New research shows that life on earth may have thrived a billion years before previous estimations. Ancient rocks were analyzed, and the evidence showed that life forms were producing nitrogen over 3 billion years ago. Even in cosmic terms this is significant, as it’s 1/14 the age of the universe itself.
Early earth was unimaginably inhospitable with climate swings, and had no oxygen. Still, life somehow managed to take hold. Of course, these were single-cell organisms and nothing even close to the complexity or abundance of life we see in the modern world.
While scientists are uncertain as to how life began, the fact that any living organism took hold in such a hostile environment has far ranging implications. If existence can spring out of such an unfriendly habitat then the search for extraterrestrial life may not be in vain; in fact, some have argued that it’s likely to have arisen on planets that previously would have been deemed inhospitable.
This is an extremely exciting time for all of the physical sciences, and it’ll be interesting to see what develops in the coming years. Bruce will definitely be paying attention for sure.