I haven’t had a chance to read Dan Brown‘s new novel Origins yet, but if it’s anything like his previous books, you know the template by now: The main character and some assortment of villains will fight over a major religious conflict. The Da Vinci Code involved the lineage of Jesus, Angels and Demons involved a group trying to take down the Catholic Church.
This one involves a battle between science and Creationism.
In an interview with NPR yesterday, Brown talked to host Lakshmi Singh about what he hopes people take away from this book. While he loves pitting science against religion — without really coming away with a clear winner in his novels — he doesn’t hesitate to talk about which side he’s on personally.
And I’ll be damned if this isn’t the most succinct takedown of religion I’ve seen in a while:
… You know, I don’t think anybody who reads this book will think that I have a soft spot in my heart for creationism.
I personally believe that it’s shocking in the year 2017 that we can have American congressmen who openly proclaim the earth is 6,000 years old and that the fossil record was put there to test our faith. And because it’s a religious idea, not only are we not allowed to question or ridicule it, we are debating whether or not to teach it in our schools, and that’s upsetting to me. I really feel that religion does itself no favors by declaring itself immune from rational scrutiny.
If I ever get a tattoo…
Don’t assume Brown is an atheist, though. He also told the BBC “it is still hard to sort of say there’s nothing.”
That book along with the release of The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage, the first release in Philip Pullman‘s new trilogy, should keep fans of atheist-themed fiction happy for a while.