Johnson’s response to Priestly’s statement “The English hierarchy (if there be anything unsound in its constitution) has equal reason to tremble at an air pump or an electrical machine” was because the world wide change science had on an individual’s minds. During the scientific revolution, many ideas and answers to things unknown in the world were coming to exposure. Johnson says “scientific thinking would challenge challenge the explanatory models of religion”. Instead of turning to a religion to answer truths about life, the progressive movement of Enlightenment science was giving everyone knowledge and truths. Which I agree with; Science was the first step to opening people’s minds and turning them away from religion and religion in government. Johnson writes a quote by Priestly“it would undermine the existing religious authorities by invoking the very same principles that governed his scientific research”(Johnson 147) and those principles were to “expose as many ideas as possible to as many minds as possible, and the system will ultimately gravitate toward truth and consensus”.(Johnson 147) Priestly said “is to promote the most perfect freedom of thinking and acting.”(Johnson 147)
I personally do not think that Johnson shed any new light on any scientific or technological research that holds social or political consequences, but he does remind us the history of ideas that were already displayed. He proves how our history shaped our world into the way it is. He writes about the scientific revolution and how it progressed everyone into free thinking instead of religion in politics.