How Did Life Begin?

We’re all literally made of star dust. Doesn’t that sound amazing? It’s true; the big bang created everything in the entire universe, which eventually settled into galaxies and solar systems galore. We don’t know how many there are, but there are billions – maybe even trillions.

And in one of those trillions of solar systems is Earth – our world. It’s beautiful when you look at from space, and it’s about 4.5 billion years old; that’s a huge number that it’s hard to understand. On Earth is all the life we know about; humans, animals, insects, bacteria … everything.

We still don’t know how life first started on Earth; what caused that first spark of life to begin? Scientists wonder if it was caused by tiny organisms on the back of a comet, but we don’t have definite proof of that yet. Water was vital to life starting, but that’s pretty much all we can be certain of right now.

However life did begin on Earth, it’s certainly evolved from those early days billions of years ago. It’s beautiful, if you think about it; everything that’s living on planet Earth today is descended from that first microbe so long ago. Everything from horses to fish to humans to jellyfish come from the same place.

And they evolved – wow, didn’t they evolve? We’re descended from early versions of humans – Neanderthals and so on – who weren’t as intelligent or as highly evolved, and who knows; maybe one day in the far future, another version of humanity will take our place who are more clever still. Weird thought, isn’t it?

Have you ever heard of a TV series called Star Trek? In one episode, they tell a story about a space alien who kick-started life on Earth by sticking his finger in a pool of stagnant water. Maybe that’s what happened …

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