I've just come across an excellent Conservatism Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) written by Jim Kalb at/of Yale University. He writes:
1.1 What is distinctive about conservatism as a political view?The problem is, of course, that much of what passes for "conservatism" seems (to me) to entirely contradict what can be "demonstrated or even explicity stated". Similar criticisms, of course, can be levied at "liberalism" or any other political, social or religious viewpoint. In many cases, people treat evidence which contradicts their pre-conceived notions as either not existing, or somehow as inherently biased as their own opinions. And how can we deal with this cognative dissonence? That's the big question...
Its emphasis on tradition as a source of wisdom that goes beyond what can be demonstrated or even explicitly stated.