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Was the early universe a better environment for life to evolve?

Stashed in: Science!, Life, Science Too, Physics, SETI

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Though we often think of the early universe as inhospitable, Loeb notes that if rocky planets existed, it would have been a great time to live on them. No matter where they were in the universe, they would have been bathed in constant warmth, with no need to depend on a star for energy. And the warmth would have made surface water a liquid, too, which would help life as we know it to develop.

Of course there is that little matter of matter density being "a million times bigger than it is today." Hard to say whether that would be a problem or not for the development of life. It certainly would have made our view of the heavens a lot different, and brighter.

The sad part about contemplating Loeb's idea is that it makes you wonder whether the universe was teeming with life back then, and we're merely the sad outliers who happened to evolve in the post-life era. All our potential friends in the universe might have lived (and eventually died out) billions of years ago.

Read the whole paper at Arxiv.

That's a cool idea. But I don't see anything mentioning the heavy radiation bombardment, related to that pretty hot and dense era, that would probably instantly destroy any kind of complex enough chemistry to create life.

I don't see that either. I can see how heavy radiation would be sub-ideal conditions for life to form.

The majority of current life forms have no need for being impervious to radiation, look where we lived for the past 3-5 billion years.  On the other hand, there is still life out there that could feasibly survive the early radiation conditions, and loves water but doesn't need it for survival.  Enter the water bear! 


video here!

What a cool looking creature.

I wonder if it knows we exist.