Full disclosure: I really like this sit-com. Now that’s out, a serious reflection. For those who do not know, this show is about 4 genius type scientists, at a university in California, who are nerdy and geeky and know it and the beautiful blond who lives across the hallway from 2 of the 4 and she’s an aspiring actress and a waitress at the Cheesecake Factory. While I’m at it, a funny exchange: Sheldon, THE genius, ultimate nerd, goes into the Cheesecake Factory to have a drink though he doesn’t drink. Penny both loves Sheldon and can’t stand him and tries to get rid of Sheldon:
Penny: Why don’t you go over the Olive Garden, they have a bar?
Sheldon: No, they treat you like family.
Okay, I got that out. Now the reflection: These four scientists are very good at what they do. A scientist is first and foremost a materialist: he understands and wants to understand what a Christian will call the created universe. (Christians are materialists, as C.S. Lewis said about the Sacraments: God likes matter, after all He created it, we just don’t believe this is all there is). The usual understanding is that scientists are at best agnostics. This is the only universe we know about…except all 4 of these characters love:
comic books and superheros
video games of all sorts
and the one I find the most fascinating; Lord of the Rings (in fact one whole episode is about LOTR)
All of this sounds plausible in the show. And none of their past time amusements are ‘scientific’, only a couple in passing. This is I find this interesting: 4 materialists believing in the possibility of a world that is not immediately quantifiable. There is a tacit understanding that there must be something “more”. Sheldon believes in multiple parallel universes. These characters posit the possibility of another world. I think the attraction of UFOs and ETs is indicated in the saying regarding such: “We are not alone”. These characters are not portrayed as merely materialistic scientists: they want meaning that no experiment in a lab could ever have or give. There seems to be a yearning inherent in man for something or Someone outside of us. And besides that, the show is funny! No brain could invent humor. Humor shows us our desperately silly Adamic lives. And our hope in the Lord is that He will have the last joyous laugh.