Answers 1Add Yours
To explain how Takers fallaciously believe themselves exempt from natural laws, Ishmael compares Taker civilization to the first flying machines. An airman testing one of those early machines might take off on it from a cliff and believe that he is flying even as he is simply falling at a reduced rate. He might see the ruins of failed machines on the ground below him, but he simply wonders why they stopped trying to fly - he does not realize they have crashed.
You have too many questions here for this short space.