The Christian mythology is particularly anti-intellectual, as are the other two mythologies derived from the cult of Yahweh (which in turn derived from the cult of El) and it’s supremely unfortunate that these myths superseded less restrictive ways of viewing the real world. After the collapse of the Roman Empire and the gradual fading away of polytheism, the repressive hand of the Catholic Church in the West and the Orthodox churches in the East resulted in the eradication of human knowledge and inquiry on a vast scale. It took the disruption of the Reformation to fragment the power of religionism in North-West Europe and thus enable the rebirth of intellectual discovery. Our entire modern world thus rests on a chance historical event in a tiny geographic region.

The USA is a curious nation, nominally modern but in reality much more akin to a medieval society somehow in possession of magical toys such as smartphones and automobiles, the workings of which few comprehend. As such religionism plays a far larger role in public and private life than Europeans understand, and one consequence is the widespread ignorance about evolution and about cosmology. It is dispiriting to hear dumbed-down versions of old arguments being replayed more than 150 years after Darwin published On the Origin of Species, and equally dispiriting to realize how very few US citizens have even the most rudimentary knowledge of what’s been learned over the last 200 years. Anyone with a basic grounding in physics understands that invisible magical creatures and souls and all the various baroque imaginings of mythology are, in reality, not only impossible but also entirely unnecessary. But a basic grounding in physics is not a common attainment and hence too many citizens are left gawping at phenomenon they have no way to comprehend. Which is where we were during the Dark Ages. It’s a shame that continues to be the mental world of so many in one of the globe’s wealthier nations.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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