My Favorite Still-Image from The Big Bang Theory Opening: The Hands of God Gripping the Sphere of Life

The Big Bang Theory has an iconic opening. Not only is the song catchy, but the opening is composed almost entirely of flashing still images, roughly chronicling the history of the earth and humanity.

There are images of dinosaurs, cavemen, monkeys, the pyramids, Abraham Lincoln, airplanes, space, and even breakdancers. For a full breakdown, check out Harald Kraft’s page.

One image, though, always stays with me. The intro starts with a view of space, but then holds on a single image for a few seconds before blasting through 108 more images. And what image does it begin with?

The hands of God gripping the sphere of life.

Big Bang Theory opening

Actually, not really. The image is a cell going through mitosis.

The cell is in the anaphase, which means the sister chromatids have separated to either side of the cell. At this point, the cell is ready to divide in two.

The way the chromatids are arranged, though, look like hands to me. I know that the nucleus is roughly spherical shaped, so to me the chromatids look like fingers wrapped around a ball.

Because I proclaim God to be the origin of all life, this image is a reminder to me that God is at the center of all creative acts, from the creation of the universe (the titular “Big Bang”) to the creation of each life.

It’s an odd thing that a show largely about atheists, who occasionally mock religion (or in the case of Howard and Raj, mostly disregard the teachings of their respective religions except when it’s convenient for an easy joke), has the effect of uplifting my faith every time I watch it.


P.S. Interestingly, the opening also features several explicitly Judeo-Christian images, such as images of Moses, Jesus, and David as well as the Notre Dame de Paris. My eye can never process these images when the opening is playing at its proper speed; I only noticed them when I saw all the images laid out separately on Harald Kraft’s page linked above.

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