A quote I particularly liked was: “The master mathematician’s grim warnings were treated by many as so much more mere elaborate self-advertisement. Common sense at last, a little heated by argument, signified its unalterable convictions by going to bed.”
I have personally found that people just don’t understand science, and most toss it out the window when it gives them a result that isn’t in accordance with common sense. This ignorance persists until the results they threw away are right in their face (in the form of a “star” coming close to the Earth, or more recently, a string of the worst hurricanes on record as an effect of global warming). Wells, a scientist himself, undoubtedly experience the same thing when trying to explain what he did to the masses. It’s not hard to understand why he put that in The Star.