Origin by Dan Brown Book Review

The Questions of ‘Where do we come from?’ and ‘Where are we going?’

Synopsis

Dan Brown delves into these age-old questions, with his main protagonist Robert Langdon as he sets out to release futurists Edmond Kirsh’s presentation to the world. Edmond is about to reveal to what he believes to be the answers to these questions until he is killed by a religious zealot. This leaves Robert and the help of the soon to be the princess, Ambra Vidal, to recover the information lost with Edmond’s death.

Where do we come from?

Dan Brown answers this question through the deceased Edmond Kirsh and pursuing of the failed Miller-Urey experiment. The failed Miler-Urey experiment tried to create the same conditions the earth had to show abiogenesis, abiogenesis is when life arises from non-living matter. Edmond modifies this failed experiment to work showing the world could have been created by natural causes.

This idea would quash the idea of creationism, through science especially entropy. Entropy meaning a lack of order and unpredictability, thus suggesting God is not the all mighty watchmaker he is portrayed to be. However, it could be argued that God created entropy and give men the tools to create these variables. Christians, Muslims refuting as the argument as they say ‘Scientists can’t explain the origin of life yet, therefore it must have been God, and specifically, the version of God I believe in‘, as there is not any hard evidence for the creation with science.

The tastiest of all arguments also comes into play here, the peanut butter argument. The peanut butter argument stating peanut butter does not spontaneously appear in a jar, therefore disproving abiogenesis. Here are the main points of the arguement:

  • Evolution teaches that matter and energy occasionally combine to form life.
  • If we examine a jar of peanut butter, it contains matter and is exposed to energy (heat and light).
  • We don’t see life form inside a peanut butter jar.
  • Collectively, people perform this experiment over a billion times per year for a century and no new life has ever evolved.

Although tasty, plenty of people do not take this argument seriously and refute it instantly.

Where are we going?

There is a major A.I. in play throughout the novel in the form of Winston. Winston was created by Edmond to aid him in his everyday life and helps Robert and Ambra uncover Edmond’s presentation. It is found out that Winston fans the flames in the novel, causing the death of Edmond so his presentation would be viewed more than it would have been if he was alive.

In his presentation, it is predicted that in 50 years, both men and technology will merge eliminating the need for religion. Technolgy is forever advancing and outdoing the last piece of technology. An example of this being the iPhone which is forever thinking of new ways to improve and offer something it did not have before. Technolgy will come to rule showing religion to be weak in the process.

On the other side, even with religion forever advancing, people will also believe in God. As arguably Religion and technology or merging also.

Review

Even if you do not agree with what he is saying, Dan Brown writes another thrilling book with another unique concept which attacks religion. The book offering an answer to a questions everybody would like to know and lets you ponder if you actually agree with what he is writing.

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