This is not really a tangent.
I had a graduate student who just received her MS. Her research area was in Geosciences Education....and her primary focus was following a group of students, elementary, non-majors university students and majors in meteorology, and the way they learn. All were enrolled in a meteorology class of one sort or another, and they were asked questions before they took the class.
All were asked a set of questions about major weather elements and how they perceived the reasons for those elements (for example "clouds" or "tornadoes").
As you can imagine, all had different ideas about those elements and how they formed or why they occurred, and most had wrong, preconceived "popular fiction" notions of what they were and why they occurred.
Several months after the conclusion of the class, each set of students were asked the same questions. Despite being taught the "correct" definitions and reasons for each of the phenomena, all sets of students returned to their original preconceived notions to a greater or lesser extent. The "lesser" extent group, as you would imagine, were the meteorology majors, who did retain most of the correct interpretation.
But for most, the "wrong" answer that was comfortable to them, is what they returned to. They were unable to articulate the right answer, even after being presented with the facts and the science (depending upon the level).
We realize that part of the issue maybe the way the material is presented (in other words, it was the teaching that was at issue). But I found it very interesting that people wanted to persist with the "wrong" answer even after being told they were wrong.
Take southbeach, for example.....
Oh, sorry. I digress.