Nanotechnology: Immortality or Total Annihilation? Essay

2264 Words May 4th, 2000 10 Pages
Technology has evolved from ideals once seen as unbelievable to common everyday instruments.
Computers that used to occupy an entire room are now the size of notebooks. The human race has always pushed for technological advances working at the most efficient level, perhaps, the molecular level. The developments and progress in artificial intelligence and molecular technology have spawned a new form of technology; Nanotechnology. Nanotechnology could give the human race eternal life, or it could cause total annihilation. The idea of nanotech was conceived by a man named K. Eric Drexler (Stix 94), which he defines as "Technology based on the manipulation of individual atoms and molecules to build structures to
complex
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Which is a big step towards the processing of information that nanotech requires. Although there are still unanswered questions from some of the scientific community, researchers believe that they are moving forward and will one day be able to produce nanomachines. One such machine is regarded as a replicator. A replicator, as it's name implies, will replicate; much like the way in which genes are able to replicate themselves (Drexler, "Engines" 23). It is also believed that once a replicator has made a copy of itself, it will also be able to arrange atoms to build entirely new materials and structures (Dowie 5). Another perceived nanomachine is the assembler. The assembler is a small machine that will take in raw materials, follow a set of specific instructions, re-arrange the atoms, and result in an altogether new product (Darling 53). Hence, one could make diamonds simply by giving some assemblers a lump of coal. Drexler states that the assemblers will be the most beneficial nanites for they will build structures atom by atom ("Engines" 12). Along with the assemblers comes its opposite, the disassembler.
The disassembler is very similar to the assemblers, except it works backwards. It is believed that these nanites will allow scientists to analyze materials by breaking them down, atom by atom (Drexler,
"Engines" 19). As a result of the enhanced production effects of assemblers Drexler believes that they will be able to shrink

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