Antonio Lazcano is a leading Mexican evolutionist and origin-of-life chemist. In a 2010 article he offered a history of origin-of-life research up to the present. <http://cshperspectives.cship.org/content/2/11/a002089.full.pdf>

Some interesting quotes from Lazcano’s article:   [Bold print indicates emphasis added]
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• In his monograph on the radiolaria, Haeckel wrote “The chief defect of the Darwinian theory is that it throws no light on the origin of the primitive organism—probably a simple cell—from which all the others have descended. When Darwin assumes a special creative act for this first species, he is not consistent, and, I think, not quite sincere . . .” (Haeckel 1862).
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• In a famous lecture delivered at La Sorbonne in 1864, [Louis Pasteur] not only denied the possibility that inanimate matter could organize itself into living systems, but also stated that “what a victory for materialism if it could be affirmed that it rests on the established fact that matter organizes itself, takes on life itself; matter which has in it already all known forces. Ah! If we could add to it this other force which is called life . . . what could be more natural than to deify such matter? Of what good would it be then to have recourse to the idea of a primordial creation? To what good [ ] would be the idea of a Creator God? . . . if we admit the idea of spontaneous generation, [then] it would not be surprising to assume that living beings “transformed themselves and climb from rank to rank, for example to insects after 10,000 years and no doubt to monkeys and man after 100,000 years”. . . . Regardless of their political ramifications, Pasteur’s results made it difficult to advocate spontaneous generation as an explanation for the ultimate origin of life.
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• Oparin further argued that coacervate drops represented the optimal mechanism to concentrate organic material on the primitive Earth. Coacervates are charged, microscopic organic colloidal droplets that can concentrate organic materials existing in the medium. Because coacervates form spontaneously when two solutions of macromolecules with opposite charges are mixed, it is quite possible that they were present in the prebiotic milieu. However, they lack the lipid bilayers, present in all cells that retain organic matter in high concentrations inside a self-constructed boundary. Therefore, coacervates are no longer considered as potentially ancestral to life itself. Coacervates were the favorite model for a considerable time after Oparin’s views became widely known, because they were perceived as mimicking the surmised properties of precellular systems, but the development of a more sophisticated understanding of cells led to their dismissal as constituting any step toward the origins of life. . . .
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• Nevertheless, at present the hiatus between the primitive soup and the RNA world is discouragingly enormousThere are many definitions of the RNA World. However, the discovery of ribozymes does not imply that wriggling autocatalytic nucleic acid molecules.
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