The Raelian UFO Religion has claimed that a member of the sect has given birth to the first cloned human child. The baby, a little girl, was born on December 27. She is the first of five the Raelians claim to be cloning.

Brigitte Boisselier, president of the cloning organization Clonaid and member of the sect, announced that the baby was born by Caeserian section and that the birth went well.

The Raelian sect belives that human beings will attain eternal life through cloning. However, animal clones born thus far have suffered from various problems. Animal cloners continue to uncover evidence of severe pregnancy complications and defects caused by cloning. The current list includes dramatically oversized calves, enlarged tongues, squashed faces, intestinal blockages, immune deficiences and diabetes, says Jim Robl of the Massachusetts company Hematech.

Even cloned animals that look healthy often have subtle defects or weird physiologies that defy the textbooks. Herds of identical cloned animals would be a “welfare disaster”, says Joyce D’Silva of Compassion in World Farming. “There would be a huge loss of genetic diversity with unforeseeable results in terms of animal illness.”

The reality of cloning is that it is an imperfect process, and far from ensuring anything remotely like “eternal life,” it would lead to the same loss of genetic diversity in the human race as well, if it was extensively practiced.

The Raelian religion claims 50,000 members worldwide, and is based on alleged contacts with aliens.

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