I wouldn't give much on a statistic that only works if you arbitrarily choose a specified starting point. And yes, you can manipulate every trend by choosing your starting point accordingly. So I call all claims that "since 1998, we don't have a warming trend anymore" manipulated statistics.
Even your example of FTL does not hold -- there are enough people out there today greatly interested in anything that makes FTL travel possible, and no one is really hindering them to find out how it works, if it works at all. The whole idea that you just have to hide a secret and it will be gone forever is questionable at best. That's why I think the concept of an "evolution towards less education" is flawed. If the interest in education gets lost, it's not because of biological reasons. Then it's because of a general breakdown of society, where the structures that made it possible and worthwile to actually get an education that goes beyond the knowledge you need for daily survival, crumble and die. There were situations like this, Western Europe experienced them after the end of the Roman Empire. It didn't happen because the people of education died out. It did happen because the once stable environment of 1000 years of tradition, education and careers vanished, and a series of short lived, feuding kingdoms appeared, in a constant struggle to their own survival and in a constant fear of invadors. It took about 400 years for the situation to settle, and then suddenly, education appeared again, universities were founded, ancient texts were rediscovered, commented and a series of new discoveries started.
So it's not an evolution game of us vs. them, it's a game of where the children of each society will go to. Think of the U.S. of the 19th and early 20th century. People from all over the world were coming there to start a new life. They came from very different educational backgrounds, born into societies of very different levels of openess. Three to five generations later, their offspring has a typical american education, typical american behaviour and typical american goals and dreams.
After some time, we describe both populations as different species.
Some experiments of speciations were already performed. For instance, there was a long running experiment with E.coli (the wellknown bacterium from our indestines). As bacteria don't mate, there are other methods to difference between species, and one specificum of E.coli compared with similar bacteria is that E.coli doesn't metabolize Citric acid. But experimentators were putting some E.coli bacteria in an artificial environment which was rich with Citric acid. After many generations (about 40,000) they found that this strain of E.coli indeed had started to metabolize Citric acid. So from a classification point of view, this strain is no longer E.coli, but a new species of bacteria.
Not everyone likes the idea of an image of Mohammed in a mocking situation being out there and other people laughing at it.
That's why I wrote about being abused yourself and having pictures taken and made public. The grand parent called possessing child porn as a victimless crime, which is plainly wrong, as you can clearly see the actual victim in the child porn footage. As Mohammed is long dead, he is not a victim of mocking him now, because this doesn't cause him any psychic distress anymore.
And not everyone likes the idea that there is a demand for those images which then leads to the abuse in the first place.
As long as sexually abusing children is considered a crime, viewing footage of said abuse for your own satisfaction is not a victimless crime.
But if you have a map, which tries a compromise between angle preservation and area preservation, and which does not show North- and Southpole, you will always have the areas of the northern and southern regions displayed larger than they are compared to those near the Equator. This is a pure mathematical necessity and not limited to the Mercator projection. The only way to not have this distortion is not to have the Equator being horizontal on your map.