Richard Dooling received his B.A. from St. Louis University in 1976, and in 1979 began working as a respiratory therapist in intensive care units.After traveling for over a year in Europe and Africa, he went back to law school at St. Louis University, where he was editor in chief of the Saint Louis University Law Journal.He is the author of several novels that include Critical Care, White Man's Grave, Brain Storm, and Bet Your Life. Richard also wrote Blue Streak: Swearing, Free Speech, and Sexual Harassment, a collection of essays on the first amendment and the politics of swearing. In addition Richard co-wrote and helped produce Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital for ABC.
Appearing during the middle two hours, researcher of supernatural folklore, Brian Haughton discussed his work discovering the origins of the most popular ghost and paranormal stories. He explained that his research revealed that tales of hauntings are remarkable similar, regardless of location or culture, "I was looking at ghost stories from across the world and the same types kept coming up." He detailed such recurring themes as "white ladies," phantom battles, poltergeists, and headless horsemen. He traced one ghost story back to the Roman period and a writer by the name of Pliny the Younger. Pliny had recounted a tale of a house haunted by a ghost rattling chains. This spirit eventually lead a philosopher to its unmarked grave, where a body wrapped in chains was unearthed. Upon being given a proper burial, the hauntings by the ghost ceased. Haughton observed that this same general story has been repeatedly told ever since, "This kind of ghost, certainly up the 19th centur ... More »Host: George Noory
Writer Richard Dooling discussed his research on the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the prospect of computers becoming as intelligent or more intelligent than humans.With Moore's Law pointing towards the doubling of computer chip capacity every 18 months, the computational abilities of the human brain could be reached by a computer as early as 2015, he suggested. The Turing test could be used to determine when we'll know if computers can actually think or mimic thought. There's been nothing like the development of AI in the history of the human race, said Dooling, who added that eventually AI may start writing its own programs, and he is pessimistic that we'll be able to control them.Right now, there's a billion computers on the planet, all hooked together via the Internet-- "that is a potential intelligence that could absorb us without us even realizing it," similar to the portrayal in The Matrix, Dooling commented. Along with advancements in nanotechnology, ... More »Host: George Noory