How did life on Earth emerge?

  • Life on Earth began after meteorites splashed into warm little ponds and leached them with essential elements between 3.7 and 4.5 billion years ago, scientists say.
  • Calculations suggest that wet and dry cycles bonded basic molecular building blocks in the ponds’ nutrient-rich broth into self-replicating RNA molecules that constituted the first genetic code for life on the planet.
  • Available evidence suggests that life began when the Earth was still taking shape, with continents emerging from the oceans, meteorites pelting the planet — including those bearing the building blocks of life — and no protective ozone to filter the Sun’s ultraviolet rays.
  • In order to understand the origin of life, we need to understand Earth as it was billions of years ago. 
  • The details of how our solar system formed have direct consequences for the origin of life on Earth.


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