Long-running Global Consciousness Study results said to be significant

Seems impressive, but…it is not as solid as they think.

Global Consciousness Study

via We May All Be Psychic: Data From 14 Year Global Consciousness Study Released | Who Forted? Magazine.

14 years ago the creators of the Global Consciousness Project began placing random number generators all across the world. They call these generators “eggs”. As of now, there are around 60 of these eggs located in Europe, the US, Canada, India, Fiji, New Zealand, Japan, China, Russia, Brazil, Africa, Thailand, South America, and Australia. The purpose of these eggs is to constantly spit out random numbers. Meanwhile, devices are also spitting out “guesses” to what those random numbers could be. They call this the “expected randomness” and they’re figured using some crazy math I couldn’t possibly understand. The researchers then measure how often the random numbers and the guesses match.

Despite skeptics insisting that analyzing randomness is pointless, retired Princeton scientist and head of the GCP Dr. Roger Nelson has kept the project running for a decade and a half, and surprising data just keeps coming. In fact, the results they just released are so far above chance it’s actually kind of shocking. Over the 426 pre-determined events measured in the entirety of the project, the recorded probability of a hit was greater than 1 in 2. Way more. Ttheir hits were measuring in at an overall probability of 1 in a million.

Criticisms of this project are fierce.

Unconscious Research of Global Consciousness:

The problem is that people outside their lab either fail to reach the same conclusions or find their methodology so flawed that it’s pointless to even review the findings. They do publish what they call criticism on their web site, but it’s mainly comments and suggestions from their associates. There is not a lot of published criticism of Global Consciousness out there to cite, and one reason is that their theory lacks consistent claims that are specific enough to be tested.

The fail to clairfy some fundamental items such as What type of event qualifies as “significant”? and What type of effect in the data constitutes a result? This Skeptoid piece also points out that there are “flagrant” flaws in their methodology.

There are other ways to test this besides random number generators. They are making an astounding claim. Other threads of evidence should point to this as well if it is valid.

So, hype the results as they will, if these serious flaws exist, then this data will not mean a hill of beans.

See also: global consciousness – The Skeptic’s Dictionary.

And this video describes the project.

Any more info? Let’s see it in the comments.

  3 comments for “Long-running Global Consciousness Study results said to be significant

  1. Chris Howard
    January 7, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    To paraphrase Mousilini “Every New Age field consciousness proponent is a baffled dictator.”
    Methodology aside, I’ve never understood the philosophical appeal of “Mob rule consciousness.”

  2. One Eyed Jack
    January 7, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    The very core of the method is flawed. Computer RNGs are not truly random. They are convenient for the study, but they are not truly random.

    As it is presented, it appears that the researchers wait for an unusual pattern and then go searching for world events to correlate this to. Since there is always something happening around the world, linking an unusual pattern to an event is trivial.

    Further, in any random distribution “unusual patterns” are to be expected. They are part of the random distribution.

  3. Am_Sci
    January 7, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    I think they actually do use a true random number generator. Everyone you said is valid though– it’s postdiction dressed up as science.

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