Photo: Cesar Cabrera
Geogenesis is the scientific term for the beginning of something very important, life.
As far as we know, the first replicating cells didn’t appear until some 3.5 billion years ago, and they only appeared on a little place called Earth. That’s the “Geo” in geo-genesis.
There’s something odd about life starting on Earth 3.5 billion years ago, however. That is just around the time that the Bombardment Era ends.
The Bombardment Era is a period in Earth’s history where the planet was routinely smacked by enormous asteroids. In geological terms, there’s hardly any time between the period when it becomes even remotely possible for life to form on Earth, and the period when life, in fact, does form.
One way to interpret this data is to conclude that life is an extremely likely event. All it needs is a non-hostile environment, the right combination of chemicals and energies, and away it goes. If so, then it seems likely that life has formed lots of other places as well. Maybe geogenesis is showing us that we aren’t so unusual, and maybe we aren’t even alone.