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A French scientist who belongs to a cult that believes extra-terrestrials created mankind said on Friday the cult's company had produced the first clone of a human being, without offering any proof. The announcement drew immediate scepticism from experts and renewed questions on the ethics of human cloning(Getty Images)...

 

 

 

 


Cloning:  Now that we are God, everything changes

It was just a matter of time before humans began to clone humans.  The matter has again reached the news with the claim by Clonaid that they have in fact caused the birth of the first human clone. Whether their claim is true or not is not as important as the fact that human cloning will become a reality very soon.

Concern about human cloning should be focused on the fact that scientifically cloning anything is potentially dangerous to the entire planet.  Arrogant scientist have declared that much of the DNA ribbon is made up of junk.  This is the peak of arrogance.  To think that billions of years of evolution has left a significant amount of junk in our DNA is just arrogant stupidity.  

DNA which is the foundation and perpetuator of life is not made up of a significant amount of junk.  That kind of thinking is dangerous to us all because there is a very real possibility that we could create a clone that could kill off the entire human population in much the way that AIDS is killing us right now.

Cloning is the most powerful force in the universe.  It is more powerful than all the weapons of mass destruction on the planet.  Through cloning, not only can we create a disaster in human evolution that will lead to annihilation, but we can also create a master race and we can create modified human beings that are better adapted to space travel than terrestrial bound human beings.  The reality is that human beings are not adapted to a lifetime aboard a space ship and a modified body would be better suited for space travel.

There are two questions that come to mind when I consider the technology that is cloning.  One, were the manbeasts of old, bull heads with human bodies and human heads with snake bodies, etc, real.  Did the human race have the technology to clone and lost it.  And two, is it possible that Noah took into the ark the DNA of every creature as opposed to the actual creatures.  The reality is that it would be impossible to build and stock a boat large enough to carry two of every living thing on the earth.  But a suitcase would suffice if we are talking about one ribbon of DNA for every living creature.

The media has immediately tried to discredit Clonaid's claim that it has created the first human clone by reference to the fact that Clonaid's founder believes that alien beings created human beings or at the least took the human stock as it existed 25,000 years ago and manipulated it to create the current version of human beings.  For those who are familiar with the works of Zechariah Sitchen, you know that he claims the ancient Summerian tablets related that the present race of human beings were genetically created about 250,000 years ago; about the same time that science says that Eve, the mother of all human beings lived.

First, the Raelian's philosophy is too touchy feely New Age to make any real sense in an infinite universe existing within the Infinite Potential or God if you will.  Any alien race that came to this planet would have no doubt unraveled the workings of DNA in addition to solving the problem of traveling over incredibly large distances.  And that technology would not be compatible with the spiritual philosophies that dominate the planet right now.  That technology and accompanying spirituality is infinitely beyond and adverse to the Billion Dollar Jesus Shows that entertain and scare millions of Christians in America every day into giving up their money to the stars of these shows.

There are all kinds of religious questions regarding cloning that our limited social, political and religious philosophies cannot even begin to address.  The question is whether human clones have a unique soul like everyone else or are they without a soul?  And if they have a soul, then human beings have not only accomplished the DNA manipulation that unlocks the entire living world but have also taped into the realm where spirits are also created.

Or is it possible that there are more spirits than human bodies and that those immortal souls simply inhabit the clones: like anything and everything else on the living planet? 

I think we can all see that cloning includes possibilities that the Christian religion cannot answer; questions about the nature of a clone's soul, if any.  So the foundations of Christianity are going to be questioned and challenged.  One of the most powerful forces on the planet is our religious belief.  And none of the world's major religions is prepared to deal with determining the spiritual status of a clone.

Human beings like to know where they stand among other human beings.  They need to know their place and their status.  And human beings like to superimpose their social structure on the realm of Heaven.  So now human beings through their religious beliefs have to somehow fit these clones and their accompanying souls into God's realm and his plan for mankind.  Obviously, this creates havoc and chaos within the limited doctrines and dogma of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

In the meantime, we must keep in mind that cloning is potentially dangerous to the physical well being of real human beings and second we must acknowledge that our religious beliefs that have been set in stone by God will have to undergo some modifications.

Will we impose second class citizenship on clones?  I would say that is coming.  I would say that since we  are still very much racially oriented, clones are going to be classified as subhumans.  The problem is how will later generations know they have fallen in love with a clone and therefore are sinning in the way that one would have sex with an animal.

The nature of all species is to kill off the weak or those who are significantly different.  Will there be blade runners to kill clones as others work to create them?  Will it be against the law to marry a clone and will there be a death penalty associated with creating a child with a clone?  Can we kill clones at will?   Are they disposable?

It is a brave new world and our socio-religious philosophies just took a direct hit.

John WorldPeace
December 28,  2002


First cloned baby claimed as experts cast doubt 

28 December, 2002 08:28 GMT+08:00 

By Angus MacSwan

HOLLYWOOD, Florida (Reuters) - A French scientist who belongs to a cult that believes extra-terrestrials created mankind said on Friday the cult's company had produced the first clone of a human being, without offering any proof.

The announcement drew immediate scepticism from experts and renewed questions on the ethics of human cloning.

"I'm very, very pleased to announce that the first baby clone is born," Clonaid chief executive officer Brigitte Boisselier told a news conference in Hollywood, Florida.

"We called her Eve," Boisselier said.

The baby girl was born to a 31-year-old American woman on Thursday at 11:55 a.m, Boisselier said. She was cloned through cells taken from the mother, she said.

"The baby is very healthy and she's doing fine. The parents are very happy," Boisselier said at the news conference at a beachside Holiday Inn.

The baby was not a monster or "something disgusting" she said. The parents, who had been infertile, did not wish to show off the baby, she said, declining to disclose who they were or where the baby was born.

Experts questioned Clonaid's claim that it had successfully produced the first human clone with procedures much like those used to clone Dolly the sheep.

"It would be a surprise to me if it were that simple to clone humans," said Dr Barry Zirkin, head of the division of reproductive biology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

"Based on the experience with animals, one would imagine it would take many many shots to actually get a human baby."

Boisselier said an independent expert would conduct genetic tests on the baby to verify the breakthrough.

"You should have the answers and all the proof you need in about eight days," she said. "I received so many e-mails of hope. I received so many insults and death threats at the same time. ... I am not afraid."

The baby was delivered by Caesarean section and weighed 3.1 kg, Boisselier said, adding that four more cloned babies would be delivered by the end of January.

   CULT SAYS ALIENS CREATED MANKIND

Clonaid was founded by Claude Vorihon, who calls himself Rael and founded a cult called the Raelians. The company Web site lists Boisselier as "a Raelian Bishop".

The Raelians, who claim 55,000 followers around the world, believe life on Earth was sparked by extraterrestrials who arrived 25,000 years ago and created humans through cloning.

"I do believe that we have been created by scientists. I thank them for my life. If science created me, then science has done some good," said Boisselier, who has a mane of red hair streaked with grey and who dressed for the news conference in a black skirt outfit, fishnet stockings and a high-heeled boots.

"Is my science worse than the one used in preparing bombs to kill people? I create life."

Cattle, mice, sheep and other animals have been cloned with mixed success. Some have displayed defects later in life and scientists fear the same could happen with cloned humans.

Randall Prather, a reproductive biotechnology professor at the University of Missouri, said independent tests would be essential to determine whether the baby is in fact a clone.

"Is it possible in humans? Potentially. Have we seen problems with cloning domestic animals? Yes. Do we understand what causes those problems? No. Therefore we shouldn't do it," Prather said.

Carl Feldbaum, president of the Biotechnology Organization, a trade group that represents the interests of the biotech industry in Washington, blasted the claim as irresponsible and questioned its accuracy.

"We're reiterating our strong opposition to human cloning on both safety and ethical grounds," he said.

Clonaid has been racing Italian fertility doctor Severino Antinori to produce the first cloned baby. Antinori said he expected one of his patients to give birth to a cloned baby in January.

U.S. President George W. Bush has asked Congress to ban the creation of cloned babies as well as the cloning of human embryos for medical research. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a ban but a similar bill in the Senate stalled after scientists argued such a law would hinder medical advances.

Republican Sen Sam Brownback of Kansas said on Friday: "While I'm sceptical about today's report, this points to the need for Congress to enact a permanent and comprehensive ban on human cloning when we return."

CRITICS CALL FOR CLONING BAN

Non-profit and public interest groups have lined up on both sides of the controversy. Early Friday, anticipating the announcement, Chicago-based Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity said it condemned the Clonaid effort.

"The fact that renegade scientists are apparently continuing to work to clone human beings despite the proven dangers of mammalian cloning shows that the United States and the rest of the world need to pass a complete ban on this dangerous and unethical procedure as soon as possible," said C. Ben Mitchell, a senior fellow at the centre.

The Vatican's top moral theologian, Father Gino Concetti, also condemned the possibility of human cloning in a recent interview.

Clonaid started work with human eggs last January and made 10 implantations in the spring, Boisselier said. Five were terminated and five were successful.

The next baby would be born to a lesbian couple in a hospital somewhere in northern Europe next week, she said. The other expectant parents were a U.S. couple and two from Asia.

Twenty more implantations were planned for January. Clonaid planned to open at least one cloning clinic on every continent and had received thousands of requests, Boisselier said.

She also said Clonaid planned further clonings as a commercial enterprise as investors expected some return.

Asked about the cost, she said. "I don't know. I'm not very good at business."

 


Chemist Claims Human Clone

by Malcolm Ritter    AP

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (Dec. 27) - Ushering in either a brave new world or a spectacular hoax, a company founded by a religious sect that believes in space aliens announced Friday that it has produced the world's first cloned baby.

A healthy 7-pound girl, nicknamed Eve by scientists, was delivered by Caesarean section Thursday somewhere outside the United States, said Brigitte Boisselier, chief executive of Clonaid. Boisselier said the girl is an exact genetic copy of the American woman who gave birth to her.

At a news conference, Boisselier offered no scientific proof, provided no photographs and did not produce the mother or child. She said proof - in the form of DNA testing by independent experts - will be available in perhaps eight or nine days.

``You can still go back to your office and treat me as a fraud,'' she told reporters. ``You have one week to do that.''

Cloning experts were skeptical or reserved judgment on the announcement, which is certain to touch off fierce ethical, religious and scientific debate. In Washington, the Food and Drug Administration said the agency will investigate whether the experiments violated U.S. law.

The United States has no specific law against human cloning. But the FDA contends its regulations forbid human cloning without agency permission.

``The very attempt to clone a human being is evil,'' said Stanley M. Hauerwas, a professor of theological ethics at Duke University. ``That the allegedly cloned child is to be called Eve confirms the godlike stature these people so desperately seek.''

Boisselier would not say where Clonaid has been carrying out its experiments and did not identify any of the scientists involved.

She said the mother as a 31-year-old with an infertile husband. The couple have decided not to face the media now, she said.

She said four other couples are expected to give birth to Clonaid-created clones by early February.

Clonaid was founded in the Bahamas in 1997 by Claude Vorilhon, a former French journalist and leader of a sect called the Raelians. Vorilhon, who calls himself Rael, claims a space alien visiting him in 1973 revealed that extraterrestrials had created all life on Earth through genetic engineering.

Boisselier, who claims two chemistry degrees, identifies herself as a Raelian ``bishop'' and said Clonaid retains philosophical but not economic links to the Raelians. Rael is ``my spiritual leader,'' Boisselier said.

``I do believe we've been created by scientists,'' she said. ``And I'm grateful to them for my life.''

She said neither the infertile couple nor the four other couples are Raelians. The other couples are a pair of lesbians from Northern Europe; two couples from North America and Asia who seek to clone dead children from cells taken before their deaths; and a second Asian couple, she said.

So far, 10 women have been implanted with Clonaid-created cloned embryos; five had miscarriages in the first three weeks, and the other five led to ``Eve'' and the four current pregnancies, Boisselier said.

No couple has paid for the cloning effort, but some of the first five couples invested in Clonaid, she said. She said she does not know how much Clonaid will charge once it begins to offer the service commercially.

To gain convincing proof that ``Eve'' is a clone, Boisselier said she accepted an offer by former ABC News science editor Michael Guillen. Guillen, now a free-lance journalist who said he has no connection to Clonaid, said he has chosen ``world-class, independent experts'' whom he did not identify to draw DNA from the mother and the newborn and test them for a match.

To do the cloning that led to ``Eve,'' scientists removed the nucleus from an egg of the woman and merged the altered egg with a skin cell from her, Boisselier said. The DNA from the mother's skin cell took over direction of the egg.

``The baby is very healthy,'' Boisselier said. ``The parents are happy. I hope that you remember them when you talk about this baby - not like a monster, like some results of something that is disgusting.''

The notion of human cloning is controversial, both because of the apparent risk to a baby - cloned animals have shown a host of abnormalities - and because of other ethical considerations.

Boisselier contends that defects seen in cloned animals will not necessarily appear in humans.

``If my science is giving babies to parents who have been dying to get one with their own genes, is my science worse than the one preparing bombs to kill people?'' she asked. ``I am creating life.''

Several countries, including Britain, Israel, Japan and Germany, have banned human cloning. Legislation in Congress stalled last summer over cloning for medical research purposes.

``The president believes, like most Americans, that human cloning is deeply troubling,'' White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. ``Despite the widespread skepticism among scientists and medical professionals about today's announcement, it underscores the need for the new Congress to act.''

The Vatican, which holds that life begins at conception, has condemned cloning because extra embryos are destroyed in the process. The 16-million-member Southern Baptist Convention disapproved of Boisselier's announcement.

``There is a global race going on by rogue scientists who are operating outside the mainstream,'' said Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptists' public policy arm. ``If you allow cloning at all, some people will try to reproduce them with predictably horrific results.''

Scientists said they looked forward to the promised proof.

``We'll wait and see, I guess. I'm still a skeptic and I'm hoping that it's not true,'' said University of Georgia cloning expert Steve Stice.

Mark Westhusin of Texas A&M University, who made headlines in February by cloning a cat, said if Boisselier's announcement is true, ``they are taking a big risk in terms of health hazards to the child.''

The American Society of Reproductive Medicine said in a statement: ``Based on the current state of knowledge, we do not believe taking a clonal pregnancy to term would be possible in humans.''

In Rome, fertility doctor Severino Antinori, who announced weeks ago that a cloned baby would be born in January through a separate effort, dismissed Clonaid's claims and said the company has no scientific credibility.

12/27/02 21:29 EST


Bush prods Senate to adopt ban on all cloning

April 11, 2002 Posted: 9:43 AM EDT (1343 GMT)
From Major Garrett
CNN White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush on Wednesday pressed the Senate to forbid the cloning of human embryos either for research or reproductive purposes, saying any reason for human cloning would be unethical.

"Anything other than a total ban on human cloning would be unethical," he said in a speech at the White House. "Research cloning would contradict the most fundamental principle of medical ethics -- that no human life should be exploited or extinguished for the benefit of another."

Bush issued a call last year against cloning human embryos, and Wednesday he built on that call, arguing that other forms of biomedical research offer greater promise without the moral objections raised by cloning.

Bush endorsed legislation sponsored by Sens. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, and Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, that would make it a federal crime to create a cloned human embryo. The bill has 29 Senate co-sponsors but Landrieu, running for re-election this year, is the only Democrat to sign onto the measure.

Identical legislation passed the House last year by a vote of 265-162, but the Senate is far more divided than the House on the cloning issue.

"Our children are gifts to be loved and protected, not products to be designed and manufactured," Bush said. "Allowing cloning would be taking a significant step toward a society in which human beings are grown for spare body parts and children are engineered to custom specifications -- and that's not acceptable."

A bipartisan group of senators, led by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, and Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania, is backing legislation that would ban human cloning, but allow for the creation of cloned embryos for the express purpose of scientific research. The plans to formally introduce that legislation Wednesday were canceled however, after lawmakers asked Kennedy for more time to review the legislation.

Sources told CNN on Wednesday that Utah Republican Orrin Hatch may join supporters as well. Despite his conservative anti-abortion views, Hatch came out last year in favor of federal funding for stem cell research because of its potential for aiding medical advances.

"There is resolute, determined, universal opposition to cloning to the creation of human beings," said Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota. "We differ strongly, however, in the need to allow science and research to cure disease such as cancer, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and diabetes. That's where the fissure is. That's where the break is, the chasm. We believe we need to continue that research."

But Bush made clear he didn't want any exceptions and called on the Senate not to allow any kind of human cloning.

The president was joined at the White House for his speech by individuals who might benefit from future tissue research from cloned embryos.

Among those invited were Jim Kelly, who was paralyzed in an auto accident and had once supported embryonic stem cell research; Steve McDonald, a New York City police officer who became a paraplegic after being wounded in the line of duty in 1986; and Joni Tata, a quadriplegic who was injured in a childhood diving accident. She has organized an evangelical ministry for victims of spinal cord injuries and has previously served on a presidential commission on disabilities.

All three met with Bush before the speech.

"We told him, 'Let's roll,'" Tata said.


As 'cloned baby' flies into US, row erupts over verification

Former TV science reporter asked to lead DNA testing team gave enthusiastic support to Raelian sect

Oliver Burkeman in New York and Jacqui Goddard in Miami
Tuesday December 31, 2002
The Guardian


The sect that claims to have produced the world's first human clone said the newborn girl and her 31-year-old American mother had arrived back home and that the genetic proof demanded by scientists should be available in a week. But the announcement was greeted by a chorus of scepticism from scientists amid growing doubts about the validity of tests that the group says will vindicate its claims.

Clonaid, a biotechnology company set up by the Raelians - who believe the human race began when ultra-intelligent aliens made clones of themselves - refused to reveal the identity or whereabouts of the baby, known only as Eve, who it said was born in an unnamed country on Boxing Day.

"The baby is going home, and once at home, it is possible for an independent expert to go there," said Dr Brigitte Boisselier, the company's chief executive. "Once a [DNA] sample is taken, we will see ... perhaps by the end of the week, or early next week, we should have all the details."

The sect's founder, Rael, a former French motoring journalist named Claude Vorilhon, said there were "thousands" more would-be mothers of clones on Clonaid's waiting list. "It is good news indeed," the 56-year-old told the Guardian. "But now that a human clone is born, this is just the first step. There will be more, much, much more.

"Eve's birth is wonderful. It's a good step, but it's not the biggest step _ The goal is to give humans eternal life through cloning. The ultimate goal will be to create a completely artificial human being. I am just the catalyst for all this."

Clonaid says it will offer the service at about $200,000 (125,000) per clone, and that another cloned baby will be born next week. It says 2,000 people are waiting for the procedure. But as cloning ex perts jostled to condemn the Raelians' claims as almost certainly untrue, doubts were also voiced about the science journalist Dr Boisselier has invited to coordinate independent DNA tests aimed at establishing whether Eve really is a genetic replica of her mother.

Dr Michael Guillen, who was the award-winning science editor of the US television network ABC until October, said he had accepted Clonaid's invitation "on behalf of the world press on two conditions: that there be no strings attached, and that the tests be conducted by independent, world-class experts".

But his detractors say his career at ABC was marked by a credulous stance towards eccentric backwaters of science, including extra-sensory perception, astrology and telekinesis, or mind over matter.

In February last year he interviewed Rael for ABC's programme 20/20, enthusiastically describing the sect leader - who claims to have met Jesus, the Buddha and Mohammed in space - as "the forerunner in this high-stakes competition".

"Don't be put off by his [Rael's] unusual look _ don't dismiss this man," Guillen told viewers. "He's determined and appears to be well-organised and well-funded, and it's precisely because the Raelians are not constrained by conventional standards of science and society that they might just be the ones to pull it off, be the first to clone a human baby. Besides, it's not really that hard."

Guillen said he was not being paid to coordinate the DNA tests on Eve, but speaking at a news conference last Friday, he failed to answer directly repeated questions about how he was selected.

"An issue such as this is naturally shrouded in secrecy," he told the Guardian. "As a scientist and a journalist I am always sceptical about what I'm being told, and I don't want to take anyone else's word for it so I thought 'Why not?' I have been working on this story from the start and I've interviewed all the major players and de veloped a trust with them. I've talked to and know experts in the field."

But Dr Robert Park, a physicist at the University of Maryland and a long-time critic of Guillen's journalism, said his reporting on the paranormal "pandered to the superstitions" of the public. "He represents these things as open scientific questions, which they're not. And now he's trading on his reputation as a scientist. You can't have it both ways." Two DNA samples could be found to be identical, Dr Park said, but that would mean nothing unless the sources could be verified.

Scientists attempting to clone other primates have routinely failed to produce pregnancies. But Dr Boisselier, at Clonaid, has claimed a 50% success rate, achieving five pregnancies with 10 embryo implants. Guillen, who lives in Massachusetts, could not be reached for comment on the 20/20 interview.

Rael, in an interview at a friend's home in north Miami, said he did not know who or where Eve was. "I do not know the family, I do not know who they are, I do not know where they are," he said. "I will not meet this baby. Maybe when she is 18, if she wanted to meet me, we could - but out of respect for her life I will not try. It is her choice. She is not a circus animal. Her privacy must be respected."

Rael's book, Yes to Human Cloning, elaborates his vision of "almost instant" clones, in which humans could achieve eternal life by downloading their personalities into ready-made adult copies of themselves. It is a message that in the last few days has begun to reach way beyond his 55,000 followers, thinly scattered across 84 countries. That publicity is crucial to Raelian doctrine, which holds that the aliens who created humanity will return only when everybody on earth knows about them.

Confusion

Back in the realm of mainstream science, supporters of therapeutic cloning - which involves growing stem cells to try to treat human diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, without creating new babies - said the Raelians' announcement added to the damaging public confusion between their work and reproductive cloning. "When people hear cloning, most don't always separate the two, and cloning gets lumped into one category, making everybody anxious," said Dr Susan Garfinkel, director of research grants at the US Stem Cell Research Foundation. "The scientific community as a whole does not endorse any kind of reproductive cloning."

Neither technique has yet been outlawed in the US, not least because of disagreements in Congress on whether to ban both, or just reproductive cloning. President George Bush has all but cut off government funding for stem cell research.

A statement from the new Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, yesterday appeared to demonstrate that the Raelians' announcement had hardened his resolve to ban all cloning.

"While its validity is unclear, it should serve as a chilling reminder that individuals are still trying to clone human beings," Senator Frist said. "These actions undermine fundamental respect for the decency of human life."

 


How can we manifest peace on earth if we do not include everyone (all races, all nations, all religions, both sexes) in our vision of Peace?


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