Such a field is sometimes explained as electromagnetic, though some advocates also make confused appeals to quantum physics. Joanne Stefanatos states that "The principles of energy medicine originate in quantum physics. " Stenger offers several explanations as to why this line of reasoning may be misplaced. He explains that energy exists in discrete packets called quanta. Energy fields are composed of their component parts and so only exist when quanta are present. Therefore, energy fields are not holistic, but are rather a system of discrete parts that must obey the laws of physics. This also means that energy fields are not instantaneous. These facts of quantum physics place limitations on the infinite, continuous field that is used by some theorists to describe so-called "human energy fields". Stenger continues, explaining that the effects of EM forces have been measured by physicists as accurately as one part in a billion and there is yet to be any evidence that living organisms emit a unique field.
Plato's world of eternal and unchanging Forms , imperfectly represented in matter by a divine Artisan, contrasts sharply with the various mechanistic Weltanschauungen , of which atomism was, by the fourth century at least, the most prominent... This debate was to persist throughout the ancient world. Atomistic mechanism got a shot in the arm from Epicurus ... while the Stoics adopted a divine teleology... The choice seems simple: either show how a structured, regular world could arise out of undirected processes, or inject intelligence into the system.