If life was wiped out on Earth, could it evolve again?

We answer this intriguing question

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Earth is the only planet we know of that harbours life. Image Credit: NASA

Earth is the only planet we know of that harbours life. Image Credit: NASA

Asked by Sharon Corfield

The question of the likelihood of life evolving from nothing is one we contemplate every time we wonder if we are alone in the universe. Is life a natural state that the cosmos moves toward or are we just a single improbable anomaly?

The jump between simple, universal chemistry to complex life is complicated and there are a few leaps that seem potentially unlikely. However, research has shown that some aspects, such as the natural formation of complex organic molecules essential for life, can happen naturally and may be more inevitable than we first thought.

Right now though, there is still much debate but if we discover life outside of Earth we will be much more confident in answering this question. It would indicate that life is more than likely inevitable and would be able to evolve again.

Answered by Zoe Baily from the National Space Centre

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