My SCRAPBOOK (సేకరణలు): A COLLECTION of articles in English and Telugu(తెలుగు), from various sources, on varied subjects. I do not claim credit for any of the contents of these postings as my own.A student's declaration made at the end of his answer paper, holds good to the articles here too:"I hereby declare that the answers written above are true to the best of my friend's knowledge and I claim no responsibility whatsoever of the correctness of the answers."

Sunday, November 23, 2014

1662- Dan Brown (of 'Da Vinci Code') on Science and Religion

(TOI, Chennai, 12:11:2014)
Both science and religion played very important roles in Dan's life, as his mother was a church organist and his father ,a math teacher .
There are two types of miracles -science and religion, and a child's perception of both always depends on his parents. I had a religiously Christian mother and a math professor father. I have the number plates of my parents' cars. My mother's reads `Kyrie' -which means `Lord' in Greek -while my dad's read `Metric', so I had an amalgam of both science and religion in my garage itself, and that represents the environment I grew up in.
When I was a child, in the summer, we used to go this house by the lake and have family services there. We'd all get on a canoe and pray on the lake. It was excruciatingly boring without the pipe organ, the incense and the free doughnuts of the church. I wondered how to make it interesting, and I heard God's voice say, `Bring a fishing rod'. My mom said it was disrespectful, and I tried to justify it by saying, `If God didn't want me to go fishing, then why did he make fish so delicious?' My mom won, of course, as she was very difficult to argue with. She said Sunday was a day of rest, so, no fishing rod. I got my own back when I invoked the `rest day' logic and refused to paddle the canoe on the way back.
Concurrent with my mother's religion was my dad's logic and science. They both revered the beauty of nature, but with different lenses. He would talk about space, infinity and the universe. Baby carrots were his tool to teach us about conic sections, and we had to make a hyperbola with carrot crossections. When we went to the pizza place, he would calculate the area and diameter of the `pi' --figuring out the best pizza deal.
When my parents visited the set of The Da Vinci Code, I was scared that my dad would go to the director and start suggesting more oblique angles. But with my mother, I worried that she might swoon all over Tom Hanks. WE ALL SENSE GOD, WHETHER WE BELIEVE IN SCIENCE OR RELIGION
As Dan grew older , he began to question the different approaches science and religion had when explaining the universe and its beginning Science has exciting proofs and religion demands your faith. Christianity was a reality, a fact, for me, till I was 13, after which I started questioning. I questioned which of the two theories about the beginning were true ­ God created the universe or the Big Bang, evolution or the biblical version of Adam and Eve. When I asked a priest how to make sense of these differences, he said, `Nice boys don't ask such questions.' Humans hate not understanding something and being in a void. Earlier, people had a God for everything they didn't understand.They explained the unknown with God ­ earthquakes, infertility, thunder, and even love. But then sci ence kicked in and explained exactly what thunder was, and Thor went from fact to myth.
But, as the study of science went deeper, the ground began to get softer. When the questions became difficult, science became vague and terms like `The Uncertainty Principle', `margin for error' and the `Theory of Relativity' sneaked in. Physics turns into metaphysics and numbers become imaginary numbers. Even matter came into question ­ particle physics now believes that matter is nothing but pure energy .
That is when the line between science and religion begins to blur. What I have come to accept is that science and religion are partners. They are simply two different languages, attempting to tell the same story .
Regardless of religious beliefs, I think that we all have that one moment when we look up at the sky and stare up at the universe, and ask, `What is that?' and we know, that whatever it is, it's bigger than us. I think it's in that moment that we all sense God, whatever or whoever we think God is. And I believe that all religion is the same, because if our spiritual belief is the same, then how can and why should the religions that exist be any different? All religion teaches the same thing ­ kindness over cruelty, creation over destruction and love over hate.. .

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