So, I've been thinking about thinking.
There are a large number of people who deny things which are irrefutably true. For example, there are people who think vaccines are a scam, people who think evolution is a scam, people who think global warming is a scam. If you are one of these people, I advise you to keep it to yourself if you leave any comments, because all three of those are in no way scams.
The funny thing is that it doesn't appear that stupid people are any more likely to believe stupid things. In fact, there are some studies that indicate educated people are at least as likely to believe stupid things.
So it's not the nature of the knowledge: these subjects are well known and solidly presented. It's not the stupidity of the thinker: many reasonably intellectual people still deny them.
What it is, is memes.
Unlike the science of global warming, the "science" of memes pretty much doesn't exist. It's just a handy lens to look at the mind through. So that's what I'm doing.
We can consider a meme to be like bacteria. Everyone's got scads of bacteria in them. Most of them are symbiotic or at least harmless. A memetic version might be: you are generally positive on the subject of pants. There's no strong reason to wear pants, but I bet you can come up with a lot of justifications if you try. The truth is that you wear pants because you were taught to wear pants. It's a meme.
Some memes are not so harmless. For example, belief that vaccines are bad and refusing to get your child vaccinated has a reasonably high chance of directly killing somebody. This is not a harmless meme. The meme-bacteria is in your mind, giving you all sorts of weird symptoms that make you dangerous to those around you!
In this view of the mind, people who are anti-evolution, anti-vaccine, anti-global-warming, they're sick. I mean "sick" as in "they have a cold". They are ill. It's not something you really want to hold against them, although you may want to avoid them until they get better.
Unfortunately, "until they get better" is the iffy part.
Unlike the body, the mind has a pretty crap immune system. In fact, most of the mind's "immune response" to memes is run by the very memes you most need defending from. For example, the anti-vaccination meme erects barriers against all conversation that might attempt to shake it off.
So, once infected, you are chronically ill with the meme. It will be almost impossible to shake it and return your mind to equilibrium, where it can look at facts with something vaguely resembling reason.
Assuming that everyone is going to get sick in the span of their life, the next step is to ask ourselves: how can you grow an immune system for the mind? What would it be? How would it work?
You can't simply say "science", because while science is pretty good at laying down the facts, the whole point is that these memes exist despite the facts. There's got to be another solution.