While there are some conjectures and hypotheses, we don't really know.
But one thing we're fairly sure of is that the molecules of life, including proteins, did not form by way of all the necessary atoms and molecules just happening to come together all at once in the right order by chance.
I think it's fair to say that the scientific explanation includes something forming by random chance. So, presumably, once we have a handle on what that first proto-living thing was, we could theoretically do these sort of calculations on the probabilities involved.
That's exactly what the problem is. Any known system of death escaping machines is way too intricate to have self-assembled by chance all at once. Yet gradualism is not too convincing a proposal either given how deadly is the Mother Nature's well known nature. All life is hell-bent on avoiding death; it is exceedingly greedy to replicate and that and only that is what enables it to strike a balance with the ever malicious Mother hell-bent on infanticide. If that innate death resistance urge is absent, there is no plausible mechanism to explain how the gradual changes could be preserved one after the other in an orderly succession eventually leading to a fully functioning death-avoiding machine let alone a whole system of such machines which as the cat suspects is the minimum requirement of survival. Constructing life looks like building a skyscraper under the condition you need to start building from the top floor.
Any known system of death escaping machines is way too intricate to have self-assembled by chance all at once. Yet gradualism is not too convincing a proposal either given how deadly is the Mother Nature's well known nature.
I'll ignore the rather poetic but scientifically questionable characterization of lifeforms as death avoiding machines and just make a couple comments about the rest. You're reasoning for why the first protein didn't come about by random chance makes perfect sense and is the same as everyone else's: it's too incredibly unlikely.
But you're rejection of formation through gradual change by a process of successive cycles of modification and selection has no corresponding rationale, plus one of the biggest dangers in Mother Nature is other life, which was absent before life began. A beaker of proteins dumped into a pond today would be quickly consumed and disappear, but not in the ancient past before there was any life.
Any known system of death escaping machines is way too intricate to have self-assembled by chance all at once.
I am not aware of a single organism that is going to or has escaped death, so that is a strange way to describe life. All species that I know of have individuals who die.
Next, we are not saying that organisms we know of NOW were created by abiogenesis. We are saying that much simpler forms of life that left no fossil record came about through abiogenesis. You are attacking a strawman.
All life is hell-bent on avoiding death
Then why do organisms always fail at avoiding death?
Not only other death avoiding machines represent the destruction. Such a machine is in essence the memory of ways to deal with the surroundings. The memory has to be accumulated and retained faster than the surroundings may degrade it. Water in your pond is such a degrader for one. The machine has to keep abreast while the inert is known to be happy to lag behind. Therefore the question of precedence is an open one. The position expressed by Kelvin and Helmholtz seems to be quite a reasonable one. That the inert matter must precede life necessarily is just a belief without any firm foundations. The observation tells only that both are present. Therefore the belief is arrived at by a mental deduction of life from matter. Moreover since time in the Universe is relative the proposal can be sustained only by the intuition of linear time which is but another unreasonable belief.
Tacky, a much simpler life that left no fossil is no strawman. It is a ghost. No more substance than the designer postulated by the ID folks. You just need it to have been there for purely theoretical reasons. Nothing wrong with that. Flesh the ghost out, devise a mini-environment and try to demonstrate how the chemicals bond into that particular pattern. Just don't sell it as a fact of nature reflecting what had really happened 4 billion years ago. Your guess is that it was abiogenesis. Fine. Mine is that it was pre-existing life arriving on rocks and comets. Face it, your guess is as good as mine.
Tacky, a much simpler life that left no fossil is no strawman. It is a ghost.
It wouldn't have left fossils. We don't have fossils for most of the unicellular life that existed prior to the Cambrian, but we have massive iron deposits showing that they were busy putting oxygen into the atmosphere. They were there.
You just need it to have been there for purely theoretical reasons.
The problem is that you are mischaracterizing the theory. No one is claiming that modern species came together through random interactions of chemicals. Perhaps you should stop trying to pretend that this is what we are proposing.
That they were putting out oxygen is no indication of a much greater simplicity you postulate. It is actually only an indication of presence. Nobody contests that. From that presence no conclusion about any origins follows. The data show the presence from very early on by the way. We are not talking about how modern species came together. The topic is the first ones to appear on earth and the relative complexity of their bits and pieces. If the cat does not understand what is that you are proposing, then explain what it is exactly.
You're again drifting off topic. We're not trying to answer the question, "Can we convince Alfred Maddenstein that life developed through a gradual process of successive cycles of modification and selection?" We're trying to answer the question, "How does evolution believe the first proteins came about?" You don't have to believe that the gradual process is the way it really happened, but please do believe that that's what evolution says.
About the rest, I'm not sure why you believe water degrades organic molecules. Life requires water, and if water were antagonistic to life then there would be no life on this wet planet whose surface is 3/4 aqueous.
If you think the opinions of Kelvin and Helmholtz are relevant (to the actual topic) then you'll have to describe those opinions.
That the inert matter must precede life necessarily is just a belief without any firm foundations.
And yet just breathing incorporates oxygen into living matter.
The direct parent planet may or may not be known. That would depend on further astrobiology research and general progress in astronomy. By now, if such existed, it might well be gone making tracing it difficult for obvious reasons. The earth might lend seeds of a future tree of life elsewhere and if similar to us clever monkeys develop there too, they will be left guessing about their origins just like we are now. The ultimate origin of life may not also be an answerable question. Given the relativity of universal time the question may be less than meaningful. I am not saying that those who believe that life on earth originated through abiogenesis should stop doing their research in that direction. It's just that I see the insistence that this must have been the case by all means to be very foolish and hardly scientific.
If you want a more extensive argument why water may be degrading to a memory arising from oblivion read Robert Shapiro's skeptical book and other stuff. He is quite impartial not supporting panspermia either.
I never said life must have preceded inert matter or the other way round. All I said was not observed separately and that the contention there was a point in time when life was absent from every location in the universe is an impossible claim of bigbangism. I cannot be quite sure abiogenesis is absolutely impossible. It's not to be logically excluded in principle. On the other hand I'm absolutely certain a universal linear calendar is not in the stars. Absolutely impossible for the reasons of elementary geometry and logic. I'll find the exact words of Kelvin or Helmholtz and then I'll post them.