I don't discount what you write above. And most things are energy-based. Physics tells us so.
I don't view that energy as the "ki" from martial arts. If that "ki" was "life energy" which is all around us all the time, why did Ueshiba state at specific moments in training to "fill yourself with ki"? Wouldn't you already be filled with life energy? We want more life energy? It's like saying stand in six directions meaning stand in hanmi at a 60 degree angle.
As we've come to see with Chris Li's translations, Ueshiba meant some fairly specific martial training methods/concepts. I don't think this example of fill yourself with ki would be any different, but it isn't the overall "ki" definition everyone gives.
Actually, I wonder if some of what you stated above can't be tied into a collective consciousness theory.
I agree with what you, Dan and some other people are saying to a point. It seems to be, that what we are addressing is how this "energy" can be utilized and to what purpose. You have some people who can use their "ki" in a therapeutic manner which can be measured by infra-red sensors. These people can be completely incompetent in any kind of martial setting. Does that negate the use of their energy? Should we call that energy something other than "ki"? We have people who claim to be able to utilize ki in a martial setting and are completely incompetent. Does that mean that they do have any ki in them? There are prescribed ways of training and using your body to manifest Ki in a remarkably effective martial manner. I think that people would like to "localize" Ki in this thread to one single manifestation of it's expression. Maybe I am simply full of fecal material, but I believe that there are other, equally valid expressions of ki.