Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It was Galileo's *tone* that the Church objected to

Jon Chait notices an NRO blogger, Jim Manzi, actually taking on the Right's "epistemic closure" with a criticism of Mark Levin's Liberty and Tyranny, specifically the part on global warming:
I’m not expert on many topics the book addresses, so I flipped to its treatment of a subject that I’ve spent some time studying — global warming — in order to see how it treated a controversy in which I’m at least familiar with the various viewpoints and some of the technical detail.

It was awful. It was so bad that it was like the proverbial clock that chimes 13 times — not only is it obviously wrong, but it is so wrong that it leads you to question every other piece of information it has ever provided.
And then Manzi goes on to explain why.

As if to illustrate by personal example the whole "epistemic closure" thesis, noted NRO hacks Andrew McCarthy and K.J. Lopez attack Manzi for ... his tone. K-Lo:
There is heart and soul and years of experience in his book — and a heck of a lot more than cut-and-paste Google searching (!). He's heard a lot worse and can handle his own battles, but as one who has followed Mark's career, I found Jim's tone deeply disappointing.
There will be more to say about this, and I imagine I won't be the only one to discuss it when time allows. But for now I would just observe that Jim Manzi's post on Mark Levin's widely acclaimed book is beneath him. No one minds a good debate, but Jim's gratuitously nasty tone — "awful," "Trilateral Commission," "wingnuttery," etc. — is just breathtaking.
Neither finds anything to object to in Manzi's specific factual criticisms.

Let's see how long Manzi continues to be associated with NRO.

(And yes, I know that it was in fact Galileo's tone, as much as anything else, that got him in trouble.)

... UPDATE: Manzi retorts, off-site.

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