Fear the Machine

Throughout history of science there has probably has been very few inventions as important as the air pump. It can be argued that this invention is what jump started this age of enlightenment. The air pump allowed for scientists to study and conduct new experiments with this element which feels just like open space around us, but is so vitally important. When the air pump was invented it led to people to start and question old traditions and idea, which led to people becoming more interested and developing a more curious nature to age old systems, like monarchies. Priestly is a man who is very involved in three domains that many people today would never think of being connected; science, politics, and religion. He believed that with new developments being discovered in one domain, they would reinforce developments in others. In the book, when the Unitarian Church was being opened and people criticizing it because it would undermine existing religious authorities, he used the same principles that he used with his own scientific research, expose as many ideas as possible to as many minds as possible, then the system will gravitate towards truth and consensus ( Johnson p.147).

There is a big difference between the time of Priestly and today, the biggest difference I believe to be is politicians. Back in Priestly’s time, politicians were not just politicians, Jefferson and Franklin both great examples of politicians who also dabbled in science and religion. Even politicians who were not themselves active in science they still thought about it and were influenced by it. Politicians today are not as influenced by science and don’t think about it as much without having some sort of incentive. That being said, most scientific discoveries won’t happen unless the politician will see some sort of quick benefit for either themselves or the citizens they represent. One specific example is experiments with cloning, when the first human is successfully cloned, there will be a big political debate about what that individuals rights are and I am positive that some of the general public will question if that person is a human. In this situation all three of the domains need to come together, which hasn’t been seen since Priestly, and help humanity come to an understanding.

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