The Earth was born from debris that circled the nascent Sun. It was a planet spun from dust and rock, and one of the smaller masses that were trapped in the thrall of the Sun's attraction. The debris comprising the belt of asteroids testifies to this time of creation, being a circlet that never congealed into a planetary ball. The other planets show what the Earth might have been like if just one or two circumstances of history had been different. Above all it would have been dead.