To clarify my position on molecular nanotechnology (MNT) for Richard Jones and others, let me state emphatically that I do not consider the arrival of MNT to be imminent, only plausible. I see MNT as one possibility in a space of increasingly precise manufacturing systems that can build their own components, moving towards 100% self-replication closure. As Richard points out in his “six challenges for MNT”, there are plenty of hurdles to cross before MNT is developed, if at all.
What is interesting to me is the constantly increasing precision and power of our manufacturing systems. MNT is one possibility, and its familiarity with a wide audience makes it a good reference point for advanced manufacturing technologies even if it does not come to pass as we envision. There are many non-MNT powerful manufacturing technologies in the pipeline, like synthetic biology, which will eventually be used to create atomically precise structures using ribosomes as “assemblers”.
There is no transhumanist “belief package” except for realizing that modifying the human body and brain with technology could be a beneficial thing with proper oversight. Everything else is up for continuous reevaluation. A dogmatic transhumanist belief package is a strawman. Nowadays, thanks to the growth of the movement and declining intellectual standards, many transhumanists know close to nothing about MNT, and probably would be hard-pressed to even say what the acronym stands for.