We've been watching the current episodes of PBS's Nature show- David Attenborough's Life Stories, concerning the changes in technology & our knowledge of biology & geophysics since the 1940s.
I had a sudden epiphany concerning a possible reason for the increasingly Anti-Science rhetoric & practices of right-wing christian followers, many of whom profess belief in the infallibility of the Bible as the only book of answers for 'life's persistent questions.'
Mr. Attenborough is describing how science has steadily come up with new information to answer historic mysteries & come up with a lot more questions that no one knew to ask just a decade or so ago. For those of us who don't believe the Bible is the only 'book of knowledge' in the world, it's fun & useful to learn new information & even new questions. The ability to apply new knowledge to try to solve problems is hopeful & we often want to help others who are suffering.
The people I personally know who believe the Bible is 100% correct & true on all things, are easily overwhelmed by new information or by having to make their own choices on safe or unsafe behavior when they haven't encountered a situation before. They always go back to the rules they know from their church group, & if new information contradicts those rules or reality is different from what they expect, then the new circumstances aren't valid & should be ignored. The known is more comfortable than the unknown, even if the 'known' situation is abusive or otherwise unsafe.
Here's where the Anti-Science comes in. If something isn't covered by what is believed to be in the Bible, then it is lies, deceit & confusion meant to pull people off the 'one true path.'
They resolve their disconnect with reality by vilifying the messages & the messengers. And they're willing to look crazy to stay on their 'path,' as martyrs are always right in god's eye!
They figure the dangers to others is something that will be fixed by the coming Rapture - the select few don't have to care about anyone else. As long as they don't think, the martyrs will be safe when it counts. Obedient children just do as they're told; thinking isn't desired.
I have a big problem with this 'Mean' Ignorance - it's the stuff of bullying & other abuses, esp. bigotry, racism, sexism, religious rigidity & all the intentional misinformation used to hurt people. There is the feeling of power that comes from telling lies & getting away with it; even the commandment against bearing false witness isn't enough to stop it. Intentional ignorance feels no shame; unrecognized fear is an overwhelmingly common emotion. The Islamic & other fundamentalist groups are similar in thought & behaviors with their own rule books.
Since Big Money is using the intentionally ignorant christian right-wing, I don't see things getting better any time soon, which is too bad for the rest of us. Willful ignorance is both the rock & the hard place. I don't know if we have enough dynamite or crowbars to use in time to save ourselves from them hijacking our country & world.