Attack of the clones
A BABY has been born through cloning, French scientist and member of the Raelian sect Brigitte Boisselier has claimed.
The baby, a girl, was born on Thursday by caesarean section. The birth "went very well," said Boisselier, president of the human cloning society Clonaid, on the telephone.
First, I should state that I don't even believe the claims to be true.
The most telling facts about Clonaid come from this statement:
Clonaid, which calls itself the "first human cloning company," was founded by a religious group called the Raelians in 1997. Boisselier is a bishop in the Raelian movement, which professes that life on Earth was created through genetic engineering by extraterrestrials.
The Raelians believe their spiritual leader Rael is a direct descendant of these aliens. Rael told CNN in July 2001 that the long-term goal for human cloning is to live forever. Rael says cloning a baby is only the first step: Eventually the group wants to learn how to clone an adult, then "transfer the brain to the clone."
I don't mean to offend any of you extraterrestrials out there, but how the hell does this kind of technology get into the hands of a freak cult wihtout being regulated? Can any scientist with an agenda form a little club and start cloning babies to fit their needs?
Suppose a white power group hooks up with a fellow aryan nation lover who just happens to be a scientist with an extensive knowledge of cloning technology? This kind of power and science in the hands of the wrong people is an evil thing with the potential for disaster.
I don't know how much credence I put into the claims of a cult that believes they are aliens, but the thought is frightening.
Legally, there's very little to stop scientists from cloning. In January, the National Academy of Sciences recommended a ban on human cloning, but only four states -- California, Michigan, Louisiana and Rhode Island -- ban any type of cloning research.
The FDA claims it has jurisdiction over human cloning based on the Public Health Service and Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. It says it would regulate the cloning process like a drug.
The myriad of things that can go wrong with human cloning reads like a litany of sci-fi movie plot devices. No one knows what can happen to a perfectly normal-seeming baby clone once the infant starts to grow. Sheep, cows and mice - among other animals - have been cloned before and while they appeared normal at birth, developed problems later on.
Cloning humans while the technology is still new and unproven is akin to experimenting on babies. I am all for cloning research, as the benefits of cloning animals may lead to important scientific findings in the field of health and medicine, but as far as cloning humans, why create a life that may end up being one of sickness, deformities or even very short lived? Why take the risk with a human when you don't know what the consequences are yet?
Boisselier says the immediate purpose for cloning is to help infertile couples, but I can't imagine any couple so desperate to have a child that they would take all the risks that come with an unproven science to conceive a baby. And while Boisselier may try to pretend the motives of her group are altruistic, I repeat these words from above: Rael told CNN in July 2001 that the long-term goal for human cloning is to live forever. Rael says cloning a baby is only the first step: Eventually the group wants to learn how to clone an adult, then "transfer the brain to the clone.
Living forever in and of itself is one of the worst ideas known to man. The brain transfer theory seems like an attempt to create their own race or cult of like-minded, same-looking people. Put together, the possibilities are frightening.
The future is here, and I'm not liking it.