Chris Mooney discusses the reason why conservatives attack scientific findings about why they hate science, suggesting that "if I'm wrong, then the press can happily go on doing what it has always done:"
Splitting the difference between the political left and the political right, and employing "on the one hand, on the other hand" treatments that presume we're all equally biased, all equally self-interested...just in different directions.
The trouble is, I've presented a substantial body of scientific evidence suggesting that this simply isn't the case. More specifically, the science I've presented suggests that the political right and left are quite different animals; that they perceive the world differently and handle evidence differently; and most importantly, that the polarization and the denial of science in modern American politics are fundamentally the fault of the authoritarian right.
"It is very natural," Mooney observes, "that a lot of people...don't want to accept what I'm saying. The problem is, where is the scientific counterargument to what I'm saying? [...] So what do conservatives have to say in response to this science?"
Honestly, the objections are quite weak, and frankly provide a wealth of new evidence in support of the book's argument--that conservatives tend to simply reject science and evidence when it threatens their beliefs. The main conservative counterargument relies on little more than misrepresenting the book and its arguments.
He wonders, "So what's left?"
Not much, other than the standard conservative distrust of what academic scientists are up to--coupled with a rather stunning amount of overconfidence. After all, conservatives seem to think that they are competent to critique--not in the scientific literature, but in the media and on blogs--an entire field. And then, to dismiss it based on those critiques.
At least at the present time, it certainly does look like the available evidence leads to a conclusion that many people don't want to accept.
I'm very sorry about this, but hey--that's what journalists are for. And indeed, that's what anti-authoritarian liberals are for. And frankly, conservatives really ought to get used to it.