For one who knows anything about the stuff in Dan Brown’s novels, the temptation is do, of course, what many have already done: assemble a book-length catalog of all the hideous inaccuracies and abominable oversimplifications and gross assaults on whatever faith one happens to hold. When restricted to an article, perhaps it’s better to choose a particular, over-arching theme to harp on, which might at least instill a degree of suspicion among readers as they inevitably flock to ingest Brown’s next theologo-thriller (it, by the way, will be on the Masons). Whether in the form of a book or article, however, one thing can be certain: nowhere near as many people will read it as read Brown himself. Worse, by grafting onto the hype around his all-time bestsellers, one runs the risk of being better-known for this dutiful refutation than for any more brilliant or original concoction. One way or another, Dan Brown wins.
So why did I bother writing this piece in today’s Religion Dispatches? Well, how else could I get paid to sit on my couch all day reading pulp fiction and then, in the evening, rush off to Manhattan with a friend who’s the closest thing I could find to being a “symbologist” (he studies Freemasonry) to see the latest blockbuster? And I was lucky—it ended up touching on a lot of my recent work on multiverse physics and evolution and the Templeton Foundation.
Ewan McGregor portrays, to my knowledge, the first action-movie villain driven to his diabolical acts by an addiction to intelligent design theory.