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Thread: Editorial on Cloaning Hoax

  1. #1

    Editorial on Cloaning Hoax

    This is from Ellen Goodman of the Boston Globe and is very well written.

    The Eve of a perilous new era



    By Ellen Goodman, 1/5/2003

    ALL IN ALL it's probably not the best PR move for an atheist cult to dub its
    first offspring Eve. It might look as if they think they're God.

    Besides, the biblical, or even the Darwinian Eve was the mother of us all.
    The girl whose birth was trumpeted as the first-ever clone would be the
    daughter and identical twin of one of us.

    Still, the Raelian believers and scientists get credit for their 15 minutes
    of fame and their half-hour on CNN. When Brigitte Boisselier, the Raelian
    bishop and midriff-baring CEO of Clonaid, announced that the first clone was
    born by Caesarean section to a 31-year-old American, she had the stage to
    herself for at least half a news cycle before the skeptics weighed in.

    Frankly, the company established by Raelian scientists to clone humans
    always struck me as a dubious enterprise. Clonaid? It sounds like a cross
    between a rock 'n' roll fund-raiser and a nose spray.

    Clonaid began life as a mailbox in the Caribbean and upgraded to a
    fly-infested lab in an abandoned high school in West Virginia. The
    scientific notes reportedly kept by a researcher didn't inspire confidence:
    ''We went to the slaughterhouse and got some ovaries.'' Thankfully, this was
    when they were doing research on cows, not women, but you get the idea.

    Boisselier's report that five of their 10 clones were successful strains
    credibility. Her announcement yesterday of a second clone birth breaks
    credibility. It took 277 tries to get one Dolly. Yet, they've produced an
    all-too-perfect rainbow of diversity. One lesbian mother, an Asian
    surrogate, and the clones of two dead babies? Where, oh, where is the
    partridge in the pear tree?

    As for Rael and the Raelians, where do we begin? Claude Vorilhon, aka Rael,
    the French-born race car driver, journalist, and author of ''Let's Welcome
    Our Fathers from Space,'' met the 4-foot- tall, dark-haired, olive-skinned
    aliens with almond-shaped eyes near a volcano in 1973.

    There, he reports, they explained how our species was cloned from theirs
    (hold the green skin) and would clone ourselves into immortality. We would
    download our personalities and memories into our adult clones and, zap,
    eternal life. I can't wait.

    Rael is a man of apparent good humor - which you need when you dress in
    white space clothes, believe that Steven Spielberg stole your story for
    ''Close Encounters,'' and wear your hair in a topknot. He remembers one of
    the aliens saying to him,''Aren't you sorry that you didn't bring your
    camera?'' You betcha.

    It would, however, take more than a camera for credibility this time. The
    only way I'll believe in Eve is if I'm personally standing there when they
    take the blood samples and do the DNA test.

    Nevertheless - you knew there would be a nevertheless - this story got our
    attention because today's hoax is tomorrow's possibility.

    Over the past decade, one offspring at a time, we've learned that we can
    fool Mother Nature. From a ''test-tube baby'' named Louise to a little lamb
    named Dolly, to half a dozen other cloned critters, we've gradually created
    the reproductive technology of cloning.

    Now all we have to do is create hundreds, probably thousands of defective
    embryos and fetuses, dangerous pregnancies, and genetically deformed
    children to get (maybe) a healthy clone. That's all, folks.

    Since Dolly wobbled onto the stage in 1997, we've had plenty of folks
    willing and eager to experiment. Dr. Richard Seed was the first to announce
    that he'd clone himself and have his (post- menopausal) wife carry his
    little seedlings. That blessed event didn't, blessedly, happen.

    Today, along with the Raelians and their little Eve project, we have two
    other fertility doctors claiming they have pregnant women ready to give
    birth to clones. Sooner or later is getting sooner.

    So, yes, the story of Eve registers high on the hoax meter. After all,
    Clonaid was designed in the words of its vice president ''to create
    controversy.'' But the alarm is, in fact, long overdue.

    A spokesman for President Bush, who greeted Eve without the requisite
    politician's kiss, said soberly that it underscores the need for a ban on
    cloning. He didn't mention that our government deep-sixed just such a ban,
    rejecting an international agreement outlawing reproductive cloning to
    create humans, because it didn't also outlaw therapeutic cloning to cure
    diseases.

    At home, a similar all-or-nothing opposition to cloning has created a
    congressional stalemate. Many legislators can't seem to distinguish between
    the promise of therapeutic cloning and the threat of reproductive cloning.

    Here's what we've learned from this ''dress rehearsal.'' We need a sharp,
    simple ban on cloning humans now. Leave the thornier questions of
    therapeutic cloning for another day.

    The Raelians want us to welcome Eve into the family. I think we ought to
    raise Cain.

    Ellen Goodman's e-mail address is ellengoodman@globe.com.

    "Don't worry about the world coming to an end today.
    It's already tomorrow in Australia!"----- Charles Schultz


  2. #2
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    cheesecake,

    whats the point here?

  3. #3

    The point RJ is......

    "Here's what we've learned from this ''dress rehearsal.'' We need a sharp,
    simple ban on cloning humans now. Leave the thornier questions of
    therapeutic cloning for another day."

    ......don't allow this "unsupported event" to result in a moratorium on all stem cell research. Implement the ban on human cloning NOW, leave the rest to be approved when the " human cloning"issue is removed.

    "Don't worry about the world coming to an end today.
    It's already tomorrow in Australia!"----- Charles Schultz


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