Global Consciousness Project

I don’t get the statistics either, but if this were random chance,
the red line would be horizontal.

According to former Princeton scholar Roger Nelson (not to be confused with Prince Rogers Nelson), there is a one-in-a-billion chance that the findings of his Global Consciousness Project (GCP) are due to random chance. These findings indicate that conscious reaction to world events has a perceivable effect on quantum systems.

The GCP puts random number generators all over the world. They essentially flip a “quantum” coin 200 times a second. You’d expect to get about 100 heads and 100 tails, though randomness being what it is, these numbers can vary. However, the numbers vary a lot more during major world events—significantly so. The GCP has found strong deviations from randomness during such events as Princess Diana’s funeral; Year-2000 celebrations; the September 11 attacks (arguably not global, nevertheless their flagship case study). It’s very hard to separate the noise from the signal, especially for any particular event, but with over a decade of data, the probability that all those not-very-random-looking coin flips were due to chance is now incredibly small. Global human consciousness, in its reaction to major events, influences quantum systems. This correlates with the consciousness causes collapse theory.

I’m quite impressed that the project has found anything at all: it uses three different models of random number generators with different quantum processes and post-processing to ensure true randomness. If there is a knowable and specific quantum effect of consciousness, these wouldn’t do a great job of finding it. It’s like trying to understand what an object looks like by asking a blind person (who can only feel the object), a colorblind person, and a sighted person standing a quarter-mile away. Each of them is giving you entirely different data. While you can get general ideas like size and shape, assembling the various descriptions into a coherent picture is practically impossible.

I doubt we’ll find ways to crunch the GCP data in order to understand the higher-level order of what’s going on. But with billion-to-one odds, there’s something there.

~ by Grant on July 12, 2012.

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