My guess is that there is institutional bias and prejudice at work here.
For your guess to be true (and I'm broadening here what you may be referring to as "institutional"), the 7 or so downvotes would have to correspond to some majority of users. Yet, 7 is not even half of the top voters of this month.
Naturally, as per how this site works, it is irrelevant if the 7 are the most active, if they are the moderators, or any other "prominent role". So I interpreted "institutional" as "the whole community".
This question has been edited to be more appealing to the members of the community, but is still described as "divisive", though comments with negative comments have been left in place.
I can only speak for myself: I think it's current form is fine.
Why is this question divisive?
Maybe it wasn't sufficiently clear of provocation1.
Other than unquestioned faith in the infallibility of ancient texts, is there any other basis for modern Buddhists to believe in Buddhist Cosmology? What If so, what is that basis?
While the above can be seen as a perfectly objective question, it also may not: it leaves room for a person to understand that modern buddhists (e.g. a reader) have unquestioned faith in the infallibility of ancient texts and, moreover, unquestioned faith in the buddhist cosmology -- furthermore, possibly spiraling to the idea that general faith in the texts are uncritical, and so on.
IOW, it might be read as:
"I know you all have unquestioned faith in the infallibility of ancient texts and buddhist cosmology, but do you have anything else to show why it might be true?"
Yes, certainly the original text did not say that. It seems what matters is how it's patterns create reactions that are known and could have been avoided.
A good objective text is not just one that is, by itself, objective, but one that minimizes any chance for a reader to misfocus and drift away from the subject at hand.
The bulk of his question is about evidence for cosmology. He could have avoided all the trouble by asking precisely and only this: if there are empirical evidence for the buddhist cosmology and what writings are there of gurus confirming its reality. That's all a user looking for such information would be required to say (unless he wants to say or imply more than that?).
Answers "based on faith" are easily implied that it is not what he is looking for. No need to further add words that risk implying problematic things. Specially when humans, with diverse nationalities, age, education, background and mood are reading and voting and specially when this user has had troubles to be understood before. And really, I think that's all there's to it.
What is it about a question being "divisive" which is a bad thing?
I'm certain that it's not the essence of the question that is drawing such a negative reaction. It's likely the perception of some users towards another user and his way of expressing himself.
What is wrong with contentious questions?
Not much, if the contention is limited to their subject. @ChrisW has pointed out how one of his question is the second most upvoted on this site: Is rebirth a delusional belief?. That's a pretty contentious question, no? Notice how there is one downvote on it. Notice how even a user who would not be inclined to upvote did so because he praised the research behind it.
There are many people here willing to address skeptical questions and respect them but I guess there aren't many who are interested in untying nots of questions that might be saying more than what they should.
1 However, the larger number of downvotes might be better explained by the context: previous questions posted by the same users, and how other users have been reacting to him