Sunday, August 15, 2004


Calculating God by Robert Sawyer

This was this months book for the discussion group. I have to say that I very much enjoyed it although I had my doubts at first. It was about a group of aliens visiting earth and working with a paleontologist. They discover that their worlds have corresponding extinction dates. Hollus (the alien) puts it down to God and is shocked to discover that Tom (the paleontologist) doesn't believe this.

I was a little weary about God being scientifically proven to exist. Although I was intrigued by the fact that Hollus and his people didn't worship God. They saw God as an intelligence. A being that created life for its own purpose. However, if it was me I would be like Tom and would still need what he calls a 'smoking gun'.

As I neared the end of the book I thought that it was basically about a dying man and his decision about whether or not to accept God into what life he had left. The God the aliens proposed existed was one that maybe he could accept but only if he had evidence of it.

There was more to it than that though. It was also about nature and how all creatures instinctively procreate to survive. I liked the humour in the book and I was impressed by the amount of research the author must have done. One thing that did disappoint me was that it didn't go back to Earth in the end but I guess that wasn't the point of the book. That would have been another story altogether. It was an interesting read and I would highly recommend it.

One last thing I would like to mention. Being a Star Trek fan one of the things I did like about the book was the references to various Star Trek episodes.

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