The group claims financing as well as the technology is now available to them and plan to proceed. A group of willing surrogates has been chosen for implementation of the experiment. Scientists and spokeswoman for the group, Dr Brigitte Boisselier, states the cloning process will start this sometime this month.
The Raelian claims have not been substantiated, as they haven't provided physical evidence they have the technology to carry through. Many within the scientific community believe the expertise may not be hard to find and think that the Raelians have already procured the essential professionals and facilities to proceed. According to cult experts the Raelians have the finances and the ambition to succeed.
A couple from the United States has apparently paid a half million dollars to have their deceased baby daughter cloned.
The scientist Ian Wilmut, the Roslin Institute scientist in Edinburgh who cloned Dolly the sheep is outraged at the groups' plans. Wilmut created dolly, the first viable clone of a sheep, in 1995. The nucleus of an adult sheep's somatic cell was placed into a sheep egg cell that had had its nucleus removed. The resulting cell was then implanted in a surrogate mother sheep and allowed to develop normally, resulting in Dolly.
Expert's claim there is a high rate of failure in the cloning process of any animal species indicating a vast number of surrogate mothers would be necessary for success. Scientists state that the reported 50 surrogate mothers, volunteering for the program may be enough.
The cult leader Claude Vorilhon, former French sports reporter and auto enthusiast, believes humans are the cloned species from space aliens. He claims that members of the group are actually descendants of an alien race. He also believes the group has been given the authority to clone their own group. The bazaar cult was founded in 1973 and claims to have 50,000 members globally.
The Raelians are not alone in the desire to clone humans. Randolfe H. Wicker who is world's first pro-human cloning activist who founded the world's first group, the Clone Rights United Front, in 1997. Gregory Pence, Ph.D. - who is a bioethicist in support of human cloning. Dr. Pence teaches at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. He is the author of "Who's Afraid of Human Cloning?" and the author of "Re-creating Medicine". Both men would like to see human cloning a reality although for different reasons.
Pro-cloning advocates declare there would be practical applications, by producing much-needed genetically matched organs for heart, kidney, and liver patients awaiting transplants as well as other useful applications to cure illness and disease.
Many opponents disagree and numerous theological experts question the moral-sociological and spiritual implications which cloning suggests. There is also concern that scientist would be tempted to start a selective breeding program in attempts to produce a superior race and an improved species as was attempted by Nazi German scientists in the mid 1930's.
With this type of advanced cloning technology, couples could possibly terminate any imperfect embryo in favor of a perfected one. Another concern is that due to the life span of known cloned animals, it is thought that the human life span would be greatly reduced and other unforeseeable genetic problems would erupt.
By Colleen Johnston ©2001
Taken from this site. I dunno how reliable it is, but it's something that wouldn't surprise me too much.