Earth is the only place we know for sure where life has evolved. Is this because Earth is special or because we just haven’t yet developed the tools to identify life elsewhere in the cosmos? We don’t know for sure, but we can be certain that the Earth is the perfect place for life. In my talk I will explore the basic prerequisites for life and how the special circumstances of the Earth, i.e. where it resides in the solar system and how it functions as a planet, makes these prerequisites available. I will say a few words about the origin of life, but save most of my talk for recapping the history of life on Earth. Here, I will highlight how life itself has altered the chemistry of the Earth, and thus various types of ecosystems that the Earth could support, and how this changing chemistry has influenced the further evolution of life on Earth.
Biologisk institut, SDU