I've been thinking a ton about this issue lately, as I've a bit of a hobby of reading woo-debunking blogs such as Respectful Insolence. Of course, most of the bad science spread around on the web is by laypeople, but nowhere near all of it. There are prominent people with scientific backgrounds who do so as well. One of the most obvious examples is Dr. Oz, who promotes Reiki on his television show, despite being a well-regarded cardiologist. And recently, I've learned that actress Mayim Bialik, who has a PhD in Neurobiology, is an anti-western medicine "holistic" mom who prefers to treat illness with homeopathy, and has declined any therapies at all for her children who both have relatively severe speech and motor delays.
So my question is...isn't there (or shouldn't there be) some sort of cognitive dissonance there? I'm not going to go so far as to say that people educated in the sciences shouldn't believe in anything that can't be scientifically proven, but isn't it strange that they would be taken in by BS that contradicts the very field they were educated in? It makes no sense to me and it makes me wonder if there's a reason for it that I'm missing. Any thoughts?