Birth 2012 Shift Seminar
On March 22, 2011, Barbara Marx Hubbard and Stephen Dinan presented a remarkable Birth 2012 teleseminar" inviting "evolutionaries, change leaders and heart-centered humans" to "join in creating a Planetary Birth Experience that can shift our consciousness and evolve our world."
This was a nicely publicized event, with, I think I heard, more than 15,000 listeners. I was one, and I thought it a beautiful and inspiring moment in the noospheric space that is the focus of both personal interest and the Global Consciousness Project's perspective. I think this event was one step, and an unusually clear one, in the direction of conscious evolution. Of course that is one of Barbara's core ideas -- that humanity can evolve consciously and intentionally. This is, moreover, extremely important because we have so much to do to become fully human, and to take over as stewards instead of destructive exploiters of the Earth. Toward the end of the hour, Barbara reminded us that we should expect this to be fun. After all, we're working up to a Planetary Smile!
In any case, I thought the seminar might be an example of the kind of unifying, integrative moment that produces a resonant interaction of enough people to create a bit of global consciousness. The events we normally choose for the formal experiment in the GCP are bigger, often with millions of people drawn together, but we have seen evidence that focused meditation or shared intent from smaller numbers may bring a bit of order into the random data.
The result, shown in this figure, has the kind of trend we predict, and has an effect size larger than the average seen in our 350+ formal replications. So although we can't draw scientific conclusions, it is a nice picture. Perhaps it reflects the connection we felt listening to Barbara and Stephen.
It is important to keep in mind that we have only a tiny statistical effect, so that it is always hard to distinguish signal from noise. This means that every "success" might be largely driven by chance, and every "null" might include a real signal overwhelmed by noise. In the long run, a real effect can be identified only by patiently accumulating replications of similar analyses.