[ExI] [wta-talk] Religion Colors Americans' Views Of Nanotechnology

Bryan Bishop kanzure at gmail.com
Wed Feb 20 23:14:20 UTC 2008

On Wednesday 20 February 2008, James Clement wrote:
> "They still oppose it," he says. "They are rejecting it based on
> religious beliefs. The issue isn't about informing these people. They
> are informed."

It is important to focus on what rejection means in this context. Does 
it mean that they are not allowing nanotech to exist? No. Does it mean 
that they are physically rejecting any nanotechnological thing entering 
their schools, their homes, their bodies? No. Does it mean that they 
despise the people working in cellular (read: nano) biology, in atomic 
resolution imaging? Are they marching against the researchers? Are they 
preventing these people from living the lives that they want to? 
Perhaps. But no matter how much they supposedly 'reject' it, how much 
they hate it, how much they despise the very prospects of 
nanotechnology, that simply does not make sense. They are basically 
just answering a single question on a quiz saying they 'reject' it -- 
while practicing the exact opposite. Nanotechnology is all around them: 
our cells, bacteria, viruses, fungi, nucleotides, dust, it is simply 
the very small, and being ignorant of these systems, tools and things 
in general will not make them go away. Are we to just wish the 'small' 
away? Just as we are to wish the cosmos away, right? Hey, maybe if we 
don't look, it'll go away! Isn't this the mentality of a toddler? What 
was it that Douglas Adams wrote? " ... a creature so stupid that it 
assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you." Anyway, if they 
socially cacoon themselves from what they perceive to be a threat 
(nanotech), they may not be prepared for any of the advancements that 
come their way via self-repping man-made nanotech (bacteria or MNT). 
What can we do to help these islands of people to survive in the coming 
tech era? Granted, we aren't obligated at all, but that doesn't mean 
there isn't anything interesting there.

- Bryan
Bryan Bishop

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list