The theme of this thread is: what variety of thinking can legitimately employ the term “energy” to its models and philosophical arguments? I've quoted a few sources, which I will highlight in this color to make it easier to recognize. The word “energy” is used by people in several ways. In science it obviously has a very specific meaning, which is the capacity to do work. It is an abstraction that’s considered more of a mathematical or measuring tool than anything actual. Science writer Paul Davies writing in his book Superforce says, "When an abstract concept becomes so successful that it permeates through to the general public, the distinction between real and imaginary becomes blurred. . . . This is what happened in the case of energy. . . . Energy is . . . an imaginary, abstract concept which nevertheless has become so much a part of our everyday vocabulary that we imbue it with concrete existence. . . . Energy is one of the physicist’s more enduring abstract concepts." As Davies reveals, science-types like to claim first rights to the word energy. Much to the chagrin of some, people who are spiritually inclined use the word freely as well to refer to properties of consciousness, life, God, and supposed ethereal peculiarities. Davies suggests a reason for this, "What made it appealing was that energy is always conserved, never created or destroyed.” I think he is partially correct, but that there are a couple of other reasons too. Before anybody else, Aristotle used the term energeia to mean the operation or activity of anything as it changed (in contrast with its potentiality or capacity to change). Quoting from the Philosophy Pages: (http://www.philosophypages.com/hy/2p.htm): ". . . Aristotle also offered a detailed account of the dynamic process of change. A potentiality (dynamis) is either the passive capacity of a substance to be changed or (in the case of animate beings) its active capacity to produce change in other substances in determinate ways. An actuality (energeia) is just the realization of one of these potentialities, which is most significant when it includes not merely the movement but also its purpose. Becoming, then, is the process in which the potentiality present in one individual substance is actualized through the agency of something else which is already actual. (Metaphysics IX) Thus, for Aristotle, change of any kind requires the actual existence of something which causes the change.” So in terms of its inception, energy (as energeia) has referred to movement and power. It is easy to see how in the early days of science, thinkers latched onto energy to describe relationships between power and movement. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, in an article on the history of the energy concept: "The word itself is derived from the Greek energeia . . . The term energy was not applied as a measure of the ability to do work until rather late in the development of the science of mechanics. Indeed, the development of classical mechanics may be carried out without recourse to the concept of energy. The idea of energy, however, goes back at least to Galileo in the 17th century. He recognized that, when a weight is lifted with a pulley system, the force applied multiplied by the distance through which that force must be applied (a product called, by definition, the work) remains constant even though either factor may vary. The concept of vis viva, or living force, a quantity directly proportional to the product of the mass and the square of the velocity, was introduced in the 17th century. In the 19th century the term energy was applied to the concept of the vis viva.” Vis viva is an interesting concept because living force is exactly what some spiritually-oriented thinkers consider both the soul and God. In fact, Aristotle also had similar notions. Quoting again from the Philosophy Pages: "The higher truths of what Aristotle called ‘theology’ arise from an application of these notions to the more speculative study of being qua being. Since every being is a composite whose form and matter have been brought together by some cause, and since there cannot be infinitely many such causes, he concluded that everything that happens is ultimately attributable to a single universal cause, itself eternal and immutable. (Metaphysics XII 6). This self-caused ‘first mover,’ from which all else derives, must be regarded as a mind, whose actual thinking is its whole nature. . . . According to Aristotle, every animate being is a living thing which can move itself only because it has a soul.” Since Aristotle the question of what ultimately powers movement/change has been unresolved. Though some science thinkers demand possession of the term energy, metaphysicists appear to have laid claim to it long before them in one form or another. And there is some correspondence between the two conceptions. Even leaving God out of it, the force of life can be seen as driving evolution (which is movement), and in consciousness, will power can be seen as causing the body to move. Also, while energy might be merely an abstraction to science thinkers, it has been an important subject of contemplation in metaphysics as to what is the mover’s actual nature or essence. This question can be derived from a type of monism which postulates all that exists including force, movement, consciousness, physical form, soul – everything -- is a form of some original uncreated and indestructible essence. An informed monist can make a pretty good case for the origin of energy; every bit as good as the “quantum fluctuation plus zero point energy” hypothesis, in my humble opinion. So, since no one knows the source of creation, and there are competing theories, it seems to me that it is a bit premature for any discipline to unilaterally decide for everyone the meaning of creation’s most essential (or mysterious) components. What do you think?