The rise of climate change deniers, pandemic deniers, QAnon quackery, the “alternative facts” of Trumpists, anti-vax conspiracies, etc., is truly alarming in a modern age where there is solid evidence falsifying most conspiracy theories, supernatural hand-waving, and the welter of far-fetched ideas. This is not the Medieval Ages, but we are seeing the reincarnation of some medieval thought processes.
I would offer the prediction that if humanity (or a major fraction thereof) walks away from the hard-earned philosophical triumphs of evidence-based reasoning, e.g., science, then humanity is going to suffer bitterly as a result of its return to ignorance of evidence-based reality, in favor of personal “realities” or various forms of group think pseudo-realities.
For example, if the anti-vax demagogues convince enough people of their anti-science bias, then disease could again run rampant throughout the world. Likewise if climate change/environment degradation deniers gain a large enough following, including the politicians who feed on that ignorance, then the Earth’s entire bio-system will be at risk of collapse.
We have come so far from the darkness of the primitive, deluded and dishonest thinking of pre-Renaissance times, and into the light of reason and evidence-based reality. Why would we want to march like a bunch of headless chickens back into the darkness that caused so many to suffer at the hands of the few whose only motivations were self-interests?
This appears to be the new challenge for humanity in the 21st century. Do we go forward into the light or backward into the darkness?