In this Hugo-nominated novel, an alien walks into a museum and asks if he can see a paleontologist. But the arachnid ET hasn't come aboard a rowboat with the Pope and Stephen Hawking (although His Holiness does request an audience later). Landing at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the spacefarer, Hollus, asks to compare notes on mass extinctions with resident dino-scientist Thomas Jericho. A shocked Jericho finds that not only does life exist on other planets, but that every civilization in the galaxy has experienced extinction events at precisely the same time. Armed with that disconcerting information (and a little help from a grand unifying theory), the alien informs Jericho, almost dismissively, that the primary goal of modern science is to discover why God has behaved as he has and to determine his methods.
BONUS AUDIO: Author Robert J. Sawyer explains how the creationism vs. evolution debate informed the writing of Calculating God.
Robert J Sawyer is very public about the fact that he is an athiest.
This is a very thought provoking book. Try to keep an open mind.
This book cleverly dresses up Western Intelligent Design in a modern setting with sci-fi trappings. It will appeal to those wanting to see these ideas projected into an entertaining young-adult fiction read. Character development is a bit shallow and some of the plot seems odd, there are significant logical issues... But logic has never been a priority to Intelligent Design proponents. It is a good story. Like any salesman, the very good ones sell without you being aware they are selling anything. The merely average sell in a less graceful manner, and this is the case here.