A thought just occured to me, what if:
There once was life on Mercury and Venus in a distant past. It makes sense. The sun wouldn’t have been as as large or as hot a few hundred billion years ago, and their environments could have been inhabitable. So fast forward a billion or so years, and Mercury has a species that becomes super duper evolved and their waste affects the atmosphere and environment on a massive level, and it triggers a chain reaction that leads to their extinction and leaving the planet currently uninhabitable. Move down the time line a little more and Mercury goes through the same cycle. and now, now we are living in the golden window of time when all the required circumstances are met for the existence life on Earth, so let’s not fuck it up.
*Note I have not actually looked up any evidence to support this claim, other than binge watching the Cosmos on netflix.