That is most interesting.
But biochemists argue that the lack of genetic information in the droplets means that they would never develop into anything more complex...
Hanczyc disagrees. "I think you will get quite complex structures," he says. "You don't have DNA or RNA, but the necessary information is embedded in the chemistry of the system." Characteristics would be passed to daughter droplets on division, though he concedes that without being formally encoded, these would be dependent on the environment, and could easily be lost.
That does make sense to me, in principle (not that I am qualified to judge it). Like the self-replicating clay structures that Dawkins described, I think in Watchmaker
, what you need to start evolution off is something that replicates itself and passes on its own characteristics, at least with a certain minimum degree of reliability. If you have something that does that, whether it be oil droplets or something else, one can imagine it accumulating more and more characteristics that replicate, and starting to develop something that can be described as "genetic information".
Does that make sense? Any biochemists reading?
(edited to correct spelling)
How extremely stupid not to have thought of that - T.H. Huxley