I'm looking for a word that refers to the set of common beliefs of a culture or era. Things like "psychics aren't reliable" or "flying is safer than driving." These are empirical propositions that lots of people believe and there may be a common understanding that others believe them too.
Something like "zeitgeist" is very good. I'd like to be able to say "The understanding that bees are dying out is in the ____" and it works pretty well there. My only issue with zeitgeist here is that i'd like it to refer primarily to the empirical claims, rather than the more general culture, attitude, and values of the people.
Something like "common knowledge" isn't quite right because things that are common knowledge are usually assumed by the speaker to be correct (except when using the term ironically) -- but I don't want to address the actual truth value of the propositions. And I'd like it to express that there might be a certain amount of cultural dependence about the beliefs -- not something like "you need water to live."