Can This Black Box See Into the Future?

“Deep in the basement of a dusty university library in Edinburgh lies a small black box, roughly the size of two cigarette packets side by side, that churns out random numbers in an endless stream.

At first glance it is an unremarkable piece of equipment. Encased in metal, it contains at its heart a microchip no more complex than the ones found in modern pocket calculators.

But, according to a growing band of top scientists, this box has quite extraordinary powers. It is, they claim, the ‘eye’ of a machine that appears capable of peering into the future and predicting major world events.

The machine apparently sensed the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre four hours before they happened – but in the fevered mood of conspiracy theories of the time, the claims were swiftly knocked back by sceptics. But last December, it also appeared to forewarn of the Asian tsunami just before the deep sea earthquake that precipitated the epic tragedy.” (RedNova News)

Skeptics claim there will always be a world event that can be used to explain an observed spike on the machine. Investigators should be ‘blind’ to the output of the ‘oracle’ during a given period of time until they decide which world events they predict should have registered on it. Then analyze the data. The built-in defense of the true believers is that paranormal phenomena evaporate under too much scientific scrutiny; here is a case in which the scrutiny could be far after the fact. Oh, but wait, if ‘sensitives’ can sense the future, they might sense that scrutiny coming from the future too…