Life on Earth has been found in almost every environmental niche explored to date, suggesting a wide range of conditions for habitability. But does this mean that life can also emerge in extreme environments? Does life require more benign conditions to emerge and only then evolve into extreme niches? What were the early Earth geochemical conditions and what constraints do they pose on prebiotic chemistry and the origin of life? Similar questions are relevant to other planetary bodies and their satellites in our Solar System and beyond especially as next generation telescopes and space missions probe distant worlds in the upcoming decade.