Fundamentalism Vs. Science

As a scientist, I too am concerned about some aspects of fundamentalism. However, fundamentalists are not responsible for the most serious problems in our society (abuse and neglect of children, violent crime, collapse of family and other personal commitments). At the base of these problems are the moral principles and world view of those who perpetrate them. Science does not and cannot address these issues. Secular philosophy also provides no framework that explains the unique value and intrin

Stephen Pruett
Feb 18, 1996
As a scientist, I too am concerned about some aspects of fundamentalism. However, fundamentalists are not responsible for the most serious problems in our society (abuse and neglect of children, violent crime, collapse of family and other personal commitments). At the base of these problems are the moral principles and world view of those who perpetrate them. Science does not and cannot address these issues. Secular philosophy also provides no framework that explains the unique value and intrinsic worth of persons. Religion is the only realm in which the value of persons and the consequent basis for moral behavior is explained. This explanation requires faith, but the diversity of religious expression in America indicates this certainly does not have to be unquestioning, unreasoning faith.

Scientists can and should remind fundamentalists of the fallacies and pitfalls that throughout history have easily become associated with an irrational, narrow faith. However, fundamentalists (and...