The interdependence of proteins and nucleic acids raises many obvious “chicken and egg” dilemmas … The cell needs proteins to process and express the information in DNA in order to build proteins. But the construction of DNA molecules (during the process of DNA replication) also requires proteins. So which came first, the chicken (nucleic acids) or the egg (proteins)?
… even the simplest living things operate as complex systems of interdependent parts. Yet how this feature of life could have arisen is, as Jaques Monod put it, “exceedingly difficult to imagine.” (p. 134)
RJS raises this topic and then goes off on a discussion of Noah’s Ark.
Bradford hits it square on:
When analyzing the origin of life we find a chicken-egg puzzle within a chicken-egg. While this type of thing is not unique to the origin of life the second chicken-egg is central to the RNA world as well as a core theme in Meyer’s book. The origin of stored information in nucleic acids is not explained by RNA’s dual enzyme/storage roles. Natural selection requires specifiable criteria which do not necessarily coincide with the outcome one is attempting to demonstrate. Information storage and transmission entails a convention by which sequenced elements are defined. The origin of that convention must be plausibly included within a more encompassing process. That process involves more than citing chemical affinity between some amino acids and anticodons.
The information storage found in DNA is sequence dependent. Take the sequencing of a functional gene and scramble the order of its amino acid coding codons as well as the stop codon and function is lost. Function is lost because a once biologically meaningful sequence is made nonsense. Functional information is lost even as content and chemical bonding remain constant.
Explaining the origin of functional sequencing requires more than a hypothesis which includes both enzymatic and storage physical material. Functional information is a consequence of sequential order as much as it is content. It has inherently conceptual properties. Alphabet soups, like their prebiotic counterparts, are unordered with respect to sequencing. Your very material lunch soup is not free.