Written by Dr. Ray Bohlin
Today, December 27, 2002, it was announced that the first human clone was born at an undisclosed location. The announcement came from Brigitte Boisselier, the director of Clonaid, the research branch of the Raelian cult. Dr. Boisselier revealed that four other clones are expected by the end of January. The Raelians have been hinting for months that a successful cloned birth was expected. Two other independent researchers, Severino Antinori (an Italian working in an undisclosed Muslim country) and Panos Zavos (from Lexington, Kentucky) have also been hinting at human cloning success and suggesting that a birth will be announced soon.
As of yet there has been no independent verification that the baby girl, named Eve, is truly a clone. Eve was delivered by Caesarian section from her twin sister (the woman who donated the nuclear genetic material from which she was cloned also served as the surrogate mother). There is some reasonable doubt about either the information given the public at this time or the legitimacy of the claim. Dr. Boisselier claimed at the press conference this morning that ten clones were implanted (no information if the ten clones were of the same individual or clones from ten different people). Five of the clones spontaneously aborted within three weeks while the other five have continued without complication. This is a 50% success rate. Normal success rates in other mammals are 2% at best. Even then, many of the clones which survive to birth develop complications in their first months of life, as high as 10% in cattle. This incredibly high 50% success rate for human cloning leaves most researchers believing that either this isn't really a clone or they simply aren't revealing all the other failures.
This announcement is no cause for rejoicing. This baby and the others to follow are human experiments with high odds to develop life-threatening complications. Not only that, but poor Eve, who I believe is a full human being with a soul, will be a research subject all her life, however long that is. Human cloning ought to be banned, both reproductive cloning and so-called therapeutic cloning--or as Stanford University recently referred to it, "human nuclear transplantation." Boisselier, Antinori, and Zavos are forging ahead at breakneck speed with only a thin veneer of compassion for childless couples. They are deliberately putting innocent human life at risk both medically and psychologically for personal fame and notoriety. This needs to be condemned before others follow suit, and stopped if at all possible. The Senate needs to act now to join the House in banning all human cloning within U.S. borders.
Other articles of interest from the Probe Web site:
Can Humans Be Cloned Like Sheep?
Cloning and Genetics: The Brave New World Closes In
Stem Cells and the Controversy Over Therapeutic Cloning
©2002 Probe Ministries
About the Author
Raymond G. Bohlin is Vice President of Vision Outreach at Probe Ministries. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.S., zoology), North Texas State University (M.S., population genetics), and the University of Texas at Dallas (M.S., Ph.D., molecular biology). He is the co-author of the book The Natural Limits to Biological Change, served as general editor of Creation, Evolution and Modern Science, co-author of Basic Questions on Genetics, Stem Cell Research and Cloning (The BioBasics Series), and has published numerous journal articles. Dr. Bohlin was named a Research Fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture in 1997, 2000 and 2012.
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