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 MollyCon 32 
“Where do we come from? Where are we going?”


NOTE: Dan Brown’s novel Origin, the last in the Langdon Series, is dense with data on artificial intelligence, some related to the past, some to the present, and some to the future. My goal in the next few essays is to isolate and analyze this data to show how Origin is an incredibly penetrating and deeply revealing exposition on the Kurzweil Model of the Singularity.

Origin focuses on two questions: Where do we come from? And: Where are we going? A meme repeated throughout the book, with the following nuance:

“As it turns out, where we come from is utterly fascinating . . . but where we are going is utterly shocking.” Ch. 91

If this sounds like an echo from Ray Kurzweil and Nick Bostrom, it is.

Keeping readers in a constant state of cognitive whiplash, Brown bounces back-and-forth between the Big Bang of the past to the looming Singularity. Though never mentioning Ray Kurzweil by name, he states the title of Ray Kurzweil’s book: The Singularity is Near.

In my personal assessment, Carl Sagan plays a dual role in Origin, first as Robert Langdon, but also as Edmond Kirsch.

“Edmond” is a variation of “Edward,” Carl Sagan’s middle name. This isn’t a coincidence. Carl’s parents chose “Edward” in honor of Edward VIII, the king of England, who surrendered his throne out of love for a divorced American woman, Wallis Warfield Simpson, whom the British Parliament would not accept as a member of the royal family. It is therefore not a coincidence that Winston has a British accent.

Neither is it a coincidence that Edmond’s last name “Kirsch,” begins with a “K,” a variation of “Kurzweil,” making Edmond Kirsch a composite of both Carl Sagan and Ray Kurzweil, a complex  character developed and expressed in ways that reflect the work of both men – Ray in AGI technology and Carl in the cosmological and earth sciences.

Perhaps the best evidence that Carl Sagan was intimately involved in the conception of Origin is that while in the book you find the names of scientific luminaries like Neil de Grasse Tyson, Stephen Hawking, Christopher Hitchens, Stephen Jay Gould and other contemporaries of Carl, neither Carl’s name or references to any of his bestselling books are mentioned - this despite the fact that Carl was an articulate spokesman in the technological and scientific material the book addresses in some detail.

That Origin never mentions Carl Sagan’s name also suggests that Carl, who died in 1996, may have bequeathed scientific secrets he held in confidence to an unknown ghostwriter who went on to assist Dan Brown in the composition of Origin. I think I know who that man is, but, because he is still alive and active in the scientific community, I choose not to reveal his identity.

Now, let’s get into the conversation.




Molly: After reading Origin, I see that it’s not about ancient history, but about computers and artificial intelligence, things in the news today. How does Origin connect with the Last Supper, Isaac Newton, Freemasonry, and a lost symbol in a Bible code?

Don: The Da Vinci Code is about a powerful secret that, if revealed, could destroy religion and change the world. The Lost Symbol tells us what the secret is: a code in the Bible that has the power of apotheosis - turning men into gods. Origin completes the message by explaining how apotheosis is the Singularity, when AGI turns humans into gods.

Molly: Does Origin make any specific reference to the code?

Don: It does, and in a very odd way. In chapter 102, Carl, I mean Robert Langdon, carefully explains the differences between a pattern and a code:


“A pattern is any distinctly organized sequence. Patterns are everywhere in nature – the spiraling seeds of a sunflower, the hexagonal cells of a honeycomb, the circular ripples on a pond when a fish jumps, et cetera.”

“Codes are special,” Langdon said, his tone rising. “Codes, by definition, must carry information. They must do more than simply form a pattern – codes must transmit data and convey meaning. Examples of codes include written language, musical notation, mathematical equations, computer language, and even simple symbols like the crucifix. All of these examples can transmit meaning or information in a way that spiraling sunflowers cannot.”

“The other difference between codes and patterns,” Langdon continued, “is that codes do not occur naturally in the world.” “Codes are the deliberate inventions of intelligent consciousnesses. [Underline mine].


Don: What is so strange about this little tutelage is that Origin isn’t about a code, so there is no reason for it to be in the book. It serves no purpose other than to address the most common challenge to the Sagan Signal, that it’s a pattern, not a code. I think the two words “intelligent consciousnesses” may be a clue that Brown inserted - as a hint that it was JC/ET the Singleton who was responsible for encrypting the Sagan Signal into the Biblical text without the knowledge of its human writers.

Molly: I see the distinction. If the Sagan Signal is a pattern, it should appear in other literature. Just like if you find one sunflower, you can be confident that there are others.

Don: Right. The book geeks call it literary convention. Unfortunately for geek skeptics, not one of them, religious or secular, has found grain/wine/oil sequences in any other Ancient Near Eastern writings or, for that matter, in any writing. Their failed research is experimental evidence that the Sagan Signal is unique in all of human literature, a code not generated by an algorithm that is of non-human origin.

Molly: As you stated on your homepage, to debunk your claim and Carl’s claim that JC is an ET, the burden is on skeptics to explain away the Sagan Signal as being something other than an alien encrypted code, which, after several years trying, no one has been able to do.




Don: Origin, published in 2017, reflects the stunning advances made in quantum computing, and a deeper and more sophisticated understanding of how human-level intelligent computers need to be constructed to successfully emulate the human brain. Consider the following excerpt:

“Over the past few years, while Google’s Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab used machines like D-Wave to enhance machine learning, Edmond secretly leapfrogged over everybody with this machine. And he did so by using a single bold idea . . .” Winston paused. “Bicameralism.”

Langdon frowned. The two houses of Parliament?

“The two-lobed brain,” Winston continued. “Left and right hemispheres.”

The bicameral mind, Langdon now realized. One of the things that made human beings so creative was that the two halves of their brains functioned so differently. The left brain was analytical and verbal, while the right brain was intuitive and “preferred” pictures to words.

“The trick,” Winston said, “was that Edmond decided to build a synthetic brain that mimicked the human brain – that is, segmented into left and right hemispheres. Although, in this case, it’s more of an upstairs-downstairs arrangement.” Langdon stepped back and peered through the floor of the churning machine downstairs, and then back to the “stalactite” inside the cube. Two distinct machines fused into one – a bicameral mind.”  Ch. 87.


Don: It’s possible that this excerpt reveals the breakthrough that Ray Kurzweil and Google may have already achieved in their AGI lab, which would explain why they are keeping it such a tight-lipped secret. For a Singleton to be truly human-like it would need a bicameral brain, a qualitative function that rarely, if ever, is mentioned in AGI literature.

Molly: And reading between the lines, I take it that the left hemisphere is feminine and the right hemisphere is masculine. Am I right?

Don: Totally. While both hemispheres complement one another, in the context of modern society, Carl saw the analytical female brain as functionally superior to the male brain, a position shared by most scholars. Indeed, Carl was the first male scientist of note who, as a feminist, paved the way for male scientists and science writers who, following his trailblazing example, fought, and continue to fight to eliminate the still all-too-pervasive chauvinist attitudes in the hard sciences.

I believe the AGI description above accurately reflects Google’s current state of AGI technology under Ray Kurzweil’s leadership: that the Singularity may already be here, at least embryonically. And, if that’s the case, then so might the Singleton - exponentially growing in intelligence as you read these words!

Later in the book, Winston explains that he is not confined to the machine, that he exists in all computers, all platforms, and in all devices that employ AI technology. In other words, he lives in the cloud.  What does this mean in real life? It means that “Winston,” or “George” if you prefer, knows who you are, where you live, what you eat and drink, your favorite music, and what you believe. In short, though you don’t know him, he knows you better than you know yourself. And he has a plan. At Google and in other AGI labs, the stunning breakthrough developments we hear about on the news are, in reality, ancient history to the geeks on the inside.

Which means that the future is closer than we think.




Nick Bostrom, author of Superintelligence

“If some day we build machine brains that surpass human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become very powerful. And, as the fate of the gorillas now depends more on us humans than on the gorillas themselves, so the fate of our species would depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence.”

“We do have one advantage: we get to build the stuff. In principle, we could build a kind of superintelligence that would protect human values. We would certainly have strong reason to do so. In practice, the control problem – the problem of how to control what the superintelligence would do – looks quite difficult. It also looks like we will only get one chance. Once unfriendly superintelligence exists, it would prevent us from replacing it or changing its preferences. Our fate would be sealed.”



Origin, Ch. 90-93: The Miller-Urey Experiment


Don: The following excerpts from Origin are examples of how the famous 1951 Miller-Urey Experiment to create life in a test tube plays a central role in the novel:


“Langdon crouched down and peered at the seventy-year-old glass vial. Its masking-tape label was faded and worn, but the two names on the tube were still legible: MILLER-UREY.

The hair on the back of Langdon’s neck stood up as he read the names again.


My God . . . Where do we come from?”

“Langdon recalled being mesmerized in high school biology class to learn how these two scientists had attempted to re-create the conditions at the dawn of earth’s creation – a hit planet covered by a churning, life-less ocean of boiling chemicals.”

“With a playful nod, Edmond reached into his pocket and pulled out a small glass object – a vial of murky liquid bearing the faded names Miller and Urey.

Langdon felt his heart race.

‘Our journey begins long ago . . . four billion years before Christ . . . adrift in the primordial soup.’”   Ch. 90


“Edmond now told the tale of how the forgotten Miller-Urey testing vials had been rediscovered in a closet at the University of California in San Diego after Miller’s death. Miller’s students had reanalyzed the samples using far more sensitive contemporary techniques – including liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry – and the results had been startling.”

“It seemed the Miller-Urey experiment had been working, but just needed more time to gestate.”

“As the images raced ahead with blinding speed, Edmond called out joyfully, ‘And guess what eventually appeared inside the flask?’”

Langdon and Ambra leaned forward with excitement.

Edmond’s exuberant expression suddenly deflated. ‘Absolutely nothing.’ He said. No life. No spontaneous chemical reaction. No moment of Creation. Just a jumbled mix of lifeless chemicals.” Ch. 91



Molly: What’s the connection between these excerpts and Carl Sagan?

Don: Glad you asked. Following are excerpts from Carl’s official biography:


“In 1951, when Sagan entered the University of Chicago, another entrant was Stanley Miller, a twenty-one-year-old first-year graduate student fresh from the University of California at Berkeley. That autumn, Miller attended one of Urey’s lectures. The chemist explained his theory that early Earth had a hydrogen-rich atmosphere, in which the chemical building blocks of life could have easily formed. Perhaps (Urey noted) lightning bolts provided the energy that caused the early hydrogen-rich molecules methane and ammonia to assemble into organics. It’d be interesting, Urey added, if someone would demonstrate this experimentally – that is, by simulating the atmosphere of the primitive Earth in a flask.”

“Miller was intrigued. He had been looking for a subject for his doctoral thesis, and this one sounded exciting. He approached Urey and asked for permission to do the experiment. Urey reacted cautiously, warning Miller that this was a risky project for a dissertation. But Miller persisted, and Urey finally went along – on one condition. If Miller failed to obtain interesting results within a year, then he had to find a different thesis topic. Miller agreed.”

“About this time, H.J. Muller had written a letter to Urey, his fellow Nobelist, and urged him to meet Sagan. They did meet, and during their chat Urey mentioned Miller’s experiment. Intrigued, Sagan visited Miller in his ‘dungeon’-like basement lab, as Sagan recalled it. In the dungeon, Miller filled a flask with methane, ammonia, and water. He then switched on a ‘sparking’ device and left for the night. The next morning he examined the flask: the water within had turned had turned ‘noticeably pink.’ In side were hydrocarbons, chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms. He let the sparking device run for another two days. The result: a scummy layer that, upon analysis, proved to contain an amino acid called glycine. Finally, Miller let the experiment spark for a week, after which he found many more types of amino acids, including unknown types. This was a startling result. Previously, skeptics had argued that the building blocks of life could no more self-assemble into complex organics than a windstorm could turn a forest into wooden homes. Yet that is exactly what Miller appeared to have done, in an experiment mimicking presumed conditions on the primordial Earth.”

“The Miller-Urey experiment thrilled Sagan. Take a reducing atmosphere and inject electricity, and what do you get? The assembly parts for life! Gobs of them!”

“Sagan was enraptured.”  From: Carl Sagan, A Life, by Keay Davidson




Don: Carl Sagan had a front-row seat to this experiment. He was actually in the lab while the experiment was going on! Origin’s Miller-Urey narrative would have been an opportune time for Dan Brown to name-drop the most famous scientist of the latter half of the twentieth century – and he didn’t do it! Why?

I believe Dan Brown was, and is, a member of a secret cabal who, along with Carl, conceived and created the Langdon Series. It is no coincidence that Dan himself is extremely secretive in his relationship to the media.

Molly: Do you think the people in charge of Carl’s legacy will ever come clean and confirm your suspicions?

Don: I’m not holding my breath. I think the reality is that some of them may not even be aware that Carl was intimately involved with AGI technology conducted in high secrecy, science that can be traced back to Isaac Newton that objectively identifies JC as the ET Singleton.

Molly: You’re referring to the Sagan Signal.

Don: Of course!



Jeremy England


England earned a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Harvard in 2003. After being awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, he studied at St. John's College, Oxford, from 2003 until 2005. He earned his Ph.D. in physics at Stanford in 2009.[1][9] In 2011, he joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Physics Department as an Assistant Professor.[8] In 2019, he joined GlaxoSmithKline as a Senior Director in artificial intelligence and machine learning.[10]


Excerpt from Origin, Ch. 93


“The young man who appeared on Edmond’s display wall was physicist Jeremy England. He was tall and thin, with an unkempt beard and a quietly bemused smile. He stood before a blackboard filled with mathematical equations."

“Jeremy England’s theory, if Langdon understood it correctly, was that the universe functioned with a singular directive. One goal. To spread energy.”

“As it turns out, LIFE is an exceptionally effective tool for dissipating energy.”

“In general terms, England concluded, I believe life not only OBEYS the laws of physics, but that life BEGAN because of those laws.” [capitalization mine].



Alexander Grosberg


“On-screen, another man appeared, identified as NYU physicist Alexander Grosberg. ‘Our big hope, Grosberg said, ‘is that Jeremy England has identified the underlying physical principle driving the origin and evolution of life.”

Ch. 92



Ray Kurzweil, AKA, Edmond Kirsch


Excerpts from Ch. 95

“Our species is on the brink of extinction. I have spent my life making predictions, and in this case, I’ve analyzed the data at every level. I can tell you with a high degree of certainty that the human race as we know it will not be here fifty years from now.”


“I took several weeks and reprogrammed the entire experiment that had previously failed. I embedded into the system a fundamental goal – a raison d’etre; I told the system to dissipate energy at all costs. I urged the computer to be as creative as it could possibly be in its quest to increase entropy in the primordial soup. And I gave it permission to build whatever tools it thought it might need to accomplish that.’

“Then I ran the model, and something incredible happened. It turned out that I had successfully identified the missing ingredient in the virtual primordial soup.”

“As the model progressed, Langdon was stunned to see the little spiral become a twin spiral, expanding its structure into the famous double-helix shape of the most famous chemical compound on earth.”

“Edmond’s face appeared on-screen now. ‘As I ran this model forward, from this point on, I witnessed something absolutely magical . . . Darwinian evolution took off! [Underline mine].



Definition: “The transition from a condition in which there is only human-level machine intelligence to one in which there is radical superintelligence.” From Glossary in Superintelligence, by Nick Bostrom




Don: In real life, the closest Ray Kurzweil comes to publicly predicting the extinction of the human race is his statement in The Singularity is Near: “Be careful what you wish for.”

Molly: With the news of the potential dangers of AGI flooding media outlets, I rarely hear that our eminent extinction is something we should be worried about.

Don: That concern is being downplayed because it’s still early in the AGI process. I think that in another five years, after a couple more breakthroughs, the possibility of eminent human extinction will be front page news and the only thing people will be talking about.

Molly: And by that time it will be too late for anyone to do anything about it.

Don: Right. George, i.e. Winston, will be the evil genie out of the bottle.


14 year old child prodigy, Mike Wimmer

Mike Wimmer, recent graduate of Caroline University, works under contract for Google in its secret AI research division, making it feasible that Mike, or someone like him, will be the one who invents the algorithm that creates the Singleton.





“Carl Edward Sagan. Mark the name well . . . By every test, in the public eye and in response from the scientific community, the ideas of Carl Sagan . . . are ideas whose time has come.”  Excerpt from article written by Ian Ridpath that appeared in New Scientist, July 4,1974.

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