Rational Scientific Theories from Theism

Physics Approach to Theistic Science

Form, Substance and Dynamics

Back to basic analysis: 

  • There are three categories of terms in physics: 
  • existential terms 
    • about what exists
  • formal terms 
    • about the structure & static properties of what exists
  • dynamical terms 

Examples of Formal Terms

  • shape, number, form, relation, configuration, symmetry 
  • function, field, oscillation, wave, flow, 
  • point, length, area, volume, amplitude, 
  • vector, matrix, operator, Hilbert space, bra, ket, 
  • ratios, relative frequency, probability, ...

Examples of Existential Terms

  • particle, material, matter, corpuscle, body, 
  • fluid, ether, 
  • substance, actuality, reality, 
  • event, interaction, outcome, 
  • person, experience, observation, sensation, thought, feeling, ... 
  • (we know we exist!) 
  • world, universe, ...

Examples of Dynamical Terms

  • cause, propensity, disposition, power, capability, potentiality, 
  • energy (kinetic and potential), 
  • mass, charge, field coupling, 
  • force, pressure, momentum, impetus, elasticity/rigidity, 
  • (for people: intention, motivation, skill, desire, intelligence, …)

Summary of the Three Categories

1. shape, number, form, relation, configuration, 
2. function, field, oscillation, wave, flow, 
3. point, length, area, volume, amplitude, 
4. vector, matrix, operator, Hilbert space, 
5. ratios, probability, relative frequency. 
1. mass, particle, material, matter, corpuscle, body, 
2. fluid, ether, 
3. substance, actuality, reality, 
4. event, interaction, 
5. experience, observation, 
6. world, universe. 
1. cause, propensity, power, disposition, capability, 
2. energy (kinetic and potential), 
3. mass, charge, field coupling, 
4. force, pressure, 
5. momentum, impetus, elasticity/rigidity.

What makes a Complete Physical Theory?

  • Our challenge is to describe the quantum world in existential and dynamical terms, not just formally
  • That is, talk of ‘wave function’ or ‘probability amplitude’ is not really sufficient. 
  • Existence must contain/imply some dynamics! 
  • We want to say ‘what exists’ as well as ‘what form’ it has: 
  • What exists with the wave function as its form? 
  • What is its dynamics?

New idea: ‘Dynamic substance’

Try to derive ‘existence’ from ‘dynamics’ 
For example: 
  • ‘electromagnetic force field’, 
  • ‘potential energy field’ 
  • ‘matter is a form of energy’ 
  • wave function is a ‘propensity field’ 
  • propensity to interact, or 
  • propensity to choose actual outcome
Propensity (of some kind) is substance.
www.TheisticScience.org Author: Ian J. Thompson, Email: IanT at TheisticScience.org