I'm going to do some more reading, but I've recently heard the idea that fundamentalism is a reaction to modernity and that actually before 150 years or less, the idea of the "taking the Bible literally" was a viewpoint few people held. I think we're so immersed in and influenced by the last 50-100 years of Western culture that it's easy to assume the beliefs held now were the ones that were always held for centuries... and then get defended as such when it's actually a fairly new arrival. I certainly know the propensity for conservative culture to circle the wagons, protect the boundaries, and not allow new information inside the borders contributes to this sense that things have always been this way and will continue to be; I found it an eye-opener to get outside of my own microcosm and realize the diversity in thought and belief even within one particular religion over time. it puts everything in context.
True.Impossible to prove or disprove.