Lots of failure modes to consider.
".replace(/^(.*)/, String.fromCharCode(34) + '$1' + String.fromCharCode(34) + '$1')".replace(/^(.*)/, String.fromCharCode(34) + '$1' + String.fromCharCode(34) + '$1')
Is this supposed to be profound? I don't see how this has anything to do with biology or life. It's simply a test of how cleverly you can abuse the syntax of your language.
Or why studying how different formalisms in language lead to different complexity in constructing such patterns may relate to things like bootstrapping DNA?
Quines can be made straightforward. You have two copies of your code. Copy 2 then prints copy 1 twice, creating the replica of the original 2 copies. That's it. Everything else is trickery dealing with language boilerplate and string escapes.
Similarly, I'm pretty sure the quine above is not generalizable to any language. It's all about Ruby syntax, not some fundamental property of the program.
A quine in a compiled language isn't anything in particular, though. (I guess you could call it a fixed point of the compiler+target Turing machine, when taken as a single function?)
P.S. I appreciated your reference to Popper in the abstract. It prompted me to take my copy of The Open Society & Its Enemies off the shelf and peruse it for nostalgia's sake. :)
The whole talk is awesome if you're interested in this kind of thing in Ruby.