Hope & Glory is a science fiction setting - there's no magic, no elves, no vampires (maybe). This was one of the basic premises - no supernatural unless we can rationalize it.
But because this is a steampunk science fiction setting, and because of the history of our world, we asked ourselves, why not use Victorian-era science?
Because indeed, if the second half of the 19th century was a very exciting age of scientific discovery and expansion, it is also true that a lot of weird theories were taken for good - from the luminiferous ether to the idea that somewhere islands of prehistoric life were surviving.
So, why not build our science fiction on this outdated, and often ridiculously wrong science?
What if Hope & Glory was a game of action, adventure, exploration, and danger, yes, but also of scientific romance?
'Scientific romance' is what science fiction used to be called in the 19th century.
Authors like Robida, Verne, Wells, Shiel, Kipling and Conan Doyle were part of the first generation of scientific romancers.
Go on, take a look at works like Conan Doyle's 'The Lost World', or Olaf Stapledon's 'The Last men in London', or Jules Verne's 'Mysterious Island' to get an idea of what it was like.
And because of this choice, of sticking to scientific romance ideas (at least when it suited our needs and moods) the science in Hope & Glory might sometimes be more akin to what's described in those books than what you'll find in your current handbook of physics or natural sciences.
Which makes for a much more exciting world, actually.
Because we can invoke the lost worlds theory - and populate the Northern Hemisphere with Quaternary megafaunas.
Because we can delve into those strange researches on the nature of mind and mesmerism, and thus create a theory of modern psionics.
Because we can play fast and loose with our steam engines and difference engines.
Because we can give free hand to Nikola Tesla and his feverish imagination.
It's going to be fun.