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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
7:28 PM Sat, Sept. 22nd

Creation and credit for life does not belong to science

After 276 failed attempts scientists successfully cloned Dolly the sheep in 1997. In February 2003 Dolly was euthanised because she had a progressive lung disease and severe arthritis. She is now on display in the Connect Gallery, National Museum of Scotland.

After 276 failed attempts scientists successfully cloned Dolly the sheep in 1997. In February 2003 Dolly was euthanised because she had a progressive lung disease and severe arthritis. She is now on display in the Connect Gallery, National Museum of Scotland.

This month the Ohio Senate passed State Bill 243, a ban on human cloning and human-animal hybrids. Because science has advanced to the point where DNA from animals and humans can be intermixed in scientific laboratories a number of states are drafting similar bills. The Ohio legislation is based on bans in Louisiana and one here in Arizona. Oklahoma is also considering a ban on human cloning. Proponents of the bill believe that to genetically mix humans with animals is morally abhorrent, and such experimentation kills human life. They are concerned that a dangerous principle is guiding scientists - "If we can, we will."

This is not the first time human cloning has captured the world's attention and opened doors to new debate. In December 2002 a controversial group called Clonaid announced the birth of a cloned baby girl named Eve. They claimed the birth would be the first-ever human clone. During the news conference I remember the organization's scientific director, Brigitte Boisselier, standing at the podium and praising her spiritual leader, called Rael. She made a statement that struck me so abruptly it still rings in my memory eight years later. She said, "All things are created by science."

Although few people ever believed the unproven claim, it nonetheless attracted national authorities, mainstream media, and young adults to look further into the Raelians' cult status.

Boisselier is a bishop in the Raelian movement. Raelism is a religious movement in France, founded by Claude Vorilhon, who calls himself Rael. The basic doctrine of Raelism is that extraterrestrials created humans on earth by DNA manipulation, and humans will have immortality through cloning. They teach that these aliens terraformed the earth.

In essence, the Raelian teachings place the miracle of life in the hands of men and extraterrestrials -- that science, not God, is to be credited for all life and everything good that has ever been created.

They proclaim that there are three steps in the advancement of the technique of cloning:

1. Creating genetically identical time-delayed twins;

2. The accelerated growth process to build a whole body in a very short time;

3. Transfer of the mind into the newly created body (a kind of "mind uploading").

By scientific proof of the feasibility thereof, they want to show e.g. that Jesus could have been cloned.

I am not against cloning for medical advancements such as stem cell research. But cloning technology should be used to make life better, not to make life. And there is a real danger if scientists allow themselves to be guided by the "If we can, we will" principle.

But perhaps the greatest wrong is science again trying to push humanity one more step away from acknowledging God.

It's not hard to look back on the history of man and see the fate of civilizations who turned to the pride of their own hearts, or who worshiped things created by the hands of men. They made their kings their gods, and called their work divine.

Now they are gone.