Angels & Demons

As many will know, Angels & Demons is a rather appalling, if highly successful, book by Dan Brown.

Director Ron Howard is presently working on the movie version of the novel, following up on his previous rendition of another bestseller by Brown, The Da Vinci Code. Tom Hanks will be starring in the movie, in the role of professor Robert Langdon, which he had covered in the previous one as well.

I learned today that the Vatican had denied access to its premises for the shooting, as it had previously done for the Da Vinci Code, on account that the movie “offends common religious feelings”.

As you may know, the novel start with a murder of a physicist taking place at CERN and the theft of an absurd amount of anti-matter in order to set-up an unlikely anti-matter bomb. The process of anti-matter production, the physics involved and the laboratory itself are also described in a rather ludicrous manner. Such that CERN felt obliged to rectify a few questions in one of its public web pages.

I was wondering if the movie plan was requiring some shooting at the CERN site, so I had a look and discovered that it was indeed so. And, guess what, not only CERN management apparently had already granted access to the site, but CERN physicists had helped to get some physics issues straight in the script.

I have still some reserve about the likely result, but this is not the main point. What is worth noticing is the different behavior of CERN and the catholic church administrators.

It could well be that in the novel the church has been treated in a worse way than science or CERN had been. Or they are more easily offended. Or less tolerant. Or again, could be that science is less vulnerable than religion to what adds up to a fair amount of essentially innocuous bullshit wrapped around a cleverly devised plot.

And could be that this has something to do with science being based on facts and logic rather than faith. Up to you to decide.

For me, I’m rather happy to be on the side of Angels, this time. Or are we the Demons?

Well, whatever.


2 Responses to “Angels & Demons”

  1. jtankers Says:

    “innocuous bullshit wrapped around a cleverly devised plot”

    Want to read a real-live cleverly devised plot, read the following Wikipedia article:

    Or read the main page at, talk about science being based on faith!

  2. Roberto Says:

    Jtankers, this time I had recovered your comment from the SPAM repository, where it was aptly put by the more-clever-than-I-thought WordPress Akismet SPAM filter.

    I have already posted what I think about the subject, here.
    Jokingly, I admit. But more serious people than me had taken their time to go through the question, see for instance this very well written and documented post.

    The questions about the potential danger of LHC are scientifically sound, if very far fetched, and deserve a proper scientific answer. Which had already been provided, more than once. What I don’t appreciate is the unscientific attitude behind some people who try to raise irrational fears. Irrational fears had been behind many of the worst tragedies in human history. I don’t think in this case there is any danger of real harm being done, but somehow I don’t like the concept.

    And I don’t approve either spamming serial comments to any post on the blogosphere which appear to have a CERN tag. Therefore it’s highly likely I will let Akismet do its job next time and leave any further comment of yours where it belongs.


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