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Dan Brown's inspiration: priest's silence on origins of humans

2018/05/25 18:39:16

Dan Brown

Taipei, May 25 (CNA) Dan Brown, author of the renowned novel "The Da Vinci Code," said in Taipei on Friday that a source of inspiration for his books that often pit science against religion was a priest who avoided his question about the origins of human beings.

Growing up in a Christian family, Brown said he was familiar with the Bible but became confused at the age of 9 when he was introduced to the idea of evolution at a science exhibition.

It led him to wonder if it was religion or science that offered the right answer in explaining the existence of human beings.

But when he approached a priest with that doubt, what he got was "nice boys don't ask that question," Brown remembered during a stop on an Asian tour to promote his latest book, "Origin" and its recently released Chinese-language version.

That unanswered question thus became Brown's lifelong quest and inspired his efforts to promote a dialogue to overcome tensions between science and religion, a theme that runs through many of his works.

The origin of "Origin," he said, was a piece of music called "Missa Charles Darwin" because the song's lyrics, all words from Darwin who wrote "On the Origin of Species," made a deep impression on him.

Brown said he hoped "Origin" could help contribute to the debate between science and religion on their implications for how humans came to exist and encourage discussion about that and where humans are headed.

"I am excited about 'Origin' because it is the combination of all of these novels in some way, and it really gets to the core of these big questions," he said.

Personally, Brown said, he felt that the definition of God and the implications of religion might change.

"We will slowly move away from God up there and eventually realize that we, as a group, as a species, as a collective consciousness, are actually the divine, and that God is present in all of us, whatever that may mean," he said.

In sharing his passion for writing, Brown said he published his first book at the age of 5 by dictating a story and asking his mother to write it down.

The book was titled "The Giraffe, the Pig, and the Pants on Fire," which Brown joked was "obviously a thriller."

Though he only arrived in Taiwan on Thursday, Brown said he has been impressed by Taiwanese culture and art during his stay, and that he has already visited the Taipei 101 skyscraper and plans to see more of the city.

He said he would not rule out the possibility of using Taiwan as a backdrop in his future works, but cleared up rumors that he will be writing a novel called "Taichi Code" after just concluding a book campaign in China.

Brown said he was not yet knowledgeable enough about Chinese culture to write a book about it.

Brown will meet with his fans on Saturday and give a lecture at that event, before leaving Taiwan on Sunday for Japan to promote his novel there.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)
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