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I have just finished reading in French translation a 700-page Portuguese novel entitled “A Formula di Deus” (“The God Formula”; English title “The Einstein Enigma”).  It is a good read, but perhaps not the successor to “The Da Vinci Code” some critics claim it to be.  This gripping yarn is based on an historical meeting between Einstein and Israel’s Prime Minister, Ben Gurion, at Princeton University in 1951.  Central to the plot is the great scientist’s “Gottesformel”, the coded “God Formula” he revealed in that private encounter, which was believed to be Einstein’s formula for a new super nuclear bomb.  The story, featuring a Portuguese “cryptologist” – to match Dan Brown’s “symbologist” – takes us to places like Teheran and Tibet and is filled with drama along with a modicum of sex (curiously absent in the Da Vinci code), but also with long scientific explanations, linguistic analysis and even biblical exegesis which bring the action to a standstill.  These discourses provide a crash-course in contemporary scientific research and touch on many of the questions discussed in this Blog, including the Big Bang, the expansion of the Universe, the purpose of Creation and above all a “scientific proof” of the existence of God !

Before you decide to tackle this hefty volume, you might take a few minutes to watch the video of the author, José Rodrigues di Santos, in which he plugs his book pretty convincingly – in English !  Naturally I was hooked from the very first pages, and didn’t even mind the lectures for non-scientists like me.  The author’s thesis that Chapter One of Genesis is already a coded compendium of science, where the Six Days of Creation are shown to be a cryptic description of the fifteen billion years since the Big Bang, raised a smile from me, but added to the fun.  Tolle, lege !

P.S.   “In cauda venenum”  :  In spite of the author’s imitation of Brown’s introduction  insisting on the accuracy of the data presented in the novel, historical for Brown, scientific for Santos, his yarn remains a novel, requiring a certain suspension of belief.  But it does maintain the . . . suspense to the very end.  The final, laborious revelation of the God Formula will, predictably, be a disappointment.  But as the flirtacious young lady says in the Schweppes’ ad : “What did you expect ?”