There is a tremendous amount of ignorance and stupidity the world over. People get ideas from random sources, make their choices, and are very prone to making the mistake of believing everything they think. So we have people who *still* swear by Laetrile as a cure for cancer, or Scientology as a cure for arthritis caused by grumpy souls stuck in their elbows.
However, science offers a way out of the maze: the idea that ideas are only as valuable as they can be *validated* by peer review and experimentation. Validating ideas is painful, costly, and time consuming, so it takes *time* to find all the stupids and work them out, one by one. Combine that with the often significant economic interests in the ideas being cross-checked, and you can see it often takes even more time and expense to get the word out.
The change of tune that you point out is perhaps the single biggest strength of science, not some evidence of *ahem* irrational design.