Must Shift from the Human-Centered Value System


An elderly scholar at age 80 revisits his incomplete theoretical study authored over a decade ago, to publish his completed findings in an international journal in March 2018

The latest paper represents his scholarly world that has deepened since he took an interest in convergence studies. Because this work is in the field of theoretical physics, widely accepted as having a particularly short scholarly shelf life, his outstanding findings serve as an exceptional inspiration to academia. He is none other than this year’s Eminent Scholar, Professor Hwe Ik Zhang.

Professor Zhang assumed a consilient approach, embracing natural science and humanities, to engage in a profound reflection about the very substance of life and nature. The outcome of this introspection is the Global Life theory, which states that nature and humans are interconnected as one. However, Professor Zhang does a lot more than research and teaching; based on his theory of Global Life, he is involved in environmental protection campaigns and book writing, among many other passionate activities.

To expand the base of academic convergence programs, Kyung Hee invited Professor Zhang as an Eminent Scholar, Kyung Hee’s academic culture promotion program that invites brilliant scholars to work and teach at the University. Professor Zhang works with professors in other disciplines to hold seminars under the title, ‘Linking Quantum Mechanics and Social Science.’ There are also plans for independent research and special lecture series to be delivered by him. I met with Professor Zhang to learn about his academic universe and his most recent research activities.

Life, defined not independently, but approached as a part of a whole
Q: In 1988, you published your Global Life theory, claiming that ‘individual life,’ as an organic living being, could survive only while connected within ‘Global Life.’ I am curious about what rationale led you to this conclusion.

A: To discuss global life, I need to explain how I began to take interest in the essence of life. In 1953, they discovered the molecular structure of the DNA. Since then, we have seen a proliferation of research in molecular biology. The same was true in the late 1960s, when I completed my Ph.D. degree. It was an astonishing discovery, and because I found it very intriguing just how much it was contributing to helping physicists understand life, I began to study life.

Then, I arrived at a more fundamental question. What is life? While we were finding out more about the structure of life, nowhere could we find an answer to this question. After more than 10 years had passed, I had a revelation. Based on the continuous flow of free energy formed between the Sun and the Earth, life was born approximately 3.5 billion years ago. Hence, life can be formed and survive only when other life forms are also present. In other words, I approached life, not as an individual entity, but as a part of a whole.

Q: Your paper was published in the March 1st volume of Physica A, an SCI journal. Please tell us about your article.

A: It is related to global life. In order to explain global life as a physicist, free energy is a critical concept that must be understood. Because to be alive and in motion, there must be surplus free energy. Over 10 years ago, I wrote a paper that claimed that the Sun was the source of free energy. But I began to question that theory. “Is the energy that originates from the Sun really free energy?”

So, I began to look into other studies, only to find that theories about free energy were not adequately defined. I had thus stumbled upon a hidden problem, and I developed an urge to solve it. It pulled me back into the front lines of physics, and it took over a year to solve that problem. I proved my hypothesis that the Sun is the source of free energy, and generated a formula to calculate the amount of free energy the Earth receives from the Sun.

Q: Could you share any other areas of study that interest you?

A: I am interested in ‘Sound Knowledge.’ It is not about knowing everything, but about putting things back where they belong by linking knowledge. Just like you can identify locations on a globe, I am studying structure that can locate knowledge. Looking back on the history of space, first there was matter. Then, humans came into existence. Through their inner-being, humans began to define and understand the world of matter. Of late, I am interested in mapping and defining the sound knowledge process that starts with space and links to humans.

Taking on addressing global issues; activities to revive sound ‘global life’
Q: Kyung Hee is making efforts to address global challenges and national issues, such as climate change and urban problems. Please share your opinion regarding these issues.

A: No individual life can exist outside of the Earth-Solar system. It must be connected to global life to persist, lest global life itself becomes imperiled. One example is environmental degradation. Humans, as a part of global life, can survive only within global life. Without sufficient understanding about its connectedness, humans have engaged in indiscriminate development. This is the problem. We must gain sufficient understanding about the physiology of global life, in which not only humans, but also flora, fauna, air, and water must thrive together.

I have studied the meaning of quantum mechanics, by combining physics and philosophy in my studies. Based on that understanding, I have tried to gain a new means to understand life. The outcome of that effort is “Global Life.” The theory of global life tells us that unless we change the human-centered value system, humankind may not have a long future. Based on this personal view, Kyung Hee’s effort to address global issues can be translated as activities to revive global life to its healthy state. I have agreed to join the University because I felt I could contribute to this effort.