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Origin from Dan Brown vs Genesis from God

International exposure for creation.com in best-selling novel


Published: 13 March 2018 (GMT+10)

It is for inquiring minds—like that of the young Dan Brown—that creation.com exists. Unfortunately, it didn’t exist c. 1978 when a teenaged Brown (later author of the blockbuster antichristian book and movie The Da Vinci Code) asked his Episcopal minister to reconcile the big bang with the Genesis account of God’s creation and received the reply, “Nice boys don’t ask that question.”1 Perhaps if Brown’s minister could have directed him to creation.com then, Brown wouldn’t now be publishing novels that ridicule Bible-believing Christians—particularly those who believe what God says in the opening chapters of Genesis and believe that the evidence supports it.

Will God survive science?

This is the question asked by Dan Brown’s latest novel, Origin,2 which has Harvard professor Robert Langdon, the main character, attending a highly-publicized announcement of Edmond Kirsch, a former pupil. Kirsch proclaims that he has found the definitive answer to the two fundamental questions of human existence: Where did we come from? and Where are we going? Langdon states, “ … in our lifetime, the myths of religion would be all but demolished by scientific breakthroughs.” (p. 53).

The story is set in the Spanish royal palace, the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum and in several centuries-old Spanish churches. Brown’s picturesque descriptions of Spanish architecture and artifacts are so intriguing, one might temporarily abandon the novel in order to hop down Google search trails of Iberian Peninsula imagery. It’s a shame that Brown did not commit an equal amount of research to biblical creation so that he could portray creationists’ beliefs as accurately as he did Spanish architecture.

Creationists equated with flat-earth advocates and Muslim allamahs

Brown doesn’t waste much time—he first goes off track in the prologue. Kirsch is convinced that his astonishing breakthrough will shatter the foundations of the world’s religions. In order to gauge their reaction, Kirsch shares the culmination of his ‘scientific’ research with three religious leaders—a Roman Catholic bishop, a Jewish rabbi, and a Muslim allamah—in advance of a worldwide, live-feed presentation. Since the author intends to use the main character’s scientific discovery to trump the book of Genesis, wouldn’t it have made sense to include an evangelical creationist among these?

All ‘religious’ people, including biblical creationists, are described by Brown as ignorant, holding to ancient myths, legends, and fairy tales, and terrified that science will disprove God. One of his characters states, “Creationists are today’s flat-earth advocates, and I would be shocked if anyone still believes in creationism a hundred years from now.” (p. 418) Kirsch believes that his discovery will show people across the world that the teachings of all religions are dead wrong. Indeed, in the wake of Kirsch’s advance screening of what would later be a worldwide, multimedia presentation, the Rabbi comes to view ancient Jewish literature as a “collection of outdated contradictions” (p. 32).

Dan Brown

Errors of fact or fiction?

Although Origin is a work of fiction, molecules-to-man evolution is presented as irrefutable scientific fact. Kirsch is portrayed as a highly respected scholar and many undiscerning readers will believe his pronouncements are the ‘gospel truth’, such as:

  • “Life arose spontaneously from the laws of physics” (p. 402).
  • [evolution is proven by] “a clear timeline based on the fossil record” (p. 385).
  • “The dawn of Homo sapiens … occurs at 200,000 bc” (p. 406).
  • [Darwin] proved that life continuously evolved (p. 386)
  • We [humans] are not special. We exist with or without God (p. 400).

Kirsch, in his global presentation, recalls the strong reaction from modern religious leaders when 50-year-old test tubes from the Miller–Urey experiment were found in a closet at the University of California, reviving interest in the idea of creating life in a lab. While over 200 million viewers are watching the live stream, Kirsch’s display refreshes to the homepage of creation.com, “a recurring target of Edmond’s wrath and ridicule” (p. 388). Though this is a fictional tale, CMI would be happy to have our web address flashed before 200 million people at once! However, at least the hundreds of thousands of readers who have purchased Origin will see creation.com and CMI’s mission statement recorded on page 388. God can use even a foolish, hostile-to-our-cause novel to drive people to the truth. Kirsch goes on to state that creation.com is “popular, influential, and it contains literally dozens of blogs about the dangers of revisiting Miller–Urey’s work” (p. 388).

If only Dan Brown had actually visited some of these so-called ‘blogs’ he would have found that they are not merely someone’s creative opinion; instead, they are thoroughly researched and documented articles by Ph.D. scientists. And when Kirsch states that creation.com is warning of the ‘danger’ of reexamining the Miller–Urey experiment, he is not only fabricating something which has never existed on the site, he utterly misrepresents CMI and creationists in general by portraying them as afraid of open examination of the evidence, in case it disproves God, the Bible or Christianity. [Case in point—The Miller–Urey experiment revisited (2015).]

The thousands of articles on creation.com in fact represent the very opposite—an encouragement to all not to blindly swallow evolutionary interpretations but to open-mindedly consider all the evidence. Ironically, perhaps, for Dan Brown fans, the evidence against a spontaneous origin of life from lifeless chemicals is actually exceptionally strong—see Origin of life.

Fiction and fairy tales or truth?

Origin is a well-written, fast-paced, entertaining fairy tale. The ‘f-word’ is used but twice, probably a record low number for most modern, best-selling fiction. It is well-researched in the areas of atheism and evolution, but poorly-researched regarding creationism. Even though Brown knew to visit creation.com, he obviously didn’t read even a smattering of the well-researched articles found there. Rather than portraying creationists as having the intellectual boldness to stand up against the humanistic paradigm of the day, he paints us as timid mice, ever fearful of the evolutionary cat that will soon pounce and destroy us all.

What Kirsch and his creator Dan Brown fail to take into account is that biblical creationists aren’t just any old adherents to some dusty religion, but children of God Himself, empowered by the indwelling Spirit. Belief in Genesis creation isn’t just one more ‘ism’. It stands on the rock-solid truth of Genesis, the seedbed of all Christian doctrine and the foundation of the saving Gospel. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8) The ‘danger’ we are concerned about is not from exposure to evidence, but the danger to one’s eternal soul from rejecting God’s good news in favour of evolutionism’s false history.

Dan Brown’s biography clearly demonstrates why we do what we do at CMI—sending trained speakers into hundreds of churches each year. Most pastors, like the one Brown questioned in his youth, may be wise in theology but are not equipped with the scientific answers that support the creation account in Genesis. If only young Dan could have asked his questions of one of our CMI scientists, or visited creation.com, he might now be producing literature that brings eternal glory to the Creator God instead of temporal glory to himself.

References and notes

  1. Kaplan, J., Life after ‘The Da Vinci Code’, Parade, 13 September 2009; parade.com/106060/jameskaplan/13-dan-brown-life-after-da-vinci-code. Return to text.
  2. Brown, D., Origin, Doubleday, New York, 2017. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

Refuting Evolution
by Jonathan Sarfati
US $12.00
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Christianity for Skeptics
by Drs Steve Kumar, Jonathan D Sarfati
US $10.00
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Readers’ comments

Lynne B.
How tragic that Dan Brown uses his talent for writing and research to take himself and others down such a destructive path. May God's grace bring him to see the wonder of creation and God's amazing gift of love and His offer of salvation to us all.
Tim M.
Since learning about Creation.com and reading their material I've decided to lead children's story time each week at my local church. Each week I present exciting experiments or stories of the wonder of God's creation. The children love to study science expecially the evidence based science of Genesis. Let all do Dan Brown a favor, don't buy his novel but send the money to creation.com instead, our money would not be wasted then!!! God Bless! Creation.com
Mark S.
Knocking down straw men seems to be one of the more popular fallacies of the adherents to scientism. It seems to work fairly well judging by the number of evolutionists who continually resort to it, Dan Brown in particular.
I was happy to read that creation.com is "advertised" in the book, but of course it is maddening to see that the respect due is lacking.
Thank you for the review. I would never read the book myself, but it's important to hear what the "useful idiots" are saying to their audiences.
David B.
Thank you for the article on Dan Brown telling of a new book I have not heard of. If God spares this world and Christ has not yet returned to take His people to Glory, God's Word will still be true and Dan Brown and his writings will be forgotten. As has been said, those without the Spirit of God cannot understand the Word of God, it is foolishness to them, but we thank God that His Holy Spirit still opens people's eyes to His truth. Salvation is still of the Lord and He is able to save to the uttermost, all those who truly believe Him.
Harry B.
Oh dear. Another story that says it is based on fact but is in reality very far from it. When The Da Vinci Code first came out, a friend of mine - who is a pastor, by the way - read it, which led him to do his own research on the "facts" it was based on, and later gave us a message on them. In a nutshell: Dan Brown, great novelist, not so great historian. I'm willing to bet my friend will do the same thing this time around. Ironically, stories like Origin - and I have raised this point before in other comments - do actually prove the truth of the Bible, where authors like Paul warn us there will be those who spread false messages to those who will be only too willing to hear them. Like Pratha S said, I too hope Dan Brown rejects the path he's on and comes to know the Lord - and writes books that reflect the real Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
John P.
I've never read a Dan Brown book in my life and I don't intend to' it is just a waste of time. I f he had actually read the CMI site it would have rocked his humanist faith and not every atheist or humanist wants that. For them it's OK to try to destroy the faith of Christians but not the other way around.n It is not going to go well for them when they meet their Lord and Saviour if they don't repent. We need to have a real passion for the lost. If any of Brown's readers go to the CMI site they will be confronted with Biblical truth and realise Brown's feeding them fairy tales. God always trumps the devil!
Kavusa K.
When I read The Da Vinci Code, I eagerly wanted to see the picture of the last supper. This was because of Dan's description of Jesus and Mary. I started wondering whether what he wrote could be true or not. But after time, I realized I only needed to believe what was in the bible because it was true and holy.
And my advise to Christians is that they read books that will improve their spiritual life, today Christians are reading anti-Christian novels and erotic novels which is basically pornography. However, as Christians, we are supposed to have a divine purpose in everything we do for the glorification of God.
Bud B.
I stopped reading Dan Brown after Angels and demons because a) It is science, only in the sense that there are some scientific elements to it and b) it is formulaic fiction. i.e. set up a "straw man" such as the Emperor Constantine determining what Christianity would be (in The DaVinci Code) knock down the straw man and voila! instant hero! I am sure Origin is more of the same.
Jacqueline S.
Dan Brown loves self-fulfilling dreams without completing the research. Del Tackett's "Is Genesis History?" is a fascinating scientific documentary and proof of creationism! Want the TRUTH, it is 21st century proof.
Emily M.
I am pleased with and grateful for CMIs thoughtful and respectful response to Dan Brown's latest attempt to discredit the Word of God regarding the origins of life. I find Peter M's comments to be the most appropriate and loving. God tells us that until one has received the indwelling of the holy spirit, the word of God is considered foolishness to him and Truth cannot be recognized. Satan has blinded the minds of millions. They walk in darkness without the light of God's word. While it is imperative that Christians be prepared to defend why we believe what we do with logic, reason and scientific research, we should also remember that belief in God is primarily an issue of the HEART; not an intellectual understanding of the mind. Jesus taught us to pray that God's Kingdom come and that His will be done on earth as in heaven. We should continue to persistently pray for unbelievers spiritual eyes to be opened and their hardened hearts softened. I think it is wise for us to remember the REAL enemy is Satan. It's my opinion that most unbelievers have deep wounds that may have served to harden their hearts against the Truth. We are called to treat ALL people with respect and to love our enemies and pray for them. I absolutely LOVE this quote from Charles Spurgeon: "Prayer is the slender nerve that moves the muscle of omnipotence" It is one of the mysteries of God that our prayers work in concert with God's power to bring in the kingdom. It's my belief that prayer is the single most effective "weapon" we have against unbelief.
Pratha S.
If Dan Brown authored The Da Vinci Code{which he of course did},then it wouldn't take a lot to realize that his new book would also be along the same lines as well.The Bible makes it clear -- you're either for God,or you're against Him.There can be NO two ways about it -- you'll either reject one or go with the other.Dan Brown has shown us that he has chosen to reject God.For his sake,I hope he,at some point,will reject the current path he's on and come to know the Lord.If so,he'll never regret it.
N E.
He is indirectly acknowledging the existence of God almighty. At least he has no excuse when he stands before God on that day
Nico F.
This is part of God's plan and is required. Those guided and touched by grace will find the truth. Matthew 24:14 "this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.' It is exciting and both sad for my fellow humans that reject God's magnificent word and gracious gift of salvation and love.
Mark M.
“It is well-researched in the areas of atheism and evolution, but poorly-researched regarding creationism.” You should have used the word “evolutionism” if you use the word “creationism”, to be consistent.
Leon D.
So Dan's character will be shocked if in a 100 years someone still believes in Creation? Well, 15 years ago I did not believe in Creation, but thanks to a persistent family member and Creation.com magazines I am a firm adherent. My guess is that if Creation.com continues with its excellent work, Dan's character will be most shocked that in a 100 years the number of Creation believers have actually increased...
Eric H.
Story-telling, not science, seems to be the forte of the atheistic cabal which dominate the media. Sadly such is the self-deceit of the human heart it will believe what it wants to be true. The objective, historic, scientifically-consistent account of the Bible is too much of a challenge to the consciences (and reason) of these sad folk who believe they can "think" God away!
Walter K.
Thanks so much for this article! I really appreciate your research and your encouragement to the saints. What a blessing that God can even use this book to turn people to Christ - simply by them having a look at creation.com! No doubt God will use the publicity!
Richard P.
Science author Paul Davies was once the resident astrophysicist at Adelaide University. He wrote a few books, unsurprisingly in an anti-creation vein, a couple of which I read.
I saw him at the beach one summer’s day with his kids – me there also with mine - both of us gazing out to sea while the kids played.
It never ceases to amaze me how seemingly intelligent people like he, Hawking, Dawkins, Hitchens et al can witness this incredible universe and still consciously deny God. (In fact many scientists including Einstein never did deny God). But I did note that Davies, like quite a few scientific/mathematical types did eventually sound in his later writings to be coming closer to concluding the existence of a creator God.
Peter M.
It seems Dan Brown's 'Origin' follows the same pattern as 'The Da Vinci Code': use a character to demolish a straw-man with flawed evidence which undiscerning readers will swallow. I wouldn't be surprised a movie is on the horizon. Yet it will always be an opportunity to tell the truth. Keep up the good work Creation.com.
John L.
There is no rational conflict between 'religion' and 'science'. Viewed externally, hypotheses and beliefs are both ideas, despite both sides claiming the mantle of truth. We are certain of where truth rests, on the basis of revelation. But the point is that, objectively, this is simply a contest of ideas and we are happy to proceed on that basis because we know that our 'idea' has inherent authority. Our opponents are insecure, and thus need to fabricate false authority by elevating their ideas to theories (or fact!) and denigrating our ideas. That insecurity will be obvious to any uncommitted thoughtful observer. Our greatest problem, looking at things from below the sun, is not the tactics of our opponents but rather the limited extent of thoughtful enquiry by those who are uncommitted.

On a different vein, it is sad to see a mind as gifted as that of Stephen Hawking unable or unwilling to confront the glaring inconsistencies of his own position. The honest thinking atheist cannot escape the irrationality of his own position, as I discovered myself, but the reality is that most are willing to inconsistently create a façade of meaning where none can exist, just as Dan B is doing by his writing.
Sue P.
Perhaps Creation.com might send Dan Brown some feedback and challenge him to use it for his next novel? Correctly done, it might steer a brilliant mind towards the appreciation of God’s mind....?
Michael F.
Great article guys! As with most books coming out these days either fact or fiction, I believe it says more about the author than it does about what he is attacking, in this case Creation.com

Mr Brown if you are reading these comments in regards to your book, I have one message for you. Put all that God given research talent you have into investigating Jesus, I promise you it will change your life.
James K.
‘Popular, influential’? Wow! We should flattered by his praise. Also why is kirsch basically advertising the organization he is supposed to be opposed to? He would probably be savaged by Dawkins who advocates for the complete censorship of biblical science.
Terry W.
He's going to get sued by Ubisoft for a cover picture that's almost indistinguishable from their logo.
Richard C.
Following David P's point that Dan B's book 'Deception Point' was actually anti-evolutionist, maybe we should suggest another plot to him - eg blood cells in a T-rex (a sort of Jurassic Park)!! Or the moon pulling away from earth - anything he can turn into an armageddon

MORE SERIOUSLY perhaps CMI could have a particular link on the main site leading atheists et al to an article specifically addressing Dan B's errors ????????????
David P.
Dan Brown also wrote the book Deception Point which tackles the exact same issue. In this book, Evolutionists create a fake discovery of fossils in an asteroid to support the idea that life came from space. In the end of the book, Brown leaves the question of origins open, and the evolutionists who had to fake the evidence come out looking worse for it. While I have no doubt Brown believes in evolution, it will be interesting to see how this book ends. Most of his stories revolve around a plot point that will revolutionize the world, but then the secret or mystery is diffused and nothing is really revealed or changed. If this new book has a similar story arc, then this great discovery by the evolutionary scientists will likely prove less than what he promised.
Edward P.
“Life arose spontaneously from the laws of physics” (p. 402).
Oh, Danny boy, think, think, think. If the laws of physics cause life to spontaneously generate, then they still would.
[evolution is proven by] “a clear timeline based on the fossil record” (p. 385).
If you would have only read articles by CMI, then you would have learned that genetic differences between chimps and man, number in the millions. And that, Dan, is an impossible number of missing links.
“The dawn of Homo sapiens … occurs at 200,000 bc” (p. 406).
Why don't we call the first 195,000 years the Age of Chastity, then about the time the Bible talks of Noah's flood, comes the dawning of the Age of Procreation when man finally starts learning what to do and how to build places of protection for this new found idea of family.
[Darwin] proved that life continuously evolved (p. 386)
Then again, Dan, if you would have only researched CMI, you would have learned that organisms devolve, not evolve.
We [humans] are not special. We exist with or without God (p. 400).
Well, next time have a parakeet write your book.
Peter M.
After reading this article, this Scripture comes to my mind:
"The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit" (1 Corinthians 2:14). Lord, I pray that you would give people wisdom and discernment to know the truth; Jesus Christ is the truth. Lord Jesus I pray that you would have mercy on Dan Brown like you did with Saul of Tarsus. Bring him to repentance and open his spiritual eyes.
Dan M.
The myth that "[evolution is proven by] 'a clear timeline based on the fossil record' is an oft repeated mantra of evolutionists. Those evolutionists who are educated have to know that this is a complete and utter lie! Yet, creationists are so often accused of ignoring or fabricating evidence. Thanks for the heads up on this book. I know some Dan Brown fans. It’s good to be prepared!
Richard C.
This publicity is terrific. What a sense of humour He has! It may well now be that more atheists visit the site than Christians.

In which case, it is ALL THE MORE IMPORTANT to let the scientific facts speak for themselves and not put theological ideas which are not specifically creationist, and about which different Christians may have different ideas.

Daniel M.
We should count Dan Brown's novel "Origin" as an opportunity to educate people on creation science and the flaws in the theory of evolution. It's great that CMI's website is getting shown in the book - if only one in a hundred readers actually goes to the website, they will find a treasure trove of great scientific evidence in support of biblical creation.
The DaVinci code had a severe negative impact on biblically and historically illiterate nominal Christians. I expect that this will do the same with the scientifically and philosophically illiterate. But as with the DaVinci code, bible and creation believing Christians can use this as an opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations with non-believers and nominal Christians who have read this book.
I hope CMI provides a more in depth review of the book in the near future that we can use for reference without having to read it ourselves (I just don't want to waste the time reading it!).
Gian Carlo B.
LOL. So he literally just went for the money. “Let me see what people at creation.com believe about origins so I can include it in my book..” *Dan Brown looks and it’s so overwhelmed at how demolished his worldview is; hesitating* “Uuuhh..uuhh, I-I I’ll go back, let me just bash them with other creationists that hardly exist; I need my mercedes!”

He most certainly knew you guys weren’t the strawman Dan Brown is used to; he was just lazy to the bone to even attempt a chapter where Kirsch and one of your best PhD biblical creation scientists that he just clicked, overlooked and closed the window and afraid to represent you guys properly. He is a misleading coward. Because of his blunder, fan readers of him will come here utterly confused and mislead.
Terry D P.
Dan Brown's fiction isn't original, because he has based it on the evolution myth invented and published by Charles Darwin.
King T.
Is it just me or has anyone else noticed the uncanny resemblance between Dan Brown and Richard Dawkins?
Seems as if "birds of a feather" is more than just a proverb!!!
Like most dogmatic atheists I've encountered online, Dan Brown appears to also shoot from the hip with no inclination whatsoever to find out what Christians (and creationists specifically ) really believe.
gabriel S.
Dan who?
Alistair W.
Excellent summary, amazing Dan Brown has not been called to account over erroneous "facts" stated in the Da Vinci code. He must have led thousands astray, well done CMI for drawing a line!
Dean R.
Pitting unobserved Evolution (as if it is science) against evidence for a young earth (as if it is religion) is sneaky, underhanded & a dishonest approach to what has been going on these last couple of thousand years.

It seems Brown has outgrown his inquisitive mind, dismissed the science that directly challenges the modern dogma of evolution with its many gaps and has settled on the ‘side’ of the science of the secular with its message of there is no God or God is dead.

The Big Push to elevate secular science as our Saviour and Lord and ‘man or Darwin is king’ is fraught with danger and loaded with lots of biased data. It is the sort of thing that encouraged Eugenics and superior thought that Hitler aspired to. The old playing the favoured Galileo card like a loaded dice is typical and many fall for it. God is in the detail too, not just the devil.

We can probably only expect to see more of this type of thing as the education system is not really interested in educating young people as to what is really going on. Secular dogma is not so interested in the other side of the story because it is hungry and thirsty to maintain its power rather than truth.

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