Humans cannot consciously generate random numbers sequences: Polemic study

Med Hypotheses. 2008;70(1):182-5. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2007.06.038. Epub 2007 Sep 20.


It is widely believed, that randomness exists in Nature. In fact such an assumption underlies many scientific theories and is embedded in the foundations of quantum mechanics. Assuming that this hypothesis is valid one can use natural phenomena, like radioactive decay, to generate random numbers. Today, computers are capable of generating the so-called pseudorandom numbers. Such series of numbers are only seemingly random (bias in the randomness quality can be observed). Question whether people can produce random numbers, has been investigated by many scientists in the recent years. The paper "Humans can consciously generate random numbers sequences..." published recently in Medical Hypotheses made claims that were in many ways contrary to state of art; it also stated far-reaching hypotheses. So, we decided to repeat the experiments reported, with special care being taken of proper laboratory procedures. Here, we present the results and discuss possible implications in computer and other sciences.

MeSH terms

  • Consciousness / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mathematics*
  • Mental Processes / physiology*
  • Random Allocation*