A few years ago, Scientific American published an article that began with the words, "That's the messiah," and proceeded to inform us that Eric Drexler sounded like Mr. Peabody. This, we assume, was because they had nothing more substantial to say, but for some reason felt a pressing need to oppose Drexler's work on molecular manufacturing. The article was so bad that it evoked a strong protest from Carl Feynman, son of the Nobel-winning physicist Richard Feynman, about their abuse of his father's name and reputation.
Just this week, a nano blog that used to be trustworthy and even-handed has gone down the same path. In response to Robert Freitas' recent publication of Nanomedicine Volume IIA: Biocompatibility, Cientifica posted an article containing such phrases as, "swarm of nanobots - more idle speculation," and "books of this ilk," and most dishonorably, "a hobby pursuit."
A book with six thousand references is not a hobby pursuit. I wonder why they are trying so hard to persuade people that it's not worth reading. What is their motivation?
I've been saying "they," but in fact, Paul Holister recently left Cientifica. It appears that Tim Harper is now free to vigorously -- and irresponsibly -- oppose the more advanced kinds of nanotechnology. I'm not usually so openly critical. But false claims that "Martian nanobots ... are equally feasible" should not go unchallenged. This is shabby journalism, and it damages the serious and ongoing discussion of the potential effects of advanced nanotechnology.