Tyler Cowen offers his hypothesis:
I doubt if people have fewer delusions, so presumably they have moved into stories which cannot so easily be refuted. This would include delusions about the future (e.g., extreme forms of transhumanism?), delusions about politics, and delusions about religion.
Or maybe it was a fad among a certain type of people, and they’ve moved on to trying to debunk evolution. And it was never that easy to refute them: trust me, I’ve seen the attempts, and their belief was absolute–until the next thing came along, and now they can’t be shaken in their new beliefs, possibly until George Bush leaves office.
I suspect the decline of the fad may have something to do with the end of the Cold War. Now terror arrives in truck bombs and hijacked planes, not missiles from the sky.
But at some point, I predict, the fad will rise again. Maybe not in the same form, but it will be back. In the form of alien abduction stories, it was going pretty strong during the run of the X-Files, and that wasn’t so long ago.
Now we can turn our attention to serious problems, like El Chupacabra.