What information is greatly lacking that prevents the solidification of a theory explaining the origins of cells similar to those existing today?
The origin of information
Cells that exist today contain a great deal of complex and specified information. This information is used to build the proteins, enzymes and membranes necessary for life.
Shannon's laws of information developed during the 1940's clearly indicate that the laws of entropy apply to information. The problem in any information transfer is that the complex and specified information contained in the system tend to degenerate. Noise or non specified information increases.
Theories speculate that living organisms through natural selection can overcome the tendency for information to become lost. organism with the best information will survive and past the information on to their offspring. Organisms with mutations that have missing or damaged information will become extinct.
The problem is how did information come into existence and be preserved ( even improved) before a self replicating system existed.
Natural selection can not operate until there are self replicating organisms to choose from.
Several theories have been presented, DNA first, proteins first, RNA first, clay crystals, and even life from outer space. None of these theories have been able to explain how natural cause and random accidents could have created the complex and specified information needed for life to begin.