Life may have begun on Earth 100 million years earlier than we thought

Early Earth may not have been as inhospitable as we thought

Early Earth may not have been so inhospitable after all

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The shared ancestor of every living organism on the planet lived at least 3.9 billion years ago – adding weight to theories that life started 100 million years earlier than we thought, at a time when the Earth was still being pummelled by meteorites.

That’s according to a study that has combined genetic and fossil evidence to build a timeline of crucial shifts in the early evolution of life. The study also sheds new light on the birth of complex cells, which today make up all …