I meant to post this yesterday, but somehow did not do so.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Our ability to accurately understand the world, the physical universe, and particularly the moral universe, begins with our ability to understand who God is.
Simply spoken: there is a God, and I am not Him. (And, obviously, neither are you.)
The fear of God is understanding the authority and power that God has. God is good. But even His angels are so terrifying that they have to begin each message they bring from Him with "Fear not." When Isaiah saw God, he immediately cried out, "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!" (Isaiah 6:5) To come before God, the Creator of the Universe, the One above all else -- more powerful, more intelligent, more beautiful, more perfect, more holy -- is an experience worthy of fear.
If we cannot understand how fearsome God is, we cannot begin to understand the magnitude of what Christ has done for us in bridging the gap.
As long as we have a warped and inaccurate view of God, our knowledge of all things will be warped and inaccurate. When we resist an accurate understanding of God, preferring instead a more comfortable god from our own imagination, we are fools who despise true wisdom.