People are getting dumber and dumber about science even as it assumes a greater and greater role in society.
Publishers of "popular" type science books bear much of the blame. Almost everything they publish is:
(a) Devoid of any real science content and condescendingly tries to explain things with the equivalent of hand puppets or
(b) Written way above the heads of intelligent people.
It's not just a book segment destroying itself, it is culturally destructive.
Religion and science both started as ways for people to try and understand the world around them. Science now shows us many things we once attributed to the supernatural. That means that intelligent people seeking the meaning of things try to grasp the science.
But the scientific establishment has developed into a priesthood of fancy mathematics that is impenetrable -- not only to the layperson, but to many, many scientists as well.
That is why, despite all the shelves full of "popular" books on science by PhDs like Brian Greene and Michio Kaku, scientific illiteracy grows and grows. This BusinessWeek blurb (above) illustrates what I am saying.
The vacuum between all of the establishment-PhD-written books and religious texts is now being filled with new-age, truly flaky interpretations of quantum physics as spirituality. And people are buying into this. But the "science" is all twisted and wrong.
Those pseudo-scientific spirituality books are finding an audience created by the scientific illiteracy created by the establishment PhDs.
This is not encouraging.