Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb has an interesting hypothesis how life could have evolved in the very young universe — link to Slate.com >>>
Loeb explains that 10-20 million years after the Big Bang, there were lone stars (though not yet clusters or galaxies) scattered across cosmos. Warm gas, remaining from the birth of the universe, permeated space and ensured an ambient temperature everywhere that allowed for liquid water. Loeb suggests that, for millions of years, there would have been ample opportunities for prokaryote life to evolve on whatever water-covered planets came into existence. However, this stage in the history of the universe would have been too brief for advanced creatures to appear. As cosmos expanded, the ambient temperature fell and eventually space itself “froze over”.