Thomas Kuhn quotes Darwin and Max Planck on the difficulty people have in accepting a new paradigm, which we noted some time ago when thinking about the catastrophic AGW religionists who can’t bear to question their faith:
In a sense I am unable to explicate further, the proponents of competing paradigms practice their trades in different worlds…The transfer of allegiance from paradigm to paradigm is a conversion experience that cannot be forced…Darwin, in a particularly perceptive passage at the end of his Origin of Species, wrote: “Although I am fully convinced of the truth of the views given in this volume…, I by no means expect to convince experienced naturalists whose minds are shocked with a multitude of facts all viewed, during a long course of years, from a point of view directly opposite to mine….but I look with confidence to the future, — to young and rising naturalists, who will be able to look at both sides of the question with impartiality.” And Max Planck, surveying his own career in his Scientific Autobiography, sadly remarked that “a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”
So faith remains but the faithful die out. That’s kind of what’s happened today with the cultural shift on SSM. The oldsters have suddenly become dead, irrelevant to the world of the young. Something that did not exist twenty years ago and for all of preceding human history (see Iowahawk’s humorous take) is suddenly conventional wisdom among the young. They live in a parallel universe that their celebrities and media have created (see Wretchard).
What comes next? Assuming that SSM goes ahead, no doubt in short order you’ll have California textbooks pretzeling themselves to deal with terms like mothers and fathers, which might now be politically incorrect; and red state religions might be in for a rough ride. The young have stood history on its head in no time flat. But going from zero to Warp 9 and beyond had a way of working out badly for the Enterprise. So what comes after Warp 9 for the USA?