“Why The Dumb Vinci Code matters to America, you and I ,” by Razib, Gene Expression, 22 May 2006, http://scienceblogs.com/gnxp/2006/05/why_the_dumb_vinci_code_matter.php (from gnxp).
I’ve criticized Bart Ehrman before, so I sympathize completely with this:
Below GrrlScientist asks why The Da Vinci Code is “bad history.” I believe it is bad history because someone whose work I respect and have enjoyed has pointed out manifold errors, including in a book which covered this ground. His name is Bart Ehrman, and he is the head of Religious Studies at UNC. I’ve read two of his books, Lost Christianities and Misquoting Jesus. Ehrman went through a phase of fundamentalist Christianity, but his need to know the New Testament in the original led him to learning Latin and Greek, and a Ph.D. In the process, he became an agnostic.
For me, the biggest problem with The Da Vinci Code is that the fundamentalists are right! All the critiques that the fundamentalists make about The Da Vinci Code have a lot of truth in them, and when I’m agreeing with fundamentalists, something is wrong. It puts them on the same side as the majority of Biblical scholars, and that hasn’t happened in a long time. Instead of “refuting” scholarly debunkings of the inerrant or literal character of the Bible, fundamentalists are now drawing from the wellspring of New Testament scholarship to debunk a rival superstition.
The whole tragedy of this, of course, is that the Code‘s predecessors, Holy Blood, Holy Grail and Gabriel Knight III: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned were extremely good. And if you just want some literary-thriller sort of work, The Rule of Four is better too.