I was studying telecommunications and music at the University of Utah in the 1980s. Not many people know that “the U” as it’s lovingly called, has for decades been a leader in technology research. The modern artificial heart was pioneered at the U and the second-ever artificial heart implant was conducted there.
While I was in school, nanotechnology was still purely theoretical, yet the U was already investing in research labs. This created a buzz on campus and I was introduced to the book, Engines of Creation by Eric Drexler. It changed my perception of humankind’s future and profoundly changed the way I view God by revealing just how intimately, molecularly, and cosmically we are all a prt of the same thing.
I knew nanotechnology would eventually change the world because Drexler proposed a Star Trek-like future where our material goods are manufactured the same way nature makes a tree: from the bottom up, one molecule at a time. Drexler described molecular, self-replicating machines that could be programmed to do anything from seeking and destroying cancer cells, to building a table seemingly from thin air. His theories and proposals helped inspire an entirely new genre of science fiction, Cyberpunk.
Today, nanotech helps us peer into the innermost workings of matter, into the atomic structures of nature. More importantly, it helps us follow God’s blueprint of creation. Imagine a world where we can build a house from wood, without ever having to kill a tree. That’s the sort of stewardship described in the Bible. In fact, in such a world, why not just build everything out of diamond? That future is brilliantly portrayed in Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age. He’s also the author of the Cyberpunk classic Snow Crash. I have extremely worn-out copies of both books. Stephenson deals brilliantly with topics such as poverty (in a world where everything can be provided to everyone, is it?), religion, tribalism, transhumanism, technology implants, and faith, all in engrossing reads you’ll find difficult to put down. Even once you do, you won’t stop thinking about them. Ever.
Nanotech could also eventually help Christians more successfully co-create the kin-dom of God Jesus so relentlessly talks about. when we can manufacture a mattress, a steak, or an entire house one molecule at a time; when we can send intelligent robots through our bloodstreams to attack disease, using nothing but the most basic elemental building blocks of matter, we’ll be able to stop harvesting the Earth to death, and everyone will have access to basic food and shelter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loaqIqKCmog
Physicists in Vienna were recently able to create—and program—an artificial protein, the building block of all life (as we know it): https://phys.org/news/2013-02-nano-machines-bionic-proteins.html
Because of research like this, nanotech has the potential to revolutionize both the way we treat and cure disease, and how we access and pay for health care. https://www.scidev.net/global/disease/feature/nanotechnology-for-health-facts-and-figures-1.html
Nanotech can also revolutionize the way we produce energy, potentially allowing us to create Hydrogen from nothing more than sunlight: https://www.kurzweilai.net/researchers-split-water-into-hydrogen-oxygen-using-light-nanoparticles