I suppose the statement makes sense to the authors, but not to me. I have no idea why Puritanism would prevent scientists from learning things about earthquakes. Someone will likely say to me that Puritans would attribute an earthquake to the sovereign action of God. But so what? Does that mean that religious human beings would have no interest at all in the natural mechanisms of earthquake? Have religious persons NEVER made scientific discoveries? Of course they have. Besides, I’m sure Puritans saw the hand of God in the success and failure of crops. Do you mean to tell me, then, that they had NO interest at all in methods of farming? Ridiculous.