Do you believe in fairies? What is you had photographs? In 1917 photos of fairies fooled even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and became one of history's greatest hoaxes. How did two young girls pull it off? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, debates on science and illusion. Also, the strange case of on-line rape - is it a crime?
Julian Dibbell, author of "My Tiny Life: Crime and Passion in a Virtual World," talks with Steve Paulson about an alleged case of virtual rape. The charges of assault are real, but is it really rape when it all takes place in the virtual world? Dibbell says we'll be facing problems like this increasingly often as we spend more and more of our lives on line.SEGMENT 2:
Pamela Trimpe is the Assistant Director of the University of Iowa Museum of Art in Iowa City, and organizer of a wildly popular exhibition of Victorian Fairy Painting. She tells Jim Fleming the story of the two young English girls who produced photographs in 1917 which they said were of fairies. Lots of people (like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle!) believed them and a great hoax was born. Also, Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist at Oxford University, tells Steve Paulson that people don't need fairies or magicians. He thinks science reveals the true magic of the world. His book is "Unweaving the Rainbow."SEGMENT 3:
Rudy Coby is Lab Man! His stage persona is a scientist, but Coby is an illusionist and magician. He tells Jim Fleming about his act which combines science and showmanship. Also, inventor Ray Kurzweil tells Judith Strasser about the coming generation of feeling, apparently self-conscious computers; the possibility of scanning human consciousness into a machine; and the ethical implications of machines that challenge our understanding of who (or what) is a person. Kurzweil is the author of "The Age of Intelligent Machines," and "The Age of Spiritual Machines."Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 99-01-10-B.
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