December 31, 2002

Tabloid news takes over…

Why is the mainstream press spending precious time and ink on the Raelians and their questionable claims of having cloned a child? This is the stuff of weekly tabloids. Quite simply, this story is not news.

First, a journalist should consider the veracity of the source of news. In this case, the claims come from a group of people who believe that we are descended from alien clones. Talk to any reputable physicist about the probability that this is true.

Second, claims have been made and no proof has been offered.

Third, the freelance journalist picked to “verify” the claim has an apparent interest in the subject. The journalist, Michael Guillen, has a doctorate in physics from Cornell University and taught at Harvard University, according to an article in the boston Globe. On the surface, these sound like excellent credentials. But it is a fallacy to suppose that these credentials suggest that Guillen is qualified to verify the claim.

Fourth, there appears to be no willingness to allow independently-chosen, qualified scientists to investigate the claim. So there is no way to verify it without hearsay.

The only news here would be an announcement that reputable scientists were looking into the claim. Since that’s not happening, this claim is simply nonsense and deserves not one minute of airtime nor one inch of copy.

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