Good cellular automaton for evolving life?

How has life in our universe arisen? I think basically there was a box of sand and it was shook until robust replicating structures emerged.

One could try to do the same thing with Conway’s game of life, but most of its structures are extremely fragile. A different automaton might be better suited. Maybe one where objects can emerge and travel and persist more easily. Suggestions?

I would want to randomly initialize a large starting state and run it (with noise injection) for a long time and see what kinds of structures emerge.