Dr. Sellers Crain
TH 672, Christology, Mid-Term Paper
12 October 2006
Dan Brown\u2019s book The Da Vinci Code has become a phenomenal best seller. Dan
Brown wants the reader to believe that the book reveals various secrets hidden by the
Roman Catholic Church. Brown centers many of the clues of deception of the Catholic
Church upon the paintings of Leonardo Da Vinci. In the book, Brown poses the
question about the Mona Lisa, \u201cDo you know why she is smiling\u201d (Brown 109)? A
better question for the reader becomes, \u201cWhy is Dan Brown smiling? Brown is smiling
all the way to the bank. As of May 2006, the book, The Da Vinci Code has sold over
60.5 million copies (\u201cThe Da Vinci Code, \u201cWikipedia). In addition, the movie based
upon the book has a worldwide gross exceeding three quarters of a billion dollars
(Boxofficemojo.com). Brown has turned blasphemy into a worldwide best-selling book
and into a blockbuster movie.
Jesus, Christianity, and the Bible. Some might say, \u201cWhy bother arguing about a book
that is admittedly a novel of fiction?\u201d Clearly, the reason for challenging the book
becomes factually representing the true Jesus, Christianity, and the Bible. Brown
skillfully weaves a suspense novel with appearances of facts attempting to skew fantasy
and reality. The danger of the book lies with an uneducated reader on the history of
the Bible and the Church. Although Brown admits that the book is a work of fiction, he
shrewdly states, \u201cAll descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals
in this novel are accurate\u201d (1).
By Brown stating, \u201cAll \u2026 documents\u2026 are accurate\u201d he confuses the average
reader into believing a series of lies. First, accuracy has a different meaning than
Accuracy is the degree of veracity while precision is the degree of reproducibility. Theanalo gy used here to explain the difference between accuracy and precision is the target comparison.
In this analogy, repeated measurements are compared toarrows
that are fired at a target. Accuracy describes the closeness of arrows to
thebu llseye at the target center. Arrows that strike closer to the bullseye
are considered more accurate. The closer a system's measurements to
the accepted value, the more accurate the system is considered to be.
To continue the analogy, if a large number of arrows are fired, precision
would be the size of the arrow cluster. (When only one arrow is fired,
precision is the size of the cluster onewoul d expect if this were repeated
many times under the same conditions.) When all arrows are grouped
tightly together, the cluster is considered precise since they all struck close
to the same spot, if not necessarily near the bullseye. The measurements
are precise, though not necessarily accurate.
However, it isnot possible to reliably achieve accuracy in individual
measurements without precision \u2014 if the arrows are not grouped close to
one another, they cannot all be close to the bullseye. (Theiraverag e
position might be an accurate estimation of the bullseye, but the
individual arrows are inaccurate.) (\u201cAccuracy,\u201dWik ipedia)
Another view depicts precision as the error contained in the test sample. With less
precision, the uncertainty grows as to the true value represented. \u201cA few other notes
on the subject: precision is the limit on accuracy; with the removal of mistakes and
systematic errors, precision equals accuracy\u201d (\u201cAccuracy,\u201dPosit ion). Therefore, one can
be accurate but have errors. The error grows as you have less precision, but the
accuracy may stay unchanged. One may ask the question, \u201cIs The Da Vinci Code
accurate?\u201d Depending upon your perspective you may answer, \u201cYes.\u201dThe Da Vinci
each time numerous errors flood the overall landscape. Brown\u2019s use of the word
accurate projects enough ambiguity for defense, but allows wiggle room for error.
Many readers will mistake the word \u201caccurate\u201d to have the same meaning as \u201ctruth.\u201d
However, truth contains no errors, omissions, or mistakes. Brown may consider his
book accurate, but the information contained inside is far from the truth.
Sadly, our society today gravitates better to a well-told lie than to the truth. Holy Scripture confirms our willingness to believe a lie. \u201cWho exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever\u201d (NKJV, Romans 1:25). For some, even obvious fables are more compelling
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