OMG, Austin, you DO realize that you've opened Pandora's Box, don't you?
This is the sort of debate that goes fifty-some pages in Caliber Corner here, and then gets shut down because some folks can't tell ballistics from belief systems and go all "ad hominem" on each other.
GATE is geared for short answers, so I'll do my best. It remains a matter of debate (among GlockTalk regulars, anyway) whether kinetic energy causes damage, or is simply a measure of power. Let's try to be neutral and assume, for the sake of argument, that it's simply a measure of power.
The folks who quote the measurements sometimes assume that temporary wound cavity is meaningless. This will come as a surprise to any boxer or karateka who has ever dropped to the mat unable to continue breathing and fighting, because a solar plexus punch has paralyzed his diaphragm through "temporary wound cavity," i.e., a temporary but violent displacement of internal organs that shows little and sometimes no permanent injury in its wake.
Having gone through more than my fair share of autopsy reports, and having shot a significant number of animals with assorted handgun rounds and watched many more be shot, it has been my experience that the most powerful rounds cause the most damage and the swiftest incapacitation.
Oddly enough, these tend to be the rounds that have, mathematically, the greater kinetic energy. A +P .45 ACP round weighing 230 grains and hitting at around 950 foot-seconds causes dramatically more tissue displacement -- both temporary and permanent wound cavity -- than does a 147 grain subsonic 9mm bullet of the same construction and traveling at about the same speed. Research will show that the +P .45 also has significantly more "kinetic energy" than the 147 grain 9mm bullet at similar speed.
In the same vein, a 125 grain .357" diameter hollow point at .357 Magnum velocity of +/- 1400 foot seconds, will cause dramatically more damage
than the same bullet at only .38 Special velocities.
Oddly enough, in each comparison the round with the most energy causes the most damage.
Funny how that works, huh?
The standard answer to that from skeptics is, "correlation does not equal causation." However, anyone who says that and is honest will also say, "correlation is a good reason to look for causation."
Good luck to ya, bro. Hope you find your answer. My own personal answer would go, all other things being equal, toward the round with the most energy. But it's a subjective thing, and "your mileage may vary."
Yours for good research that covers all the bases,