Many people lack the critical thinking skills to properly evaluate complex scientific ideas. This is exacerbated by the popular press, which is more interested in sensationalism than nuanced understanding. The most common failure in approaching scientific knowledge is the assumption of absolute truth. ALL of our knowledge, scientific and otherwise, is provisional, based on our limited access to reality and subject to revision as more facts become available.
When it comes to black holes, fortunately, misapprehension of their nature is not going to have consequences for most of us beyond perhaps exposing our ignorance. Much of Hawking's work on black hole theory remains hypothetical, but their existence and certain aspects of their behavior have been observed. How else, for example, would you explain Sagittarius A*? Besides clear evidence of supermassive black holes in galactic centers, there are a number of observable stars in our galaxy in orbit with what appear likely to be black holes.
As to why we follow this regardless of our ability to evaluate or even comprehend, I think it's because the idea feeds our sense of wonder.