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HEADLINE: Author Raymond Lutz, Coils of the Serpent, previews his book and the research he did in order to write it

Mr. RAYMOND CLARK LUTZ (Coils of the Serpent): Hi. My name is Raymond Lutz, and I'd like to give you a quick overview of my novel Coils of the Serpent.

In just a couple of words, I say that this book is like The DaVinci Code meets Jurassic Park.

We're talking about the religiosity of The DaVinci Code and really the DNA and the scientific part of Jurassic Park. Uh, and -- How do those fit together?

In the last couple of hundred years, the scientific understanding of life has reached a climax. We've gone from -- in the 1820s -- first getting a microscope and seeing those first cells, up to -- in the last decade -- completely sequencing the entire genome of a human being. Today we know without a doubt that DNA is the basis for all life on earth. Either you're a rock or a random accretion of matter with no life tendencies at all, or you're based on DNA. Whether you're a small little cell -- a one-celled animal -- all the way up to a large whale, or anywhere in between, you're based on DNA, without any exception.

Doesn't it make you wonder: Do the sacred documents that we have on hand, do they ever mention DNA? Would it "leak out?" Does God know about DNA? Did God -- did those early writers understand DNA and is it encoded within the Bible, for example.

The Bible is one of the most important books in western culture. And the story of creation talks about life in quite a bit of detail.

Does it talk about DNA?

Now, it's not going to have "D-N-A" or "deoxyribonucleic acid" actually in the Bible because those are words that have been made up very recently.

However, it could have, using words of the day, a description of how DNA works and the fundamentals of life. Now if it did, it would have to be in a story that people understand in some other way -- it has been preserved throughout time. And so the meaning has been misinterpreted until very recently. The story has been thought to mean something else and now when you read it correctly, it actually talks about DNA.

This could have been treated as a nonfiction book. I decided to make it fiction because it's much more interesting having different people come in from different points of view. Dan, an agnostic about religion, who is the main character; John, a born-again Christian; and Shannon, who is a biotech grad student -- these people come together over coffee and talk about these things. And a stranger came in and prompted them to a new discussion which was about whether or not DNA and the facts of life could be found somewhere in the Bible.

Now, when I first started this in 1997, I started my research, and I thought perhaps it wouldn't be there, and that would be the final "death knell," if you will, to thinking this was a sacred document.

However, the story -- as it unfolds -- you'll find that, perhaps it is.

And then what the book does is to look at the implications of this most astounding connection. To connect DNA and these powerful, high-technology facts, facts that we've only recently learned, facts that were the same throughout all time, for all life forms, but facts that we didn't know until very recently such that we would not even be able to ask the question about this -- until now.

And as we ask this question, are we ready for the answer? Are you ready for the answer?

If you're ready to entertain the idea, that perhaps we had some of those stories wrong, and then take a look -- honestly -- and see what the implications are of understanding those stories to mean that they are describing DNA and the functions of life.

Are you also willing to entertain the idea that perhaps, somehow, man knew about those... that advanced information 6,000 years ago, and how did he find out?

If you're an evolutionist, how did man get that information so it could be inserted into the sacred text? This puts someone... if you're a Darwinist or evolutionist, you'll have to question that.

By the same token, if you're a Christian, and if these stories are the underpinnings of your understanding for the facts of how Christianity works, then you'll have to take those into account as well.

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