An “imagined order”, is an abstract concept that doesn’t physically exist but homo sapiens can believe/agree that it exists. “The ability to transmit information about things that do not really exist”(Harari Pg. 37) Examples of imagined orders would be a business, a religion, and a nation. Imagines orders are so important because without them “Most people can neither know, nor gossip effectively about, more than 150 human beings”(Harari Pg 27). But with them massive groups of individuals can work together in an organized manner without knowing everyone involved. This is because “large numbers of strangers can cooperate successfully by believing in common myths”(Harari Pg. 27) By believing in the myth of a company, for example a retail chain. A sales associate and accountant both believe that the company exists and that they work for the company, and both contribute to make it a monetary(another imagined order) profit. But despite all those afgreances they have never met and live thousands of miles away.
I would say imagined orders are prerequisites to science because as is illustrated in the Invention of Air, it’s that in order for science to work you need many different imagined orders which all contribute to science. Like politics, economics, and culture to name a few. Without imagined orders not enough humans can cooperate to advance scientific discovery. But I will say hypothetically science could be possible without imagined orders. If for example we put 150 of the greatest human minds in all of history together, and they were immortal then science could flourish in my estimation.
Like the previous example shows, I don’t think science is an imagined order because unlike business and religion which are a set of agreed upon myths and rules. Science is based on evidence and testing. To invent a new technology like the telescope you still need the ability to abstractly think about a hypothetical possibility but it’s not imagined because you can build and test your theory, and it can happen regardless of what all of society agrees upon. Science is the opposite of an imagined order because instead of people agreeing upon myths and rules they come up with, observation and evidence prove to people what they should believe.