What do we really know about what the first living cell, if any, might have looked like?
From the conversations so far I’d say that most of the people really only have a hazy idea of what that might’ve looked like, or what are the characteristics needed to call it life.
From a chemical point of view, It’d have to be the simplest possible chemical automaton, capable of growths and division. It is important to know what a minimal life is, to be able to envision pathways towards it, and most importantly to be able to judge the work of others in this area.
In this spirit I wanted to share a book I read a few years ago about a detailed, and yet very accessible answer to this very question from the standpoint of chemistry, as well as philosophy.
page 119 “Perhaps it will not be superfluous to remind the Reader of our aim to find the simplest possible abstract system, independently of whether it can be actually realized or not.”