From Pine View Farm

Two Sets of Fundamentalists? 3

John Timpane, editor of the Commentary Section of the local rag, has just returned from participating in the Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellowships in Science and Religion, where evolution and Christian Fundamentalism were heavily discussed.

In reporting on his experiences, he says, in part

Despite the trial in Dover, the current American conflict is not between “science” and “religion.” It is, to quote Karen Armstrong, author of A History of God and other books, a conflict between tightly defined subsets: “those who adhere to the scientific theory of evolution and those who believe that the biblical story of the six-day creation is literally true.” As she points out, this boils down to “a struggle between two religions.” The culprit on both sides in this American standoff is the mental habit of fundamentalism itself. And it could well hobble both sides.


The current uprising may be a harbinger of the death of religion for many people. We’ll continue to be a believing people, but more and more of us will do our believing out of doors.

Religious fundamentalism got beat up good at the Templetons, especially by religious people. Fraser Watts, who teaches theology and science at Cambridge and is co-director of the fellowship program, said: “I am a follower of Christ, not the Bible, and if I’m forced to make a choice, which I hope I am not, I will choose Christ.”

But religion is not the only fundamentalism in the room. Let us now turn to the other bad boys: the fundamentalist materialists.

I believe the article is well worth reading for anyone who wishes greater understanding of this issue as a philosophical, rather than a scientific, issue.



  1. Opie

    October 23, 2005 at 7:41 pm

    I would love to ask Mr. Watts what insight he even has into Christ other than the Bible.

  2. Frank

    October 24, 2005 at 8:05 pm

    Good point. I can’t ask him either. I will hazard this guess:

    It’s very easy to play “dueling quotations” from the Bible. When I deal with literalists, I tend to ask them how many weddings they have attended where the guests have waited for the “proofs of virginity” before leaving the celebration.

    No one. Yet.

    Then, for Christians, there is the over-arching message of love. When those quoting from the Bible lose the message of love, they have lost the message.


    And, sadly, many have lost the message over the centuries. Such is the curse and blessing of free will.

  3. Opie

    October 25, 2005 at 6:36 pm

    Wise words. By the way, it crossed my mind later on that my question was a very Protestant one. I suspect the Catholic church would answer me with, “church tradition, of course!” It’s not something I’m used to thinking of.