John are you auditioning to become a lawyer? I ask that because we are masters at making the simple very complex and convoluted. Here is all you need to know about the origins of life:
It seems to me that that explanation simply pushes the question of origin back one level, very much like the theory that the first living organism was seeded on Earth (deliberately or accidentally) by aliens from somewhere else (“panspermia”). In that case, we can say, “OK, it was aliens”, but the immediate question then becomes “How did the alien life get started?” and you’re back to square one.
An even closer analogy is the hypothesis that we are living in a simulation being run on a computer by a being at an outer level. (I believe this is more probable than not.) If we discover conclusive proof that we are in a simulation, again the question of our origin is solved, but then you still have no idea how the beings at the top level of the nested simulations got started.
Similarly, with “God created the heavens and the earth” then leads one to ask where God came from. It seems to me a lot harder to explain the spontaneous origin of a being with the imputed power of a god than a single-cell replicating organism.
I know the theologians have all kinds of word salad about “first cause”, but that isn’t an explanation any more than the simulation hypothesis explains how the people running the simulation came to be.
You are becoming a lawyer!! Welcome to the fold John.
I have a similar concern with the Big Bang – there is reasonable evidence for a “When?”, but one tends to get disinvited to all the best cheese & wine parties if one asks “Where?” or “How?” or “What was the status before the Big Bang?”. The theory that the unfathomable mass of the Universe suddenly popped out of nothing into nowhere through a mere quantum fluctuation is right up there with theories about the number of angels who can dance on the head of a pins.
Physics is great. But peel back enough layers of physics and we are once again facing faith.
These experiments barely scratch the surface of what is required for abiogenesis. A great deal of faith is what is required to believe that the first replicating cell arose from a “prebiotic soup”. There isn’t even close to the probabilistic resources in a 12 billion year old universe for the random assembly of one single functional protein, much less minimal cellular machinery. “The Signature in the Cell” by Stephen Meyer proves this beyond a reasonable doubt.