Consciousness Studies

The RetroPsychoKinesis Project

Retropsychokinesis is the claimed ability of certain subjects to alter random data generated, but not examined, prior to the time the data are presented to the subject. Crazy, you say! Well, there's certainly no mechanism in mainstream physics which could permit such an effect, yet experiments conducted by a number of different researchers over the last 20 years suggest, compellingly according to some analyses, that the probability of the results obtained in such experiments being purely the result of chance is sufficiently low that they would be considered evidence of a causal mechanism in most scientific disciplines. The archives of the Project provide a broad collection of research reports (reproduced with the permission of their authors and publishers) and literature citations related to this elusive but, if real, profoundly important phenomenon.

Retropsychokinesis Experiments On-line

You can explore the phenomenon of Retropsychokinesis (if indeed it exists) through these on-line experiments. Each presents you with a sequence of random data produced by the HotBits radioactive random number generator which is presented by a visual feedback program. The random sequence is pre-recorded but not examined prior to your performing the experiment. Results are logged in a secure and transparent fashion, and a daily summary of results to date is published on the Web. Complete source code is available for all of the experiment programs.

Update: Twentieth anniversary update adds HTML5/JavaScript visual feedback programs, eliminating the need for Java.

Introduction to Probability and Statistics

An informal introduction to analysis of experiments to determine whether results are significant or consistent with chance. Independent binary processes such as coin flipping and the output of hardware random bit sequence generators are the focus of the discussion.

Notes toward a General Theory of Paranormal Phenomena

The “multiple worlds” interpretation of quantum mechanics has entered the mainstream of physics, especially among studies of the universe as a whole (quantum cosmology), the origins of physical law, and the apparent “fine-tuning” of physical constants which permit lifeforms like us to exist and speculate whence we came. This document, a work in progress, suggests a small modification to the multiple worlds interpretation which might explain many so-called “paranormal” phenomena, showing them as deterministic and unitary across the multiverse of possible futures yet open to perceived influence by conscious observers endowed with a weak ability to “navigate” their multiverse world-lines toward a future of their choice. Applications of this model to a variety of reported paranormal phenomena are presented.

Computation, Memory, Nature, and Life

This paper, using Stephen Wolfram's A New Kind of Science and Frank Vertosick's The Genius Within as points of departure, suggests that reliable, robust, bulk digital memory is both the secret of life and why computers so fascinate us.

Global IQ: 1950–2050

Doesn't it seem like the world is getting dumber with every passing year? Well, maybe it is! Combining published data for the mean IQ of countries with historical and forecast population figures permits estimating the mean IQ for the entire world's population. Standing at 91.6 in 1950, global mean IQ is presently around 89 and can be expected to fall to about 86.3 by the year 2050. This document presents the analysis, provides access to the source data for your own investigation, and discusses the many uncertainties in any study of this kind.

The Probability Pipe Organ

The Probability Pipe Organ lets you run interactive experiments which demonstrate how the results from random data approach the normal distribution expectation as the number of experiments grows large. Update: HTML5 animation eliminates the need for Java applet support. (The Java version remains available.)