If an individual, such as a sage or commentator, does or supports something that's completely inaccurate in one field of study of which he claims to have knowledge, does it make sense to give much importance to his contributions to other fields?
For example, רמב"ם has offered commentary and Halachic codes, which we seem to hold in rather high regard, but also seems to adamantly refuse the primitive forms of theories which we now know with near-certainty to be accurate, such as atomism.
If someone is not only incorrect in one claim, but adamantly refuses it, as though he has understanding of the field, in which he apparently does not, how can we treat his contributions to other fields as valid? In other words, if someone claimed more understanding than he really possessed, and made false claims within one field, do we have any legitimate reason to say he didn't do the same in other fields? This is not necessarily a question about Maimonides, nor am I trying to suggest that he or anyone else is wrong, I just wonder why we regard them as "right" or "qualified" to offer what they do.