While folding things into spells is a good idea for controlling complexity, it's not a good idea for the modularity they've been touting and have yet to show us on a large scale. Separating out a resource means you have "hooks" you can built onto, and more resources means more things you can swap out. 2e had spells that affected other spells, while 3e had metamagic feats, and having a [metamagic] feat descriptor in 3e allowed for metamagic that behaved differently from spells (affecting spells during preparation, for instance), which may be something desirable. Similarly, having Turn Undead as a separate ability meant that there was a reserved ability slot for ACFs to swap out, [divine] feats to build on, and so forth.In Next, they seem to have a design goal that, for spellcasters at least, they would rather make a spell that does something or put rules for some kind of effect in a spell rather than make a new general rule or class ability, for example, see the counterspell spell. I kind of like this, it helps with the idea that you get to choose your own complexity(by class, feat, and ability selection), it also makes there less generic rules to learn. A shining example of this is the Turn Undead spell. Clerics cans till turn undead, but it's not a whole new ability with it's own rules. If a cleric is going to get some new function or ability, it should be a spell(or a domain). If you can't fit the ability in one of those camps, you probably should make a new class.
Also, some abilities might not be best relegated to the spell list. There's a big thematic difference between having counterspell be a spell you can learn ("It is possible to counter enemy spells if you learn to do so") and having counterspelling be a basic magic option ("Casting the same spell as another caster does will interfere with and counter their casting"), and the same holds for "All clerics can turn undead [or even just turn a particular creature type" vs. "All clerics can potentially learn how to turn undead." Whether you want all members of a class to have it or not is debatable (I personally am in favor of making Turn Undead a spell like any other), but it is something to be considered before just throwing everything into the spell list.
D&D has never really done knowledge NWPs/skills well, and 3e in particular had lots of wonky rules interactions or vagueness (farmers not being able to identify their cows, a dragon-slayer who grew up in a desert being able to identify fish but not dragons, determining what "a piece of useful information" about a creature means, etc.). Far better to say "If it relates to history, this guy knows it, with a few exceptions for plot-relevant mysteries when the DM would try to prevent you knowing it anyway" than to try to figure out how hard it would be to identify who the queen was in the neighboring kingdom 300 years ago.