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"DNA Embraces the Planets"

Courtesy of Jon Lomberg, Copyright 2014 Jon Lomberg


Emmy Award winning science artist, the original COSMOS TV series


Below is Jon Lomberg's assessment of my story and its science, in his own words.


Just a little background info: I contacted Jon's website a while back when building this website and asked permission to use his "Infinite Regression" image because it illustrates a main theme in my story.  I expected an assistant to reply. Instead, after checking out my website, Jon sent me an email requesting more info about my book. "I'm intrigued," he stated. We've been emailing each other about science, religion (he's definitely NOT Catholic) and the Big Questions ever since. Eventually, I asked him to critique my story. Here's what he wrote:




Dear Robert,


I settled in for a good read of your background materials and the chapter.First, let me say I found the writing both good storytelling and extremely visual. It was very easy for me to visualize the different scenes, You describe light and color in ways that make it easy to imagine. I loved the idea of painting with light, luminous paint on luminous canvas, etc.


The deprivation of light that kills the tree is very evocative of Tolkien: the White Tree in Valinor whose magical light is captured in the silmarils, then the tree is slain by Morgoth; and the tree houses of Lothlorien, with glowing lights festooning the trees. Not sure if you are a Tolkien fan, but it seemed to me almost like an homage, equating magic with light.


As for the cosmology-- it's pretty clear that nobody knows what the hell is going on. The simple Big Bang is out-of-date, with nested Universes, multiple timelines in parallel branes, the weak and strong anthropic principles…. it's hard to believe that we are anywhere close to "the answer", which I suspect we are too primitive to understand even if it were explained. The Universe clearly is completely counter-intuitive. Einstein said the greatest mystery of all was why there was anything and not just nothing.


So dream universes that have their own reality; sure why not? In one of Heinlein's better late books, the Number of the Beast, the heroes end up in a Universe populated with characters from Heinlein's other books.There's an old Roman saying that Rome is an eternal idea in the mind of God. The notion that the Universe is really a single giant thought seems as reasonable to me as anything else. I approached the same notion in the attached painting (top left), which compares messages between planets (sharing information) is a giant-sized version of the nucleotide bases in DNA, doing the same thing. Maybe the Galaxy is the DNA of some unimaginable deity?


There have been many astronomical explanation proposed for the Star of Bethlehem, but yours is the first to speculate that it was a white hole. I like it!




So, for anyone looking for a novel with some intellectual depth and well as good storytelling, give my enovel a try. It's a lot more than just a Christmas story -- a lot more. (Science and religion aren't necessarily the foes that most may think; just the opposite. Think of science as the thoughts of God. Because they are.)


Thanks to Jon for all the help and kind words.

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