Wednesday, May 17, 2006


The Da Vinci Code and Discovery's War on Fact and Fiction

It's no secret that erudite intelligent design "theorists" and their less sophisticated country cousins, creation "scientists," are troubled by facts.

The Discovery Institute's effort to create a "broadly theistic understanding of nature" has been stymied again and again by small but stubborn facts. Perhaps, that's why they find gaps – such as the fossil gap AKA the missing link -- so congenial.

Their preferred terrain, though foggy and somewhat insubstantial, has the virtue of having been cleared of all the pesky facts over which those great thinkers might stumble.

Until recently, however, we were unaware that those engaged in rearguard action against the "materialist worldview" were at war with fiction, as well.

These days, when the Discovery Institute isn't railing against malefactors such as "activist judges" and Darwinists, its fellows are strapping on rusty swords and aiming their broken lances at Dan Brown's best selling novel, The Da Vinci Code.

Back in April, Discovery sponsored a lecture by Mark Shea, co-author with Ted Sri of The Da Vinci Deception, at windmill central in Seattle.

Now, Discovery fellow David Klinghoffer has published an article, "The Da Vinci Protocols," explaining why Jews should worry about Dan Brown’s book and the soon to be released film adaptation starring Tom Hanks.

According to Klinghoffer, the conspiracy that drives the plot in The Da Vinci Code "bears a remarkable resemblance to another phony conspiracy, the famous hoax called the Protocols of the Elders of Zion."

Not only that, the Priory of Sion is one of the secret societies that figures in the plot of Brown's novel. Zion and Sion. Get it? Get it? Wink wink, nudge nudge.

Why should the Discovery Institute, a think tank devoted solely, they tell us, to the disinterested pursuit of scientific knowledge be concerned about a popular entertainment such as Dan Brown's novel and spinoff film?

Although Klinghoffer absolves Brown of conscious anti-Semitism, he clearly wants to use the novel to bring Jews into the coalition of right-wing Catholics, Protestants, and Muslims who are calling for a boycott of the film.

Could it be that the real agenda is a little broader than the modern day men of La Mancha – now relocated to Seattle – let on?

Here's another question. If the "teach the controversy" crowd were to somehow find itself in a position to decide for the rest of us, would we still be allowed to read and watch blasphemous books and films such as The Da Vinci Code?


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