Obviously the story we’re told about belief in Intelligent Design causing a decline in scientific literacy is a canard. What aside from a growing uncertainty in the U.S. about whether or not orthodox evolution theory is true happened during the time frame of interest?
A couple of things come to my mind.
In January 1995 Republicans took over congress and entered into the Contract With America.
But what I really think had the big effect was the introduction of Microsoft Windows 95. Prior to Win95 it was exceedingly difficult to get a home computer connected to the internet. That all changed with Win95 which automated the process and made it possible for people to easily and inexpensively get their home PC connected to the World Wide Web. The information superhighway opened up for the average American at that time.
That’s just speculation of course but something new and wonderful happened circa 1995. Any other ideas on what it may have been?