The use of the air pump and electrical machines are good, specific examples of things that kicked off the Industrial Revolution. Whether it was Priestly’s invention of carbonated water and discovery of oxygen, or Benjamin Franklin and his discovery of electricity, both began a shift in society. People began to form new groups and sects of society completely devoted to scientific discovery. People became selfless, sharing research and new theories with anyone and everyone, instead of using their research for personal gain and wealth. This is what Johnson meant by the government having “reason to tremble at an air pump, or an electrical machine” (p. 133). The Lunar society mentioned in the reading began to create “immense wealth and technological supremacy without a single Parliamentary seat”, this led them to begin to oppose the “archaic structures of the British establishment” (p. 150). These men held the keys to the entire Industrial boom, but completely opposed the current hierarchy. Their detachment form religion made them hate Britain’s reign even more. With all these new developments and a deep-rooted hate for the current regime, governments and religions should be very, very afraid of air pumps and electrical machines.
Towards the end of the book, Johnson talks about a group of main scientific research such as stem cell research, atomic energy and global warming. He goes on to compare their “controversial nature” to Preistly’s problem that his research was always being questioned and denounced by politics and faith. Things like global warming and evolution are known fact in today’s realm of science but are denounced in todays world by politics and religion. They become muddied by corrupt political regimes and false religious truths, whereas science is cold, hard fact that whether you believe it or not, is the one and only truth.
2 thoughts on “Science is Fact…?”
I appreciate your awareness of the paradigm shift that Priestley took apart in. Further acceptance of the difference between religious ideologies and scientific facts is an important deviation to be aware of, especially in today’s era. But your statement that “science is cold, hard fact that whether you believe it or not, is the one and only truth”,is one that raises a few concerns for me. Science is more of a method for determining the truth, and remains fluid with the progress of knowledge and scientific techniques. By your definition, the first scientifically accepted concept is the truth, when in reality science is a continuous progress of thought and ideas. Without this ability to accept and adapt to the newest information and discoveries, society would still see the Earth as the center of the solar system and the atom as the smallest entity in the universe.
I do like your blog, but I do agree with Kendra. Science is fluid and it does a very good job of staying with the times and changing to peoples’ needs. Without science being as flexible as it is we wouldn’t have the technology we have today. We wouldn’t have explored space or the part of the ocean we have discovered. We wouldn’t have the computers or phones that we have today. Everything that we have and use on a daily basis is because of science and the progress science makes.
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