Last Updated Sep 30, 2017 2:04 PM EDT
Bestselling author Dan Brown, whose book "The Da Vinci Code" made him an international star as well as a target of religious groups for the book's portrayal of Christianity, says the world would be okay without religion, in an interview with Tony Dokoupil for CBS' "Sunday Morning," to be broadcast October 1.
"The Da Vinci Code" is one of the bestselling novels of all time, and has spawned a movie franchise. His latest book, "Origin," like his others, weaves codes, religion, science and history, while putting God on the edge of extinction.
Despite the controversy his works stir up, Brown says he's "absolutely not" anti-Catholic, adding that religion does a lot of good.
"Traditionally, all the gods fall. And my question is, are we naïve to believe that the gods of today will not suffer the same fate," Brown says.
"Would that lead to a better planet?" Dokoupil asks Brown.
"I personally believe that our planet would be absolutely fine without religion, and I also feel we are evolving in that direction," Brown says.
Brown opens up to Dokoupil about his writing; the influence his parents had on his work; and the criticism he's faced from fellow blockbuster author Stephen King, who called Brown's writing the intellectual equivalent of "mac and cheese."
"I like mac and cheese," Brown tells Dokoupil. "We would all like to say, we, 'Eh, I don't read my reviews. I don't mind getting a bad review. It doesn't hurt.' I think that's a lie. I'm trying to write books that taste like ice cream but have the nutrition of vegetables. I'm not trying to emulate William Faulkner. I never said I was."
The Emmy Award-winning "CBS Sunday Morning," hosted by Jane Pauley, is broadcast on CBS Sundays beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET. Executive producer is Rand Morrison.
Be sure to follow the program on Twitter (@CBSSunday), Facebook, Instagram (#CBSSundayMorning) and at cbssundaymorning.com. "Sunday Morning" also streams on CBSN beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET, and is available on cbs.com, CBS All Access, and On Demand. You can also listen to "Sunday Morning" audio podcasts at Play.it.
For more info: