DEEP in the basement of a dusty university library in Edinburgh lies a small black box, roughly the size of two cigarette packets side by side, that churns out random numbers in an endless stream.
At first glance it is an unremarkable piece of equipment. Encased in metal, it contains at its heart a microchip no more complex than the ones found in modern pocket calculators.
But, according to a growing band of top scientists, this box has quite extraordinary powers. It is, they claim, the ‘eye’ of a machine that appears capable of peering into the future and predicting major world events.
The machine apparently sensed the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre four hours before they happened – but in the fevered mood of conspiracy theories of the time, the claims were swiftly knocked back by sceptics. But last December, it also appeared to forewarn of the Asian tsunami just before the deep sea earthquake that precipitated the epic tragedy.
Now, even the doubters are acknowledging that here is a small box with apparently inexplicable powers.
My favorite quote from the article:
Dr John Hartwell, working at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, was the first to uncover evidence that people could sense the future.
Okay, ignoring how fanboyish this article is, and how ridiculous its claims…what would happen if we “unlocked our potential” and started seeing the future? How would society change? God, there is a great science fiction book here somewhere.
Edit 2005/02/13 11:29 am: The BoingBoing article has been revised with a link from a reader to this investigation into the Global Consciousness Project. One of the best parts:
Another serious problem with the September 11 result was that during the days before the attacks, there were several instances of the eggs picking up data that showed the same fluctuation as on September 11th. When I asked [Dean] Radin what had happened on those days, the answer was:
“I don’t know.”
I then asked him – and I’ll admit that I was a bit flabbergasted – why on earth he hadn’t gone back to see if similar “global events” had happened there since he got the same fluctuations. He answered that it would be “shoe-horning” – fitting the data to the result.
Checking your hypothesis against seemingly contradictory data is “shoe-horning”?
For once, I was speechless.