This is close. The key to overcoming entropy is the metabolism and the cell wall. The metabolism is very sophisticate equipment that converts energy so it can be used in very directed ways. I am trying to emphasis the word "directed" because energy is not enough, you need directed energy. For example, you can poor gas on a car and throw a match on it. The car will burn up and not run. If you put the gas in the gas tank then the car will work as designed. The motor in the car will direct the gasoline energy to accomplish the desired results. Energy which is directed by sophisticated (designed) equipment is what biology requires to accomplish life's functions.
OK, I had thought cell wall might be a bit obvious. I am partial toward those abiogenesis hypotheses that have the self-replicating molecules getting into protective sheaths as soon as possible.
A cell is gloriously complex. Complexity does not necessarily entail a designer. Selective pressures are a bias for which arrangements work, whether streamlined or convoluted.
BTW, the equipment required to make ATP is well outside the bounds of what evolution can accomplish.
Is there a determined bound to what a sequence of modifications can accomplish?
So can chemicals evolve? Can outside energy provide the energy required to make that Joyce's self replicating molecule which is, I believe 189 amino acids long? The first place to start is Keq which will provide an absurd number- well beyond what time and chance can provide. That molecule can only be created by designers with sophisticated equipment who direct can control the reactions every step of the way.
Is the absurd number Ã¢â‚¬Å“more than the number of atoms in the UniverseÃ¢â‚¬Â? Non-genetic self-replicating chemicals can certainly adapt Ã¢â‚¬â€œ protein folds (prions), the keystone of this thread, being an example. That experiment I linked was a response to DeadlockÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s assertion in post 73 that self-replicating molecules donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t exist; it is not a candidate for the original self-replicator.
Any long, specific sequence might seem an improbable outcome just as would any life story. Life might have emerged by many specific paths into many specific forms just as our lives could have taken many turns.