I’m not sure I understand Jeremiah Stout’s point. And certainly many people knew I would be saying so!
He asks if a fictional book about conflict between Religion & Science should even matter. Then he answers the question:
"Yes, it does. In fact, we should care because the book is popular fiction, not only in spite of that fact. Dan Brown has a huge audience. His books typically end up as international best sellers. With so many people reading his stories, it’s important that we recognize the problematic themes being presented. The popularity of Brown’s works make it all the more unfortunate that the story of Origin is driven by a false tension between religious faith and scientific progress."
This seems to be all twisted up in a plot that even Dan Brown would be proud of.
By his own admission, author Stout states that Brown’s work is about “… a conflict that we at BioLogos are very familiar with, the conflict between faith and science.”
And yet, at the same time, he dismisses the theme as somehow dangerous, foolishly mythical or fraudulent.
We live the conflict between Faith and Science every day. It’s certainly isn’t mythical. It certainly isn’t fraudulent. And many of us here are certainly aware of the danger of millions of Americans using religion to justify false ideas about the natural world, and about Earth’s future in particular!
If you read the review, you know how Dan Brown ends the story. It seems like a pretty nuanced ending… and not an ending to reinforce the stereotype that religious people are “terrible people”. Hmmm… that seems like the kind of ending we might have paid good money to be written!
If anyone has a gripe, it should be the Catholic Church. You can almost imagine one of the Archbishops . . . pacing back and forth like some teenage goat farmer worrying about his reputation!
“Yes, yes he snaps at his administrative cleric… we burned a couple of people, and the whole world just can’t seem to let it go!”
Yes… people are funny like that.
So, if the bad-guys nowadays are not the Catholics (but the Young Earth Creationists), why does Dan Brown put the onus of suspicion on the guy with the baloney skin hat? Remember, Dan Brown’s franchise is global now. And other than a relatively small number of “Protestant Dominanted Countries” (The British Commonwealth countries for the most part, plus the USA), the “perceived reality” for the rest of the world is that the Catholic Church cozies up to the political elites - - and nothing good comes of it!
And think of the millions of Muslims, eager to watch a good movie that seems to be gratify their every suspicion about the Church that single-handedly sent the Crusaders after their forefathers!
To me, it sounds like Dan Brown is helping us “carry the water” … showing that religion and science can find points of commonality.
If you really really dislike presentations of conflict between Faith and Science, I’m not quite sure you can cast such ideas as ridiculous exaggerations and then return to your laptop to attempt to refute a YEC who, for the hundredth time, posts that “Common Descent” is a meaningless circularity foisted upon an innocent public by greedy scientists!