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p. 283. Origins of life and environmentlocked

  • David C. Catling


‘Origins of life and environment’ explains that quite how life arose is unknown. It may have originated on Earth or it may have been carried here by space dust or meteorites, but there is wide agreement that the origin of life would have been preceded by a period of chemical evolution, or prebiotic chemistry, during which more complex organic molecules were produced from simpler ones. The overall record shows that Earth was inhabited by 3.5 Ga — within 1 billion years of its formation and shortly after heavy impact bombardment, which suggests that life might originate fairly quickly on geological timescales on suitable planets.

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