Author and computer systems designer Gregg Braden wrapped this entire book around the premise that God's name is literally encoded into every human body. According to Braden's logic, the basic elements of DNA--hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and carbon--directly translate into specific letters of the Hebrew alphabets (YHVA), which then translate into the original name of God. Braden's hope is that knowing that God's signature is carried within each cell of the estimated six billion humans on earth will give humankind the evidence we need to overcome our differences and renew our faith:
Beyond Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Shinto, Native, Aboriginal, white, black, red, or yellow; man, woman, or child, the message reminds us that we are human. As humans, we share the same ancestors and exist as the children of the same Creator. In the moments that we doubt this one immutable truth, we need look no further than the cells of our body to be reminded. This is the power of the message within our cells.
One could argue that this melding of spirituality and science may be the next frontier in human evolution. Nonetheless, skeptics could also argue that this DNA=YHVA equation is an eerie coincidence, instead of a quantum breakthrough--like folding a $20 bill in a certain shape and seeing the twin towers in flames (Braden dispels such skepticism by asserting that the "odds that this relationship has occurred by chance are approximately 1 in 200,000"). This is neither a consistent or easy read. Some passages are filled with dense, analytical stretches of cross referencing ancient texts with modern science. Others are more prosaic as Braden explains his beautifully optimistic hope for peace on Earth. --Gail Hudson
From Publishers Weekly
In this dense, tangent-filled book, bestselling author Braden (The Isaiah Effect) argues that every human being has the name of God literally embedded in his or her DNA. Braden's research relies heavily on the kabalistic technique of assigning numerical values to each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. He begins by correlating the essential elements of the human body (hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and carbon) to their Hebrew equivalents, then he calculates their alpha/numeric values and finds that these elements spell out the Hebrew letters for God-YHVH. Braden attempts to make his explanations of this complicated process clear and free of scientific jargon. Despite his efforts, however, the chapters tend to drag, and the book contains many unnecessary digressions. He actually spends the first half of the volume discussing the theories of creationism and evolutionism, so that he doesn't reach his God-DNA arguments until midway through the book. After he does explain his finding, Braden spends the last section of the book ruminating on its possible implications. He speculates that "through the primal act of creating human life, God shared a part of himself as he 'breathed his breath' into our species." He wonders if "we will allow...the diversity within Christian, Hebrew, and Muslim values" to divide the world irrevocably. He speaks of scientists who believe it is possible for humans to one day live in a perfect world, free from disease, decay and war, should man truly understand that every person, no matter what race or religion, is made of the same stuff, and made by the same creator. Braden's message of unity is an appealing one, but this book's rambling style makes for a laborious read.
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