Based on previous work proving that there is no such thing as causation and, in fact, that nothing in any scientific model corresponds or refers to anything in the "real world" we are left to consider scientific models as fictions; largely coherent and consistent collections of purported entities and relationships. Theorems of a scientific model are then true in that fictional world only and are frequently incommensurable with other theories of the same domain. Kendall Walton's idea of prompts as tools to focus collective imaginative activities applies quite accurately to equations, graphs, diagrams, demonstrations, and various other representations of parts or implications of the theory. The theory as a whole cannot all be imagined occurrently (kept in RAM in the computer analogy of the mind), but exposure to parts "sets the stage" for the consideration of further parts with the underspecified portions likely filled in with components from our folk models or other nearby scientific models.

It is important that the process from prompter (the written theorem) to the imagining (of the whole model) be a passive one in the sense that daydreams are partially passive. One does not control every aspect of such an imagining, but the spontaneous and fantastical aspects are anchored around the prompter. The theorems cannot create the whole scientific model; and that scientific and mathematical models must, as a matter of empirical fact, stretch beyond their formal specification to be coherent is interesting – but not the point here. The point is that the theorems (at least all the ones available thus far) allow a community of scientists to be talking about the same fiction when they discuss the model and can hence argue or agree about what is true in that fictional world. But those parts that are not explicitly specified will admit to variation based on the background models of the imagining person. That variation allows exploration from many frontiers of the existing canon.

And just as a child moving a toy truck from room to room is an effect of a child's imagining a real truck behavior in such a way, the theorems, equations, diagrams, and other representations of scientific theories are initially the result of somebody "seeing" the world in a certain way. These initial items then prompt others to visit the same imaginary realm and create more representations that fit that realm. There is a natural feedback pattern here.

Now turn to the example of children building a snow fort. Initially a simply wall of snow provides a focus for imaging a great structure. As more and more people get involved and improve the edifice over time it constrains the imaginings more and more. A well developed snow fort may have four sculpted turrets thereby making it difficult to imagine it having six…harder than if there were actually none. If the game they want to play demands a fort with six turrets then they have to destroy their hard work and perhaps build those turrets. Sound like science to you? Sure does to me. Removing, editing, and/or replacing large chunks of theories is a great deal of hard work and it always confronts a tremendous degree of resistance (from those who still want to play the four-turret game – what I call "recalcitrant has-beens").

The next trick is to figure out how to use this analogy to motivate these sorts of changes in scientific theories. Using insights from information design, visualization, and human-machine interface we might be able to develop more appropriate and adaptive prompters for the complex systems model of the world. It too is a (hopefully useful) fiction and too many are having trouble imagining its world, or resist for fear that there be dragons here.