The tragic events of September 11, 2001 have deeply shocked the entire world. But perhaps their influence propagates even more deeply than we imagine, even into the fabric of reality itself, perhaps even into events prior to their occurrence. In popular culture, this might be called a "disturbance in the Force", but new and innovative science may have something much more serious to say about the matter.
Since 1998, the Global Consciousness Project at Princeton University has been monitoring the outputs of up to 40 random number generators (RNGs) around the world. Each of these RNGs sends 200 bits of randomly generated data every second to a server at the GCP in Princeton. The generators are based on physical devices considered fundamentally random, not merely deterministic computer algorithms.
Preposterous though it may sound, significant deviations have been noted in the randomness of data from these RNGs around times of major events in the world.
Roger Nelson, Director of the GCP, and Dean Radin at the Institute of Noetic Sciences have analyzed data from the RNG network on and around September 11. They found striking anomalies, one of which is shown below. Note that the significant deviation from randomness began several hours before the events in New York and Washington. See the GCP web site <http://noosphere.princeton.edu/> for complete information and extensive statistical analyses of the data before, during, and after these events.
Randomness and Causality
Why is this of interest to us at the Boundary Institute? Because our theoretical and experimental work have focused specifically and significantly on the concepts of randomness and causality in physics. Our theoretical work strongly suggests, and we have been saying for some time, that certain random physical processes (such as the mysterious "collapse" of the wave function in quantum mechanics) are not what they seem, and in fact may be dependent on other factors and thus influenceable at a fundamental level. And contrary to common assumption, these phenomena and new theory are not in major conflict with existing physics. A great deal of experimental evidence tends to support the hypothesis as well. Now far more significant events seem to have registered in random devices all over the globe.
We do not know whether the effect shown in these analyses will hold up under further scrutiny. We do not necessarily subscribe to the hypotheses which the GCP or anyone else has put forth to explain them. In any case, anecdotal one-time occurrences, no matter how dramatic, are no substitute for careful scientific investigation and experimental replication. However, at the very least, this apparent deviation in the randomness of physical devices under certain conditions needs to be analyzed further and studied closely by science.
In a similar vein, claims that the number of passengers on the hijacked planes on September 11 was exceptionally low (even for a Tuesday after Labor Day, during an economic downturn, etc.) need careful examination. This may be a simple statistical fluke, or it may be that passengers somehow precognitively avoided the doomed flights.
If the randomness of fundamental physical processes can be influenced by global events, the implications for both science and society could be very large indeed. As just one example (highly speculative to be sure), if these effects are real, it might be possible to predict some large-scale calamities in advance by careful observation of random devices such as the generators of the GCP.
Such speculations are easy to make, of course. But only by looking hard at this data and bringing to bear the full power of science will we eventually find out what really happened to the random number generators on September 11.
If you have any scientific comment, observation, or premonition to share with us on this subject, please email <email@example.com>. We will keep confidential any such communication, but cannot promise to respond to every email.