The Molecules of First Life: Proteins, Nucleic Acids or Something Else?
There has been much debate since the mid twentieth century about the nature of the molecules from which early life was constructed. Those favouring the Genetic View have tended to favour template replicators such as RNA. Those favouring the Metabolic View have tended to favour proteins. Various other construction materials have been proposed, including clay crystals.
There is currently no consensus on this matter. My overall view is that the origin of life must be understood as a process. Once the essentials of the process are understood, the nature of the molecules involved may become apparent.