Being myself completely hermetic to anything that comes close to religious or superstitious beliefs (like St Thomas, I need to SEE in order to BELIEVE), I tend to stay away from non-scientific approaches to nature's mysteries.

The issue with this way of thinking is that if you present me a theory that comes from a serious university backed up by dozens of scientists, I'll jump on it like it was a pot of Nutella.

Let's try to summarize the story :
  • In the late 1970s, Dr Jahn from Princeton University found out that he could have people influence a machine to deviate it's results using nothing but the power of their thought.
  • Dr Nelson followed path and extended Dr Jahn's research by making the same experiments on a larger scale. The outcome is a network of 65 devices scattered in 41 countries that try to catch signs of a possible influence of brains over the outcome of electronic devices.
  • The results have shown strong evidence that it is the case. On several hundreds of occasions on which a large number of people were focused on a same topic (such as Diana's funeral in 1997, Sept 11 Terrorist attack in 2001 and the recent South-East Asia's Tsunami), the devices (called EGGs in the project) responded with erratic behaviour that had one chance in a million to occur without external influence. Thus the "Global Consciousness" theory.
  • Moreover, the peculiar device network activity was found out to begin minutes or hours before the event (or the information) happened, making the scientists even more startled. The current explanation of this phenomenon is that time could come and go like waves, and therefore the future could sometimes be taking place in the past (I'm not sure this is very clear).
So, if a device can sense future events that influence human beings, we might not be that far away from machines predicting crimes ? (that's the sci-fi reader speaking...)

Anyhow, I like the scientific approach of this Global Consciousness Project... However, as an advocate of keeping a fair balance (juste milieu in French) for all things, let me say that part of me remains doubtful about this. After all, there is a long history of (un)voluntary science mistakes...Let's say that's an 80/20 at this stage... What's you opinion ?

Update : Engadget has written about this. There's also another article from Sceptic Report about this. Seems like we should take this Global Consciousness as light sci-fi entertainment and nothing more...