Strangely, it has long been asserted, and still is, among segments of the scientific community, particularly the physical sciences, that pure energy is a fact of the universe; more than that, some thinkers believe it is the source of all the matter of the universe.  Still more than that, a few including atheists, believe it emerged out of nothing and a major part of the world's population believes it was the first step of creation, out of the void, by the hand of God.

My concern is the fairly modest one of presenting the case for a universe founded on easily discoverable facts about matter/energy absent the aura of the will o' the wisp.

The issue of whether matter emerged from pure energy is somewhat akin to the often referred to question, "Which came first the chicken or the egg?"  If one tends to be careless with his use of language and is not cognizant of the linguistic abuses caused by the conventional attribution of meaning, there is little doubt that one will find himself lost in a maze of unfalsifiable claims.  So, it is my judgment, is the case in attempting to arrive at a reasonable solution regarding the nature of energy and its relation to matter. 

A good beginning, I believe is to present a review of well -- established facts upon which all can agree.  Here are a few that are fundamental to a rational discussion of the issue:

1) Language is the attribution of meaning to linguistic symbols -- no more and no less.  That is to say that in the absence of such attribution, language does not exist and conventional usage is mistaken for "what a word means" with total disregard for the fact of evolutionary usage over the years.

2) Hence, it is clear that linguistic symbols have no inherent meanings.  That is to say, meaning occurs, at least relating to the human race, only within some brain.     

3) Sources of our beliefs are a) what we have been told or taught, b) experienced, c) perceived, d) conceived, and in more cases than I want to think of, e) conditioned to believe.

  4) Hence, all claims to truths and knowledge are present experiences of past events, probable in nature.  They relate not to reality but to the content of No. 3 and particularly to predictability of perceptions.

  Given the above and contrary to common belief, it is my contention that there is no such thing as pure energy, nor does matter emerge from energy, nor does energy emerge from matter.

  Matter, being physical, occupies space.  Consequently, it is said to "have being" that is, said to exist.  Change, does not occupy a space of its own. It occurs in the space that the matter occupies no matter what point-instants it may occupy in its state of change.  In this case the matter is in a state of multiple changes simultaneously.  I would hope that no one would be silly enough to argue that shape occupies space and matter occupies its space.

  It is now appropriate to raise the question, "What is energy?" and "What is the source of its 'power'?"

  First an observation.  It is my opinion that the issue of matter vs. energy is analogous to the issue of an object and its shape.  Again, it is my opinion that it makes little or no sense to think of the shape of an object as an attribute distinct from  the object.  The object is a physical existent.  Its shape can be addressed only discursively, especially since the object does not possess a static shape.  Subject to its internal forces and external forces imposed upon it, "its" shape is in a  constant state of change internally and externally except discursively.  This is somewhat analogous to the issue of Zeno's paradox of where the arrow is at any given moment.  It "is" at no point-instant at any given moment partly because the term, 'moment,' itself is problematical. 

  It is apparent then that given that an object may have shape, it makes no sense to ask which came first, the object or the shape.  The object and the shape are inherently interdependent.  The shape of the object is a discursive object not a material object.  The object could no more exist without its changing shape than can shape exist without matter.

  At this point let's be reminded of my comments regarding conventional usage of language.  The dictionary reveals a multiplicity of usages for the term, 'energy,' to wit: it cites synonyms like force, power, agency, action, words that relate to its functions in the state of changes taking place in or by the object.  This would include all the scientific terminology attributed to the term, 'energy,' such as momentum, gravity, inertia, acceleration, deceleration, speed, velocity. etc.  All these terms are in need of unambiguous clarity themselves, keeping in mind that Albert Einstein, G. H. Hardy, and Bertrand Russell are unanimous in their declarations that the language of math does not directly relate to reality with Hardy adding that mathematicians don't know what they are talking about and don't care.

  So far "energy" is a hypothetical "existent," neither clearly defined nor explained as to its source.  As David Hume showed, cause and effect cannot be verified.  John Stuart Mill demonstrated that there are at least five so-called causes, concomitance of events being one of them.  "Energy," from the point of view of the "fallacy of hypostatization," i.e., attributing being to an abstract term, assumes what is to be verified.  The mathematical equation, "E equals mass times the speed of light squared" is no proof of its existence since math does not define reality.

  So it is with matter and energy.  Energy is a discursive object not a material one.  Energy is what the individual particles of matter do in their various forms of action and interaction, i.e., change, motion, inertia, momentum, gravity, acceleration, vigor, force, activity, on and on, none of which is indicative of materiality.

  Matter could no more exist without energy than could energy without matter.  They are inherently "welded" together.  All other is discursive and typical of discussion that separates space from time.  There is no space (not to be synonymized with the term, 'void') separate from time.  They are inherently and inseparably "connected."  So it is with "matter" and "energy."

  When, for instance, we separate a proton, or any other so-called, particles of energy, from its environment in the hope of understanding its nature, it is akin to dissecting the elements of a poem, thereby losing the feel and emotional sense of it or a snowflake from the atmospheric conditions that formed it.  To do so with the latter, the flake will cease to exist.  So it is with with matter and energy.  When one discursively selects a "particle" of energy to analyze it, it immediately loses its character and function in relation to its natural environment.

  Let's imagine as we observe a celestial "object" millions of light years distant, such as the Perseus galaxy cluster, 233 million light years away or active galaxies billions of light years distant that we are able to pluck a single proton from within it to examine it under a super microscope.  Clearly any change in the behavior of the cluster would be insignificant beyond description.  Nevertheless, each of the protons plays its role in maintaining the character of the cluster -- inherently so.  Were each of its protons so plucked, the cluster would cease to exist.

  Common sense and logic tells us that examining "a single particle of energy" outside of its environment surely does not support the thesis that there is such a thing as "pure energy."  I repeat, matter and energy are inherently interdependent, for to take any one particle out of its environment of "fellow particles" each so-plucked particle would lose its power for change or any other functional synonyms for "energy."

  Each particle of matter in the universe, with its inherent abilities and functions, contributes to the whole,  And, the changes, i.e., the exercise of energy in its various forms [see synonyms], account for its changing nature as a perpetual motion machine.

  The function of each particle is inherently and inseparably essential to the changing nature of the universe.

© 1997 by Pasqual S. Schievella