I'm interested in discussing abiogenesis or chemical evolution, the processes leading up to the emergence of life.
This is not only a very interesting field, in my opinion, but also relevant to the discussions going on about the probability of life and intelligence
emerging in the universe at large. I believe that if we could understand how abiogenesis works and the conditions under which it is possible, then we should get some idea of how likely it is to happen elsewhere.
For the purpose of this discussion I will define abiogenesis as chemical processes leading to the emergence of self-replicating and evolving complex molecules.
I choose this, perhaps narrow, definition so that we don't get into arguments about the definition of life or at what point in time life begins and abiotic chemistry ends. It is also a convenient definition in the sense that once molecules become self-replicating, we can already begin to use terms like species and populations of molecules, and it would then make sense to apply the principle of natural selection to them. So here, life is defined as that to which the theory of evolution through natural selection applies.
So the question is basically: How does self-replicating and evolving complex molecules emerge naturally in chemical processes. This is a discussion of possibilities implicit in chemistry, physics and planetary sciences. So it's very much a theoretical issue but it's also an issue of experimental methodology. What is the most effective methods for investigating the phenomenon empirically and quasi-empirically; experimental, computational or observational?
I'm looking forward to an interesting and creative discussion on this topic.