These second-generation nanomachines - built of more than just proteins - will do all that proteins can do, and more. In particular, some will serve as improved devices for assembling molecular structures. Able to tolerate acid or vacuum, freezing or baking, depending on design, enzyme-like second-generation machines will be able to use as "tools" almost any of the reactive molecules used by chemists - but they will wield them with the precision of programmed machines. They will be able to bond atoms together in virtually any stable pattern, adding a few at a time to the surface of a workpiece until a complex structure is complete. Think of such nanomachines as assemblers.
Because assemblers will let us place atoms in almost any reasonable arrangement, they will let us build almost anything that the laws of nature allow to exist. In particular, they will let us build almost anything we can design - including more assemblers. The consequences of this will be profound, because our crude tools have let us explore only a small part of the range of possibilities that natural law permits. Assemblers will open a world of new technologies.
Advances in the technologies of medicine, space, computation, and production - and warfare - all depend on our ability to arrange atoms. With assemblers, we will be able to remake our world or destroy it. So at this point it seems wise to step back and look at the prospect as clearly as we can, so we can be sure that assemblers and nanotechnology are not a mere futurological mirage.
— K. Eric Drexler, Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology (1986)
This is nothing new, and I'm sure many of you have probably heard about Nanomachines before. Nanomachines, nanomites, or nanites are extremely microscopic robot forms usually measuring in the scale of nanometers. As Drexler pointed out, scientists will be able to accomplish virtually anything with nanomachines, especially if they find a way to completely integrate nanotechnology with other equally advanced fields of study (genetics, infotech, biotech, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, etc.). When this happens, then we can all say goodbye to science and hello to sorcery. Kinda gives you an idea about what's on Arthur C. Clark's mind when he said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Even the famous occultist, Aleister Crowley, had the same thought when he said, "The magicians of the future will use mathematical formulas."
In pop culture, we can see how the destructive potential of nanotechnology is being portrayed. For example, in the film The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), a robot named "GORT" (Genetically Organized Robotic Technology) dissolves into a swarm of self-replicating nanites that spreads out and begins erasing all humans and human-made objects in their path, with the exception of non-human organisms. The purpose of this is to bring back the planet to its natural state. In G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009), a weapons specialist (Destro) creates a nanotech-based weapon capable of destroying an entire city, which the bad guys use to target the Eiffel Tower. In Gamer (Gerard Butler, 2009), an egocentric geek revolutionizes the gaming industry by inventing self-replicating nanites that replace existing brain cells and allow full control of all motor functions of the body by someone else. It's just like having your own remote control human.
I really have nothing against science and technology. Actually, I have nothing against anything or anybody. I only want to point out the not so obvious fact that the "smart" people who understand the language of science are owned by the "rich and powerful" people who also own the planet's resources, and just because these guys are rich, powerful, or smart doesn't necessarily mean they possess wisdom. The way I see it, as innovative technologies continue to sprout globally like wild mushrooms in an age of profound ignorance, the future of humanity only grows darker each and every passing day in the hands of these guys. But who knows... things happen for a reason, right?