The Air Scare

The air pump is one if the few of the few innovations in earths history that has had such an extensive and large impact. The beginning of the enlightenment was riding in the tailbone of the air pump and excelled technology at a more rapid rate than ever before. The feel that Joseph Priestly is taking about is how the new concept goes against virtually all ideologies that were propionate before its creation. With divine rule and christianity being the large power in this society, such small and simple invention turned all previous theories on their head. Just a couple lines before the quote used in the prompt Priestly explains his thinking by saying, “ will, I doubt not, be the means, under god, of extirpating all error and prejudice, and of putting an end to all undo and usurped authority in the business of religion, as well as of science” (148). Johnson goes on to explain that today this doesn’t seem too radical but in history it was borderline treason.

An easy connection to today would be the discovery of viable DNA testing. This scientific breakthrough exposed the justice system, tens of citizens on death row have been freed due to this new technology. The social and political consequences lie in this countries blatant prejudice towards those of minorities. The new science also exposed hundreds of eye witness testimonies that were clearly forced or were from too long ago to have a credible memory. Today it is easy to find handfuls of inventions and theories that disprove previous one, that is to say when will the future bring the next “truth”?

One thought on “The Air Scare”

  1. I think you did a great job of summarizing Johnson’s Invention of Air and answering the question of why governments and religions should fear air pumps and electrical machines in your blog. I also agree with the connection you made with DNA testing. It was interesting to me because it was not something that I had thought of before, especially with your point of the prejudice that has been shown towards minority groups in our country. I think your question of when the future will bring the next “truth” is valid and definitely something that we need to be asking ourselves.

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