Just to reiterate, this is fact, not fiction, and the project saw its genesis from the storied halls of Princeton University. It began in 1988, as a parapsychology experiment at that Ivy League institution run by scientist Roger D. Nelson after two decades of research at the controversial Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Lab (PEAR.) Nelson’s Global Consciousness Project (GCP) set out to prove the hypothesis that global consciousness will interact with physical systems.
In laymen’s terms, they set out to investigate if big world events that capture our collective attention would “move the needle” at all on a nonstop series of randomly generated numbers. Basically, if human consciousness was stirred on a mass scale by large world events, they thought it would throw off the pattern of random numbers. Put another way, enough peoples’ emotions or thoughts would affect hardware. They started by looking at the data from 12 independent Random Event Generators (REGs) in the U.S. and Europe in 1997 after the untimely car accident death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
This is how it works; the GCP maintains a network of hardware called random event generators Electrogaiagrams - nicknamed Princeton Eggs – at 70 locations all around the globe. Every second, they electronically “flip 200 coins,” and record the result, tracking the random series of events.
The date is sent back to the researchers for thorough analysis, where they look for significant anomalies in the random nature of data based around these large world events. If the numbers are skewed so far from their usually random pattern, it’s extrapolated that something (or a lot of someone’s, in this case) are moving the numbers electromagnetically with our thoughts or energy fields.
Sounds extremely far-fetched, right – or something that we’d expect from Berkeley, not Princeton? I’m certainly didn’t major in statistics in college, but the GCP claims their hypothesis has been supported by over 300 registered world events and 15 years of random data.
Surely this can’t be right – do we really have credible evidence that there’s some sort of link of consciousness between all people that interacts with our environment and even the nature of physical phenomenon? The GCP states that the chances of these statistical anomalies around these major world events are just chance as 1 in one trillion, by this point. Is there some other logical explanation?
Certainly, critics of the hypothesis and GCP have had easy target practice. They point out that the way the data is collected and analyzed is flawed, and essentially these researchers are looking for statistical anomalies and THEN assigning them to a coincidental world event. They say that there’s no proof of some sort of field of human consciousness around the globe that can bend spoons, a real life Star Wars-like force. The New York Times went so far as to state in a 2003 article that, "All things considered at this point, the stock market seems a more reliable gauge of the national—if not the global—emotional resonance."
Even the GCP’s founder knows there are some serious holes in his hypothesis, and they are light years from practical applications.
“We may be able to predict that a major world event is going to happen,” says Roger Nelson, the project leader. “But we won't know exactly what will happen or where it's going to happen.”
Maybe some MIT pragmatism or Yale law cross examination is in order, but here is the key thing to remember that is absolutely true; there is mounting and statistically-legitimate evidence that these Princeton Eggs are registering bizarre blips on their radar around big world events, and so far, no one has been capable of disproving that hypothesis. If nothing else, that makes it worthy of our interest - and our imagination.