Actually, it’s settled, meaning there is no strong current of thought against it. This doesn’t mean it can never change. Newtonian mechanics is also settled despite being wrong near some border conditions.
I hope you know not everything is always spelled out. It’s implied - listen to Szostak - he wants some results to demonstrate Darwinism to creationists. It is the loud and clear sound of inadequacy.
Humor me and let’s just say this may be bad science. If so, what about the young, and no doubt intelligent, members of Szostak’s team? Is he leading them to the Promised Land or to a dead end in the scientific desert? And what about the numerous other groups out there wasting their intelligence on chasing the same ghost? Of course, a few alchemists also stumbled upon important discoveries, but a lot more useful science would have resulted had these alchemists focused instead on solving real problems.
The other thing you might want to consider is: when you start some research to demonstrate something to someone it means you already have a prejudice which is much different than a hypothesis. It is bad science.