The Dark Side of Science

Will nanomachines one day be launched into our bloodstreams to monitor health and combat disease? Or will "self-replicating nanobots" proliferate out of control until they completely overrun the planet? A runaway plague of rogue nanobots wouldn't violate basic scientific laws, but that doesn't make it realistic. This extreme outcome is not likely, but it's not impossible either — and that's exactly what critics of the technology are worried about.

It is foolhardy to venture predictions about what science will achieve this century. Scientific predictions have been notoriously awry in the past. In 1933 Lord Rutherford, the greatest nuclear...

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