Air pumps and electrical machines represent scientific innovation and progress. Innovation wasn’t always a good thing, it meant discounting the practiced ways and admitting that there could be something better. Essentially, science equals change and, as we all know, change is scary. Priestly believed that the way to true progress in society and christianity was to understand the natural world. As science was rapidly expanding, he believed that the practice of certain politics and religion would have to change to become better and truer, rather than remaining in the ways from less knowledgeable times. In religion, he argued that Christianity had drifted too far into myths and tales. Science disproves many of the practiced Christian stories. Priestly says that to be a true Christian, one must accept this and look for God’s truth through scientifically understanding the world He created. Modern religion feared this push from scientific discovery towards change. Politically, whether in America or England, the progress in rational thought and scientific innovation challenged policies and rulings that had already been established (such is the nature of science). This leaves rulers unstable and resistant. John Adams materialized his fears of scientific progress into a law preventing people from essentially disagreeing with the government. Thomas Jefferson, on the other hand, encouraged science in his presidency and claimed that science’s relation to politics and society is essential.
Science is constantly challenging political issues and stances. Science has the potential, and a history, of producing both positive and negative effects. As scientific knowledge grows, our understanding of the world deepens and we come to understand issues like global warming, which leads to climate change. The American government fears this because to truly accept the problem and its implications would mean a radical change on a national, and global, level. It would mean accepting the mass amounts of mistakes and starting an impossible conservation on how to fix it.