FRANKFURT AM MAIN (AFP) - God cannot survive science, The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown said on Thursday (Oct 12), putting his faith in technological advances to connect people in new ways that would eventually scrap the need for religion.
"Historically, no god has survived science. Gods evolved," the best-selling American novelist said at the Frankfurt Book Fair, where he unveiled his newest book, Origin.
The fifth instalment in the wildly popular series that started with The Da Vinci Code tracks Harvard professor Robert Langdon's latest code-cracking adventure to uncover the mysteries of the universe, this time exploring the battle between religion and science.
"I happen to believe in looking at advances through technology," Brown told reporters.
"Over the next decade, our species will become enormously interconnected at a level we are not used to, and we will start to find our spiritual experiences through our interconnections with each other.
"Our need for the exterior God that sits up there and judges us... will diminish and eventually disappear."
Brown, whose books have sold over 200 million copies, famously drew the ire of the Vatican when The Da Vinci Code was published in 2003.
One of the top-selling books of all time, it tells the story of a conspiracy by the Catholic Church to hide the fact that Jesus had a child with Mary Magdalene.
But Brown, 53, insisted that he was not against religion, and that said he just wanted to "start a dialogue".
"I think religion does a lot of good in the world. I also think that the world has changed such that it is no longer a requirement," he said.
He praised Pope Francis for trying to bring the Church into the modern era.
"I think the Church needs to evolve or it will go extinct, and I think that Pope Francis feels that also and is trying very, very hard to make Catholicism relevant in the modern world," he said.
He said his latest novel, released last week and already topping book charts around the world, also delves into current concerns about fake news.
"Now more than ever, we need to look at why we believe what we believe, look at our information sources and be very discerning," he said.
In a wide-ranging press conference, Brown also revealed that the intrepid Langdon - portrayed by Tom Hanks in the Hollywood adaptations of the book series - was "the man I wish I could be".
Asked whether the professor would have been a Donald Trump voter, Brown replied: "I doubt it. I don't think so."