Meanwhile, the rest of us are left wondering why.
Here are two observations posted today by fellow ScienceBloggers.
The immensely popular "Orac," the nom de blog of a surgeon/scientist offers this interpretation:
I've concluded that a lot of issues underlying this kerfuffle may be the difference between the "pure" scientists and science teachers (like PZ and Larry Moran, for example), who are not dependent upon selling their science for the continued livelihood of their careers, and scientists like me, who are, not to mention nonscientist journalists and communications faculty (like Mooney and Nisbet), for whom communication is their career. As I've mentioned before, writing grants and giving scientific talks force scientists to "frame" their data all the time, to maximize their persuasive powers in the service of convincing their audience that their science is valid. Indeed, just presenting data in different formats involves framing, as Bora detailed so well. PZ and Moran, for example, appear no longer to have to sell their ideas to external granting agencies or suffer a severe hit to their careers, as far as I can tell.
Over at Uncertain Principles, a professor of physics suggests something even deeper:
The entire problem with "framing" is that Nisbet and Mooney are looking for the best way to promote science, while PZ and Larry are looking for the best way to smash religion. The goals are not the same, and the appropriate methods are not the same-- in particular, Nisbet and Mooney argue that the best way to promote science would be to show a little tact when dealing with religious people, and that runs directly counter to the real goals of PZ and Larry.