Friday, May 26, 2006

Interesting detail criticising the "Da Vinci Code" 

Consider how genealogy actually works. Go back 80 generations (2000 years), and your family tree has one septillion slots to fill. If Jesus had any living descendents today, He'd have millions of them. Almost the only way there could be just one surviving heir is if the dynasty had relentlessly inbred so incestuously that the latest Magdalenian would have three eyes.

# posted by Steve Sailer ::

That's funny, I didn't think of this when I read the book, not that I ever liked biology at school. And not that one needs to study biology to understand this, but it didn't even spring up for me. So true. But if Brown had written that Jesus had spawned millions of descendants, it becomes drabby and dilluted as the "biggest coverup story of humankind," very different than one mysterious line of a few exclusive "royal" ones. If everybody were a "celebrity," no one would want to be one. Talk about a bit of psycho-babble wisdom ;-)

Although the above is a nice little revelation about the incongruency of one plot detail in the book, I still think that such factual critiques don't matter at all in determining if someone will believe in Christianity or Dan Brown - both of which compile a ton of illogical claims not based on fact. The need for religion does not stem from what would be an analysis of logical or factual claims, that is posterior to psychological, social, and emotional needs - which make people justify whatever religious claims they chose to believe in, no matter how logically or factually absurd to non-believers.

On the other hand, I don't recall seeing Christians/Catholics furious that other people are "blindly" believing non-dogmatic claims to basic tenants of Christianity. Atheists never made a big cultural splash with their ideas, not that they are small in number, but they have often taken the logical or historical fact approach to analysing religious claims. However the Christian reaction was not so much anger but to always deem them fools, dismissing them as clueless children - in other words, there was no feeling of threat. Obviously this is a very modern reaction, very different than you "burn all the heretics" type of reaction from the past.

Maybe I was too small (or not around) when some other modern dogma questioning scandals happened, like when there were the first big scandals regarding authors/books/movies that suggested that Christ was a common man and not a deity - which I don't even know exactly at which date it happened - I mean in the last decades, not in the 19th century. Maybe in the 60s - that's when it became significantly tumultuous.

In a way, it's almost as if Christians didn't mind that much if someone was totally unreligious, as they mind if someone comes along and completely tampers with and rewrites their Christian dogmas. And I can understand this difference because certainly the second one seems to undermine much more their claimed authority regarding the absolute truth.

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