Chris Mooney: The Republican War on Science

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Chris Mooney, the guy who keeps the politicians honest on science of all sorts (see his blog, which we often trackback to), has a book out. It is entitled, The Republican War on Science, and the webpage just went up: The book is not a general attack on Republicanism, but it argues that the “antiscience right wing” of the party is currently setting the agenda, to the detriment of both the party and the country. As Mooney notes, “Encouraging the electoral success of Republican moderates with good credentials on science could potentially have just as constructive an effect as backing Democrats.” (p. 255)

PT denizens will appreciate two chapters the most. Chapter 4, “‘Creation Science’ and Reagan’s ‘Dream’”, reviews Ronald Reagan’s antievolutionism as governor of California, and as president. Chapter 11, “‘Creation Science’ 2.0”, reviews the origin of the “intelligent design” movement. Chapter 11 kicks off with such a stunning opening act, I just have to quote a teaser here. Guess who these two guys are?

Nearly 40 years ago, in 1966, two talented young political thinkers published an extraordinary book, one that reads, in retrospect, as a profound warning to the Republican Party that went tragically unheeded.

The authors had been roommates at Harvard University, and had participated in the Ripon Society, an upstart group of Republican liberals. They had worked together on Advance, dubbed “the unofficial Republican magazine,” which slammed the party from within for catering to segregationists, John Birchers, and other extremists. Following their graduation, both young men moved into the world of journalism and got the chance to further advance their “progressive” Republican campaign and got a book for the eminent publisher Alfred A. Knopf. In their spirited 1966 polemic The Party That Lost Its Head, they held nothing back. The book devastatingly critiqued Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign – and dismissed the GOP’s embrace of rising star Ronald Reagan as the party’s hope to “usurp reality with the fading world of the class-B movie.”Chris Mooney (2005). The Republican War on Science, p. 164

To find out who these two noble young liberal Republicans are (guesses are welcome – they are two of our favorite people here at PT) you’ll just have to get Chris Mooney’s book.

PS: See also Mooney’s book discussion board, the flashy flying-elephant advertisement, the book tour, an excerpt, reviews, and other blog commentary.

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VIP from from Billy on June 11, 2006 6:45 PM

good work! Read More



To be clear, Bruce Chapman, President of the Discovery Institute, and

George Gilder, senior fellow of the Discovery Institute.

According to Mooney, they went bad while in the Reagan administration. So sad…

Yeah, that was the story that struck me, too. It’s sad how those two lost their marbles…on the other hand, it did land them some name recognition. As long as they don’t mind being synonymous with bat guano…

Any more references to me and you know what is going to happen to you? Well, do ya? You’re gonna have to answer to the Coca Cola company!

Jeez! I always thought the IDers were in some far off land… Turns out that George Gilder lives somewhere near me in the Berkshires!!! And his publishing house is located not far from Simon’s Rock College in Great Barrington, MA! (A very liberal school to be sure!) My oh my! I might have even talked to George at my job and not even known it! If I do see him I’ll tell him the folks at Pandas Thumb say, “Hi”.

bat guano Wrote:

You’re gonna have to answer to the Coca Cola company!

I love the smell of Dr. Strangelove in the morning…

From Chris Mooney’s site

Folks, tomorrow night (Wednesday) I’m going to be appearing on the “Majority Report” on Air America, talking both about the book and about “intelligent design.” I’m not sure exactly when I’ll be on the air but I believe it’ll be around 8:30 ET. I’ll post an update when I have more certain info on that. To learn how you can listen live, click here:

For the “Majority Report” website click here:

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This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on August 8, 2005 6:41 PM.

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