|MadSci Network: Evolution|
Well, there's a toughy, but one of my favourite discussion points. The answer to your question very much depends on your definition of "life". I tend to use a different definition to suit the context of the discussion. The question uses the term "evolve". This has quite a strict definition and does not have to apply to life exclusively. Evolution can be attributed to life, concepts, software, and many other things. For life to "start and continue", may be a better question. So, start by defining life. Are we talking about organic life? If not, then it is possible to "stretch" the definition to quite outrageous degrees to the extent that even silicon dust can be life. I would start your argument by agreeing on a definition of life. I don't think I can give a full and complete answer to the question, but would be happy to debate it over email.
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Evolution.