"Is there any point to which you would wish to draw
"To the curious incident of the dog in the
"The dog did nothing in the night-time."
"That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock
So, Scientific American is now faced with the
Stand by the technical validity of the quotes from David
Jones, casting doubts on their ability to evaluate the
technical issues. (Jones'
comments were critiqued in detail, a fact that Scientific
American conveniently omitted).
Disavow the quotes from David Jones, casting doubts on
the significance of their claim to "stand by"
Don't mention David Jones and hope nobody notices.
This is just to let Scientific American know that
they can rule out the third option.....
It is usually not possible to determine that a term is used
consistently in a work without reviewing the entire work.
It's difficult to be accurate without asking people to read your
work before publishing it, but that's their policy and their
problem, not ours. Scientists pass around preprints and ask for
comments. This is a fine way to catch errors of exactly the type
that Scientific American committed.
To understand why artificial self replicating systems are
feasible, it's necessary to
actually study the literature on the subject. Quite a few
designs have been proposed by quite a few authors (including
myself) that operate in quite a few environments. Interest in
such artificial systems is motivated by the observation that
there are many valuable things that biological systems appear
unable to make -- diamondoid structures being a prime example.
As the payoff is large, as there are no known valid technical
arguments against feasibility, and as there are many technical
arguments supporting the feasibility of nanotechnology, further
research should be pursued.