Sunday, July 06, 2008

Book Review: Blasphemy

BlasphemyMost Christians are interested in the relationship between religion and science and an enormous amount has been written on the alleged war between the two. But I haven’t, until now, come across any fiction on the subject. Douglas Preston’s thriller Blasphemy is a fast-paced story where science and religion duel to a haunting conclusion that will leave you thinking for a long time. Beneath a mountain in Arizona is the world’s biggest supercollider where scientists are trying to explore the moment of the Big Bang itself. If they are successful, the world will know, at last, what happened at the moment of creation. The chief scientist, Gregory North Hazelius, has built Isabella, a computer that will, when turned on, allow them to gaze into the depths of space -- a black hole -- for the first time. But not everyone is happy with the project which has been shrouded in secrecy. Reverend Don T Spates,a fundamentalist Christian, believes the project is a satanic plot to undermine the truth of Genesis. Some rumours have surfaced about problems with the project. But what is the truth? Wyman Ford, an ex-monk and CIA operative, is employed by the US government to go undercover to find out what is really going on. While he is there, Isabella is turned on and what happens, if it gets out, will rock the world -- religion and science will need to rethink everything it believes. Blasphemy has, unsurprisingly, met with criticism -- from some Christians and some scientists. Preston is accused of caricatured characters. They are allegedly too extreme. And some Christians have argued that Preston is anti-Christian and pro-science. But he has said, somewhere, that he is neither. He is against any form of fundamentalism or fanaticism whether it is from science or religion. Blasphemy is a page turner that is thoughtful, provocative, and controversial -- there is something to make everyone think twice about what they believe. Preston tackles the nature of religious belief, the philosophy of science, the nature of fundamentalist religion, politics, cultural hegemony, ethics, and much more -- all embedded in a thriller that will leave you breathless but wanting more. At the heart of the book is the question: Why are we here? Don’t start reading this at night -- you might not want to put it down! Related Links

1 comment:

  1. Steve,
    To lengthen your list of recent books on this, there is the golden compass which was made into a movie.
    I enjoy this blog. Keep up the good posts!