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Inquiry into the RNG analysis for the events of 9/11/01

Posted Nov. 1, 2011 by rodgerh in Open

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commented on Nov. 5, 2011
by rodgerh




I have been an IONS member on and off for the last 10-15 years. Although I have been a contributing member for the last few years, and have done a lot of study on my own, I have not participated in IONS activities.

I noticed the Discussion section of the IONS website, and have a question. I am not sure if this is the right place to ask this question, but hope that if it isn’t, someone can point me in the right direction. Perhaps this question has already been addressed and the answer available to the public.

My question is about the Global Consciousness Project. As many others, I was very impressed by the results of the RNG analysis for September 11 2001. I only recently came across a study by Edwin C. May and James Spottiswoode titled *Global Consciousness Project: An Independent Analysis of the September 11 2001 Events.*


The analysis appears to show that the positive results are as much an artifact of the methods of statistical analysis as they are proof of global consciousness. The authors tactfully conclude that they remain unconvinced of the phenomenon of global consciousness as manifest by the RNG.

Given that Edwin C. May appears with IONS staff in the 2003 DVD *The Mind in Matter*, and that the paper appears as an http entry under the cognitive sciences lab, I am especially curious of the status of this issue. Have there been subsequent rebuttals; have the apparent discrepancies been resolved; is there still a controversy?

Thanks for any help in addressing this inquiry.

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    rodgerh Nov 05, 2011

    Thanks for your response Ethan.

    Even May's study shows some interesting things about the RNG data on 9/11, but the question seems to be overall statistical significance.

    It does seem true that the more trials and data, as in the case of meta studies, the less the possibility that the results are due to chance. On the other hand, this suggests it is difficult if not impossible to say anything at all about a specific event, even a very major one. So the effects being studied are very subtle, and it is difficult to draw any very specific conclusions.

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    EthanT Nov 01, 2011

    Thanks for posting this Rodger. I, too, would be interested in hearing more about this.

    Usually the more data you have, the stronger any statistical evidence would be. If Edwin May and folks considered only the data around 9/11, I wouldn't be surprised if things look a bit on the weak side. The GCP has many dates/events that show statistical "bumps", or departures from average noise. If they included these in their analysis, along with the 9/11 data, I can't help but wonder if that would help make a stronger case?

    I have also been following the results of Bem's psi experiments. There has been a lot of debate on the statistics there too, including everything from the lack of Bayesian statistics to the decline effect. Once again, only more data will make the case stronger. Unfortunately, it does sound like some folks are having a hard time replicating the results. Whether or not this is a decline effect remains to be seen. Although, apparently others have succeeded.

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