"Tell them advanced civilizations do not ever really intellectually degenerate. Tell them that, developmentally speaking, the human brain is not really designed to unfurl and regress, to suddenly erase complex, deeply learned wisdom. It is not our nature to understand, say, electromagnetic waveform and photosynthesis and suddenly revert to thinking it's all magic fairies and gnome spit.
You can say we will never return to slavery. Our hospitals will never again lop off gangrenous limbs with rusty hacksaws and no anesthesia. Never again will we believe the earth is flat, that we are the center of the universe, that trepanning will release evil spirits from your skull. And sorry, but we will never again believe that everything was created when angry bearded grandpa suddenly snapped his fingers and belched.
You can thusly summarize: If the arc of history bends toward justice, it also lurches, hiccups and stumbles toward basic progressive intelligence. Barring some sort of environmental cataclysm and starting all over, there really is no going back.
As the tears begin to flow, you can offer solace: "It's OK," you can smile, "we just evolved that way.""
By Mark Morford. Read complete article.