Catholics are known for not really reading the Bible. Their priests fill them in and I’m sure this isn’t just a Catholic trait. It’s in the interest of the priest class to control what information the flock has. But the flock’s getting smarter.
Though people with information often try to hoard and control it, the trend over time is for more people to become more exposed to ideas. And the scientific method contiues providing answers via a transparent process with answers that can be replicated.
Computing power continues to explode instead of increasing by drips; it doubles in power and halves in cost pretty much every two years. What’s going to happen as more and more people tap into internet that continues offering ever more information? Soon most people will have access to almost all the information and stories that everyone else has.
In the face of mysteries, most people seem to just want an answer because they don’t feel comfortable with uncertainty. And there are always people at the ready to provide the answer, even if it’s a guess or based on foolishness. But as mysteries are actually understood and explained, like that stars are really other suns – not pinholes in a shell above the earth, the providers of questionable and fantastical answers lose ground.
With easy access to good information it’ll be harder and harder for some people to persuade others, no matter if they’re sincere and wrong or simply con men. Any claims they make can be (easily) verified. Trust but verify.