As happens so often, I began Douglas Preston’s Blasphemy with high hopes and ended up disappointed.
Short version: a former CIA operative turned private investigator is asked to infiltrate a group of scientists who have been trying to get the world’s biggest particle accelerator up and running for ten weeks and who claim one delay after another. It turns out that, upon powering up the machine completely, they receive bizarre messages, which they attribute to hackers’ malware. When they begin taking the messages seriously (somewhat) and leave the machine running at full power, the message claims to be God.
It seems to me that the basic problem with people trying to write superintelligent beings – at least, those foolish enough to attempt it – is that they’re not only not smart enough to generate such behavior but not smart enough to fake it plausibly. The spot where the whole story really started falling apart for me was when the mysterious voice claimed that science and religion had the same goal: truth.
That’s so, so deeply wrong. Religion is a substitute or placeholder for the inability to find satisfying answers to questions, particularly questions about the nature of everything and the meaning of our life events. It is inherently and diametrically opposed to science.
The book ends… annoyingly. And that’s all I have to say.