Earlier today Sonja Brentjes, the co-author of the recent Skeptical Inquirer piece criticizing the traveling exhibition 1001 Inventions, replied to my October 20 blog post about her article. Her criticism was lengthy and sustained, so as I did with Philip Coppens' reply to me, I am presenting Brentjes' criticism below in the left-hand column with my reply in the right-hand column. Please do read the original piece before reading the following discussion.
In sum, Brentjes is correct that my broader criticism was inelegantly stated and implied more than I had warrant to assume, but my specific criticisms of the medieval texts in question are not wrong. A later comment from Brentjes noting that I incorrectly called Ibn Firnas a Moor when he was in fact a Berber is completely right, and I apologize for the error.
(As per Brentjes' later comment about typographic errors, I have slightly amended her comments to correct obvious typos.)
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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