The world, well the Western world at least, seems to be in the throws of a severe backlash to 'progress' which is increasingly viewed as abhorrent. Independent reasoning need not apply as we have enough knowledge, thank you very much. This 'closing of the Gates of Itjihad' worked out SO well for Islam (/s). Alvin Toffler seems more and more prescient with his concept of 'Future Shock'. Ah well, the future is, indeed, not evenly distributed.