When I was young in the 50's and 60's, it was 'cool' to be into science. Naturalists and scientists were respected and so were their opinions and findings. My work took me out of the United States for nearly 50 years punctuated by visits to the U.S, about twice a year average. In that time I have seen a disturbing change in the attitudes of people in general, away from the factual and data-specific and more to the emotional denial of fact and logic. I have seen a rise of religious extremism and their encroachment into the social and political arena than ever before. When I was in a kid in the '50s they changed the 'Pledge of Allegience' by adding 'under God' to the pledge that we all recited in school. Even at the age of 15, that irritated me and I refused to comply (which earned me a lot of harassment) as I felt that, even though I was a Catholic, that it was unfair to the people who did not believe in God. This was just the beginning. When I entered the military, I declared myself an 'atheist' to the clerk who was building my personnel file. He snarled at me 'We don't have atheists in this Air Force! What religion was your father?' and I answered 'Catholic' (I should have said 'none of your business', but I was intimidated, young and naive), and so he put down 'Catholic' in my records and issued me 'dog tags' with that as my religion. (I threw them away when I left basic training and got ones that said 'no preference' because the Air Force during my entire 20 year career would not let me declare myself as an atheist.) I have seen this attitude of religious discrimination intensify as the years passed. One of the byproducts of this has been an attitude of rejection of things scientific and factual, I have watched from the outside as our society has become more and more anti-intellectual, anti-logical, (as one of the comments stated) and more prone to belief in things emotional, things magical, creationism, intelligent-design-ism, pro-life-ism. Kids no longer value science and seeking facts as much as they value the winner of American Idol, the sports, the top singers and movie stars, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, vampires and werewolves, other non-consequential crap. Along with this I have seen an 'establishment' trend in 'justified' erosion of individual freedoms. My last visit to San Diego, in 2008, I felt I was in some kind of third-world country, not the United States, as I was driven away by the police from watching a peaceful political demonstration against the governor. I thought ' I put in 20 years and a veteran to protect the freedom of political expression and now even I am being denied that right?' I have decided to live the rest of my life overseas because, regretfully, the U.S. is no longer the 'land of the free and the home of the brave'. It is a myth now. The children are being educated with pseudo-scientific BS, a mixture of mysticism, creationism and intelligent-designism, a belittling of evolution and scientific evaluation by putting them on a equal comparison of those non-scientific beliefs. The religious fanatics and politically-correct mob-think have taken over our country. I have taken shelter beyond the border.