The Internet is a fun place to play. You can find pretty much whatever your heart desires there. Feeling a bit randy? You got porn. Want some news? The Internet’s got it in droves. How about a little peace of mind that your genetic material will continue forever and ever once you kick the bucket? Oh, you betcha.
Take for an example this delightful little romp located at . This is the home of Clonaid – not to be confused with the tasty summer treat Kool-Aid – the self-proclaimed first human cloning company. Clonaid stands as a subsidiary of Valiant Ventures Ltd., an elusive company that manages to dodge even the cleverest of Internet search engines.
The Raelians, the kookiest thing to come out of France since post-structuralist theory, seem to be enmeshed in the whole thing. Their leader, Claude Vorilhon – or Rael to his friends and followers – claims that a race of super-intelligent aliens, called the Elohim, paid him a visit back in 1973 to let Claude know how life really began on Earth. No Garden of Eden. No sky god vomiting forth the universe from his lower intestine. It all began with test tubes and some extraterrestrials with too much time and genetic material on their hands.
But people should be allowed to believe whatever they want, so we shouldn’t chide the Raelians too much. They are, after all, the ones offering us a variety of useful services through Clonaid.
For the low, low price of $200,000, you too can clone yourself. While this tricky process has befuddled scientists for the past several years, Clonaid boasts a 30-40 percent success rate, leaving our top scientists in the dust with their paltry but generous estimate of a 2 percent success rate. They’ve even managed to figure out that tricky metaphysics of transferring your memories and consciousness into another vessel. If the Raelians were in it for the money, they would’ve sold this little secret to psychologists and computer engineers by now.
Besides cloning, Clonaid offers a variety of other services as well, including Insuraclone, where they’ll stick your cells on ice for as long as you’re willing to dish out the $200 a year. Or, for all you infertile women out there, you can buy a set of ova to the bargain tune of $5,000 through Ovulaid. And for the women feeling so fertile they’ve got eggs popping out all over the place, you can sell your genetic material to all those poor, barren maidens.
Clonaid seems to be expanding outside the human realm, as their website touts a new service, Clonapet, coming soon. Targeted at “wealthy individuals” and “race horse owners,” the Raelian scientists will crank out carbon copies of your favorite animal. I heard a rumor that Clonaid may team up with Chia Pet on this one. If all goes well, you’ll get the chance to smear all that wonderful genetic material on a terra-cotta terrier and watch the thing grow right before your eyes.
May wonders never cease.
Clonaid made an announcement late last year that it had effectively cloned the first human. The rest of the world seemed rather taken with the whole event, splashing the story on the front page of most major newspapers. A shame that the majority of the scientific community has now cried hoax. The delay is understandable though; the Raelian website is harsh on your web browser. I’m still waiting for the Flash introduction to finish running.
Steven Ruszczycky is the Daily Nexus Opinion editor.