well, yes and no. "Much of the impetus for universal education came from the emerging Protestant religions" - "A Brief History of Education" by Peter Gray Ph.D. access to maths, science and basic facts gradually grew. Much like the access to scholarly publications gradually grew on the internet, and will likely grow to even greater access. I recently had to read a RAND corp. article by James A. Dewar on the very topic of information and it's cultural effects that were interesting ("The Information Age and the Printing Press") Yes. that is true. the problem, as I see it, isn't the availability of false information so much as it's the abject failure of the reader to check facts and use critical thinking skills. of course, this is where the bias and cultural cognition problem come into play. lots of people simply seek information that they either want, want to know about, or that everyone else also seeks. so what is easier to grasp for your particular belief? For the scientifically literate interested in the topic, DNA structure is easily grasped and understood, and the information tends to agree more with their world view... but to the religious fanatic, it's nonsensical trash. this will always be true of the harder to grasp subjects, or at least until they're commonplace like modern geometry, physics, or similar common topics discussed by younger and younger people. so what is the difference between then and now? not much, really. I suspect that factual knowledge will eventually win out over pseudoscience, religion and other types of ideation where evidence isn't required, but the latter will never fade completely away. Pretty much like crime.