A sign that people are not good judges of what passes as a reliable source for information :
People are now twice as likely to believe Jesus Christ fathered children after reading the Dan Brown blockbuster and four times as likely to think the conservative Catholic group Opus Dei is a murderous sect.
"An alarming number of people take its spurious claims very seriously indeed," said Austin Ivereigh, press secretary to Britain's top Catholic prelate Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor.
"Our poll shows that for many, many people the Da Vinci Code is not just entertainment," Ivereigh added.
Fact, fiction, who cares anymore? It is not as if Brown's book was a serious theological work; it was just a silly thriller tale. Yet, the reaction of some readers was as if they'd read a weighty academic piece. Which reflects poorly on what they consider "serious" work. Or, what passes for a "provocative" argument.
Just write a book, and claim that you "thoroughly researched" the subject, and people will believe anything. God help us if Brown's next "highly researched" book is on the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.