Sunday, October 11, 2009

Science & Faith (Muslim) in an episode of "Bones"

The latest episode of Bones, The Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (aired Oct 10), features a subplot involving a Muslim researcher/investigator, Arastoo, who finds no conflict between science & his faith (tip from Laura Wenk). Watch the full episode here (I don't how long are they available online; you can also read the recap here). Couple of points here: This sub-plot is inessential to the story and thus this is a deliberate effort to dampen some of the stereotypes using one of the network stations (Fox - and no this is not the same as Fox News). However, they not only bring this issue up but also reveal Arastoo to be as much an American as anyone else. Plus, they take the opportunity to make a jab at the confusion between Arabs and Persians - and to note that not all Muslims speak Arabic. Good short effort against some of the common misconceptions. Towards the end, they generalize the issue to that of science & religion - rather than of simply science & Islam. I think this is a good PR effort from a political and cultural perspective. Hopefully, some other network show will pick its protagonist to be an atheist who has no problem leading a moral and fulfilling life (ala Jodie Foster in Contact).

What about the episode of Bones itself? I found it relatively painful to watch (I'm not into CSI either). Plus, if this is how the FBI works, we have some serious issues down here. If you do have to watch a TV series, skip Bones and follow the absolutely riveting Mad Men (I'm finishing off the second season).

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