Now I Remember Why I Want to Move to Europe

Posted by Keith McMillan

February 18, 2008 | 4 Comments

A new study by University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Dietram Scheufele finds that only 1/3 of Americans find nanotechnology morally acceptable, reports this article in Science Daily.

In a sample of 1,015 adult Americans, only 29.5 percent of respondents agreed that nanotechnology was morally acceptable.

What, pray tell, is moral or immoral, acceptable or unacceptable about nanotechnology? Have we become so mired in fanatical puritanism that we are no longer capable of thinking for ourselves?

The catch for Americans with strong religious convictions, Scheufele believes, is that nanotechnology, biotechnology and stem cell research are lumped together as means to enhance human qualities. In short, researchers are viewed as “playing God” when they create materials that do not occur in nature, especially where nanotechnology and biotechnology intertwine, says Scheufele.

To a certain extent, this reminds me of some of the things that happened in the Islamic world during the dark ages. While most of Western Europe was trying to remember how to read and write, the Islamic world had mathematics, algebra, medicine, and astronomy. Then something happened, some say it was a new strict interpretation of Sharia law, that caused their progress to stop, like it was frozen in amber. The West continued to learn and develop, while the Islamic world stagnated, and the majority of advancements in science no longer arose from that part of the world.

Now, we have a majority of the arguably the most technologically advanced country on the planet saying they want to teach Intelligent Design in schools, and that nanotechnology is morally indefensible. How long before we have to have new concepts approved by the church before they can be investigated, I wonder?


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Comment by Peter H Coffin
2008-02-18 22:30:56

*mutter* Nanotech, in so far as medical uses go, I don’t see as being any different than someone getting a pin in their hip.

Comment by Andy Kailhofer
2008-02-18 22:33:20

How you speak about The Church! I will report you forthwith. Perhaps I will be granted extra indulgences!

Seriously… It makes nanobots sad when people don’t trust them.

2008-02-27 20:31:53

[…] Now I Remember Why I Want to Move to Europe […]

2008-02-29 17:15:23

The Morality of Nanotechnology

A new study finds that only 1/3 of Americans find nanotechnology morally acceptable.

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