1.8 to 2.3 million years ago, before cooking was invented, there was a point when we ate raw meat and many unsightly things we would never dream of ingesting today. We routinely gobbled up anything remotely edible out of pure survival. We had an appendix to assist this process and help remove dangerous bacteria from our colon that would otherwise kill us today, kind of like how your dog can drink out of the toilet, we were like that.
Now the appendix has no use as it has withered through our evolution as our environment changed through cooking our food or having it cleaned thoroughly to remove harmful bacteria. Our appendix now only serves as a burden that can become infected and would then need to be surgically removed to avoid certain death.
We have a very big problem today though. Unlike the appendix that has taken hundreds of generations to become useless, so much so we didn't even remember what it was for, our average intellect has not had the time to catch up to the firehose of scientific discoveries that only seem to be coming in faster and faster. We are still just very susceptible to imaginary notions of God or Gods and the religious cruft that comes with it. This isn't specifically poking at religion, rather it is addressing any type of thinking resulting in conclusions without due diligence.
We can clearly see there are people that excel in science and math, although rare, that leave all of us in the dust. Out of those, there are a small few that make the discoveries that change the human race. More commonly then, you then have highly educated physicists, scientists and engineers still very intelligent, that work on refining the ideas of the great minds in science. That still is far less than 20% of the population, maybe even just 10%, there are no statistics on this I could find.
The rest of us have to trust in the process of science itself that the conclusions it produces are accurate, at least those that are capable of comprehending the process of science.
It seems there are just as much of us that trust in what science determines as there are those of us that trust more in our guts or feelings or imagination or wishful thinking, etc. or a mixed bag of these. The problem is, our old intuitions are wrong and only get in the way in this technology-driven society that is far outpacing its own rate of change.
Religion was born before science and helped provide a feeling, sans due diligence, of rationalizing the irrational. It did a great job of bringing nations together under one ideology to cooperate and form powerful forces of productivity. That era of simplistic explanation without verification has come to an end as we simply cannot compete in an economy without putting STEM first.
We still have vast swaths of our society stuck in the old world of thinking, holding back progress because they have the power to vote people into office to do just that.
It would seem the only way out of this would be some shortcut to higher intelligence for everyone, just as if we put on a pair of glasses that cleared up our poor vision.
Ray Kurzweil had an idea about melding artificial intelligence with our own brains which could be one way or even in combination with, genetic engineering and/or drugs.
The takeaway from this is humanity cannot be blamed for not keeping up but we desperately need a way to get smart fast because there are too many of us that are holding us back and too many looming disasters such as global warming and nuclear war that could result in humanity's destruction simply from moronic decision making.