I had a sleep-deprivation induced moment of clarity this weekend, and the idea wouldn’t go away, so here it is:

The Big Bang Theory, speaking of the TV series, not the cosmological model, is an elaborate creation myth. Let me explain.

One would be forgiven for thinking the theme of the show was geeks vs. normals. The first season definitely seemed to be heading that direction. In particular, unrequited love between the characters Leonard and Penny seemed like a major theme, but the first sign that this wasn’t the case came with the season 1 cliffhanger, where Penny agreed to go out with Leonard. Tension kaput. (Season 2 seemed to backpedal on this, but by season 3, their relationship was firmly established).

Actually, Sheldon is the focal character of the series. Everything revolves around his inscrutability. (If you don’t believe me, go re-watch any episode.) His ways are higher than our ways. The theme isn’t geeks vs. normals, it’s Sheldon vs. mortals. He is a figurative god character, and the series is actually an exploration of what the Singularity Institute calls ‘making better decisions about those who are better decision makers than us’. The same figurative god character necessarily appears in any creation myth, thus rationalizing the name of the sit-com based on our generation’s most popular creation story.

As an aside, Leonard’s mom shows many similar characteristics and fits the goddess-shaped hole in the story.

Now, it’s true that the act of creation is never explicitly shown, but I chalk this up to the fashionable in media res style of writing.

QED, right? -m