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“Science and religion are not at odds. Science is simply too young to understand.”

For several years, scientific researches have always been in contrast with spiritual convictions. While some scientists proliferate weapons of mass destruction and clone living creatures, religious advocates beg them to use restraint and likewise consider the moral implications of such actions.

Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons proved that these two disciplines, though engaged in a seemingly endless ancient warfare, could indeed transcend all differences and come together to reinforce one another and rectify all faults. Aptly plotted and intricately paced, the novel weaved together the secret nuclear research of Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (CERN) and the archaic and modern secrets of Vatican.

The thrilling turn of events started with the introduction of Robert Langdon, professor of religious iconology and art history at Harvard University. He was awakened at an unholy hour in the morning via a phone call from Maximilian Kohler direction of CERN, the world’s largest scientific research in Geneva, Switzerland. One of their top physicists, Leonardo Vetra, was murdered with his chest branded with the word Illuminati, considered to be the symbol of the world’s most powerful satanic cult which stood as an adversary to the church. As someone with an adept knowledge on this secret society, Kohler summoned Langdon’s help to solve the murder.

Ironically, the murder victim was a Catholic priest turned physicist. What’s more peculiar was he adopted a daughter named Vittoria, also a scientist at CERN and resident guru of Hatha yoga. Accepting these mind-boggling circumstances sets the entire story in motion.

Through Vetra’s invention of antimatter, he wanted to simulate the Big Bang and prove that God exists, being able to create new matter and antimatter in the same way God created the universe. He and his daughter used the world’s largest particle accelerator to create antimatter, and then suspended the antimatter properly in canisters so that it wouldn’t interact with matter. If a canister was removed from the electrical system which kept the matter and antimatter separated, backup batteries would serve the same purpose for 24 hours. When these 24 hours expire, the two would collide in an instantaneous explosion of unprecedented power.

With Vetra’s death, the canister was stolen and became a threat to Vatican City. However, they didn’t know where exactly in Vatican was the canister placed. Langdon and Vittoria were quickly sent off to Rome and Vatican City to help find the canister and return it to CERN before it explodes at midnight.
Langdon and Vittoria raced against time. They dug through archives and ancient mysteries to find clues, which required an extensive background in art history and religious symbology. This made Robert Langdon the expert tour guide who did his best to educate without seeming superior with his own intelligence. The two of them were constantly one step behind the Illuminati and death stalked them at every turn, in one form or another.

With the intense suspense that never seemed to wane, the story ended enthralling, without casualties from the explosion of matter and the antimatter collision.

Angels and Demons was packed with twists and shocking events that could make the readers wired right up until the last page. The author really excelled himself in creating intellectual forays among readers because of the intriguing information rationally and critically presented.

The novel was an insightful and lucid examination of the ever present dichotomy of religion and science. It also served as a tangible proof that both could serve as vessels through which man could understand God. Science has technical proofs. Religion has immaculate logic. Both aim for man’s goodness. Both are genius. Thus, a halt to intellectual clashes by accepting each other’s views will prove to be advantageous. After all, genius accepts genius, unconditionally.

by Anjenelle Amante


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