Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Atheists on TV

Any TV watchers out there?

I admit that we do watch television in our house. Even network television, and even sitcoms.

One show that I've caught, and actually enjoyed, lately, is the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory. I know it sounds stupid, but bear with me a bit.

It's not perfect. After all, it does portray scientists as socially backward, maladapted, and immature, and in these times of hostility to science, who needs that?

On the other hand, I've just seen two episodes that address, at least obliquely, the question of science and religion. Take last night's episode, for example. Our favorite nerd-scientists were sitting around the Christmas tree preparing for the holiday, when the question of whether it makes sense to decorate the tree comes up. Sheldon, the main nerd-scientist, has a suggested ornament for the top of the tree: a bust of Isaac Newton, whose birthday is December 25, which his friend points out is Newtonmas.

On an earlier episode Sheldon mocks his mother's reliance on prayer, pointing out that her praying for what she wants gets her nowhere.

It shouldn't be surprising. These guys are scientists, so it's precisely to be expected that they would be atheists. On the other hand, since atheists appear to be the least common minority group represented in television programming, any atheist sighting is a welcome change.

2 Comments:

Blogger Ren said...

Totally agreed. I cheer excitedly whenever I see an atheist, Buddhist, or Taoist character or idea (even hinted at).

(p.s. I secretly enjoy intelligent television as well, and even with BBT's faults, it's still worth watching now and again).

December 17, 2009 10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me too - I made a dough ornament hammer and sickle many years ago to poke a hole into the Xmas bloat....

Jay W

December 18, 2009 10:28 AM  

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