ps.02 wrote:Barring the very things that define a molecule as distinct from individual atoms?
Yes, I didn't say things the way I wanted to. I'm a bit rusty, and maybe outdated anyway.
Chemical hydration (e.g. an -O converting to -(OH)2
) would not guarantee the same O pops back off when later de'hydrated', even assuming the two Hs remaind the same protons, leading to what I always knew as the "Irishman's Broom" situation (but Grandfather's Axe is a better term, perhaps even more so than the "Ship of Theseus" classical allusion). But matrix hydration (e.g. wet clays) theoretically could be considered to preserve the water molecules in the X
O matrix for the duration between the soaking and the drying (depending on how
it dried!). Promiscuous hydrogens are probably the biggest danger to the provenance. If my ancient lessons in the subject aren't being misremembered, or perhaps are now overturned in the light of newer understandings.
(I'd consider electrons as 'free' to jump around, without taking the 'cherry' of the original water molecule. And ignore everything below the level of the baryon, because it's probably all Strings (or wierder!) down there, anyway...)
I was really wondering how much of the post-Hadean oceans was from outgassed water, from arguably 'broken' and dissosociated molecules that may not count, and how much from comet/ice-asteroid impacts of 'original ice', which we could perhaps freely market as Europa-equivalent. But the origin of Earth's waters is a question that is some way from being fully answered, so maybe I should have marked that as rhetorical.
But, whichever, I know you also need to run the early-Earth water through various biologies, fixing and unfixing complex molecules. Perhaps every
molecule has (statistically speaking) been broken and recreated as it is collectively absorbed and passed back out of every living creature in the biosphere (even if it avoided chemical bastardisation), mediating in its energy-extracting reactions?
Yeah, a few billion years of biology has probably done-to-death the idea of 'original water', thinking about it. There might be some 'lucky' lumps of ice. Perhaps surviving ice-cores of late-falling water-rich meterorites that landed in polar zones? Either alighting there since the last big defrost, or else sitting beyond the 'ice-line' of all defrosts that happened since their impact. However so originated, they'd be indistinguishable from the surrounding non-original ice, except perhaps for an isotopic skew. Making for an interesting scientific resource, if not grievously used for commercial purposes, but difficult to discover by either camp except by labour-intensive means...
But it was just a side-thought. I wasn't intending
to overthink things. (Immediately forgetting both who I was and where
I was, of course!)