The Global Consciousness Project (GCP) is an international collaboration of scientists, artists, and others. It was created in 1998 by a group of researchers working in the boundary areas of physics and psychology, and has grown to include about 100 people around the world. Our purpose is to gather evidence and study indications of the subtle reach of human consciousness in the physical world on a global scale.
We maintain a network of instruments designed to produce random data that may be affected by human consciousness under special conditions. It is often called the EGG network -- an acronym for ElectroGaiaGram. The idea is that the continuous streams of data from these instruments may show departures from expectation associated with "Global Events". We predict an effect when there is a large-scale sharing of deep reactions to major news events.
During the first six years of the GCP, the number of sites hosting our instruments (which we call "eggs") has grown to more than 60, with locations from Alaska to Fiji, in almost all continents and time zones. A world map of egg hosts has a bright spot for each of the sites. The project's website has complete information about the history, technology, and methods of the project, as well as free access to the database.
We have made over 170 formal tests as of the end of 2004. Each is defined by a prediction that the data will deviate from its usual random behavior during special times such as the celebration of New Years, shocking events like the disaster on September 11 2001, natural tragedies such as the great earthquake in Turkey, or the tsunami in the Indian ocean, and large-scale meditation and prayer events like the Kumbh Mela in India. Our results indicate strong correlations in some cases and virtually none in others, but overall they show significant evidence that something remarkable happens when we all are drawn into a community of interest and emotion.
The Results page on the GCP website gives an up-to-date summary of the formal tests, and also has links to explorations that are sometimes even more interesting and informative than the primary analyses. We use simple graphs to display the often remarkably clear departures of the data from random behavior. On September 11, 2001, the shock of the terrorist attacks moved us deeply, and the eggs responded with some of the largest deviations we have seen. The data on that day show patterns in several measures, apparently reflecting and even prefiguring our intense engagement in the tragic events. The figure below left shows the huge change in variance of the 9/11 data.
A composite across all the individual cases can be visualized in a chronological graph (below right) that shows the steady accumulation of differences of the formal data from expectation. If there were no effect, the jagged line representing the results would wander up and down randomly around the horizontal zero line. As we see in the figure, the actual data show a steady trend away from random expectation. The overall statistics, after six years of data accumulation, indicate a probability on the order of one in a million that the correlation of our data with global events is merely a chance fluctuation. This can't be taken as proof of an awakening global consciousness, but it is suggestive, and we are able to exclude alternative explanations such as electromagnetic radiation, stress on the power grid, or excessive use of mobile phones.
We don't yet know how to explain the correlations between events of importance to humans and the GCP data, but they are quite clear. They suggest something akin to the image held in almost all cultures, of a unity or oneness, an interconnection that is fundamental to life. Our efforts to understand these complex and interesting data may contribute insight into the role of mind as a creative force in the physical world.