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The Global Consciousness Project

This story is particularly weird and worth reading. It chronicles a worldwide experiment centered around a little black box that predicts the future, using its connection to little sensory "eggs" and churning out random number sequences

What I take away from this piece is that scientists have some how found a way to tap into the order of nature. It would seem that we should dismiss projects like this (and they sound rather Orwellian), but like evolution, they may tell us something extraordinary about God and the universe. It could be that nature and catastrophic disturbances within it (such as mass destruction or loss of life) have a profound (history-altering) effect on persons and nature, whether or not we know it. Perhps there is a profound inter-connectedness between persons and creation. It would make sense in light of an understanding of sin that permeates all of creation. "All creation cries out, 'How long O Lord?'" Just as our actions (good or bad) can have a profound effect on others as their effects diffuse, why couldn't large pheonomena be "sensed" in nature, both forward and backward in the "space-time continuum." OK, I don't know about much about science, but that seemed like a good term to use.

Of course, this is all very speculative and random, but thoroughly interesting, even though it sounds like Obi-Wan Kenobi talking to Luke Skywalker about the Force and mitochlorians.

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Comments (5)

semaas:

Bunk!

The first point to be made is that machines don't generate random numbers, the best they can generate are pseudo-random numbers.

The second point is this entire project is too inductive to be called science. As the article notes, there are so many events going on around us, the success of these devices is in the eye of the beholder.

I don't doubt the universal character of sin, but to claim it can be ascertained by a collection of electronic cigarette packs is ludicrous.

Jason A.:

This is being done at Princeton. See the official site at http://noosphere.princeton.edu

I am glad more scientific minds than my own can evaluate this stuff. I still think it is interesting. They even chronicle the level of consciousness raised after the Pope's visit to Jerusalem.

semaas:

Thanks for the link to the site.

I had a chance to look, and it cleared up their random number generation technique.

I still say hindsight is 20/20. Whose to say when exactly most of these events they "predict" happened.

Was Clinton impeached the moment the vote happened, or when it was reported moments later, or when most people in the U.S. found out, or when it hit the international wires? If these eggs found anomalies that happened within a 48 hour period you could make the case they detected it.

It reminds me of the Omega code, where you could find biblical prophesies by arranging all the letters in a certain way and performing statistical analysis of certain letters, etc.

john hearn:

Nice blog!

As for this idea, it may very well be "bunk", but then as a Catholic Christian I believe that my soul and my body intimately affect each other and that the fall of man had a profound effect on the nature he lives in. Given these considerations, it is only a matter of time until our science becomes subtle enough to really detect evidence of spiritual realities. Some tantalizing glimpse of these sorts of hints have already surfaced: the discovery of the "big bang" and the incredible "fine tuning" of our universe that makes life (or even stars) possible, the discovery of instantaneous information transfer between two or more particles that are in "entangled" quantum states (when the indeterminate state of one member of this group collapses into a determined state, the others do likewise at exactly the same moment no matter the distance), and the controversial hypotheses that perhaps some biological systems were "designed" and that such design may be detectable by our sciences.

It seems to me that there is much fear, even among theistic scientists and informed layman that our science may someday break in on some spiritual dimension of our world (to say nothing of how materialists feel about such an eventuality) and I think that this is both understandable and wise. Understandable because there is a real comfort to limiting ones vision of the cosmos to purely naturalistic mechanisms and phenomena, and indeed this approach has been very fruitful in our understanding of nature to the point that most scientists would probably say that considerations of any purportedly "psychic" phenomenon *as* a psychic phenomenon would be "unscientific." As to the wisdom of such fears, C. S. Lewis had Uncle Screwape yarning for the day when "materialist magicians" would worship "life-forces" while still disbelieving in God and His moral reality. In fact, it would be precisely at the point that our science starts to deal effectively with spiritual phenomenon or (even more alarming) communicate with spirits that the whole world of good and evil would shatter the myth of science being "value free." The specter of Dr. Faust would suddenly become rather relevant! Again Lewis' "That Hideous Strength" may be prophetic here. The serious penitential for unleashing hell on earth should sober anyone excited by these prospects. Can you imagine some future researcher having a flask of holy water near by in case his experiment got out of hand?

Anyway, does any other reader of David Brin's cool trilogy starting with "Sun Diver" see in the guy’s device something like a primitive "probability detector?"

john hearn:

Hi,

This is not a comment, but your email button doesn't seem to be working right now. I just sent you a comment where at the end I typed "penitential" (well really it was a spell check thing) instead of "potential." Could you please fix it before you post it? Thanks!

John Hearn
Carson Ca

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