Science & Faith
Fundamentalism is defined as the strict adherence to any set of basic ideas or principles. This term is often associated with the religious movement in the Protestant community that occurred in the first half of the twentieth century. The movement stressed that the Bible should be interpreted as a moral guide to life and an accurate historical account of the past. Any opposing views to this fundamentalist view of life were publically denounced and criticized. Although fundamentalism carries a religious connotation, it can also be applied to science. Instead of the bible, a scientific fundamentalist uses theories proposed by other scientists as their objective truths. Scientific and religious fundamentalists occupy two ends of the worldview spectrum; however, they share a lot in common. They both adhere to an unchanging view that condemns ideas from worldviews that are not their own. It is this condemnation that keeps religion and science at odds with each other. Fundamentalist scientific and religious worldviews prevent science and religion from existing in harmony.
A fundamentalist worldview fosters an environment of exclusivity. Religious and scientific fundamentalist worldviews force people to pick one of two sides. Their message rings clear: ‘if you do not believe exactly what I believe in, what you believe in is wrong.’ The intolerance that they possess towards opposing worldviews places a barrier between their group of believers and the rest of the world. “You’re either with us or against us,” is certainly not the most welcoming message and it is sure to make people with other beliefs feel like outsiders. Fundamentalists acknowledge one facet of the truth and do not bother or care about exploring other possible facets.
A one-sided view of the world robs fundamentalists of the ‘big picture.’ One of the risks involved with this is the psychological phenomenon of groupthink. Groupthink occurs when a group’s primary goal is one of...