will subject polymers to combinatorial selection and draw structural and catalytic functions out of initially random sequences, including structural stabilization, pore formation, and primitive metabolic activity.
Reply: Before getting to the cycles of hydration and dehydration: where do you get your materials from? How did the right 20 amino acids be selected? That is by no means a given, a free lunch.
Chemical evolution of amino acids and proteins ? Impossible !!
This is a top-down approach, which has no merit, as long as the most basic questions remain unanswered, as for example, where the basic building blocks come from, and how they were selected, in face of the fact that there is no goal to sort out what materials that have life-bearing functions.