Vital clues on life's origins within the galaxy exist here on present day Earth. Life is currently divided into the three domains Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya based on the phylogeny of small ribosomal subunit RNA (16S/18S) gene sequences. The domains are presumed to share a “last universal common ancestor” (LUCA). Hyperthermophilic bacteria and archaea, which are able to thrive at 80°C or higher, dominate the bottom of the tree of life and are thus suggested to be the least evolved, or most “ancient”. Geochemical data indicates that life first appeared on Earth approximately 3.8 billion years ago in a hot environment. Due to these considerations, hyperthermophiles represent the most appropriate microorganisms to investigate the origins of metabolism. The central biochemical pathway of gluconeogenesis/glycolysis (the Embden-Meyerhof pathway) which produces six carbon sugars from three carbon compounds is present in all organisms and can provide important hints concerning the early development of metabolism. Significantly, there are a number of striking deviations from the textbook canonical reaction sequence that are found, particularly in hyperthermophilic archaea. In this paper the phylogenetic istribution of enzymes of the pathway is detailed; overall, the distribution pattern provides strong evidence for the pathway to have developed from the bottom-up.