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"More than a half-century ago, theologian Teilhard de Chardin conceived of an emerging web of global consciousness, which he dubbed the noosphere. Many people believe he foretold the Internet, but Princeton physicist Roger Nelson says Chardin was referring to something much more magnificent: a consciousness connecting all life on the planet, a Gaia mind. In 1998, Nelson and a group of colleagues from various anomalies-research fields created the Global Consciousness Project (GCP) to seek scientific evidence for it (

"The project began with placement of three random-event generators (REGs) that generate random numbers at rapid and constant speed (today, there are more than 40 around the world). Typically, lines graphed from these random numbers are essentially flat. However, times of what Nelson calls 'deep meaning' produce data points that line up in weeping curves. The nearly 90 events already in the Princeton database include the start of NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, any New Year's Eve, several major earthquakes and 9/11, a curve that lasted more than two days....

"At this stage, Nelson says that the term 'global consciousness' is a metaphor, a description of something essentially mysterious and subtle. Nelson hopes the GCP will create 'a picture that might fire the imagination in lots and lots of people to move them back from this materialistic, self-serving kind of existence, to something a little more spiritual.' He has, he says, 'really high hopes that the Global Consciousness Project can be helpful in teaching us that we are interconnected, reminding us to be respectful of one another, and urging us to move on toward a future that's a little better for humans and for the earth.'"

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JOY that can't be stolen away
April 15, 2002

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