Shortly after the epigraph quote is repeated on page 130, Johnson explains the battling nature of politics, religion, and science. Both history and current day news show that religion and politics usually play nicely together. Many devout religious individuals are often active in politics and many politicians practice and advocate for their religion daily. Science however, is almost viewed as the enemy of these two. Scientific fact regularly goes against what religion and politics believe. Governments and religions should equally fear an air pump and an electrical machine because even if the first could be argued as “simpler,” both represent advancement and necessity in science. In the eyes of politicians and religious folk, science is a future that can be objectively proven (largely unlike politics and religion) and that scares them. People are afraid of being proven wrong.
The most prominent example of scientific research that I can think of that has social and political consequences is climate change. This is a topic that almost nobody is indifferent about. Just about anyone you speak to, ESPECIALLY politicians, either advocate aggressively for or against the existence of climate change and the problems it presents. Religions don’t seem to have a stake in it, but climate change is one of the most hotly debated topics in politics at the moment. Very much going with what Johnson says in the book, those who are against climate change’s existence are very much against science as a whole and they fear it entirely. Once again, people are afraid of being proven wrong.