Nanotechnology and Religion

by Rachel Baker on August 17, 2013

There’s a very fascinating article at The Guardian regarding much evidence that public views on nanotechnology will be shaped by religious beliefs.

Here’s an excerpt:

In the science fiction short story Halo, a panel of Muslim scholars discuss a strip of bacon made by a “molecular assembler”, a device capable of producing the meat directly from individual atoms, instead of slicing it from an animal. All meat from a pig is forbidden according to Islam’s halal laws. Synthetic bacon is identical to the real one, but it has never been part of a living pig. Is it still forbidden?

“The story may look like a joke, but it shows how the capacity of nanotechnology to manipulate atoms may change the material world in such a way to raise religious questions,” says Chris Toumey, a cultural anthropologist at the University of South Carolina, who has studied in depth the relation between nanotechnology and faith.

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