Another meme that tends to cause problems is the one that persuades people to cling doggedly to a belief even after it has been disproved. Some scientists, for instance, continue to try and prove an old theory even after most of their colleagues have moved on to new ideas. We tend to think of the Copernican revolution—the cosmological theory that placed the sun at the center of the universe, rather than Earth—as a sudden enlightenment, but it actually took more than 150 years before a majority of astronomers had accepted the theory.
This conservatism in the face of new ideas is not necessarily a bad thing. In Chapter 20, we will see how conservatism can be a defense against malicious memes.
But sometimes, this conservatism ...